Polytomies

Curtis Clark jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU
Sun Jun 15 20:05:20 CDT 1997


At 09:20 AM 06/16/97 +1100, Eric Zurcher wrote:
>Why is it that many cladists insist on regarding ALL polytomies as
>"resolvable", and that all we need is more knowledge to resolve them? I see
>no convincing reason why REAL polytomies cannot occur. (Indeed, given the
>"bursty" nature of evolutionary history seen in the fossil record, I
>suspect that real polytomies may in fact be rather common.)

Real polytomies *do* occur. The lack of knowledge involves which are real
and which are artifacts of incomplete data. To intentionally choose to not
distinguish between the two is to base a classification on ignorance,
whether one is a "traditional taxonomist" or a cladist.


------------------------------------------------------------------------
Curtis Clark                       http://www.is.csupomona.edu/~jcclark/
Biological Sciences Department                     Voice: (909) 869-4062
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona    FAX:   (909) 869-4078
Pomona CA 91768-4032  USA                          jcclark at csupomona.edu




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