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Re: natural Groups (was Re: Clade II)

Caitlin R. Kiernan writes:
>martz@holly.ColoState.EDU wrote: 
>>Species do not naturally aggregate themselves into "groups".

>Nor do individuals and populations of individuals naturally aggregate
>themselves into "groups" (which we tend to call "species," "subspecies,"
>"varieties," and so forth). There are no "natural groups" beyond the flexible
>boundaries of a given population.
        However, as Gauthier and DeQuiroz have pointed out (if anyone is
interested in the ref., please e-mail me, or check out Holtz 1996),
monophyletic groups are *real entities*, in a sense that no other grouping
is.  Rather than read my rehash of their arguments, I hope you will want to
read the paper.
        I have not seen any demonstration that a population is necessarily a
real or "natural" group, but I eager to hear one.
| Jonathan R. Wagner                    "You can clade if you want to,     |
| Department of Geosciences              You can leave your friends behind |
| Texas Tech University                  Because your friends don't clade  |
| Lubbock, TX 79409                               and if they don't clade, |
|       *** wagner@ttu.edu ***           Then they're no friends of mine." |
|           Web Page:  http://faraday.clas.virginia.edu/~jrw6f             |