Probabilities on Phylogenetic Trees

Tom DiBenedetto tdib at UMICH.EDU
Thu Sep 18 22:43:07 CDT 1997

 John Trueman wrote:

>  Is the *least*
>parsimonious tree really the least bold, or is it almost as bold as the
>*most* parsimonious tree?

The least parsimonious trees has the most ad hoc statements,
essentially no grouping hypotheses,,i.e. an unresolved bush. It says
nothing, so it seems to me to be the least bold.

> I'd have thought a tree somewhere in the middle,
>where the distribution of hair across taxa if there were no hierarchy of
>hairy-taxa to discover, so that hairyness occurred merely by chance, would
>be the least bold of all tree-like hypotheses?

By chance you might end up with groups of hairy things, several hair
homologies,,,each one a generalization, a "non-ad hoc" statement, a
somewhat bold statement. With no resolution at all, boldness is

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