More on the 'cladistics' of sequences
dmw at NHM.AC.UK
Fri Jun 11 10:55:38 CDT 2004
I cannot claim to have read all the posts on this subject but it has been
with increasing frustration. Reciting what might be known, or assumed, or
understood has no ultimate bearing on the problem outlined by John Grehan.
In short, he has a very good point. What, if anything, are the entries in a
Most (all?) of the posts recite issues concerning methodologies, as if the
solution can ultimately be found in some form of numerical analysis.
Perhaps this is what leads Pierre, for example, to conclude that Some
cladists effectively rediscovered phenetics (Jaccard index). They belong
to some trends of the pattern cladistics school, which is not
evolutionary, thus you shouldn't bother if your own goal is phylogeny
inference, an assertion based on no evidence or published source, as far
as I am aware, and entirely of his own making. Efforts to substantiate one
methodology over another is ultimately pointless. Thus, for example, to
equate cladistics with parsimony methods is false.
Once we recognise that Cladistics is about relationships, the real
Cladistic revolution was the reform of palaeontology and that all numerical
methods are all inherently phenetic (because of the matrix and thus not
phylogenetic) will we be able to move on.
What, if anything, are the entries in a matrix?
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