Three great papers (cladistics; paraphyly)

Ken Kinman kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Jan 15 18:32:54 CST 2002

Three Recommended papers:
     (1) Eric Knox, 1998; (2) Kent E. Carpenter, 1993; and last but not
least  (3) Ernst Mayr, 1998.
Citations and my comments below:
     (1) "The use of hierarchies as organizational models in systematics" by
Eric B. Knox, 1998.  Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 63:1-49.
      Quoting from the abstract of this paper:  "Descent has conceptual
priority over modification, but the organizational relationship is not
exclusive.  'Cladistic classification' is an oxymoron because cladistics
lacks the class concepts needed to construct a classification, a point
recognized by those who suggest abandoning Linnaean classification in favour
of a newly devised monophyletic systematization."
      Wonderful paper, and does a lot better job of explaining this stuff
than I ever could.  It is very theoretical, but my next recommendation was
already putting some of these ideas into practice in 1993.
     (2)  Great example of how to put good theories to good work is:
"Optimal Cladistic and Quantitative Evolutionary Classifications as
Illustrated by Fusilier Fishes (Caesionidae)" by Kent E. Carpenter, 1993
(Syst. Zool., 42:142-154).  By the way, Farris 1979 is one of the references
     Carpenter's is an excellent paper which I'm sure Ashlock would have
greatly enjoyed.  Cladogram, Multistate Character Index, Optimality
Test----just like a "real" cladist.  But he goes further and also does a
Quantitative evolutionary systematic analysis, then uses a minimal amount of
paraphyly, and produces a very optimal classification (which I would call
cladisto-eclectic).  Great paper, but I guess that little bit of paraphyly
means he isn't a "real" cladist according to Tom DiBenedetto.  Does that
mean Carpenter did all that extra work and put more information in his
classification for nothing?   Obviously not, and I think Carpenter is a
"real" optimal cladist, from whom strict cladists could perhaps learn a
thing or two.  And by the way, some of my own classifications are completely
cladistic, so I guess that make me at least a part-time "real" cladist, even
according to Tom's definition.
    (3)  Having read papers by those two younger guys (one a botanist and
one a zoologist), you might want to look at it from a bacteriological
perspective from someone who is better known:
    Ernst Mayr. 1998.  "Two Empires or Three" (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci.,
95:9720-9723).  Since Ernst named me in his acknowledgments, I guess that
makes me bias, but I think it's a great paper.
            --------Ken Kinman

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