More on the 'cladistics' of sequences

David Williams dmw at NHM.AC.UK
Mon Jun 14 10:09:15 CDT 2004

Brian Tindall writes: "The entries if [in] the matrix are data (phenotypic
or genotypic), unless you have treated them in some fashion."  I know of no
graceful way of commenting on this except to note that I doubt if any
scientist, let alone systematist (or even cladist), would subscribe to such
a point of view (data are data??).

Pierre, of course, continues not to get to grips with Cladistics but simply
cites numerical taxonomy papers as if they contain the last word, or even
some semblance of advance or relevant commentary. I wrote: "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."

Let's try and move on.


David M. Williams
Department of Botany
The Natural History Museum
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London SW7 5BD

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