reweighting characters, few and many

Richard Zander rzander at SCIENCEBUFF.ORG
Wed Oct 27 10:07:24 CDT 1999

What would Karl Popper say relevant to this exercise? Probably that
phylogenetic estimation is just historicism in reverse. One is projecting
backwards in time, following the expected effects of a historical "force,"
namely natural selection on gradually accumulating mutations, and expecting
that the result must be approximately correct in detail using some
particular method or notional modification of a method as is cited below by
T. S.

Popper condemned historicism, dedicating his book "In memory of the
countless men and women of all creeds or nations or races who fell victims
to the fascist and communist belief in Inexorable Laws of Historical
Destincy." I guess he hadn't heard of cladistics yet.

Check out: Popper, K. R. 1957. The Poverty of Historicism. Harper & Row,

Richard H. Zander
Curator of Botany
Buffalo Museum of Science
1020 Humboldt Pkwy
Buffalo, NY 14211 USA
email: rzander at
voice: 716-895-5200 x 351

----- Original Message -----
From: Don McAllister <mcall at SUPERAJE.COM>
Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 1999 9:32 AM
Subject: Re: reweighting characters, few and many

> Thomas Schlemmermeyer wrote:
> > Dear All,
> >
> > Already a few months ago, an anonymous list member told me that
> > functions like that: Figure out a tree that you personally like! In the
> > step choose a suitable program and algorithm which generate exactly this
> >
> >  Now, I reweighted those 25000 trees, and run parsimony search again.
> > I got only three trees, and Imagine!!!, the consensus tree corresponds
> > to the tree, which is my person favourite!!!
> Sound like a terrific approach, if you want to transfer out of the science
into the
> arts faculty.  :->  What would Karl Popper say? But I think you are
telling us that
> yourself with your ironic message.
> don
> Don McAllister

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