Thomas Pape en-thomas at NRM.SE
Fri Oct 4 08:49:29 CDT 1996

What a pity that the discussion of methodology so often fails to keep the
methodology per se separate from the personal use of it.

At 00.49 1996-10-04 +0400, Alexey V. Kuprijanov wrote:


>1) It is not a caricature of modern taxonomic science. Just
>look around. I saw many papers concerning cladistic analysis
>but I did not see any concerning proper cladistic synthesis.
>Cladists usually do not care very much about the monophyly of
>the terminal taxa. They simply accept these taxa *as if* the
>latter are monophyletic. Theory and practice are quite
>different things.

Cladists may occasionally accept terminal taxa "*as if* the latter are
monophyletic" as a working hypothesis - and in acknowledgement of the value
of prior, often non-cladistic systematics.

[snip, snip]

>3) I do not think, of course, that all cladists are mad. I
>just would like to say that the highly formal cladistic
>analysis (and mainly, the cladistic software) opened the way
>for the careless workers. To be a taxonomist today you should
>not be an anatomist, you should not be an artist, you should
>just be familiar with PAUP or Hennig86 (cladistic methodology,
>isn't it?).

Any method can be used in a careless way. This relates actually to one of
the great benefits of "the highly formal cladistic analysis": it is
explicitly testable. For this reason carelessness may perhaps be more
apparent when it occurs, but I strongly doubt that 'Linnaean' or
non-cladistic systematics is less burdened by carelessness than is
'phylogenetic' or cladistic systematics.

[snip, snip, snippety snip....]

Thomas Pape

Thomas Pape
Department of Entomology
Swedish Museum of Natural History       Voice: +46 8666 4094
Box 50007                               Fax:   +46 8666 4099
S - 104 05 Stockholm, SWEDEN            e-mail: en-thomas at

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