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Thread: What do you think might happen if there is too much convergent evolution?

  1. #1 What do you think might happen if there is too much convergent evolution? 
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    Suppose there are many species living in the same but stressful environment. The environment is very stressful and pressures whole populations to conform and adapt to the environment. Now, in making phylogenetic trees, one rule of thumb to take is the law of parsimony. In such a stressful environment that drives so many species to fill specific niches in the environment, do you think that the law of parsimony may be more hypothetical and less practical in this example? Or, perhaps, such an example cannot happen in reality, because reality has constraints?

    My point is that in the field of biology, biologists have to balance the theoretical/hypothetical and the practical. For example, the biological species concept is a very strong hypothetical concept, but it has practical limitations. Likewise, the morphological species concept is a very strong practical concept, but it has hypothetical/theoretical limitations. So, the goal for biologists is to find the balance between the hypothetical and the practical, which is the tricky part.


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    The morphological species definition is a subset of the biological species definition-- Species are also defined by behavior, habitats, viability of offspring, fertility of offspring and several others.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    The morphological species definition is a subset of the biological species definition-- Species are also defined by behavior, habitats, viability of offspring, fertility of offspring and several others.
    I think I was thinking of the biological species concept as defining the species by the ability to reproduce among each other, while I was thinking of morphological species concept as defining a species by how a species look like. Then, I made a claim, saying that morphological species concept is more practical, because we can see the two distinct species in action, while the biological species concept is not so easy to test, because it is based on the ability to reproduce. A tiger and lion can reproduce with each other in a zoo, but does that mean they are the same species? In that case, no.
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    Convergence is already a problem when constructing a phylogeny. In your example, I think you'd have to be especially mindful of such problems and decide very carefully what genes you want to look at.
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