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Trends Ecol Evol. 2001 Jul 1;16(7):326-329.

The mind of the species problem.


The species problem is the long-standing failure of biologists to agree on how we should identify species and how we should define the word 'species'. The innumerable attacks on the problem have turned the often-repeated question 'what are species?' into a philosophical conundrum. Today, the preferred form of attack is the well-crafted argument, and debaters seem to have stopped inquiring about what new information is needed to solve the problem. However, our knowledge is not complete and we have overlooked something. The species problem can be overcome if we understand our own role, as conflicted investigators, in causing the problem.

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