From these remarks it will be seen tht I look at the term species, as one arbitrarily given for the sake of convenience to a set of individuals closely resembling each other, and that it does not essentially differ from the term variety, which is given to less distinct and more fluctuating forms. The term variety, again, in comparison with mere individual differences, is also applied arbitrarily, and for mere convenience sake.I still have to look up what the advantages of continuing to use this dichotomy (or, as Darwin points out, trichotomy - individual difference, variety, species) is. Convenience is an obvious candidate, as is custom - "we've always done it like this"
Saturday, 3 January 2009
On reading The Origin of Species
It looks like Darwin was driving at exactly the idea I had had - presumably because I am actually understanding what he's saying!