Re: NANFA-L-- Moribund fish & Life Outside

ichthos at
Mon, 24 Oct 2005 17:59:05 +0000

>But, again, how much of a difference constitutes a different species?
>After all, we convict or acquit people on the basis of DNA difference
>but we don't separate them as different species.

The key here is not to think of "species" as fixed entities. If one believes in evolution -- and there still are those who do! -- then maybe what we're seeing with all the minute deviations between geographic races of a "species" is speciation in action. In other words, we're literally seeing where one species is beginning to diverge and become another. How much divergence it takes to make a new species, however, is totally subjective.

Somebody once groused to me that his beloved orangethroat darters are being split into new species. "Why is that a problem?" I asked. "If you love orangethroat darters, then you should be thrilled there are 'more' of them to love!"

Chris Scharpf
Because humans need to label and categorize, that's why.
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