What kind of species is this?

What kind of species is this?

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Does anyone know what this is? It is seen in France. It looks like it has eight legs and is about 8-10 cm long.

It is a longhorn beetle, family Cerambycidae. Two of the "eight legs" are antennae. It looks a lot like the one pictured here:

Genesis 1 repeats ten times that God created creatures separately according to various “kinds.” Today’s species show the potential variation that God designed within the original kinds, but this variety remains limited—cats are still cats, and dogs are dogs.

The current system of classification is based on the pioneering work of the creation scientist Carolus Linnaeus. He eventually taught that new organisms that arose were all derived from the primae speciei (original kinds) and were a part of God’s original plan because He placed the potential for variation in the original creation. Modern biblical creationists still use the concept.

Diversification of Kinds

The created kind is based upon an idea that organisms were created with the innate ability to vary a great deal, and evolutionary processes are merely the means by which that genetic information is expressed.

Each of the original kinds was created with a vast amount of information. God made sure that the original creatures had enough variety in their genetic information so that their descendants could adapt to a wide variety of environments. [4]

The creationary phylogenetic tree is similar in form and function to the evolutionary tree, but bears two important differences.

  • First, while the evolutionary tree traces life back to a single cell, the creation biology tree traces life back to a number of unrelated populations that roughly resembled the forms of life today. The evolutionary model is single monophyletic tree, whereas the creation model contains many polypheletic trees. Those who tend to support a polyphetlic origin of life are often called pattern pluralists. [5]
  • Second, while the evolutionary tree credits evolutionary change to an increase in genetic diversity from simpler to more complex organisms, the creation biology tree credits small mutational change to the rearrangement and expression of genetic variation that was "built in" to the original kinds

Many creationists believe that change within a population is accomplished only through the rearrangment of preexisting information or the degradation of the created genome. [6] Others assert that organisms were designed with a molecular machinery capable of editing genes, adding new alleles to the population, which generates diversity. [7] It is generally agreed upon that natural selection, reproductive isolation (speciation), and genetic drift are effective in leading to the formation of populations that are highly adapted to their environment. Speciation and genetic drift is believed to have occurred at high frequencies during the dispersion immediately after the global flood.

The biblical creation/Fall/Flood/migration model would also predict rapid formation of new varieties and even species. This is because all the modern varieties of land vertebrates must have descended from comparatively few animals that disembarked from the ark only around 4,500 years ago. In contrast, Darwin thought that this process would normally take eons. It turns out that the very evidence claimed by evolutionists to support their theory supports the biblical model. [8]

Selection is used to explain the diversification of distinct species by both creationists and evolutionists. Imagine a small gene pool in which there are genes for both blue and brown eyes evenly spread throughout the population. In such a situation, some people will be born with brown eyes, and other people will be born with blue eyes. However, if part of the population separates from the main group, and the smaller population has only the gene for brown eyes, then the descendants of that smaller population will have only brown eyes. The characteristic for brown eyes has become "set" in the isolated population.

Many creationists believe that the formation of the races was also a result of this process. The population on board the ark is believed to have been a hybrid population containing the genetic characteristics of all the races. When the population spread over the Earth after the flood, gene pools became isolated and began to adapt differentially to the regions into which they settled. [9] For example, skin color became lightened by natural selection, so that northern populations developed lighter skin in order to produce vitamin D in more sun-deprived areas, while equatorial populations developed darker skin to protect them from the harmful effects of the sun. As a result of the population isolation, the racial characteristics became "set" in the respective populations, resulting in the characteristic races observable today.

Species distribution

Density and size are useful measures for characterizing populations. Scientists gain additional insight into a species&rsquo biology and ecology from studying how individuals are spatially distributed. Dispersion or distribution patterns show the spatial relationship between members of a population within a habitat. Patterns are often characteristic of a particular species they depend on local environmental conditions and the species&rsquo growth characteristics (as for plants) or behavior (as for animals).

Individuals of a population can be distributed in one of three basic patterns: they can be more or less equally spaced apart (uniform dispersion), dispersed randomly with no predictable pattern (random dispersion), or clustered in groups (clumped dispersion).

Figure (PageIndex<1>): Three patterns of distribution in populations of organisms: A population may have a uniform, random, or clumped distribution. Territorial birds, such as penguins, tend to have uniform distribution. Plants with wind-dispersed seeds, such as dandelions, are usually distributed randomly. Animals, such as elephants, that travel in groups exhibit clumped distribution.

Uniform dispersion is observed in plant species that inhibit the growth of nearby individuals. For example, the sage plant, Salvia leucophylla, secretes toxins, a phenomenon called negative allelopathy. The chemicals kill off surrounding plants in a circle around the individual sage plants, leading to a uniform distance between each plant. Animals that maintain defined territories, such as nesting penguins, also exhibit uniform dispersion.

Random dispersion occurs with dandelion and other plants that have wind-dispersed seeds that germinate wherever they happen to fall in a favorable environment. Clumped dispersion is seen in plants that drop their seeds straight to the ground, such as oak trees, or animals that live in groups, such as schools of fish or herds of elephants. Clumped dispersions may also result from habitat heterogeneity. If favorable conditions are localized, organisms will tend to clump around those, such as lions around a watering hole.

In this way, the dispersion pattern of the individuals within a population provides more information about how they interact with each other and their environment than does a simple density measurement. Just as lower density species might have more difficulty finding a mate, solitary species with a random distribution might have a similar difficulty when compared to social species clumped together in groups.


the basic structural unit in the system of living organisms, a qualitative stage in their evolution. As a consequence of this, the species is the basic taxonomic subdivision in the classification of animals, plants, and microorganisms. In sexual, cross-fertilizing organisms, which include virtually all animals, a significant portion of plants, and a number of microorganisms, the species is the aggregate of populations of specimens able to crossbreed by generating fertile off-spring. As a result of this, these populations produce transitional hybrid populations between the local forms, which inhabit a definite area of distribution (territory or body of water), possess a number of common morphophysiological features and types of relationships with the abiotic (inert) and biotic (live) environment, and are remote from other similar groups of specimens in their virtually complete inability to interbreed under natural conditions.

