Tom DiBenedetto tdib at UMICH.EDU
Sat Mar 8 14:49:35 CST 1997

 James Francis Lyons-Weiler wrote:

>There are two reasons to test for signal, whether one uses the parsimony
>criterion, or compatibility methods.  First, your screening tests may be
>better than mine are; i.e., I may be working on sets of putative
>homologies for which corrborative evidence is difficult to define (I'm
>talking about morphology here).  Second, sometimes one may generate
>hypotheses of homology which might as well have been generated at random.

Well, the first one seems plausible, though I doubt very common; in
any case, given a consideration of all the evidence available for a
group, I dont think such randomness would influence things that
much,,,but you tell me...I imagine you have tested many
matrices,,,,any generalizations to report re. how many, and what
types of morphological matrices have flunked your test?
The second concern seems to be a test against
incompetence,,,hopefully the academic and the peer-review systems
manage to deal with that one adequately...

In general, I have no *objection* to these kinds of tests,,,I just
wonder about their significance ( :) )   I'll think deeply about
yours and try it out....

>i think all of this falls in line with your thinking as well as the
>neo-cladistic interpretation of homology, trees, and estimates of

Neo-cladistic??? gee, time flies,,,we have a neo tradition already?

>I see very little difference, except for the use of
>trees as critical tests.  Imagine that all of your hypotheses of homology
>are correct; the mpt won't tell you anything you didn't already know;

nor should it,,,it would simply be a summary combination of the
homologies; thats all it really ever is anyway,,

>again, where are the bold statements?

ya got me there James,,,actually If all my hypotheses of homology are
correct, I guess I would take a well-deserved vacation from the daily
grind of making bold statements....

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