horrible cladists, was Re: paraphyletic Rodentia??

Richard Jensen rjensen at SAINTMARYS.EDU
Fri Oct 15 13:07:02 CDT 1999

On Thu, 14 Oct 1999, Curtis Clark wrote:

> Once, many years ago, a graduate student whom I respected wrote in her
> evaluation of my systematics class that I never presented any ideas other
> than my own. Somehow she failed to notice that I had taught her how to make
> phenograms a la Sokal and Sneath, I had taught the BSC (which I disdain)
> from primary sources, and I had explained compatibility analysis and convex
> groups (now there's your *real* paraphyly, explicit enough for anyone). But
> because I taught cladistics (back when it was not so widespread) and
> because I actually expressed an opinion about it, she was upset.

Gee, I still teach these things to my students.  There simply are
systematic problems (e.g., related to group recognition, relationships
within and among populations) that cladistics can't solve.

> Prediction: in 25 years there won't be any "cladists". There won't be any
> need for the term. They will be called "systematists".

What odds are you giving?

Richard J. Jensen      |   E-MAIL: rjensen at saintmarys.edu
Dept. of Biology       |   TELEPHONE: 219-284-4674
Saint Mary's College   |   FAX: 219-284-4716
Notre Dame, IN  46556  |

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