The accumulation of information on the diversity of animal and plant forms at the end of the 17th century led to the notion of the species as completely real groups of specimens similar to one another in the same way that the members of a family resemble one another and also distinct from other such groups of specimens. For example, the wolf, fox, crow, jackdaw, oak, birch, wheat, oat, and so forth were considered to be species. The increasing number of described species required the standardization of their names and the construction of a hierarchical system of species and the larger taxonomic units. The pioneering work in this area was done by the Swedish naturalist C. Linnaeus, who established the bases for the present-day taxonomy of animals and plants in his work Systema Naturae (1735). In combining close species into genera and similar genera into orders and classes, Linnaeus introduced a double Latin name (the so-called binary nomenclature) for designating the species. Each species was designated by the name of the genus followed by a specific name.

By the end of the 18th century, the Linnaean system had been accepted by the majority of biologists throughout the world. During the first half of the 19th century, the French scientist G. Cuvier worked out the concept of the types of structure thereafter, the type, as the highest taxon&mdashthat is, the highest systematic category&mdashwas introduced into the Linnaean system. At the same time, ideas began to be formed about changes in species occurring in the process of the development of living nature these ideas culminated in the appearance of C. Darwin&rsquos theory of evolution. This theory showed the necessity, in organizing a natural phylogenetic system, of proceeding from the successive genetic relationship between the forms of living organisms. By the end of the 19th century extensive material had been accumulated on intraspecies geographic variability, and the concept of sub-species had been introduced. The increase in the number of described species and subspecies of animals, plants, and microorganisms (by the middle of the 20th century, the number exceeded 2 million) led, on the one hand, to the &ldquofragmentation&rdquo of species and to the description of any local forms as species, and on the other hand, to the &ldquoenlargement&rdquo of species any groups or series of geographic races (sub-species) producing an aggregate of forms that were clearly related and usually interconnected by transitional forms were described as species. As a result of this, the concepts of &ldquominor&rdquo species known as microspecies, or jordanons (named after the French botanist A. Jordan), and &ldquomajor&rdquo species known as macrospecies, or linneons (from the name Linnaeus), appeared in the taxonomy. The practice of distinguishing the monotypic and polytypic species among the linneons developed (the polytypic species consists of a series of subspecies). The classical period in the development of taxonomy ended with the work of the Russian naturalist A. P. Semenov-Tian-Shanskii, who accepted the linneon as the basis and defined various subspecies categories (subspecies, morphs, and aberrations).

During the 1930&rsquos, when a synthesis of the achievements of modern genetics and the theory of evolution had been attained, the theory of microevolution began to develop as the aggregate of triggering mechanisms in evolution and speciation. This led to a revision of the basic definitions and concepts in the classification of the lower taxons (by the American scientist T. Dobzhansky and the English scientists A. Cain and E. Mayr). Of essential significance in the modern definition of the concept of species is the virtually complete reproductive isolation under natural conditions. (Certain species that are totally isolated in nature can be effectively crossed with other species under artificial conditions.) Under natural conditions, the inability to crossbreed ordinarily is, of necessity, judged by using museum material from different parts of the areas of distribution of the forms that are of interest and by establishing the presence or absence of hybrids, transitional forms, and transitional zones in the areas of contact of these areas of distribution. In terms of territorial relationships, species can be allopatric, that is, occupying different nonoverlapping areas of distribution, or sympatric, where the areas of distribution more or less overlap or even coincide. The allopatric or sympatric nature of species in most instances is related to the conditions under which the species arose, as well as to what form of isolation (territorial or biological) played the main role in the formation of the given species. Under close scrutiny, almost all species are polytypic. The degree of their polytypicism usually rises with an increase in the area of distribution it also depends upon the diversity of the physicogeographical conditions in its individual parts. Of particular interest are the so-called twin species, which are difficult to distinguish morphologically and are usually encountered in adjacent overlapping areas of distribution. Evidently, such species arose as a result of the primary occurrence of one of the forms of biological isolation.

Fundamental difficulties arise in establishing the concept of a species in the obligately agamic (asexual), parthenogenic, and autogamous forms. In these instances, the name species can be given conditionally to groups of similar clones or lines, which possess great morphophysiological similarity, occupy a definite area of distribution, and are in similar relationships with the environment. It is particularly difficult to compare and homologize modern species with fossil ones. In paleontology the prime concern is the succession of forms and the change in the species over time in successive deposits. But a comparision of forms that existed simultaneously in space, as is done for presently extant organisms, that is, in neontology, presents problems in paleontology because of the incompleteness of the fossil material. In regard to this problem, the Soviet zoologist V. G. Geptner (1958) proposed the term &ldquophratry&rdquo to designate a concept equivalent in paleontology to species.

Biodiversity Types: Genetic, Species and Ecological Diversity

The living world is a complex combination of different levels of organisms. The key components of life are at one extreme and communities of species at the other extreme. The manifestations of all types of diversities are found at all these levels of organisms. Biodiversity is the shorter form of word biological diversity which means diversity in the biological world. Thus one can define biodiversity as the degree of variety in nature with regards to biological species.

Types of Biodiversity:

(a) Genetic diversity:

It is the variation of genes within the species. This results distinct population of one, even same species. It gives genetic variation within a population or varieties within one species. There are two reasons for differences between individual organisms. One is variation in the gene which all organisms possess which is passed from one to its offspring’s.

The other is the influence of environment on each individual organism. The variation in the sequence of four base pairs in DNA chain forms the genetic variation in the organism. The recombination) of genetic material during cell division makes it an imperative for genetic diversity within a species. Loss of genetic diversity within a species is called genetic erosion.

