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Re: Perfect Organisms

In a message dated 05/10/2000 9:24:26 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
zzamia@hargray.com writes:

<< Where I see where you are going with this I do not beleive that "arbitrary"
 and "best guess" are how taxonomists work.  Many variations do occur within
 a species concept BUT let us not get to liberal with the species concept
 over vegatative variations or color variations. What seperates ( in the
 minds of human scientists) species is sex parts......flower structure, spore
 structure, or cone structure. All other characters are only useful in a
 limited, circumstantial way. >>


That may be the way you wish it were but I assure you that you are wrong.
Firstly, I am a botanical systematist. Secondly, I did not say, "that
and "best guess" are how taxonomists work." You as an individual must make an
arbitrary and "best guess" as to the species name you wish to employ for your
specimen in hand. The taxonomists "name" the plants which have been
systematically studied to determine affinities. The fact remains that the
species is only exemplified by the originally assigned type series. Later
investigators may "broaden" or even "restrict" the plants they wish to assign
to that species but it will be done arbitrarily and at times unilaterally -
sometimes without the support of peers. In the case of Phyllostachys nigra,
the type will forever be the black-culmed variant - all that has changed is
that today the green-culmed specimens are considered conspecific.

    Jim Langhammer

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