In biology, a species is the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individuals of the appropriate sexes or mating types can produce fertile offspring by sexual reproduction. Other ways of defining species include their karyotype, DNA sequence, behaviour or ecological niche. In addition, paleontologists use the concept of the chronospecies since fossil reproduction cannot be examined. While these definitions may seem adequate, when looked at more they represent problematic species concepts. For example, the boundaries between related species become unclear with hybridisation, in a species complex of hundreds of similar microspecies, in a ring species. Among organisms that reproduce only asexually, the concept of a reproductive species breaks down, each clone is a microspecies. All species are given a two-part name, a "binomial"; the first part of a binomial is the genus.
The second part is called the specific epithet. For example, Boa constrictor is one of four species of the genus Boa. None of these is satisfactory definitions, but scientists and conservationists need a species definition which allows them to work, regardless of the theoretical difficulties. If species were fixed and distinct from one another, there would be no problem, but evolutionary processes cause species to change continually, to grade into one another. Species were seen from the time of Aristotle until the 18th century as fixed kinds that could be arranged in a hierarchy, the great chain of being. In the 19th century, biologists grasped. Charles Darwin's 1859 book The Origin of Species explained how species could arise by natural selection; that understanding was extended in the 20th century through genetics and population ecology. Genetic variability arises from mutations and recombination, while organisms themselves are mobile, leading to geographical isolation and genetic drift with varying selection pressures.
Genes can sometimes be exchanged between species by horizontal gene transfer. Viruses are a special case, driven by a balance of mutation and selection, can be treated as quasispecies. Biologists and taxonomists have made many attempts to define species, beginning from morphology and moving towards genetics. Early taxonomists such as Linnaeus had no option but to describe what they saw: this was formalised as the typological or morphological species concept. Ernst Mayr emphasised reproductive isolation, but this, like other species concepts, is hard or impossible to test. Biologists have tried to refine Mayr's definition with the recognition and cohesion concepts, among others. Many of the concepts are quite similar or overlap, so they are not easy to count: the biologist R. L. Mayden recorded about 24 concepts, the philosopher of science John Wilkins counted 26. Wilkins further grouped the species concepts into seven basic kinds of concepts: agamospecies for asexual organisms biospecies for reproductively isolated sexual organisms ecospecies based on ecological niches evolutionary species based on lineage genetic species based on gene pool morphospecies based on form or phenotype and taxonomic species, a species as determined by a taxonomist.
A typological species is a group of organisms in which individuals conform to certain fixed properties, so that pre-literate people recognise the same taxon as do modern taxonomists. The clusters of variations or phenotypes within specimens would differentiate the species; this method was used as a "classical" method of determining species, such as with Linnaeus early in evolutionary theory. However, different phenotypes are not different species. Species named in this manner are called morphospecies. In the 1970s, Robert R. Sokal, Theodore J. Crovello and Peter Sneath proposed a variation on this, a phenetic species, defined as a set of organisms with a similar phenotype to each other, but a different phenotype from other sets of organisms, it differs from the morphological species concept in including a numerical measure of distance or similarity to cluster entities based on multivariate comparisons of a reasonably large number of phenotypic traits. A mate-recognition species is a group of sexually reproducing organisms that recognize one another as potential mates.
Expanding on this to allow for post-mating isolation, a cohesion species is the most inclusive population of individuals having the potential for phenotypic cohesion through intrinsic cohesion mechanisms. A further development of the recognition concept is provided by the biosemiotic concept of species. In microbiology, genes can move even between distantly related bacteria extending to the whole bacterial domain; as a rule of thumb, microbiologists have assumed that kinds of Bacteria or Archaea with 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequences more similar than 97% to each other need to be checked by DNA-DNA hybridisation to decide if they belong to the same species or not. This concept was narrowed in 2006 to a similarity of 98.7%. DNA-DNA hybri
Wikispecies is a wiki-based online project supported by the Wikimedia Foundation. Its aim is to create a comprehensive free content catalogue of all species. Jimmy Wales stated that editors are not required to fax in their degrees, but that submissions will have to pass muster with a technical audience. Wikispecies is available under the GNU Free Documentation License and CC BY-SA 3.0. Started in September 2004, with biologists across the world invited to contribute, the project had grown a framework encompassing the Linnaean taxonomy with links to Wikipedia articles on individual species by April 2005. Benedikt Mandl co-ordinated the efforts of several people who are interested in getting involved with the project and contacted potential supporters in early summer 2004. Databases were evaluated and the administrators contacted, some of them have agreed on providing their data for Wikispecies. Mandl defined two major tasks: Figure out how the contents of the data base would need to be presented—by asking experts, potential non-professional users and comparing that with existing databases Figure out how to do the software, which hardware is required and how to cover the costs—by asking experts, looking for fellow volunteers and potential sponsorsAdvantages and disadvantages were discussed by the wikimedia-I mailing list.
