Re: Taxonomy and speciation

From: Philip A.E. Jonkers (
Date: Fri Nov 30 2001 - 23:59:29 GMT

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    From: "Philip A.E. Jonkers" <>
    Organization: UC Berkeley
    Subject: Re: Taxonomy and speciation
    Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2001 15:59:29 -0800
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    > So you're saying that speciation does not occur? Do I have you correct
    > here?

    The reason that motivated me to post this hypothesis is the debate mentioned
    in Dennett's Darwin's Dangerous Idea that goes on between taxonomers
    arguing about when a moment of speciation really has occurred.
    Since it is decided by humans when a group of organisms is sufficiently
    separated from the rest of the living world to be called a species. The
    labeling of groups of organisms is a human enterprise. And as Darwin mentions
    often a very subjective one, as one taxonomers sometimes calls a strongly
    related group a variety while the next one decides it to be a genuine species.
    Therefore since the naming of species is subjective, the act of speciation -
    the birth of a new species from a parent species - is also subjective. This
    means that it is subjective speak about when an act of speciation
    has occurred.

    In a loose sence I do believe in the virtue of speciation, it is a convenient
    way to acknowledge the dynamics of evolution. But the strong insistence of
    speciation occurring as an instant event is decided by the taxonomer
    and therefore necessarily subjective and needless to dispute endlessly



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