Paraphyly is real

Don.Colless at CSIRO.AU Don.Colless at CSIRO.AU
Wed Jan 16 16:44:10 CST 2002

I suggest folk read the Farris paper carefully, making sure that they fully
understand what it's all about, and that they agree that the arguments
follow from the premises - before they accept anything about "information
content". The latter is a most slippery concept, and susceptible to all
sorts of manipulation to serve a prejudged result. If you can find it, try
Colless, "Classification et Information", in Tassy, P. (ed): L'Ordre et la
Diversite du Vivant, Fondation Diderot, Fayard.

                                   Don Colless

                         Div of Entomology, CSIRO,                
                                   GPO Box 1700,                        
                              Canberra, ACT 2601                      
            Tel (02)62464270. email Don.Colless at 
                          Tuz li munz est miens  envirun             

-----Original Message-----
From: Tatyana Livshultz [mailto:tl44 at CORNELL.EDU]
Sent: Wednesday, 16 January 2002 4:22
Subject: Re: Paraphyly is real

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
> ---
> Odchozí zpráva neobsahuje viry.
> Zkontrolováno antivirovým systémem AVG (
> Verze: 6.0.313 / Virová báze: 174 - datum vydání: 2.1.2002

More information about the Taxacom mailing list