Paraphyly, Aves, man, etc.
kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Jan 29 13:43:24 CST 2002
Tom has asked if repeatability means anything to me, and then proposes
that it does not. Well, I am not in the mood for a lot more head-banging
against this brick wall, so I will make this brief.
Please read Carpenter, 1993 (Syst. Biol., 42:142-154), entitled
"Optimal Cladistic and Quantitative Evolutionary Classifications as
Illustrated by Fusilier fishes". As he says in the abstract: "The purpose
of this paper is to demonstrate with the Caesonidae a method of choosing
objectively among possible evolutionary and cladistic classifications...."
Optimal criteria (of information content) are discussed. Having read that
paper, perhaps the classificatory conventions discussed in my 1994 book
would begin to make more sense. I would like to thank Zdenek Skala in
particular for some really excellent posts.
------ Ken Kinman
P.S. And let me just add that if strict cladism hadn't been so headstrong
and determined to crush the opposition (and obliterate all traces of formal
paraphyly), such methods would probably have been fully developed a long
time ago. We have a lot of catching up to do, and strict cladists will have
to either help us do it or be left behind. Meanwhile, I have better things
to do, and I am not in the mood for another headache, so that's it for now.
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