Because I haven’t riled up Wilkins in a while.
I was chatting with a friend who has published a fairly high profile article on speciation about species concepts. We came to the conclusion that species concepts are useless unless they guide future research. Okay, we were just echoing Coyne ‘n Orr.
As crappy as the biological species concept is, the BSC is really good for guiding research on the evolution of pre-zygotic, intrinsic reproductive isolation. I realize this is entirely circular (the BSC states that speciation has occurred when reproductive isolation is achieved). All of the research I follow on speciation falls into this category; I don’t read about speciation in non-sexually reproducing organisms.
How do people study speciation in asexually reproducing organisms? Better yet, is it even worthwhile to study speciation in asexually reproducing organisms? Just because speciation in sexually reproducing organisms (and, by speciation, I mean intrinsic prezygotic isolation) is really cool — and it is, not just because I have friends doing it — doesn’t mean that people need to study “speciation” in other taxa.
So, species concepts are useless unless you can define speciation in those taxa. If it’s just divergence, it don’t count. Wilkins, the ball’s in your court. Tell me why I’m wrong — include lots of links to articles I should read before I engage in uninformed punditry.