Locality data

Jim McKenney jamesamckenney@verizon.net
Tue, 30 Oct 2012 17:46:43 PDT
Dylan, those are great points. Yes, I was simplifying a very complex topic - but the alternative was to keep typing. 

I agree completely that the statement "if you know thegeographic source of the entity, you know the specific identity"  is presumptive rather than scientific. But I'm tempted to add that all taxonomy is presumptive rather than scientific. I say that because what taxonomists purport to identify, i.e. species, is essentially an unknowable thing. You didn't say it that way, but what you did say seems to amount to the same thing. It is a difficult problem, and even the best taxonomic treatments barely scratch the surface. 

I wrote what I did mostly to take a stand against the point of view which seems to say that since the problem is so difficult and unlikely to be solved, we should be satisfied with work-arounds. 

I don't understand the question you asked about allopatric species. I tend to regard the concept of allopatric species as a word game: their morphological similarities lead taxonomists to call them allopatric species, yet the true test of the matter (the matter being are they or are they not the same species) cannot be tested because of the geographic separation which characterizes so-called allopatric species. In my book, while  there is no interbreeding, they are different species. Should they return to interbreeding, they they become the same species again.

Jim McKenney 

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