Emptiness of phylog. recons

LINGAFELTER STEVEN WAYNE lingafel at FALCON.CC.UKANS.EDU
Thu Jul 27 16:03:48 CDT 1995


        Perhaps I should read the literature you refer to generate your
"10% truth" quantification.  I don't know how reliable a laboratory
reared bacterial colony is to use as a basis for testing the validity of
all phylogenetic studies, if in fact this is the source of the "truth"
comparison.  I do know that without a phylogeny any chance of logical
comparative biology is flawed.  We also lose any predictive value for
our efforts.  Of course if our phylogeny is indeed "not true", then the
predictive value lessens.  However, the wrong phylogeny shouldn't be
construed as 100% wrong either.   Truth is something we will never
know if we attain.  We can only use our intellect to generate more logically
sound hypotheses, modifying previous ones (if they exist).  I also add that
one's decision on species identifications is also a hypothesis who's
strength varies from person to person.  The presence of synonomies surely
suggests less than absolute truth in this area of science as well.  Both
are important endeavors and have different goals.  Both should be funded
more.
--Steve L.
lingafel at falcon.cc.ukans.edu




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