The whole area of agricultural productivity and development depend on genetic diversity. The plant as well as animal genetic resources play important role in the economy of a country. Genetic diversity is the whole basis for a sustainable life system in the earth.

Scientists in many parts of the world are trying to introduce genetically modified seeds in the agriculture sector for better yield as well as for the resistance of drought and flood situations. The local people or farmers are not showing any interest to preserve the natural way of genetic diversity.

(b) Species diversity:

This refers to the variety of species within a particular region. The number of species in a region is a measure for such diversity. The richness of species in a given region provides a yard stick for species diversity. Species diversity depends as much on the genetic diversity as on the environmental condition.

Colder regions support less than the warmer regions for species diversity. The good climate with good physical geography supports a better species diversity. Species richness is a term which is used to measure the biodiversity of a given site.

In addition to species richness, species endemism is a term used to measure biodiversity by way of assessing the magnitude of differences between species. In the taxonomic system similar species are grouped together in general, similar genera in families, families in orders and so on till in the level of kingdom. This process is a genuine attempt to find relationships between organisms. The higher taxa have thousands of species. Species that are very different from one another contributes more to overall biodiversity.

(c) Ecological diversity:

This is the number of species in a community of organisms. Maintaining both types of diversity is fundamental to the functioning of ecosystems and hence to human welfare. India is one of the 12 centres of diversity and origin of several cultivated plants in the world. It is estimated that 15,000 species of plants occur in India. The flowering plants comprise 15,000 species of which several hundred (5000-7500) species are endemic to India. The region is also rich in fauna, containing about 65,000 species of animals.

Among these, more than 50,000 species of insects, 4,000 of molluscs. 6,500 of other invertebrates, 2,000 offish, 140 of amphibians, 420 of reptiles, 1,200 of birds and 340 of mammals are recorded from India. This richness in biological diversity is due to immense variety of climatic and altitudinal conditions coupled with varied ecological habitats.

These vary from the humid tropical Western Ghats to the hot desert of Rajasthan, from the cold desert of Ladakh and the icy mountains of Himalayas to the warm coasts of peninsular India including coastal region of Orissa. Gandhamardan Hills of Sambalpur is rich in biodiversity. The Indian tradition teaches us that all forms of life, human, animal and plants are so closely linked that disturbance in one gives rise to imbalance in the other. Our old scriptures tell lot about these things.

Bio-geographical Classification of India:

Biogeography or biological geography is related to ecology and ecosystem of a region. Its studies include variation of flora and fauna over the earth surface. It also encompasses study of biosphere and its interaction with human population. Biogeography studies consider phytogeography (forest), zoogeography (animals, insects), pedology (soil) hydrology (water), oceanography (ocean).

The following is the Bio geographic zones of India and the types of vegetation found:

Many of the endangered and endemic species need human intervention for survival. Indian Government through various projects is trying to check this process of endangering of species.

2. Natural Kinds in the Special Sciences

Our interest in natural kinds is generated by the fact that the particular sciences make frequent use of what, on the face of it, seem to be natural kinds. So an important question is whether the kinds of the special sciences (e.g. psychology, economics, biology, chemistry and so on) do in fact satisfy the conditions laid out by metaphysicians for natural-kindhood (Fodor 1974 Dupré 1981, 1993 Millikan 1999 Ellis 2001). And to the extent that they do not, does that show that these kinds are not genuine natural kinds after all, but are something different? Or does it show that the metaphysicians need to revise their theories of natural kindhood? The metaphysical issues raised by the special sciences vary. For example, philosophers of biology ask whether species would be better understood as being individuals rather than natural kinds. The so-called species problem (Ghiselin 1974, 1987, 1997 Hull 1976, 1978 Kitts and Kitts 1979, LaPorte 1994) asks which are the appropriate criteria to use in order to decide which particular species an organism belongs to. This is particularly challenging because species evolve over time, which makes it difficult to determine when we should recognize a new species and distinguish it from a distinct, older ancestor species or from distinct sister species. Furthermore, the criteria advanced by most of the various species concepts on offer involve relational rather than intrinsic properties of organisms. So either species are not natural kinds or the view that kindhood is fixed by the intrinsic properties of things must be revised. In the philosophy of chemistry, a key question is whether chemical kinds provide as much support for microstructuralism as the stock examples discussed by metaphysicians suggest (Hendry 2006 LaPorte 2004 Needham, 2000, 2002 Van Brakel, 2000). Microstructuralism is the view that chemical kinds can be individuated solely in terms of their chemical microstructure. Chemical elements would appear to support microstructuralism since atomic number is sufficient to individuate any element. However, the extension of this view to more complex chemical structures (such as molecules) is much discussed in the literature. In the philosophy of mind, the ontological status of psychological kinds has been questioned in the light of modern advances in neuroscience (Churchland 1981 Fodor 1974). In particular, action is causally overdetermined by mental and neurophysiological kinds. If neuroscience can provide a sufficient account of action, then the role of our common-sense folk psychological concepts, such as belief and desire is called into question. Maybe there are no psychological natural kinds corresponding to those concepts. Natural kind realists reject the conventionalist view that in all cases the boundaries of &lsquonatural&rsquo kinds are drawn by human interests. But is it plausible to draw a distinction between genuinely natural and conventional kinds when it comes to the social sciences? In particular, is it important that, via a feedback effect, human perceptions of what kinds there are can have an effect on the composition and even existence of those kinds (Hacking 1995)?

2.1 Natural Kinds and Biology

One central issue in the philosophy of biology concerns the nature of biological species, which have traditionally been held to be paradigmatic natural kinds. The traditional Linnean binomial system of classification groups organisms into species and genera in virtue of their overall physical similarities (their morphology). However, only the taxa species and genus were held to reflect ontological divisions in nature. The higher taxa (e.g., family, order, class, phylum, kingdom) are merely conventional divisions, which are of heuristic use in biology.

