Locality data

J.E. Shields jshields@indy.net
Wed, 31 Oct 2012 11:53:53 PDT
Defining "species" is dependent on what one intends to use the definition 
for.  Look in many books in phylogenetics and you will see several formal 
definitions.  Biologist use different ones of those several definitions 
depending on what direction their research is taking and what methodologies 
are available to them to use.

This leads me to feel that there is probably no such thing as a "species" 
but rather many ways of viewing the biological world.  Our discomfort with 
this, if any, is probably because our subconscious minds are still trying 
to fit everything into a pre-Darwinian frame of reference, which contained 
fixed, rigid species.  Taxonomy is not the Platonic Ideal of biology but 
rather a heueristic tool for use in real life.

For my own interests in biology, the AGP III system works just fine.  More 
than that, it makes very good sense to a biochemist!

Jim Shields

At 07:42 PM 10/31/2012 +0100, Christian wrote:
>What do you think about the AGP III system for flowering plants?
>The approach, mainly molecular-based, has reorganized a few plant
>famillies, earlier classified based on more classical parameters such as
>those discussed here.
>It seems that defining what a species is difficult because the living world
>will always come with a specific example conflicting with the definition -
>therefore the amount of definitions existing for a species depending on the

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

More information about the pbs mailing list