Lucy in Newsweek

Thu Apr 1 11:07:04 CST 2004

In a message dated 4/1/2004 7:40:24 AM Pacific Standard Time,
jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU writes:

> Inasmuch as current methods include the very same methods used for
> morphological cladistics, I would rather infer ignorance on his part than
> stupidity

I admit that it has been some years since I did morphological cladistics but
I don't see where they use the "very same methods" as molecular cladistics.
Morphological cladistics produced cladograms based on synapomorphic characters,
and clades were identified by apomorphic characters. Molecular cladograms are
based on overall similarity of sequences and cladograms are constructed on
clustering of similarity coefficients. All of which looks like the "very same
methods" that I used when I started out doing Numerical Taxonomy.

If molecular methods weren't a form of phenetics, why is it necessary for
sequence substitutions to be clock-like. The assumption of clock-like change is
necessary for phenetic studies, not morphological cladistics.

Herb Jacobson

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