Emptiness of phylog. recons

Richard Jensen rjensen at SAINTMARYS.EDU
Thu Jul 27 10:49:34 CDT 1995

You're not alone, Warren.  But, when a paradigm shift occurs, it takes a
while to get back on course.  I see light at the end of the tunnel as
realization grows that there is no general model that can guarantee even
a close approximation of the "true phylogeny."

We need to place a lot more emphasis on developing an understanding of
what (populations, species, etc.) we are working with and a lot less
emphasis on hypothesized evolutionary relationships.  Yes, such a
hypothesis may prove informative in helping us understand how characters
and character complexes *may* have evolved.  But any phylogeny is just
that - a hypothesis.  Even minor reinterpretations of characters can
cause major changes in the hypothesis.

Unfortunately, this is old wine and I have no new bottle to put it in.

Richard J. Jensen      |   E-MAIL: rjensen at saintmarys.edu
Dept. of Biology       |   TELEPHONE: 219-284-4674
Saint Mary's College   |   FAX: 219-284-4716
Notre Dame, IN  46556  |

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