Biologists offer many different species concepts, which disagree on how species are individuated indeed the different species concepts will disagree about the extensions of species and about the number of species. For example, according to the interbreeding species concept (e.g. Mayr 1969), species are groups of interbreeding natural populations, that are reproductively isolated from other groups. Alternatively, according to the phylogenetic approach to species (e.g. Cracraft 1983), species are classified according to common ancestral descent. These two approaches carve species differently. Some phylogenetic species fail to be interbreeding species. For example, organisms that reproduce asexually may nevertheless have a common descent. They will be grouped together as species by the phylogenetic approach, but not by the interbreeding approach. (Cf. Ereshefsky 1998 for a discussion.) Philosophers question whether the multiple divisions used by biologists reflect an ontological pluralism in the world or, alternatively, whether there is a privileged conception of species that captures ontological reality. Furthermore, some philosophers argue that species are not to be considered as natural kinds at all, insisting instead that species are individuals.

2.1.1 Species: Individuals or Kinds?

Despite its long history and intuitive appeal, the conception of species as natural kinds is difficult to sustain while also maintaining a traditional view of what a natural kind requires: a set of intrinsic natural properties that are individually necessary and jointly sufficient for a particular to be a member of the kind.

The fact that lineages evolve more or less gradually over time and that this process leads to new species and other taxa, has two consequences: first, that species are spatio-temporally restricted in the sense that the species to which a particular organism belongs depends on its being related to a specific lineage and secondly, that the characteristic properties of a species may change over time.

The first consequence of evolution implies that, contra the traditional view, intrinsically identical organisms may not be members of the same species: a cat-like organism independently evolved on a distant planet would not be a cat. (Cf. Dummett 1973: 144 &lsquoeven if creatures exactly like men arose from dragons&rsquo teeth, they would not be men, because not children of Adam&rsquo.)

The second consequence implies that intrinsic similarity is not necessary for membership of the same species. There exists a high degree of variation in intraspecific morphology and genetic makeup. While members of kinds need not be intrinsically identical (e.g., there may be isotopic variation between samples of a chemical element), there will nonetheless be certain distinctive intrinsic natural properties common to all members of the kind (e.g., nuclear charge in the case of atoms of the same element). That, it is claimed, is absent for species. Thus there is no genetic material or sequence of genes that all and only members of the species Drosophila melanogaster possess, and likewise for all other species. Nor can we turn to larger-scale phenotypic properties (which may nonetheless be hidden), since evolutionary change may eliminate such features without a new species arising (Sober 1980). Furthermore, gradual change, even through speciation, means that species will not be categorically distinct (criterion 6), which for Ellis (2001) is an additional reason to conclude that species are not natural kinds.

These problems for the thesis that species are natural kinds may lead one to conclude that classification by species does not correspond to any real division of things in nature any more than the higher taxa do. Darwin himself expressed this kind of conventionalism, in taking species to differ only in degree from varieties on the one hand and genera and higher taxa on the other hand:

(Mishler 1999 contains a modern version of this view.) The rejection of species as natural kinds need not lead to the rejection of realism about species altogether. Indeed, one can commit to species realism in a specific way: Ghiselin (1974, 1987, 1995, 1997), Hull (1976, 1978, 1980, 1987), and many other philosophers and biologists accept the claim that species are individuals, not kinds. This claim would appear to explain why, it is said, there are no serious candidates for biological laws, at least concerning members of particular species (Beatty 1997). Individual organisms are parts of species, not members of the species-kind. Speciation creates a new individual (or possibly two new individuals and the cessation of the preceding species-individual) but not a new kind. Organisms that are parts of the same species may share common features, but that is not what makes them parts of that species. Rather the explanation is the reverse: because the organisms are parts of the same species they are parts of the same lineage and so they will probably (but not inevitably) share features in common.

Does individualism about species imply that species are not natural kinds? One might suspect as much, but perhaps the two views are compatible. LaPorte (2004), for example, believes that one can consistently hold both views. Where one theorist will see a species-as-kind and an organism-as-member of that kind, another theorist will see a species-as-individual and an organism-as-part of that kind. And so even allowing that individualism is correct, we can construct a kind: if S is a species-individual and x is an organism, then x is a member of the species-kind S * iff x is a part of S. For example, an individual organism (a radish plant) is a part of the species-individual Raphanus Sativus if and only if it is a member of the species-kind Raphanus Sativus (LaPorte 2004, 16). LaPorte's view does entail giving up on certain features that natural kinds are often thought to have one cannot still hold that kind membership is necessarily intrinsic, since &lsquobeing a part of y&rsquo is not an intrinsic property and parts of the same entity do not necessarily have any intrinsic properties in common. For that reason, it is also less plausible that kinds must play a role in laws of nature.

If one retains the view that species are natural kinds one must confront the fact that a plethora of species concepts are available and as seen earlier, these species concepts do not always delineate the same species. For example, Mayr's (1969) biological species concept (BSC) regards a species as a group of &ldquointerbreeding natural populations that are reproductively isolated from other such populations&rdquo (1969, 26). The phylogenetic species concept (PSC) holds that a species is &ldquothe smallest diagnosable cluster of individual organisms within which there is a parental pattern of ancestry and descent&rdquo (Cracraft 1983, 170). These definitions are not perfectly coextensive. (For a detailed discussion of species concepts see the entry on species.)

This diversity may be thought to support conventionalism about natural kinds (Section 1.1.2). But supporters of naturalism about our classifications (Section 1.1) will deny that the dispute in systematics reflects an indeterminacy in the natural world. A monist will hold that one of the existing systems is a superior account of the natural world. A commitment to one of the different systems over another will result in a different ontological account of species. The most prevalent system of classification in contemporary systematics is cladistics, which classifies organisms phylogenetically, in virtue of shared derived features or an organism's place in the genealogical tree.

