Positivism in evolutionary science

Tom DiBenedetto tdib at UMICH.EDU
Thu Dec 4 13:17:22 CST 1997

Fred Rickson wrote:

>Therefore, ideas based on a single data set, or data type, seem suspect at

I agree

>..even though I do recognize that proper nucleic acid information
>might be the most informative of all.


>As one last offering, I see the arguments about how perfect a cladogram
>might be (this thread) somewhat akin to angels on the head of a pin.  If
>one runs all of the corroborative statistical tests available, after using
>multiple levels of information, and then makes a choice, that is the best
>one can do.

I wasnt aware of anyone claiming that cladograms might be perfect. I,
for one, have simply been making the case that the most parsimonious
cladogram is a representation of the result of the test of
congruence, and yields the phylogenetic hypothesis which is an
ordering of those homology hypotheses which have been corroborated by
the test.

> Science (and your cladogram) is a work in progress, not religion.


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