David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Studies in History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 28 (3):389-408 (2007)
Species concepts for bacteria and other microbes are contentious, because they are often asexual. There is a Problem of Homogeneity: every mutation in an asexual lineage forms a new strain, of which all descendents are clones until a new mutation occurs. We should expect that asexual organisms would form a smear or continuum. What causes the internal homogeneity of asexual lineages, if they are in fact homogeneous? Is there a natural “species concept” for “microbes”? Two main concepts devised for metazoans and metaphytes have been applied to bacteria. One is the Recombination Concept, a revised form of the Biological Species Concept in which the homogenizing mechanism is the sharing of genome fragments, somewhat akin to sexual recombination. The other is the Ecological Species Concept, in which the ecological niche is that which maintains lineages as cohesive. In this paper I will discuss these two concepts, and offer an underlying model that conjoins them, and consider the implications for species concepts in general. In short, my argument is that asexual species are instances of the most primitive and underived notion of species, which I will call “quasispecies”, following Eigen, and that sexual species are merely one derived kind of species. Moreover, I will argue that there is a continuum of recombination from simple viral models in which each strain is a clone, through to obligate recombination of 50% of the parents’ genome, and that consequently there is no sharp division between “microbial” and more familiar species.
|Keywords||C1 440100 Philosophy|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
John S. Wilkins, Ian Musgrave & Clem Stanyon (2012). Selection Without Replicators: The Origin of Genes, and the Replicator/Interactor Distinction in Etiobiology. Biology and Philosophy 27 (2):215-239.
Similar books and articles
Brent D. Mishler & Robert N. Brandon (1987). Individuality, Pluralism, and the Phylogenetic Species Concept. Biology and Philosophy 2 (4):397-414.
John S. Wilkins (2003). How to Be a Chaste Species Pluralist-Realist: The Origins of Species Modes and the Synapomorphic Species Concept. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 18 (5):621-638.
Ingo Brigandt (2003). Species Pluralism Does Not Imply Species Eliminativism. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1305–1316.
Hugh Lehman (1967). Are Biological Species Real? Philosophy of Science 34 (2):157-167.
Judy Johns Schloegel (1999). From Anomaly to Unification: Tracy Sonneborn and the Species Problem in Protozoa, 1954-1957. [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Biology 32 (1):93 - 132.
Gregory J. Morgan & W. Brad Pitts (2008). Evolution Without Species: The Case of Mosaic Bacteriophages. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (4):745-765.
Marc Ereshefsky (2010). Microbiology and the Species Problem. Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):553-568.
Michael Lee & Mieczyslaw Wolsan (2002). Integration, Individuality and Species Concepts. Biology and Philosophy 17 (5):651-660.
Bradley E. Wilson (1995). A (Not-so-Radical) Solution to the Species Problem. Biology and Philosophy 10 (3):339-356.
Mark Ridley (1989). The Cladistic Solution to the Species Problem. Biology and Philosophy 4 (1):1-16.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads70 ( #20,114 of 1,101,077 )
Recent downloads (6 months)9 ( #22,959 of 1,101,077 )
How can I increase my downloads?