An alternative view to monism, motivated by the variety of species concepts, is pluralism, which holds that the different accounts of species in systematics reflect equally legitimate ways of carving up nature subject to our pragmatic and theoretical interests. However, these systems do carve nature in genuinely natural ways. The species and higher taxa that they delineate reflect real features of the world from the point of view of different theoretical interests. Pluralism (Kitcher 1984 Dupré 1993 Ereshefsky 1992) is the weakest form of realism about kinds in the philosophy of biology.

2.1.2 Biological Essentialism

Kripke (1971, 1972) and Putnam (1975a) use animal kinds as examples of natural kinds for which a posteriori essences can be found. There is some implication that these essences are microstructural, intrinsic properties, which will be, of necessity, individually necessary and jointly sufficient for an entity to be a member of a kind. However, if species are individuals, then it is not true that species may be individuated on the basis of the intrinsic properties of their members. The various species concepts tend to offer relational criteria of species membership (see above). According to the BSC, for example, membership of a species depends on relational properties, such as membership of a certain population and interbreeding. Alternatively, the PSC refers to shared descent.

However, Kripke (1980) himself argues that a person's parentage is essential to them. If that is so, then if individual S is descended from N, then S is necessarily descended from N. McGinn (1976) suggests that this extends to species also. LaPorte (2004) argues that essentialism holds with respect to facts relating individuals, species, and other taxa to the higher taxa (genus and above) within which they are nested. These taxa are clades, that is to say kinds defined by shared descent from a common ancestral group: an individual or group that is a member or part of clade is necessarily a member or part of that clade. Thus biological kinds (species, genera, etc.) do have essential properties, and these are historical rather than intrinsic properties.

So one option for biological essentialism is to drop the traditional view that the natural properties that are essential for membership of a natural kind are intrinsic: natural, extrinsic (relational) properties can play this role (Okasha 2002). The categorical distinctness criterion must be dropped also.

2.2 Natural Kinds and Chemistry

On account of the problems for natural kinds in biology as well as the development of modern chemistry, chemical kinds have replaced biological kinds as the paradigms of natural kinds. The chemical elements and chemical compounds appear to be bona fide natural kinds. We refer to chemical kinds in laws, explanations, and inductions: that a certain item is iron explains its behaviour and that behaviour is predictable that iron objects are magnetizable is a law of nature (criteria 2 and 3 above). Moreover, we can induce that all iron is magnetizable, from the observation of particular instances of iron objects that are magnetic. And chemical kinds appear to obey the categorical distinctness requirement: iron is clearly distinct from its neighbours in the periodic table (manganese and cobalt) no elements are intermediate kinds (criterion 6 above). Furthermore, microstructural essentialism seems to be a prima facie plausible option for chemical kinds: it is essential to iron that something made of pure iron is constituted by atoms that have precisely 26 protons in their nuclei.

2.2.1 Microstructuralism

Microstructuralism in the philosophy of chemistry is the thesis that chemical kinds can be individuated solely in terms of their microstructural properties (Hendry 2006). As exemplified above by the case of iron, the chemical elements provide paradigmatic kinds that may be individuated microstructurally, since the atomic number&mdashthe number of protons in the nucleus&mdashsuffices to identify the element. It is true that macro-level chemical and physical properties can also serve to individuate chemical elements, and in the nineteenth century chemists were able to individuate elements without knowing what we do about nuclear structure. However, it is held that atomic number has explanatory priority: the number of protons in the nucleus, and hence the nuclear charge, explains the structure of electrons surrounding the nucleus, which, in turn, explains the chemical behaviour of the element.

The microstructuralist can extend this approach from elements to compounds. Compounds are identified principally by their constituent elements. Thus carbon dioxide is that compound of carbon and oxygen with the molar proportion 1:2. In more detail, molecules of carbon dioxide consist of two oxygen atoms and a single carbon atom. The practice of identifying a chemical compound only by its composing elements was the norm in chemistry, until the discovery of isomerism by Friedrich Woehler in 1827. Isomers are distinct compounds that nonetheless share the same constituent elements in the same proportion. Thus fulminic acid and cyanic acid may both be expressed in terms of constituents in the empirical formula CHNO, but their distinct chemical and physical properties identify them as different substances. The explanation of isomerism (and many other facts in organic chemistry), provided first by August Kekulé and Archibald Scott Couper, is the fact that certain compounds exist in molecular form and these molecules have internal structure. Thus molecules of isomers have the same atoms in different spatial arrangements, e.g., CHNO may be arranged as H&ndashO&ndashC&equivN (cyanic acid) or as H&ndashC=N&ndashO (fulminic acid). Isomerism means that specifying the chemical composition alone is not sufficient for classification. The microstructure of a compound concerns not just the elemental atoms in its molecules, but also their spatial arrangement.

Needham (2000) and van Brakel (2000) have argued that compounds such as water are dynamic structures whose natures cannot be given in static accounts of their composing elements. Molecules of H2O are polar, with the consequence that the electropositive hydrogen atoms in one H2O molecule will bond with the electronegative oxygen atoms in another H2O molecule, such bonds being hydrogen bonds with the result that in liquid water H2O molecules will form polymer-like chains known as oligomers. The hydrogen bonds and the consequent chains are responsible for the fact that water is liquid at room temperature (whereas compounds with similarly sized molecules, such as hydrogen sulphide, methane, and carbon dioxide, are all gaseous at room temperature). These oligomers are constantly forming, breaking, and reforming. The rate of such changes and the mean length of such oligomers are dependent on the thermodynamic context (in the extreme case, an ice crystal may be considered as a single such oligomer, the crystal structure being dependent on the fixed, strong hydrogen bonds). Thus, say Needham and van Brakel, we cannot consider water to be just a compound composed of a collection of H2O molecules. Furthermore, anything that is to be water must be a macroscopic entity, since only macroscopic bodies can bear thermodynamic properties, such as melting point, which we use to identify water. Hence, a single H2O molecule is not water.

