Kinman defends himself

Curtis Clark jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU
Mon Sep 14 08:01:12 CDT 1998

At 07:32 AM 9/14/98 -0700, Ken Kinman wrote:
>    ***The main reason I object to Woese's scheme is that it continues
>to lead biologists and others to believe that these domains are
>holophyletic, and the cladists should be JUMPING UP AND DOWN criticizing
>Woese (and those who blindly follow his lead) for using Metabacteria
>("Archaea") as an outgroup to Eubacteria (when Metabacteria are actually
>an ingroup to Eubacteria).

Although I am not convinced by your arguments for the position of the root,
I agree with you that Woese's scheme is untenable. My reason is that until
the root can be inferred (which is problematic at *best*), at least one of
the domains must be paraphyletic, and thus misleading in terms of kinship.
You see, I'm consistent.

>       This is precisely how I classified bacteria in my 1994 book.  A
>paraphyletic Eubacteria giving rise to a paraphyletic Metabacteria, both
>within Kingdom Monera.  Nothing ironic about it.

The irony is that there is not one whit of difference between your
*classification* in the paragraph above and his, as long as paraphyletic
groups are accepted, since the classification need have no straightforward
relationwhip with the tree. The only arguments against any given
classification that accepts paraphyletic groups are arguments of style,
predilection, and opinion. Evidence supports or refutes monophyletic
("holophyletic") groups. It says little or nothing about paraphyletic

Curtis Clark
Biological Sciences Department             Voice: (909) 869-4062
California State Polytechnic University      FAX: (909) 869-4078
Pomona CA 91768-4032  USA                  jcclark at

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