Definition of "species"

Kondla, Norbert FOR:EX Norbert.Kondla at
Fri Sep 7 10:45:36 EDT 2001

Fair points. Here are a couple of additional thoughts:
- even the most elegant structure, if built on a rotten foundation, will
eventually crumble and cease to be useful
- Kondla's First Law of Human Behaviour: people will always disagree about
everything; some will do so with decorum and respect for other people while
some will get obnoxious or even vicious in the process of trying to prove
they are right 
- biology is an infinitely more complex science that mathematics :-)
-----Original Message-----
From: 1_iron [mailto:1_iron at]
Sent: Friday, September 07, 2001 1:40 AM
To: Leps-L
Subject: Definition of "species"


I am somewhat aghast at the responses to what I consider a simple question.
Mathematics, for example, begins with definitions - and progresses no
further until each definition is set in stone. "A point is that which has no
parts." begins Euclid, and goes on to define lines and the like. Upon  these
definitions are built an elegant structure. Why should the science of
Biology be any different?

I can understand the filing of similar species in genera folders, similar
genera into families, etc., as an attempt to understand kinships about which
reasonable people might disagree. However, the basic (and as I requested,
black-and-white) definition of "species" MUST be something all can agree -
or we are not talking about the same thing.

Until you get your act together, I shall deem a species to be defined by
fertile offspring, and I shall deny there is such a thing as a subspecies.
How can there be under the above definition?

And I shall go on in my ignorance and isolation enjoying my moths.

Jim Taylor


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