These considerations need not undermine the microstructuralist claim. Many chemical kinds may exist in any of the solid, liquid, and gaseous states while remaining the same substance, including water. But, water vapour will not possess the oligomers present in liquid water and ice. So their presence, however characteristic of water in the liquid and solid phases, cannot be a necessary feature of all bodies of water. Above we saw that atomic number is regarded as the essential feature of an element because it explains the other characteristics an element has. Likewise, the structure of the H2O molecule explains why it is a strongly polar molecule, which in turn explains why it tends to form oligomers. As regards thermodynamic properties, Hendry (2006) points out that we say that water is contained in a person's body, without thinking that this water has any thermodynamic properties. More generally, thermodynamic properties can be ascribed only to entities in equilibrium, but not all bodies of water are in thermodynamic equilibrium or even nearly so. We may very well use such thermodynamic properties in identifying something as water, but that does not mean that it is in virtue of such properties that something is water.

Hendry (2006) points to a potentially more difficult problem, which is that any liquid sample of water, however pure, contains not only H2O molecules but also H3O + and OH &minus ions. These ions cannot be regarded as impurities, since they are also an inevitable consequence of the polar structure of the H2O molecule. Hendry's solution is to regard H2O molecules as the constituents of water in rather the same sense that eggs and flour are the constituents of a cake&mdashthey go into making the cake but need not retain exactly the form they started with. Water is made from bodies of H2O molecules, but not all those retain precisely that structure.

The taxa in the classical Linnean system of biological classification are nested in a hierarchy, as required by criterion 5 in Section 1.1. But, in certain respects, chemical classification fails to meet this requirement. The phenomenon of allotropy is exhibited when an element exists in two or more distinct forms. The element carbon has several, including the allotropes diamond and graphite. Tin has two allotropes at room tempreature, white tin (which is metallic) and grey tin (which is non-metallic). Some instances of tin will fall into one category and other instances will fall into the other category. Consequently, classification by element and classification by metal or non-metal cannot be combined hierarchically.

Such cross-cutting classifications are frequently found in organic chemistry, where compounds can be classified according to their so-called functional groups. Functional groups are specific combinations of atoms within a molecule that will cause the molecule to engage in certain reactions and to have other physical and chemical properties that are characteristic of that group. For example, alcohols are organic compounds containing a hydroxyl group &minusOH bound to a carbon atom of an alkyl group or derivative of an alkyl group. Alcohols undergo characteristic reactions such as esterification. Since other hydrogen atoms in an alcohol molecule may be substituted by another functional group, the resulting molecule will have properties characteristic of both functional groups and may be classified accordingly. Benzyl alcohol, C6H5CH2OH (or BnOH), is obtained from methane, CH4, by replacing one hydrogen atom by an alcohol-forming hydroxyl group, &minusOH, and another by the phenyl group &minusC6H5 (Ph) (the phenyl group plus the CH2 from the methane is the benzyl group, i.e. Bn is PhCH2). Thus benzyl alcohol may be classified either as an alcohol, or as an aromatic benzene derivative, since it participates in the characteristic reactions of the latter, such as electrophilic aromatic substitution or hydrogenation of the benzene ring. If the hierarchy requirement on a system of natural kinds is correct, then not all these cross-cutting classifications pick out natural kinds. The claim that the hierarchy requirement is too stringent for scientific kinds has been defended by Khalidi (1998) and Tobin (2010b).

One may have to deny that metals form a natural kind, and that classification by functional group is a classification into natural kinds. (Not all classifications need to be into kinds in order for them to be useful.) Note that in both cases, there is room for vagueness. Some elements, such as germanium and antimony, are classed as metalloids, with characteristics between metals and non-metals. The impact of a functional group diminishes with the size of the molecules of which it is a part and in the presence of competing functional groups, and so in certain cases, classification according to functional group will be vague. Such vagueness falls foul of the categorical distinctness requirement (criterion 6 above).

2.3 Natural Kinds and Psychology

Do the different sorts of mental state form natural kinds? We certainly think that our minds make a difference to what happens in the physical world and we think that we act because we have certain beliefs, desires, hopes, fears etc. The distinctive explanatory roles performed by these different states in folk psychology certainly suggest that these beliefs, desires, hopes and fears constitute distinct mental natural kinds. Note that in considering natural kinds in chemistry, biology, and physics we have thought of kinds principally as kinds of thing (kinds of stuff, organism, particle, etc.) whereas we are now considering the possibility of certain kinds of state. (Ellis (2001, 2002) is clear that he does not limit natural kinds to kinds of thing, but includes kinds of state and process also.) A Cartesian dualist holds that mental states are distinct from any physical state of the subject, as they are states of an immaterial thinking substance. The problem for dualism however is in finding the ground of the difference between fearing, believing, hoping etc. i.e. what difference is there to the immaterial substance when a subject is in different mental states? In principle this problem could be avoided by the dualist if mental kinds are regarded as immaterial substances (Shoemaker 2003).

There are many ways to understand mental natural kinds, and theories have been proposed by eliminativists, identity theorists, functionalists and many others. We will treat each of these in turn. Physicalists hold that the differences in mental kinds relate somehow to differences in states of the subject's brain, or, more generally, the subject's body. At one extreme, the (type) identity theory of mind holds that types of mental state are identical with types of brain state. If so, we may expect the kinds of psychology to be identical with the kinds of neuroscience.

