Who is the postivist?

sylvia hope sylvia.hope at CASMAIL.CALACADEMY.ORG
Sun Dec 7 19:27:26 CST 1997

You wrote:

>A synapomorphy does not support a hypothesis of homology; it IS the
>hypothesis, left standing after the test of congruence. Neither does
>it "support" the hypothesis of monophyly, for it IS the hypothesis of
>monophyly, left standing after the test of congruence.

          This is murky.  An hypothesis of homology is *arrived at* in
          the first place by comparison of characters
           in two or more taxa; it is *tested* or *validated* by
          congruence with other character evidence.

          A synapomorphy is not an hypothesis, it is an hypothetical
          construct which results from a successful attempt to
          validate an hypothesis of homology.

Dept. of Ornithology and Mammalogy    *
California Academy of Sciences        *
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San Francisco, CA, USA 94118          *
email:  sylvia.hope at calacademy.org    *
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