Parsimony arguments

Jaakko Hyvönen jaakko.hyvonen at UTU.FI
Tue Oct 22 09:41:18 CDT 1996

Alan Harvey wrote:

>I've given a talk recently
>at a couple of universities on combining phylogenetic, developmental and
>ecological information to examine the evolution of shelter use in hermit
>crabs, and at both places folks told me that they were so grateful to see a
>systematist doing something _useful_ with their phylogeny. In other words,
>phylogenetic reconstruction is, at best, seen as an ends to some other
>mean, but is not worthy of being an end in and of itself. We need to figure
>out how to better present both alpha taxonomy and phylogenetic systematics
>as worthy ends. One would have hoped that the biodiversity crisis would've
>provided a shot in the arm for alpha taxonomy, at least, but I've seen no
>sign of it.

I couldn't agree more, I think Alan really has a point here. And what's
worse I think, at least here in Finland with a minuscule systematics
community, that people in charge of funding decisions don't see the value
of neither alpha nor phylogenetic taxonomy as such. At least to me it seems
that you have to have some kind of (mostly) artificial bait in your
application to make it more attractive.

Best regards anyway
Jaakko Hyv=F6nen
jaakko.hyvonen at

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