To : Joe Morlan Subj: Allopatric Speciation: Fa You've stated in several messages that the

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From: Wesley R. Elsberry Posted: 19 Sep 94 20:57 To : Joe Morlan Subj: Allopatric Speciation: Fa You've stated in several messages that the reductionist definition is based upon a false theory, and therefore it, too, must be false. Is this a general principle, or do you make an exception for allopatric speciation? I mean, just read Mayr on Darwin: [Quote] Needless to say, when Darwin wrote the Origin he did not know anything about the laws of genetics. But by observation he did know a number of things. He knew that in asexual reproduction the offspring is identical with the parent, while in sexual reproduction each offspring is different. Furthermore, he knew that each offspring had a mixture of the characters of both parents. This "blending" of the characters had, as Darwin saw it, a beneficial and a detrimental aspect. The beneficial aspect was that any undesitable deviation from the type of the species would be obliterated by blending. The detrimental aspect was that, of course, the same would happen to any desirable novelty. And in this Darwin saw the advantage of isolation on an island, where the inbreeding population was too small for a valuable new character to be obliterated. Thus, even though based on the erroneous theory of blending inheritance, Darwin correctly pinpointed the importance of isolated populations as the cradle of evolutionary innovation. [End quote -- Ernst Mayr, TaNPoB, 1998, p. 164] Nifty trick how Darwin could go from an erroneous theory to a correct theory, isn't it? I'd say that blows your conclusion about the reductionist definition right out of the water on procedural grounds. Do remember, it is Mayr saying that correct theories can come out of erroneous ones here, and when Mayr says something, it means, "Listen up."

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