The board of directors of the Wikimedia Foundation voted by 4 to 0 in favor of the establishment of a Wikispecies. The project is hosted at species.wikimedia.org. It was merged to a sister project of Wikimedia Foundation on September 14, 2004. On October 10, 2006, the project exceeded 75,000 articles. On May 20, 2007, the project exceeded 100,000 articles with a total of 5,495 registered users. On September 8, 2008, the project exceeded 150,000 articles with a total of 9,224 registered users. On October 23, 2011, the project reached 300,000 articles. On June 16, 2014, the project reached 400,000 articles. On January 7, 2017, the project reached 500,000 articles. On October 30, 2018, the project reached 600,000 articles, a total of 1.12 million pages. Wikispecies comprises taxon pages, additionally pages about synonyms, taxon authorities, taxonomical publications, institutions or repositories holding type specimen. Wikispecies asks users to use images from Wikimedia Commons. Wikispecies does not allow the use of content.
All Species Foundation Catalogue of Life Encyclopedia of Life Tree of Life Web Project List of online encyclopedias The Plant List Wikispecies, The free species directory that anyone can edit Species Community Portal The Wikispecies Charter, written by Wales
Open Tree of Life
The Open Tree of Life is an online phylogenetic tree of life – a collaborative effort, funded by the National Science Foundation. The first draft, including 2.3 million species, was released in September 2015. The Interactive graph allows the user to zoom in to taxonomic classifications, phylogenetic trees, information about a node. Clicking on a species will return its source and reference taxonomy; the project uses a supertree approach to generate a single phylogenetic tree from a comprehensive taxonomy and a curated set of published phylogenetic estimates. The taxonomy is a combination of several large classifications produced by other projects; the project was started in June 2012 with a three-year NSF award to researchers at ten universities. In 2015, a two-year supplemental award was made to researchers at three institutions. Tree of life web project
An open letter is a letter, intended to be read by a wide audience, or a letter intended for an individual, but, nonetheless distributed intentionally. Open letters take the form of a letter addressed to an individual but provided to the public through newspapers and other media, such as a letter to the editor or blog. Common are critical open letters addressed to political leaders. There are few sites specialising in publishing open letters. However, there are community sites where visitors can publish their own letters and promote them to a wider audience. Sociological or historical research on open letters are not found, although sociologists and historians have written open letters. Letters patent are another form of open letter in which a legal document is both mailed to a person by the government and publicized so that all are made aware of it. Open letters can be addressed directly to a group rather than any individual. There are a number of reasons why an individual would choose the form of an open letter, including the following reasons: As a last resort to ask the public to judge the letter's recipient or others involved but not always, in a critical light To state the author's position on a particular issue As an attempt to start or end a wider dialogue around an issue As an attempt to focus broad attention on the letter's recipient, prompting them to some action For humor value Simply to make public a communication that must take place as a letter for reasons of formality Many of the epistles of the Bible are open letters.
Encyclicals are by definition open letters sent by the Pope or a primate to the bishops of the church community but published for general consumption. Most papal bulls are letters patent and therefore open letters. Martin Luther published many open letters, including his Open Letter on the Harsh Book Against the Peasants Farmer's letters by Samuel Seabury against the American Revolution. Ralph Waldo Emerson's letter to Martin Van Buren against the Cherokee removal order. William Banting's Letter on Corpulence. Professor James Syme's calls for medical reform in 1854 and 1857, addressed to British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston. Robert Louis Stevenson's open letter to Rev. Dr. Hyde in defense of Father Damien. J'Accuse…! by Émile Zola over the Dreyfus Affair. Haj Amin al-Husseini may be the author of the 1920 An open answer to the open letter of A. Berline. From an Arab to the Zionists. Martin Luther King's Letter from Birmingham Jail, Bill Gates's Open Letter to Hobbyists attacking copyright infringement in software development.
Rodolfo Walsh Carta Abierta a la Junta Militar where he denounced the crimes of the Proceso de Reorganización Nacional dictatorship in Argentina, for which he was murdered a day after its publishing. Audre Lorde's open letter about racism to Mary Daly. Gennady Zyuganov's open letter to Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev criticizing perestroika and glasnost, which were advocated by Yakovlev. David Cross's open letter to Larry the Cable Guy. Bobby Henderson's Open Letter to the Kansas School Board. Google's Open Letter to the net on net neutrality. Steve Jobs's Thoughts on Music concerning the past and future of DRM. Siegfried Sassoon's A Soldier’s Declaration, questioning the judgment of Britain's leadership in World War I. Sam Harris' book Letter to a Christian Nation is written as an open letter in response to criticism he received after his previous book, The End of Faith. Scholars for Peace's open letter sanctioning a historic truce and the subsequent peace talks between the Turkish state and the Kurdistan Workers Party.
