Locality data

J.E. Shields jshields@indy.net
Wed, 31 Oct 2012 04:37:42 PDT
This is indeed a fascinating topic.  From my perspective as a biochemist, 
the DNA sequence of the organism IS the organism, so the DNA sequence 
perforce defines the species.  Geography and morphology are just 
approximations of the species.

I'm not sure how deeply this notion has permeated the rest of biology from 
the molecular biological side, but it is inevitably the direction things 
are going to go.  Until DNA sequencing becomes routine (i.e., a block box) 
and really cheap, we are stuck with morphology and to a secondary extent, 

Operationally, the weakness in the biological species concept is that we 
can rarely if ever actually define the "breeding population."  It is not 
really definable (in terms of "do this then this and you define the 
breeding population" using any doable steps) so it is not really a 
scientific concept.

Jim Shields

At 08:39 PM 10/30/2012 -0700, Nhu wrote:
>This is such a juicy subject that I have to join (just for a little).
>It's always good remember that no one knows what a species truly is.
>Taxonomy and the latest and fanciest science could not yet tell us that
>yet. However, taxonomy has been pretty good at *recognizing* species. What
>we humans recognize as species does not make something a species, but it
>has its practical purposes.

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5
P.O. Box 92              WWW:    http://www.shieldsgardens.com/
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA
Lat. 40° 02.8' N, Long. 086° 06.6' W

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