Farewell to Species - reticulation

Thomas DiBenedetto TDibenedetto at DCCMC.ORG
Tue Feb 1 16:07:56 CST 2000

Thomas Lammers wrote:

will REALLY come into its own when it becomes fully concordant with what
poulation biology, cytogenetics, etc. tells us about speciation and
microevolutionary processes.  As it now stands, the patterns it reveals are
a poor reflection of the underlying processes.
Interesting persepctive. I iamgine that some cladists might be prone to
respond that evolutionary process theory will come into its own once it is
fully concordant with the evidence resulting from empirical analysis of
character distribution (i.e. cladistics).
Theory should be made to fit the evidence, not vice versa.
It seems to me that processes are never really seen; we must infer models of
process from evidence. If there is a disconnect between empirical patterns
and our models of process, then surely the models must adapt. I dont think
we have the right to assume that our models are correctly mirroring the
underlying process, then blame the evidence for being wrong.
Whoever can meld cladistics with process oriented speciation theory will
achieve a synthesis comparable to the NeoDarwinian Synthesis.
I agree wholeheartedly. Melding cladistics with theory in the manner you
propose would be very comparable to the Neodarwinian synthesis. As you may
know, some cladists have serious arguments with what the synthesis hath
wrought for the field of systematics.

Tom DiBenedetto
tdib at dccmc.org

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