Rob Lewis' Entrepreneur's letter to The Times warning of the dangers of a Lib-Lab coalition ahead of the 2010 UK general election. Tom Wrigglesworth's Open Letters, a BBC Radio 4 stand-up comedy series taking the form of an open letter. Based on Wrigglesworth's 2009 Edinburgh Comedy Award nominated show Tom Wrigglesworth's Open Return Letter to Richard Branson. Open Letters, a biweekly student publication at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design that tests the epistolary form as a device for generating conversations about architecture and design. Tom Finkel's "Open Letter to Chris Rock", the cover story of the May 13–19, 2015 issue of the Village Voice, urging him to buy the Newark Bears. On 10 January 2016, Scholars for Peace release another open letter, criticizing Turkish government's military intervention in Turkish Kurdistan after the truce ended in July 2015 and labeling the intervention a "massacre" which has led to widespread "human rights violations". Columnist Michael A. Cohen's open letter to Bernie Sanders.
An open letter in May 2017 from 830 scholars requesting the retraction of a peer-reviewed philosophy article caused controversy within that discipline. The article—published by Hypatia, the feminist philosophy journal—had argued in support of transracialism. An open letter to US President Donald Trump by wife of disabled veteran. Epistolary poem Polemic
Stewart Brand is an American writer, best known as editor of the Whole Earth Catalog. He founded a number of organizations, including The WELL, the Global Business Network, the Long Now Foundation, he is the author of several books, most Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto. Brand attended Phillips Exeter Academy, he studied biology at Stanford University, graduating in 1960. In 1966, he married an Ottawa Native American; as a soldier in the U. S. Army, he taught infantry skills. A civilian again in 1962, he studied design at San Francisco Art Institute, photography at San Francisco State College, participated in a legitimate scientific study of then-legal LSD, in Menlo Park, California. Brand has lived in California since the 1960s, he and his second wife live on a 64-foot - long working tugboat. Built in 1912, the boat is moored in a former shipyard in California, he works in a grounded fishing boat about 100 yards away. A favorite item of his is a table on which Otis Redding is said to have written " The Dock of the Bay".
By the mid-1960s, Brand became associated with author Ken Kesey and the "Merry Pranksters". With his partner Ramón Sender Barayón, he produced the Trips Festival in San Francisco, an early effort involving rock music and light shows; this was one of the first venues. About 10,000 hippies attended, Haight-Ashbury soon emerged as a community. Tom Wolfe describes Brand in the beginning of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. In 1966, Brand campaigned to have NASA release the then-rumored satellite image of the entire Earth as seen from space, he sold and distributed buttons for 25 cents each asking, "Why haven't we seen a photograph of the whole Earth yet?". During this campaign, Brand met Richard Buckminster Fuller, who offered to help Brand with his projects. In 1967, a satellite, ATS-3, took the photo. Brand thought, it adorned the first edition of the Whole Earth Catalog. In 1968, a NASA astronaut took an Earth photo, from Moon orbit, which became the front image of the spring 1969 edition of the Catalog.
1970 saw the first celebration of Earth Day. During a 2003 interview, Brand explained that the image "gave the sense that Earth's an island, surrounded by a lot of inhospitable space, and it's so graphic, this little blue, white and brown jewel-like icon amongst a quite featureless black vacuum." In late 1968, Brand assisted electrical engineer Douglas Engelbart with The Mother of All Demos, a famous presentation of many revolutionary computer technologies to the Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco. Brand surmised that given the necessary consciousness and tools, human beings could reshape the world they had made for themselves into something environmentally and sustainable. During the late 1960s and early 1970s about 10 million Americans were involved in living communally. In 1968, using the most basic approaches to typesetting and page-layout and his colleagues created issue number one of The Whole Earth Catalog, employing the significant subtitle, "access to tools". Brand and his wife Lois travelled to communes in a 1963 Dodge truck known as the Whole Earth Truck Store, which moved to a storefront in Menlo Park, California.
