The attitrion of taxonomic expertise

Thomas Pape en-thomas at NRM.SE
Fri Oct 18 18:36:22 CDT 1996

At 08.31 1996-10-18 -0700, James Lyons-Weiler wrote:

>To identify a character state as a synapomorphic because it is not
>homoplastic on the tree it helped you choose is entirely circular.

Synapomorphy relates directly to homology. We test homology by congruence or
'best fit' in a context of evolutionary parsimony.

How can that be circular?

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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