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Re: Species [arbitrary to a degree]
> My point being this: using morphology to identify or define species may be
fine in many cases. However, that definition can be as equivocal as the
"regularly reproduce in the wild" definition that HP Rowley gave. Neither
is a bad definition, but there are so many exceptions. Species are
arbitrary to a very large degree.
BTW, I've learned today that the bacteriologists who can't use biospecies
have taken the morphospecies to the logical extreme, _they have invented a
specificometer and a genericometer_: Stems belong to the same species if
they don't differ in G + C content by more than 5 mol%, and to the same
genus if they don't differ by more than 10 mol%. This is immensely
practical* because whether 2 bacteria belong to the same species or genus
has become testable. But I'd be a bit surprised should it turn out that this
idea could be extended to eukaryotes respectively to known biospecies.
* ...as soon as the G + C content is known. It is measured by HPLC = High
Pressure/Performance/Price Liquid Chromatography.