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The distinction between patterns and processes - is it lost in systematics? La distinction entre patterns et processes est-elle desuete en systematique ?



The distinction between patterns and processes - is it lost in systematics? La distinction entre patterns et processes est-elle desuete en systematique ?



Biosystema, 24: 33-41



The words "patterns" and "process" carry a couple of antinomous but complementary concepts brought forward since the seventies in evolutionary and systematic literature. After a short analysis of their content, their fitness and usefulness in systematics are emphasized on both epistemological and practical points of view. However, at some hierarchical levels of life organization. patterns and process may superpose and coincide (speciation) and would merely express the static and dynamic aspects of the same evolutionary reality. Similarly, a hierarchical analysis emphasizes the relative value of the concepts. a pattern at a higher hierarchical level resulting from process at lower levels. It is concluded that a clear distinction between patterns and process offers an indisputable practical and conceptual advance. but that it is not absolute.

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