cladism's greatest weakness

Curtis Clark jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU
Mon Sep 20 13:41:05 CDT 1999

At 08:22 AM 9/17/99 -0700, Ken Kinman wrote:
>     I wish I had more time to respond to this right now.  I don't see how
>the evolutionary distance between the "first reptile" and the first bird
>very relevant (seems to just muddy the water).  As for the problem of
>"birdness", it is very similar to the problem we had and still have with
>     The continuity of evolution is such that cutting the evolutionary
>is going to be arbitrary to some degree no matter how you do it.

I see no point in continuing this "discussion" with Ken, but for the
benefit of any of the rest of you that might be "muddy" on this point, a
species and all its descendents constitute a clade. If species are real,
and if evolution happens, clades are real, not arbitrary.

And Ken, if you get a chance, you might try talking to some of my
undergraduate students about my level of "authoritarianism". Remember,

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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