More taxo-computational distractions

Thomas Schlemmermeyer termites at USP.BR
Sat Nov 29 20:08:24 CST 1997

Dear all,

my study of phylogenetics is now already advancing. But, before jumping fro=
taxa to com, I would still like to continue pondering about the basic=20
underlying philosophical principles.

So, I started reading "Reconstructing the past - parsimony, evolution
and inference" by Elliott Sober
(1988 Massachusetts Institute of technology).=20
It is all about the question wether parsimony assumptions make sense at all=
SO, here is my question: Do they make sense?
Are there more recent publications about the topic?

Ah, before running all these computer programs PHYLIP, PAUP, HENNIG86, NONA
and all that things, I have another question (still rather blurry):
If one reads these phylogenetic publications, let them be about Insecta,
Homo, Bacteria or anything else, it often sounds like this:

"This taxon X or Y, which previously was considered basal, generalized,=20
archaic ec. ec. member of the group, unfortunately, is not a good window to=
the past, as there are many characters which are difficult to resolve=20
(wether they are apomorphic or plesiomorphic)."

SO: Are there any good windows to the past?
Are there phylogenies where it really functions somewhat like this:
Many groups which have a lot of apomorphic characters, but some extremely
basal, more plesiomorphic groups which may serve as "windows to the past".
I want to get examples from the whole bandwidth of biological systematics

Yours   Thomas

Thomas Schlemmermeyer
Museu de Zoologia, Universidade de S=E3o Paulo
Caixa Postal 42694
CEP 04299-970
S=E3o Paulo, SP, Brasil

Thomas Schlemmermeyer
Caixa Postal 00276
CEP 14001-970
Ribeir=E3o Preto, SP, Brasil

Fone, Fax: 016 6371999

More information about the Taxacom mailing list