Darwin (was: Phylogenetic evidence)

Barry Roth barry_roth at YAHOO.COM
Thu Jul 11 16:43:02 CDT 2002

The main point of my post was the potential silliness of casually mining historical literature to support positions on issues that may not even have been ripe for debate back then.  Hence the horns.
The only point in Ken's post I'm moved to take issue with is the notion that "[i]t's perfectly natural" is a justification for anything.  What we are accustomed to doing seems "natural" to us.  Seems to me that "it's natural" was the rubric of one of the more obnoxious schools of child rearing a few decades ago, and many little siblings who went unpunished after beating on their brothers or sisters were no doubt the happier for it.
 Ken Kinman wrote:Barry,
I detect no hint of any complaint (about ranks) in Darwin's statement.
Could this be wishful thinking on your part? :-)
Seems to me he is making a straightforward observation about how to
"express" differential anagenesis (different degrees of modification) in a
classification. And this can be just as true for molecular data as it is
for morphological data.
It's perfectly natural to give two sister groups different rank based
on different degree of divergence.

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