Biological species concept

Ron Gatrelle gatrelle at
Fri Jun 8 01:12:54 EDT 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Gochfeld" <gochfeld at EOHSI.RUTGERS.EDU>
To: <Norbert.Kondla at>; <drdn at>;
<leps-l at>
Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2001 10:47 PM
Subject: Biological species concept

> Those of us raised on the biological species concept find it hard to
> reconcile with some new systematic approaches.  When hybridization
> occurs between two related taxa, the proof of the pudding is what
> happens over time. Does the zone and frequency of hybridization widen,
> blurring the distinctions, or does selection reinforce isolating
> mechanisms ultimately reducing hybridization, in which case one can (or
> could) comfortably assume that they were distinct species.
> So hybridization today doesn't argue for or against separate
> species status.

Good points. I would add this.
I found it hard to reconcile the old concept (as held by some). These are
fluid organisms and much of historical taxonomy tried to write everything
in stone or develop "laws" as in hard science.  But, I also do not care for
the way some are using the word hybridization now - the term convergent
evolution still works fine as does divergent evolution. Everything is in
some state of flux or it is stagnant and becoming extinct. There is no need
to throw out all the old nor _rush_ is embrace all the new. One needs to
graduate and begin to think for themselves - and simply "report" what is
happening (and properly delineate it within the ICZN rules) case by case.
Boy, that's some simplistic subjectivism.


   For subscription and related information about LEPS-L visit: 

More information about the Leps-l mailing list