Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id BAA20117 (8.6.9/5.3[ref firstname.lastname@example.org] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from email@example.com); Thu, 29 Nov 2001 01:43:13 GMT Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" From: "Philip A.E. Jonkers" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Organization: UC Berkeley To: email@example.com Subject: Re: Taxonomy and speciation Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001 16:42:48 -0800 X-Mailer: KMail [version 1.2] References: <F148QY9zK4unnrPWKZc0000b2bb@hotmail.com> In-Reply-To: <F148QY9zK4unnrPWKZc0000b2bb@hotmail.com> Message-Id: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> I suppose endangered and threatened species are actually just endangered
> and threatened "name tags".
I don't have the impression you understand the point I'm trying to get across.
Species-names have all the virtues as functioning as pointers to the
organisms they represent. It's shorthand to a set of properties the
specie-name reflect (furry, 4-legged, aggressive, cudly, mammalian,
reptilian, small, big, etc.). Each species has its own set of properties. I
recognize the virtues of having species-names just as much as the next guy.
But the name-giving process is a mentally human one. It is based on human
intention not some intrinsic process in nature.
I do not deny organisms evolve of course, but the fluid act of
speciation does not occur in nature since the invention of names is
an entirely human enterprise. Why don't you have a look at On the
origin of species chapter 2, where Darwin mentions the problems
taxonomists having in deciding which groups of organisms to label
as varieties and which as species. Small wonder since this whole business
of name-tagging is a human enterprise.
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