Sunday, August 17, 2014

My Year of Darwin: 8/17/2014 Here's a Ph.D. project...

 Charles Darwin

"Hence it is the most flourishing, or, as they may be called the dominant species , those which range widely, are the most diffused in their own country, and are the most numerous in individuals, - which oftenest produce well-marked varieties, or, as I consider them, incipient species" Darwin, Origin of Species 2nd edition

 I wish I knew the literature more thoroughly because I wonder if this has been tested. I certainly is a logical hypothesis with a clear prediction. My problem is the nitty gritty details of quantifying varieties and how much of it has come down to the whim of the taxonomist. Since the evolutionary species concept has been gaining ground there has been a tendency to split species. For example the recent split in Canada Geese and Clapper Rail come to mind. A species that should be examined is my dear song sparrow - which fits very nicely into Darwin's criteria above. 

Also of note, I wonder if Darwin came up with incipient species. I assumed this came after him but here it is in Origin

1 comment:

  1. Dark-eyed juncos immediately spring to mind as another "species" which fits Darwin's criteria well - perhaps in Selasphorus we see an example of the ultimate stage of the process.