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RE: Californian "species"

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Posted by: CKing at Mon Dec 6 19:15:10 2004  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by CKing ]  
   

BIC wrote:
Now that [Wiley's definition of the ESC] my friend is what Frost and Hillis embraced. So how different are those two concepts?

Me:
According to Frost and Hillis, there are many differences between Simpson's ESC and Frost and Hillis' "ESC." Frost and Hillis wrote:

"Although the views of Simpson and Wiley could be construed as identical, as evidenced by their species definitions, in fact their concepts are considerably different. Simpson believed that the recognition of polytypic species followed logically from his definition; Wiley did not. Simpson did not believe that statements about species were logically reducible to statements about the recovered historical relationships of the constituent populations of polytypic species; Wiley did. That is, Wiley would apply his evolutionary species concept only in ways that are consistent with recovered historical relationships; Simpson would not. Simpson believed that his lineage concept, because of its continuity, required that arbitrary “chronospecies” be recognized; Wiley did not, arguing instead, like Hennig (1966), that species are delimited from speciation to speciation. At least for biparentals, one is hard pressed to find any difference of substance in terms of application between Simpson’s (1961) concept of species and the biological species concept of Mayr (1942, 1969)."

Therefore your claim has been directly contradicted by Frost and Hillis. As I said, Frost and Hillis' "ESC" is not the same as Simpson's "ESC" and I also said that those who claim they are the same are promulgating snake oil.

Even a little knowledge can be "dangerous" to the snake oil salesman. The cladists are preying upon the ignorance of most biologists, who are not "...steeped in the arcane theories and esoteric practices of systematic biology," as J. D. Lazell (1992 Herpetol. Rev.) so nicely put it. By redefining old familiar concepts (such as monophyletic) and giving them new meanings, the cladists are attempting to fool most biologists into believing that the cladists are disqualifying polyphyletic groups when they claim that the groups they are disqualifying are not "monophyletic." In reality, many of the groups the cladists disqualify from classification are in fact monophyletic sensu Darwin, Simpson, Mayr, and Haeckel, but are paraphyletic sensu Hennig and his followers. If the cladists want to continue wreaking havoc with biological classification, they better come up with a scientifically tenable explanation for their actions.

BIC professes to be a knowledgeable person, and I am sure he is. If so, perhaps BIC can inform those who are less knowledgeable as to why paraphyletic taxa, which is of course the "inevitable result of the process of evolution" (according to R.L. Carroll) should be disqualified, since biological classification is supposed to conform to the set of historical facts known as evolution. How can one be conforming to the facts of evolution and yet at the same time not recognize groups that are the inevitable result of the process of evolution? How can one claim to understand evolution and yet classify organisms in a way that totally ignores evolution, as many cladists do without hesitation?


   

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