Ken Kinman comments on tracks

Tom DiBenedetto tdib at OCEANCONSERVANCY.ORG
Mon Jul 1 14:41:39 CDT 2002

John R. Grehan wrote:
> This is the possibility of reciprocity between the insights of biological
> analysis of characters and the consideration of spatial characters.
> According to some there can be no such reciprocal interplay because it is
> 'circular' and the source of all phylogenetic insight comes from biology
> alone.

I am not sure what you are getting at here. I don't think that anyone, including
cladists, would object to a re-examination of their character-based phylogeny if that
phylogeny indicated sister-group relationships that are geographically bizarre. Such a
re-examination however would entail a more-careful examination of the character
evidence, an effort to discover new characters, or perhaps a broadening of the scope
of the analysis with the inclusion of more taxa. It would not admit "non-biological"
evidence into the analysis, because all phylogenetic insight does indeed come from
the evidence of heritable characters (what you mean by "biology", I presume).
Is it the position of panbiogeographers that spatial distribution patterns should be
allowed to influence the outcomes of phylogenetic analyses?

Tom diBenedetto

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