agrkovich at tmpeng.com
Wed Sep 5 08:18:01 EDT 2001
Please refer to Klots (1951), "Some Principles of Classification", page
(approx.) 280 (near the rear of the book)., for a pretty good account.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: 1_iron [SMTP:1_iron at msn.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 5:48 AM
> To: Ron Gatrelle; Leps-l
> Cc: James Adams
> Subject: Re: genera
> Haaalllpp!! Will someone please produce a simple, black-or-white,
> of "species?" Seems to me all else is as James states: artificial.
> Jim Taylor
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Ron Gatrelle" <gatrelle at tils-ttr.org>
> To: "Leps-l" <Leps-l at lists.yale.edu>
> Cc: "James Adams" <JADAMS at em.daltonstate.edu>
> Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2001 4:24 PM
> Subject: Re: genera
> > James Adams wrote:
> > Xi,
> > > Perhaps you've explained this already in a previous post and I missed
> > > it, but why is Mitoura a genus?
> > There have undoubtedly been other responses already to this
> > question that I simply haven't read yet (catching up after a Labor
> > Day weekend), but I may have a different one.
> > The answer to this question is simple. Differences of
> > interpretation and opinion. But there is a more basic underlying
> > idea that must be understood. As far as the biological world is
> > concerned, there *is no such thing* as a genus. A genus, and all
> > higher taxonomic catergories are *artificial* constructs used by
> > humans to represent some level of relatedness. Genera, families,
> > etc. cannot evolve (with the rare hybridization being the only case
> > of some fuzziness) -- only species and populations of species.
> > Once species are genetically isolated, what happens to other
> > evolutionary lineages that they once were connected to are of no
> > importance to the evolution of that lineage (with the exception of
> > some kind of ecological connection).
> > So there will *always be* disagreement on what constitutes a
> > genus, family, etc. because they are subjective human constructs.
> > To which Jeffery Oliver replied.
> > Although if a genus defines a recipocally monophyletic linneage, it is
> > biologically informative, especially if that clade is defined by some
> > trait which may have lead to it's radiation.
> > New stuff from Ron.
> > In these short posts are some very important statments - which perhaps
> > easily be missed. James first.
> > "A genus, and all higher taxonomic catergories are *artificial*
> > constructs used by humans to represent some level of relatedness."
> > And Jeff.
> > "...it is biologically informative..."
> > There we have it. It is all about humans trying to understand, define
> > communicate to each other the what, how and why of the natural world. In
> > our interest - Lepidoptera. Isn't more communication better than less?
> > More knowledge and understading? Is this only for a scientific elete -
> > is it OK for all of us to "know"?
> > Why have we come up with words like clade and grade, geography and
> > panbiogeography, Danaus and gilippus and strigosus and berenice and
> > thersippus and...? To communicate "our" understanding of the natural
> > We have discovered fire, the wheel, and even genes. We are suposed to
> > gone beyond
> > "Me Tarzan, u Jane"
> > "butterfly on pretty thing".
> > Jeff is absolutely correct - the terms inform. Subgenera? Subspecies?
> > Absolutamente! James is almost on the money - "Once species are
> > genetically isolated, what happens to other evolutionary lineages that
> > once were connected to are of no importance to the evolution of _that_
> > [newly forming] lineage." The statment should be: Once a _sub_species
> > genetically arrived into being, what happens to other subspecies of that
> > species (still connected _only_ because they can still reproduce viable
> > subspecific offspring) are of no importance to the _evolution_ of the
> > forming linage.
> > Species do not become species. Subspecies become species. Not "in a way"
> > but in factual and intellectual truth, "our" terms of subfamily,
> > and subspecies are the most _informative_ areas of study and
> > No wonder folks just see Pearls and not tharos and coyta (heck selenis
> > would do). The new communication is toward ignorance not information.
> > Strigosus, berenice and gilippus are evolutionally far apart - gilippus
> > only stuck in the following ( D. _g._ strigosus, D. _g._ berenice, D.
> > gilippus) to "tell us" "by us" they all came from the same parent (not
> > gilippus). We have no idea where each are GOING to. To apply "Queen" to
> > three of these very different organisms in wrong because it is confusing
> > via dumbing down. Striated Queen has been used in may popular books for
> > years - so who scrapped it?
> > Callophrys, Mitoura, Loranthomitoura are all modes of communication
> > based on some rational _published_ definition and explanation. Full
> > back to Xi's question. Why Mitoura? His question was _specifically_
> > relative to it not being used in the Butterflies of Canada. The lack of
> > use there was pointed out by Xi per the authors ref to the Warren and
> > Robbins article. Which I in turn pointed out was only a tiny note about
> > "presumed" hybrid with absolutely _no_ definition let alone explanation
> > any generic conclusions whatsoever. The B. of Canada's basing their
> > usage or lack thereof is thus based on nothing.
> > BUT, is not this all just, as James and many other often say, just a
> > of "...differences of interpretation and opinion."? A yes and an
> > _no_! For there to be an interpretation there must first be something
> > interpret - data - scientific data. Where there are published papers
> > can be, will be and should be interpretation but not _alteration_. One
> > not read something into a paper that is not there. Re opinion. There is
> > place for opinion without evidence in science period. Hypotheses and
> > are informed questions based on rational observations that point to a
> > _suspected_ fact. Well, the earth is flat looked like a good theory -
> > someone went around it. Once something has been proved as fact NO ONE is
> > free to have an opinion contrary to it - except religious zealots and
> > idiots.
> > Email - how unsuited to this. I'll quit. One other thing though. If all
> > these ranks etc are really just man made (professor so n so made) and
> > is "no such thing as" like James said, _and_ if all our taxonomy and
> > systematics is just "interpretation and opinion" anyway ---- then why
> > the fuss (from Dr. so n so or so-s ) about Peer Review??????? It is
> > either crap or science. And if science it has to have rules and
> > as well as theory. This can not always be communicated to the masses in
> > most fine frog hair splitting elements - but it should be reflected as
> > as possible. Thus, Mitoura and Striated Queen.
> > Ron
> > PS James and I agree "So there will *always be* disagreement on what
> > constitutes a
> > genus, family, etc. because they are subjective human constructs." I am
> > just saying let's have more Constructs not less (technical and popular),
> > and let's make sure new Constructs actually have a blue print published
> > someplace. James and I have discussed this in private too -- I don't
> > the load any more than he does - I just come across on line like I do
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