Phylogenies and uncertainty

Robert Raven R.Raven at MAILBOX.UQ.OZ.AU
Sat Jul 29 18:06:32 CDT 1995

On Fri, 28 Jul 1995, Steve Heydon wrote:

> Perhaps this only means that we have a statistical problem of a slightly
> different nature. Certainly a node defined by one apomorphic character is
> less likely to be "real" than a node defined by three or more characters.

This has got to be one the beginnings of the oldest arguments in
phylogeny reconstruction: whether all characters can be equally valued,
they can't and having bitten the cladistic bullet very hard I have NO
confidence whatsoever in statistical analyses, especially since my old
statiscal advisor drowned in a lake of average depth of one inch...

Dr Robert J . Raven
Museum Scientist (Arachnology)
Queensland Museum, Brisbane, Australia

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