Paraphyly is real

Tatyana Livshultz tl44 at CORNELL.EDU
Tue Jan 15 12:22:25 CST 2002

In response to Zdenak's question.  Cladistic classification has been 
evaluated on the basis of explicit optimality criteria, information 
content and predictivity, and found to be superior to phenetic or 
eclectic classification.  I give the reference below.

Farris (1979) The information content of the phylogenetic system. Syst. 
Zoology 28:483-519.


On Tue, 15 Jan 2002, =?iso-8859-1?Q?SK=C1LA_Zdenek?= wrote:

> Dear all.
> If we are saying that one concept (of monophyly, e.g.) is scientifically
> better than the other, we are saying (1) that there exists a
> (measurable) optimality criterion that can be used for all the relevant
> concepts, (2) that the "best" concept reaches (at least local) maximum
> rating along this optimality criterion and (3) that we can explicitly
> show why is this optimality criterion relevant for this particular
> comparison.
> I suspect that cladistics still have not provided us with the points 1-3
> (instead we are supplied with vague rhetoric like "most natural
> solution" etc.). Perhaps now is the appropriate time and place?
> Best!
> Zdenek Skala
> ---
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