revolution

Richard Jensen rjensen at SAINTMARYS.EDU
Thu Oct 3 10:43:47 CDT 1996


Mike Harvey is, of course, right.  Cladistics does not require
transformation series and cladistics does not equate SIMILARITY with
RELATEDNESS.  Phenetics also does not equate similarity with relatedness
(i.e., evolutionary relatedness).

Interestingly, many cladistics _seem_ to equate relatedness with
similarity.  For example, if I am searching for organisms that have a
certain property, then the best way to start is to consult a phylogenetic
classification.  The assumption is that those organisms that are closely
related evolutionarily are more likely to share the property in
question.  So, if I know of one organism that has the property in
question, I should examine close relatives to find others.  It may be a
generally successful approach, but not in any way guaranteed to be
successful.  Consider plants that produce caffeine - they are found in a
variety of relatively unrelated groups.

Richard J. Jensen      |   E-MAIL: rjensen at saintmarys.edu
Dept. of Biology       |   TELEPHONE: 219-284-4674
Saint Mary's College   |   FAX: 219-284-4716
Notre Dame, IN  46556  |




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