That first oversize Catalog, its successors in the 1970s and reckoned a wide assortment of things could serve as useful "tools": books, garden implements, specialized clothing, carpenters' and masons' tools, forestry gear, welding equipment, professional journals, early synthesizers, personal computers. Brand invited "reviews" of the best of these items from experts in specific fields; the information described where these things could be located or purchased. The Catalog's publication coincided with the great wave of social and cultural experimentation, convention-breaking, "do it yourself" attitude associated with the "counterculture"; the influence of these Whole Earth Catalogs on the rural back-to-the-land movement of the 1970s, the communities movement within many cities, was widespread throughout the United States and Australia. A 1972 edition sold 1.5 million copies, winning the first U. S. National Book Award in category Contemporary Affairs. To continue this work and to publish full-length articles on specific topics in the natural sciences and invention, in numerous areas of the arts and the social sciences, on the contemporary scene in general, Brand founded the CoEvolution Quarterly during 1974, aimed at educated laypersons.
Brand never better revealed his opinions and reason for hope than when he ran, in CoEvolution Quarterly #4, a transcription of technology historian Lewis Mumford's talk "The Next Transformation of Man", in which he stated that "man has still within him sufficient resources to alter the direction of modern civilization, for we need no longer regard man as the passive victim of his own irreversible technological development." The content of CoEvolution Quarterly included futurism or risqué topics. Besides giving space to unknown writers with something valuable to say, Brand presented articles by many respected authors and thinkers, including Lewis Mumford, Howard T. Odum, Witold Rybczynski, Karl Hess, Orville Schell, Ivan Illich, Wendell Berry, Ursula K. Le Guin, Gregory Bateson, Amory Lovins
Kevin Kelly (editor)
Kevin Kelly is the founding executive editor of Wired magazine, a former editor/publisher of the Whole Earth Review. He has been a writer, photographer and student of Asian and digital culture. Kelly was born in Pennsylvania on August 14, 1952, graduated from Westfield High School, New Jersey, in 1970. Through his father, an executive for Time who used systems analysis in his work, Kelly developed an early interest in cybernetics, he attended the University of Rhode Island for one year. Kelly traveled extensively. While travelling in the Middle East, he had a conversion experience and became a born-again Christian, he was raised Catholic. Kelly lives in a small coastal town just south of San Francisco, he is married to the biochemist Gia-Miin Fuh and has three children: Kaileen and Tywen. He regrets not having a fourth child. Among Kelly's personal involvements is a campaign to make a full inventory of all living species on earth, an effort known as the Linnaean enterprise, he is sequencing his genome and co-organizes the Bay Area Quantified Self Meetup Group.
Kelly began contributing freelance articles to CoEvolution Quarterly in 1980, while living in Athens, Georgia. Around this time he was editing his own start-up magazine called Walking Journal, working in an epidemiology laboratory to support himself, he was hired in 1983 by Whole Earth founder Stewart Brand to edit some of the editions of the Whole Earth Catalog, the Whole Earth Review, Signal. With Brand, Kelly helped found the WELL, an influential virtual community; as director of the Point Foundation, he co-sponsored the first Hackers Conference in 1984. In 1992, Kelly was hired by Louis Rossetto to serve as executive editor of Wired. Kelly brought to the magazine the cybernetic social vision of the Whole Earth publications and their networked style of editorial work, while recruiting writers and editors from the WELL. Kelly stepped down as executive editor in 1999. Due to his reputation as Wired's editor, he is noted as a participant in and an observer of cyberculture. Kelly's writing has appeared in many other national and international publications such as The New York Times, The Economist, Harper's Magazine, Veneer Magazine, GQ, Esquire.
His photographs have appeared in other American national magazines. Kelly's book-length publication, Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, the Economic World, presents a view on the mechanisms of complex organization; the central theme of the book is that several fields of contemporary science and philosophy point in the same direction: intelligence is not organized in a centralized structure but much more like a bee-hive of small simple components. Kelly applies this view to bureaucratic organisations, intelligent computers, to the human brain. Kelly was a futurist adviser on the Steven Spielberg directed movie Minority Report. Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems and the Economic World New Rules for the New Economy: 10 Radical Strategies for a Connected World Cool Tools – Tool reviews collected from his weblog of the same name in large scale format similar to Whole Earth Catalog "Photographers section: Kevin Kelly," pp. 106–111, in Lloyd Kahn, editor 2004 Home Work True Films "Forward: 1000 True Fans," pp. 3–8, in Be The Media, David Mathison, What Technology Wants The Inevitable Asia Grace Bad Dreams Bicycle Haiku Speculations on the Future of Science by Kevin Kelly.
