What Bill says about the fluidity of the species concept is very true.
>From the point of view of scientific constructs, there is not even one
definition of species but at least 5. So what might be one species in the
traditional definition might be several different species in the
Phylogenetic Species Concept.
Also, whatever definition of species we use, we are trying to impose sharp
divisions on what is in reality a continuum.
This is one reason why I am relieved that we can look to molecular
techniques to give us some guidance. For example, in an article in a recent
issue of Birding, it was found that most races of an American sparrow
diverged by less than 1% in genetic terms, but one 'race' differered by 3%,
a difference comparable to the difference between well-recognised species.
So it was very logical to recognise that race (I think it was Bell's
Sparrow) as a species.
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