Monday, September 15, 2014

My Year of Darwin 9/15/2014: Classification reflects evolution (or it should)

 Charles Darwin

"In regard to Classification, & all the endless disputes about the Natural System which no two authors define the same way, I believe it ought, in accordance to my heterodox notions, to be simply geneaological."   Charles Darwin, Letter to T. H. Huxley, Asa Gray, September 1857

I'm not so sure how many Darwin or pre-Darwinian thinkers were thinking that classification had anything to do with evolution. Probably not many at all. But what Darwin was implying is that all the species within a genus are each others' closest relatives. Genera in the same family are each others' closed genera. Families in the same order are each others' closest relatives - and so on. 

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