The identity theory faces the problem of multiple realizability&mdashthe idea that it is possible for physically diverse creatures to be in the same kind of mental state. It is possible, for example, that Martian neurophysiology might be entirely different from that of humans while Martians nonetheless have the same kinds of mental state as humans have if a Martian's body is injured, it writhes, groans, and avoids the causes of such injuries&mdashthe Martian is in pain (Lewis 1980). Indeed it is possible that cognitive scientists might design a machine that is capable of higher-level thought (implemented on, for example, a silicon architecture). It is even possible that the same mental kinds be realized by distinct neurophysiological systems in one and the same organism over time. Consequently, it is at least an open empirical possibility that mental kinds may correspond to a widely disjunctive and heterogeneous set of neurophysiological kinds, and hence that there is no one-to-one correlation between them.

Eliminativism argues that the prima facie failure to straightforwardly reduce mental kinds to neurophysiological kinds ought to lead to the elimination of mental kinds altogether (Churchland 1981, 1988). This is to claim that there are no mental natural kinds. On this view, the mental kinds in folk psychology are comparable to the kinds delineated by discredited folk theories from the past e.g., the humours in medieval medicine. The underlying principle of medieval medicine was the balancing of so-called four humours. According to the theory, illness was caused by an imbalance of these four humours. From the point of view of modern medicine this theory is radically false and so the only option is to eliminate the humours as putative natural kinds. Analogously, mental kinds ought to be eliminated in favour of those kinds uncovered by recent research in neuroscience. Eliminativists agree that human beings have invented a very successful methodology for describing their mental lives. This methodology is folk psychology, a common sense theory of how mental states are causally related to human action. However, folk psychology, they argue, is merely a heuristic device invented by human beings in order to make the explanation of behaviour easier. The posits of the theory are not real natural kinds. Once a better explanation of human behaviour in terms of neurophysiological kinds is available, then mental kinds will be eliminated.

Functionalists argue that the irreducibilty of mental kinds is nevertheless compatible with a token-token identity theory (Fodor 1974, 1997). Mental kinds are not type-identical with neurophysiological kinds (i.e. there is not one type of neurophysiological correlate for each type of mental state, so we cannot make general identity statements such as &ldquopain = C-fibres firing&rdquo). A Martian and I, both in a state of fear at a time t, may be in different physiological states. Nevertheless, my token instance of the kind fear at time t will be identical with the token physical state in my brain at that time. Likewise, the token instance of the Martian's fear at time t1 is identical with his token physical state.

It has been argued by Kim (1992, 1993) that multiply realized mental kinds of the latter kind can in principle be locally reduced to their realizing states. Mental kinds are analogous to mineral kinds such as jade, which can be locally reduced to nephrite or jadeite depending on the sample. Importantly, a sample that does not consist of either nephrite or jadeite is simply not jade. Nevertheless, there is an important disanalogy between mental kinds and locally reduced kinds like jade. If you want a sample of jade, then it must be composed of either jadeite or nephrite. In other words, if J (jade) is realized by the disjunction P (Jadeite) or Q (Nephrite), then it is metaphysically necessary that the properties a thing has qua J are either properties it has qua P or properties it has qua Q. So, something with all the other qualitative properties of jade in another possible world, but which lacked the essential properties (i.e., jadeite or nephrite) would simply not be an instance of jade.

In contrast, for the functionalist (Fodor 1997) mental kinds are defined by their functional roles, rather than by the essential properties of the neurophysiological kinds that realize them. It does not matter which physical kind does the realizing, be it silicon chips, neurons, C-fibres or whatever. Rather, what matters is that the psychological state (e.g., pain) plays a certain functional role. The whole point of multiple realizability is that it is easy to imagine some possible world where a token mental kind is realized by silicon chips, C-fibres firing, or whatever. So, a mental kind is not essentially realized by a certain neurophysiological kind rather it plays the same functional role independently of what underlying kind is realizing it. This appears to violate criterion 1) for natural kinds (in Section 1.1.1) namely, that members of a natural kind should have some natural properties in common.

The functional role of mental kinds is explained by some functionalists in terms of the modularity of the mind (Fodor 1983). This is the claim that the mind has different innate modules which play a certain functional role. These modules are domain-specific, operating only on certain kinds of inputs. So, for example, there will be distinct modules for mental tasks like mind-reading, speaker recognition and facial recognition. The functional role associated with mental kinds might for example be given an evolutionary account in terms of adapted modules (Cosmides and Tooby 1992). On this view, mental kinds in folk psychology are successful for the purposes of the explanation of human behaviour because they refer to the functional modules of the mind. Such views may motivate emergentism. One interpretation of the emergentist account of mind is that there are emergent mental kinds that have no straightforward correlation with the kinds identified by neuroscience. Nor are mental kinds and neurophysiological kinds either identical to or subkinds of one another consequently emergentism is in conflict with the (contested) taxonomic hierarchy criterion (criterion 5). (See the entry on emergent properties.)

The type-identity theory, if true, might seem to motivate essentialism about psychological kinds, by analogy with other theoretical identities (cf. Section 1.3.1 and Section 3.3). Kripke (1980), however, denies that his arguments concerning other theoretical identities apply here. Let us say that (slow) pain for us humans is correlated with the firing of C-fibres. If this were a genuine theoretical identity, then in all possible worlds, when someone undergoes C-fibre firing, then they are in a state of pain. But it seems plausible that there could be worlds where C-fibre stimulation is not accompanied by any painful sensation. If there are such worlds, then the theoretical identity implies that such a world is one where people can be in pain without having any painful sensation indeed the pain might yield a pleasant sensation. Kripke regards this as counterintuitive. The concept of pain is necessarily tied to the phenomenal nature of the pain sensation, whereas the concept of gold is not tied to the colour yellow. Consequently, there is no identity between pain and C-fibre firing (nor any other physical state) likewise there is no physical essence to pain. A posteriori natural kind essentialism fails in this case.

