I am interested in the Species Problems that work well with Homo Sapiens as the concept is used by the Wikipedia Article

A book by Ernst Mayr says that Microtaxonomy is the study of Species and the Species Demarcation Problem in Chapter 6: Microtaxonomy, the science of species.

My question would be whether a purely genetic approach would be appropriate; i.e x% Genetic Similarity e.g 98.5% or 99%.

My meta question: Is the aforementioned question appropriate for this site and how should I edit it to make it appropriate and/or improve it?

Particularly I am thinking of the Tags Genetics Evolution Human-Biology Human-Genetics Taxonomy

Maybe I could ask someone to create the tag Microtaxonomy. An alternative tag would also be Species

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think it could be on topic but there are several similar questions here already. For example see this answer by Remi.b: biology.stackexchange.com/a/65037/27148 $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Sep 1 '19 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause They are similar questions but not identical. I am asking if a genetic approach would solve the species demarcation problem. Particularly whether the solution would be appropriate. $\endgroup$ Sep 1 '19 at 15:42
  • $\begingroup$ Focus on the answer rather than just the question, in particular the section "The definition of species is arbitrary" $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Sep 1 '19 at 15:49
  • $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause Yes. The problem is my question is different. You cannot drive a screw with a hammer(At least you shouldn't. A hammer is suboptimal for this job). Each tool has a function. While there is some substitution not everything does the job. That was an answer to a different question. My question is what would be the scientific problems with such a clear cut definition. When someone reasons the definition it would no longer be arbitrary. A definition, is a convention. en.wiktionary.org/wiki/definio off+bound en.wiktionary.org/wiki/decido#Etymology_2 off+cut $\endgroup$ Sep 1 '19 at 17:11
  • $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause If there was a clear cut rule like genetics(The exact percentage is a different question) who would be included in the species that should not have been included or who would be exluded that should not have been excluded regardless of the percentage? Paraphrasing: Is there no percentage that would exclude everyone that should be excluded and include everyone that should be included? $\endgroup$ Sep 1 '19 at 17:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If there was such a percentage, then by definition it would not be arbitrary. It is arbitrary, therefore the percentage does not exist. You can still ask the question but the community may vote it as a duplicate. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Sep 1 '19 at 17:46
  • $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause Vague and Arbitrary are not mutually exclusive adjectives. There is no confict. They are not antonyms. Something could be Clear and Arbitrary or could be Vague and Reasoned. A percentage would make it Clear unless it was explained(why should the demarcation be solved that way) it could be also Arbitrary. But I am not asking if it would be Arbitrary or Vague. I was asking about the Systematic problems of such a rule. I thought I was clear in paraphrasing: Who would be included or excluded while they shouldn't have been so? $\endgroup$ Sep 1 '19 at 18:20
  • $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause Is there no percentage that would exclude everyone that should be excluded and include everyone that should be included? $\endgroup$ Sep 1 '19 at 18:21
  • $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause It has not been decided to solve the Species Problem this way. I am asking why not. What would the problems be os such a solution. $\endgroup$ Sep 1 '19 at 18:22
  • $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause Would someone get in while they should not have?(Error type II) Would someone get barred from joining the club while it shouldn't have been the case?(Error type I). humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/…. e.g If one sets the limit to 99% who would get in that shouldn't or who couldn't get in that should? $\endgroup$ Sep 1 '19 at 18:38

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .