Positivism in evolutionary scienc

MAGarland MAGarland at AOL.COM
Sat Dec 6 13:30:46 CST 1997

In a message dated 97-12-06 03:40:13 EST, tdib at UMICH.EDU writes:

>  rather homology is assumed because your homology hypotheses have
>  already been corroborated by all the tests you impose on them in your
>  work as a biologist (anatomist, behaviorist etc.). IOW, you have
>  already accepted them as homologies in light of all your biological
>  knowledge; the test of congruence is merely one last test.

"Already accepted"?  "Merely one last test"?  Hmmm...reminds me of a passage
in Sneath (Syst. Biol. 44:286. 1995):

"The rise of interest in Hennigian cladistics...was to me very surprising.  It
seemed obvious that if one could be certain of evolutionary homologies and
ancestral and descendant character states then the reconstruction of phylogeny
would be straightforward.  But I found it hard to believe that these
homologies and states could be determined in the naive fashion that was

Mark A. Garland
Office of Environmental Services
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
3900 Commonwealth Boulevard, Mail Station 140
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3000

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