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In a message dated 9/4/00 3:23:22 PM EST, NJPharris@aol.com writes:

<< Fortunately for us, nature and the efforts of collectors of things dead 
 alive have provided us with only a tiny slice of this maddeningly continuous 
 variation: a finite collection of discrete data points known as individuals. 
 The job of the taxonomist is to classify *those individuals available for 
 study* as best he or she can.  At least, that is my way past the roadblock. 

So what you're saying is that the boundaries recognized between taxa are the 
result of gaps in the fossil record and/or fortuitous survival into the 
modern era rather than anything inherent in the organisms (such as 
morphology, genome, etc.).