What Is the Biological Species Concept?1
Binomial nomenclature, the universal classification system defined by Carolus Linnaeus in 1737 in his published work Systema Naturae, was his attempt to unravel God’s design of the universe. Today, scientists still use this classification system as they persevere in their evolutionary quest of unraveling the material world.
However, the most fundamental component of this classification system, the definition of the species level, remains unsettled. The biological species concept (BSC) introduced by Ernest Mayr has been accepted in theory to define species, but in many circumstances the concept’s very nature makes it impossible for professionals to practice in their everyday work. Arborist Seattle experts, for example, instead are more likely to use morphological definitions as they identify plant species while working on projects.
One major shortfall of the BSC is that it does not include classification of asexual organisms, pathogenesis, and the fossil record. The classification of the fossil record should be concordant with the classification of living species as it is crucial to our understanding of the evolution of existing organisms. The BSC does not allow for this and therefore is in desperate need of revision in order for it to be universally applied.
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