Oragnutan relationships

Richard Zander rhzander at SCIENCEBUFF.ORG
Mon Apr 8 14:26:08 CDT 2002

The analysis I gave is an example of how to deal with this kind of data,
that's all. If there are three different alternatives, then a nonparametric
test can be used effectively. The three alternatives must be non-dependent
and clearly different categories, and the data you gave are not.

Lakatos has pointed out that science does not and must not be expected to
test _everything_ when an analysis is made, only the variables involved. A
phylogenetic analysis does not test Darwin's theory, graph theory, or any
other methodological assumption or data, just the problem at hand. The
problem of circularity has been discussed any number of times by others, and
is minor when strong nesting is present (e.g. when bootstrapping has high
values or, in fact, any reasonable values at all).

Richard H. Zander
Emeritus Curator of Botany
Clinton Herbarium
FNA Editorial Center at Buffalo

The Buffalo Museum of Science
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----- Original Message -----
From: "John R. Grehan" <jrg13 at PSU.EDU>
> I do not have the paper to hand so I will check it out. However, the
> comparisons cited above do not include the orangutan so I do not see how
> they bear on the orangutan relationship.
> Also, how does one respond to the criticism that molecular synapomorphy is
> identified a posteriori after the phylogeny is generated?

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