Re: Taxonomy and speciation

From: Kenneth Van Oost (Kenneth.Van.Oost@village.uunet.be)
Date: Wed Nov 21 2001 - 20:40:25 GMT

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    From: "Kenneth Van Oost" <Kenneth.Van.Oost@village.uunet.be>
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    Subject: Re: Taxonomy and speciation
    Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 21:40:25 +0100
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Philip A.E. Jonkers <phae@uclink.berkeley.edu>
    To: <memetics@mmu.ac.uk>
    Sent: Wednesday, November 21, 2001 3:28 AM
    Subject: Re: Taxonomy and speciation
    > Perhaps I didn't make myself clear enough. Let me rephrase what
    > I'm trying to state with my hypothesis.
    > Naming related groups with a species name has obvious word-economic
    benefits.
    > However, since organisms evolve, new types derive from existing parent
    > forms. When do we say a new species has emerged? When it differs
    sufficiently
    > from its parents form? How do we decide the proper moment of speciation?

    << According to Dawkins, in his book River out of Eden (1995) a new
    species ( speciation) emerges, when ( seen from the point of view of the
    genes) there is no way turning back.
    ' Drifting apart ', as he called it, means not being seperate in space but
    in
    compatibility. The kid will be sufficient different from its parents when,
    in
    a way of speaking of course, it can 't no longer interbreed with its parents
    to produce fertile offspring.

    The proper moment of speciation ' is an event no more momentous than
    any other speciation ' Dawkins says.
    Any point would have gone unremarked, the slighest difference could
    mean a whole new species. We are not to know !

    > I believe the root of all confusion is due to our taxonous tradition
    applied
    > to the realm of biology originally in a religious setting. If, like
    religions
    > like us to believe, organisms remain fixed it is obviously very useful to
    > label a related group of organisms. Naming things is a mental thing.

    << Why are you so keen on that religious stuff !?
    I understand your point, but you can get the same discussion beginning from
    the point of view that our ancestors did not have the slightest idea what
    an individual could be. That is too a religious entrapment.
    In the world of SÚrvantes ( Don Quichotte) even thinking about individuality
    was out of reach, due to religious influence.

    What I am trying to say is, that this whole ' problem ' is not that quite
    diffe-
    rent from the problem between collectiviness and individuality.
    The ' dog ' -thing is the collectiviness and the ' pitbull ' the
    individuality.
    The pitbull- thing generalized into dog as labeling dynamically evolving
    species generalized in our taxonomy for labeling fixed entities.
    The same principle is at work here.
    Maybe we look at it from a wrong perspective !?

    Regards,

    Kenneth

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