Traits and/or states

E. Parmasto e.parmasto at ZBI.EE
Fri Oct 31 23:35:40 CST 2003

In a good data matrix of (morphological) characters, what we call
"character states" are actually not different states of one character, but
homologous (characters). Sometimes one of the "states" is apomorphic
and another plesiomorphic; in this case they are very useful for a
phylogenetic-taxonomic study. Sometimes there are no apomorphies,
and then we are appending phenetic noise to our analysis. Usually we
do not know, what they are (and are the "states" homologous at all?);
this is best for our computing: no distrust, no dobts, no suspicions
about the resulting phylogeny reconstruction / classification.
   Erast Parmasto,
   a cladist

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