Taxonomic hypothesis-testing

Curtis Clark jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU
Mon Apr 1 17:23:53 CST 1996

At 02:15 PM 3/31/96 -0700, Joe Laferriere wrote:
>So, then, let me see if I get this straight. If a taxonomist is trying to
>decidee whether two species should be placed in the same genus or not,
>s/he sets up alternative hyoptheses:
>H1: The species are congeneric, vs.
>H0: The species are not congeneric.

No, no, no; the hypothesis is in the form "A is more closely related to B
than either is to C". This is the standard phylogenetic hypothesis.  The
phylogeny is then used for *grouping*, but not necessarily for *ranking*.
True, many taxonomists and even some cladists do not state the hypothesis
explicitly, but that is not a "failing" unique to systematics.

Curtis Clark
Biological Sciences Department                     Voice: (909) 869-4062
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona    FAX:   (909) 869-4396
Pomona CA 91768-4032                               jcclark at

More information about the Taxacom mailing list