Lecture to Long Now Foundation, at Fort Mason in San Francisco. March 10, 2006; the Next Fifty Years of Science by Kevin Kelly. Google TechTalk, May 9, 2006. How Technology Evolves by Kevin Kelly Talk at the TED Conference in Monterey, CA, February 2005; the next 5000 days of the Web by Kevin Kelly Talk at the EG 2007 Conference in Monterey, CA, December 2007. Technium Unbound by Kevin Kelly SALT Talk for The Long Now Foundation. November 12, 2014. Cool Tools at XOXO by Kevin Kelly Talk at XOXO Festival 2014, Oregon
Biodiversity refers to the variety and variability of life on Earth. Biodiversity is a measure of variation at the genetic and ecosystem level. Terrestrial biodiversity is greater near the equator, the result of the warm climate and high primary productivity. Biodiversity is not distributed evenly on Earth, is richest in the tropics; these tropical forest ecosystems cover less than 10 percent of earth's surface, contain about 90 percent of the world's species. Marine biodiversity is highest along coasts in the Western Pacific, where sea surface temperature is highest, in the mid-latitudinal band in all oceans. There are latitudinal gradients in species diversity. Biodiversity tends to cluster in hotspots, has been increasing through time, but will be to slow in the future. Rapid environmental changes cause mass extinctions. More than 99.9 percent of all species that lived on Earth, amounting to over five billion species, are estimated to be extinct. Estimates on the number of Earth's current species range from 10 million to 14 million, of which about 1.2 million have been documented and over 86 percent have not yet been described.
More in May 2016, scientists reported that 1 trillion species are estimated to be on Earth with only one-thousandth of one percent described. The total amount of related DNA base pairs on Earth is estimated at 5.0 x 1037 and weighs 50 billion tonnes. In comparison, the total mass of the biosphere has been estimated to be as much as 4 TtC. In July 2016, scientists reported identifying a set of 355 genes from the Last Universal Common Ancestor of all organisms living on Earth; the age of the Earth is about 4.54 billion years. The earliest undisputed evidence of life on Earth dates at least from 3.5 billion years ago, during the Eoarchean Era after a geological crust started to solidify following the earlier molten Hadean Eon. There are microbial mat fossils found in 3.48 billion-year-old sandstone discovered in Western Australia. Other early physical evidence of a biogenic substance is graphite in 3.7 billion-year-old meta-sedimentary rocks discovered in Western Greenland. More in 2015, "remains of biotic life" were found in 4.1 billion-year-old rocks in Western Australia.
According to one of the researchers, "If life arose quickly on Earth.. it could be common in the universe."Since life began on Earth, five major mass extinctions and several minor events have led to large and sudden drops in biodiversity. The Phanerozoic eon marked a rapid growth in biodiversity via the Cambrian explosion—a period during which the majority of multicellular phyla first appeared; the next 400 million years included repeated, massive biodiversity losses classified as mass extinction events. In the Carboniferous, rainforest collapse led to a great loss of animal life; the Permian–Triassic extinction event, 251 million years ago, was the worst. The most recent, the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, occurred 65 million years ago and has attracted more attention than others because it resulted in the extinction of the dinosaurs; the period since the emergence of humans has displayed an ongoing biodiversity reduction and an accompanying loss of genetic diversity. Named the Holocene extinction, the reduction is caused by human impacts habitat destruction.
Conversely, biodiversity positively impacts human health in a number of ways, although a few negative effects are studied. The United Nations designated 2011–2020 as the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity. 1916 - The term biological diversity was used first by J. Arthur Harris in "The Variable Desert," Scientific American, JSTOR 6182: "The bare statement that the region contains a flora rich in genera and species and of diverse geographic origin or affinity is inadequate as a description of its real biological diversity." 1975 - The term natural diversity was introduced 1980 - Thomas Lovejoy introduced the term biological diversity to the scientific community in a book.. It became used. 1985 -The contracted form biodiversity was coined by W. G. Rosen 1985 - The term "biodiversity" appears in the article, "A New Plan to Conserve the Earth's Biota" by Laura Tangley. 1988 - The term biodiversity first appeared in a publication. The present - the term has achieved widespread use. "Biodiversity" is most used to replace the more defined and long established terms, species diversity and species richness.
Biologists most define biodiversity as the "totality of genes and ecosystems of a region". An advantage of this definition is that it seems to describe most circumstances and presents a unified view of the traditional types of biological variety identified: taxonomic diversity ecological diversity morphological diversity functional diversity This multilevel construct is consistent with Datman and Lovejoy. An explicit definition consistent with this interpretation was first given in a paper by Bruce A. Wilcox commissioned by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources for the 1982 World National Parks Conference. Wilcox's definition was "Biological diversity is the variety of life forms...at all levels of biologi