Paraphyly and names

Thomas Pape thomas.pape at NRM.SE
Fri Jan 18 14:27:28 CST 2002

> To me, 10 is more than 2, hence the group C+D is superior over the group
> A+B+C (not speaking about taxa C and D) in its information content - of
> course, unless you say that plesiomorphic character states are not
> "real".

A simple count cannot make the crucial distinction between apomorphies and plesiomorphies. Your classification fails to reflect the pattern of cladogenesis. Your classification fails to convey the information that A and B and C share something (i.e., two character states) that had evolved uniquely in the ancestor particular to them. Your classification fails by giving the false impression that C and D share something that will not be found in other taxa.

Is there ANY single statement you can make relating to your non-group (C+D) that will not hold for at least one other member within the group A-E ?

Thomas Pape
Naturhistoriska riksmuseet

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