The attitrion of taxonomic expertise

Curtis Clark jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU
Sat Oct 19 21:12:29 CDT 1996

At 04:19 PM 10/19/96 +0000, Tom DiBenedetto wrote:
>>Symplesiomorphy >< homoplasy.  In fact plesiomorphy IS homology, which is
>>what I hope is meant here.
>I was not referring to plesiomorphy at all. I said homoplasious
>characters are homologous at lower levels than originally proposed
>(homoplasies are over-generaliztions). This refers to characters
>which are then interpreted as convergences or reversals.

Then you're wrong. (Or rather, you are redefining homoplasy, a word that has
been used for 126 years with a meaning different than you give it.) And it
seems to me that a homology at a lower level than proposed is in fact a
plesiomorphy. I know Humpty Dumpty's view on the meaning of words, but I
think we're not going to get anywhere until we agree on the terms.

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

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