Darwin-L Message Log 1:62 (September 1993)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.

<1:62>From DEWAR%UCONNVM.BITNET@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU  Tue Sep  7 21:46:13 1993

Date: Tue, 07 Sep 1993 22:32:02 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: A reply to Ramsden
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

This follows Tom Clarke's response to Peter Ramsden on one point:"natural phylo
genies or taxonomies". First, taxonomies by definition are classifications and
therefore human and not natural products.  In other words, mother nature is pr
obably not to blame for the number of genera in the class Aves. Second, if phyl
ogenies are to be understood as natural, then a first step is to discover the n
atural ordering of its units.  While we all agree (I think) that the most basic
unit is the species, why can't we agree on what a species is?  Is it defined by
 the "biological species concept", the "recognition concept", or the "phylogene
tic species concept"?  If the choice of method of recognizing a species is conv
enience for a particular method of analyzing phylogeny, does it correspond cert
ainly to a "natural" choice?

 Robert E. Dewar Dept. of Anthropology
       University of Connecticut

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