Recently, there has been some discussion of whether mental concepts are themselves natural kinds. The claim that concepts form a natural kind has been accepted by philosophers of psychology and cognitive psychologists alike (Margolis, 1994, 1995 Fodor, 1998, 2008). Recent literature has argued against that assumption (Griffiths 1997 Machery 2005, 2009 Piccinini and Scott 2006). Griffiths 1997 has argued that individual and familiar concepts such as emotion do not correspond to genuine natural kinds, and should therefore be eliminated from scientific vocabulary. Machery's (2009, Ch. 3) heterogeneity hypothesis claims furthermore that the class of concepts do not delineate a homogeneous class the kind &lsquoconcept&rsquo. Rather, they divide into several distinct kinds that actually have little in common. Thus, it is a mistake to assume that there are many general properties of concepts, and that a theory of concepts should attempt to describe these. In general, then the notion of concept is not part of an adequate taxonomy of our mental representation.

2.4 Natural Kinds and Social Science

The question as to whether there are social kinds has a long history. In the sociology of science, functionalists such as Durkheim (1897) have argued that there is empirical support for the autonomy of social facts. For example, statistical analysis shows that suicide rates differed radically depending on social factors, (e.g. religious background, gender, marital status etc.) This analysis led to the possibility of social science being taken in a quantitative direction. Even if every individual commits suicide as a result of psychological factors, the statistical facts about the “reasons” for suicide and how they change with place and over time are distinctly social. One question then is whether one should be naturalist about such social facts. If so, how could naturalism be reconciled with the claim that social facts are dynamic and changing in so far as they concern human beings in social interactions?

Because social kinds are distinctly anthropocentric, some theorists claim that the only plausible view we can hold is some form of constructivism about them. Hacking (1995, 1999) argues that in social contexts the object of classification itself changes in being classified. The fact that the people being classified are conscious makes for dynamic interactions between the classification and the classified. The latter may resist or embrace certain classifications (&lsquochild abuser&rsquo, &lsquohip&rsquo) and modify their behaviour accordingly. This leads to an change in the extensions of the relevant kind concepts. Furthermore, as the extensions change, the criteria for membership may change also. Many of our classifications in social science are evaluative. A social situation looks deviant from the norm and people make an evaluative judgment about this. Sometimes this means that people passively accept what experts say about them, and see themselves in that light. But feedback can direct itself in many ways. Alternatively, some people seek to reclassify themselves. Thus, classification in social science is interactive. Hacking argues that this is in marked contrast to the indifferent kinds that are found in natural science. An electron is indifferent to being classified as an electron.

Pace Hacking, Khalidi (2010) argues that in fact the contrast between natural and social kinds is not so stark: even many chemical kinds would not have been instantiated in the world were it not for the fact that a scientist conceived of it and acted on that conception. So in both cases the existence of a classification scheme can cause changes to the extension of the kinds in question. The difference between natural kinds and social kinds is a difference of the degree of control we have over the object of classification. In the chemical domain, for example, the nature of the phenomena themselves imposes greater restrictions on the kinds that we can create. (See also Cooper 2004.)

What is the difference between the biological species concept and the phylogenetic species concept?

phylogenetic species concept (PSC) The concept of a species as an irreducible group whose members are descended from a common ancestor and who all possess a combination of certain defining, or derived, traits (see apomorphy).

Additionally, what are the biological morphological phylogenetic and ecological concept of species? whether individuals look similar (morphological species concept) how closely related individuals are evolutionarily (phylogenetic species concept), and. whether the individual use or can use the same set of biological resources in other words, whether they occupy the same &ldquoniche&rdquo (ecological species concept).

Simply so, what is the biological species concept and why is it limited?

the offspring of crosses between different species. biological species concept limited when it applied to species in nature. one cannot test the reproductive isolation of morphologically similar fossils. even for living species- we lack the info on interbreeding- incomplete information.

What are the different concepts of a species?

The concept of species is an important but difficult one in biology, and is sometimes referred to the "species problem". Some major species concepts are: Typological (or Essentialist, Morphological, Phenetic) species concept. Typology is based on morphology/phenotype.

What is genetic diversity?

Technically, we’re all related — at least on a genetic level. Some species, of course, are more genetically alike than others, which is why you often see comparisons drawn between monkeys and humans, for example.

According to About Bio Science, “The more closely related any two species are, the more genetic information they will share, and the more similar they will appear.” Hence the ape looking, acting, and even speaking (a type of sign language) similar to humans.

But not all species are genetically similar. After all, how many genetic similarities could a human share with a slug? That’s exactly the point or definition, really, of what genetic diversity is. Throughout the planet, there must be genetic diversity. If all species were genetically similar, you would not have much diversity at all.

Especially because genetically similar species tend to mate. A horse is not exactly the same as a mule, per say they are two separate types of animals. However, they can mate — that’s how we get donkeys. Another example is a liger, the genetic byproduct of a tiger and lion mating together.

As About Bio Science explains, “Species diverge and develop their own peculiar attributes with time, thus making their own contribution to biodiversity.”

Biological species concept

biological species concept (BSC) The concept of a species as a group of populations whose members are capable of interbreeding successfully and are reproductively isolated from other groups. This concept became influential during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, largely replacing the typological species concept favoured by pioneer naturalists. Central to the concept is the role of sexual reproduction. This maintains the broad uniformity of species' members through genetic recombination and sharing of a common gene pool. Isolating mechanisms prevent breeding, and hence gene flow, between different groups, thus ensuring genetic divergence between groups. However, the concept cannot be applied to exclusively asexual organisms, such as certain groups of fungi and bacteria. Nor does it account satisfactorily for the many instances in which interspecies mating does occur, especially in plants, fungi, and prokaryotes.

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Watch the video: WHAT KIND OF SPECIES IS THIS?? Vicious Predator? (October 2022).