Weights

Alan Harvey aharvey at AMNH.ORG
Thu Feb 27 10:15:54 CST 1997


James Lyons-Weiler wrote:

>Consider the fact that when one decides to not weight morphological (or
>molecular) characters, one has decided that a transformation among states
>is character i has then same information (and therefore relative
>probability) as a transformation among states in character j.  That is, a
>decision to use equaly weight is arbitrary, and requires as much
>justification as any weight weighting scheme...

So how's this? "I have no a priori evidence, or other reason to suspect,
that any (much less which) of my characters are more informative than
others?" Granting that "unweighted" characters do in fact have a weight of
one, I'd still say that a prima facie case exists for "oneweighting"
characters as your default condition.

Cheers,

Alan

------------------------------------

Alan W. Harvey (aharvey at amnh.org)
Assistant Curator of Invertebrates
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024
(212) 769-5638; fax (212) 769-5783
http://research.amnh.org/~aharvey




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