Species Concepts and Phylogenetic Theory: A Debate by Quentin Wheeler

Species Concepts and Phylogenetic Theory: A Debate

byQuentin Wheeler, Rudolf Meier

Kobo ebook | June 22, 2000

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No question in theoretical biology has been more perennially controversial or perplexing than "What is a species?" Recent advances in phylogenetic theory have called into question traditional views of species and spawned many concepts that are currently competing for general acceptance. Once the subject of esoteric intellectual exercises, the "species problem" has emerged as a critically important aspect of global environmental concerns. Completion of an inventory of biodiversity, success in conservation, predictive knowledge about life on earth, management of material resources, formulation of scientifically credible public policy and law, and more depend upon our adoption of the "right" species concept.

Quentin D. Wheeler and Rudolf Meier present a debate among top systematic biology theorists to consider the strengths and weaknesses of five competing concepts. Debaters include (1) Ernst Mayr (Biological Species Concept), (2) Rudolf Meier and Rainer Willmann (Hennigian species concept), (3) Brent Mishler and Edward Theriot (one version of the Phylogenetic Species Concept), (4) Quentin Wheeler and Norman Platnick (a competing version of the Phylogenetic Species Concept), and (5) E. O. Wiley and Richard Mayden (the Evolutionary Species Concept).

Each author or pair of authors contributes three essays to the debate: first, a position paper with an opening argument for their respective concept of species; second, a counterpoint view of the weakness of competing concepts; and, finally, a rebuttal of the attacks made by other authors. This unique and lively debate format makes the comparative advantages and disadvantages of competing species concepts clear and accessible in a single book for the first time, bringing to light numerous controversies in phylogenetic theory, taxonomy, and philosophy of science that are important to a wide audience. Species Concepts and Phylogenetic Theory will meet a need among scientists, conservationists, policy-makers, and students of biology for an explicit, critical evaluation of a large and complex literature on species. An important reference for professionals, the book will prove especially useful in classrooms and discussion groups where students may find a concise, lucid entrée to one of the most complex questions facing science and society.

Quentin D. Wheeler is professor of systematics in the Department of Entomology and Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium at Cornell University and is a research associate in entomology at the American Museum of Natural History.Rudolf Meier is associate professor and curator in the Department of Entomology at the Zoological Museum, Copenhagen....
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Title:Species Concepts and Phylogenetic Theory: A DebateFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:June 22, 2000Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231506627

ISBN - 13:9780231506625

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Table of Contents

Preface, by Quentin D. Wheeler & Rudolf Meier
One: Introduction, by Joel Cracraft
A. Position Papers (Point)
Two:The Biological Species Concept, by Ernst Mayr
Three: The Hennigian Species Concept, by Rudolf Meier and Rainer Willmann
Four: Monophyly, Apomorphy, and Phylogenetic Species Concepts, by Brent D. Mishler and Edward Theriot
Five: The Phylogenetic Species Concept, by Quentin D. Wheeler and Norman I. Platnick
Six: The Evolutionary Species Concept, by Edward O. Wiley and Richard L. Mayden
B. Critique Papers (Counter-Point)
Seven: What is a Species, and What is Not?: A Critique from the Biological Species Concept Perspective, by Ernst Mayr
Eight: A Critique from the Hennigian Species Concept Perspective, by Rainer Willmann and Rudolf Meier
Nine: Monophyly, Apomorphy, and Phylogenetic Species Concepts: A Critique from "the" Phylogenetic Species Concept Perspective, by Brent D. Mishler and Norman I. Platnick
Ten: Problems with Alternative Species Concepts: A Critique from "the" Phylogenetic Species Concept Perspective, by Quentin D. Wheeler and Norman I. Platnick
Eleven: A Critique from the Evolutionary Species Concept Perspective, by Edward O. Wiley and Richard L. Mayden
C. Reply Papers (Rebuttal)
Twelve: A Defense of the Biological Species Concept, by Ernst Mayr
Thirteen: A Defense of the Hennigian Species Concept, by Rudolf Meier and Rainer Willmann
Fourteen: Monophyly, Apomorphy, and Phylogenetic Species Concepts: A Defense of "the" Phylogenetic Species Concept, by Brent D. Mishler and Edward Theriot
Fifteen: A Defense of "the" Phylogenetic Species Concept, by Norman I. Platnick and Quentin D. Wheeler
Sixteen: A Defense of the Evolutionary Spoecies Concept, by Edward O. Wiley and Richard L. Mayden

Editorial Reviews

This book focuses on the numerous controversies in phylogenetic theory and the underlying philosophies which are of importance to a diverse audience. Scientists, conservationists, and students of biology will find that this book provides a critical evaluation of the literature on this complex field.