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Re: getting a handle on Dinosaur taxonomy

Mike Keesey (mightyodinn@yahoo.com) wrote:

<To really be scientifically answerable, I think you need to quantify
these questions better.>

  Indeed. And maybe use less dinosaur-centric arguments.

  The biological species concept (BSC) works to some degrees. If we were
to adhere to it, we would lose some very fun popular divergent names.
Lions and tigers would be dissimilar variants of the same species, because
they can produce viable offspring (though it's rare) and their differences
are _regional_ and _ecological_. A recent paper has tried to sink *Pan*
into *Homo* because of genetic distance, but since they can't breed, the
BSC holds them to be different species. But should they be different
genera? Can't tell, no meter or measure can tell you what any rank is,
though people can only formulate an argument about _species_ 'cause we
have some ideas they _do_, in fact, exist in some ethereal manner.

  If the BSC were to apply, hybrids of some same-genus, different-species
flowers (various orchids, roses, lilies, etc. are very popular examples)
would be reclassified not as variations or as hybrid species, but just as
distinct species. It is possible they COULD develop naturally.


Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)