follow up on paraphyly / polyphyly

Michael Schmitt m.schmitt at UNI-BONN.DE
Thu Nov 11 10:06:40 CST 2004

Dear colleagues,

the discussion about meaning and consequences of paraphyly/polyphyly seems
a never ending story. In my opinion, the relevant information is already
given by Hennig in 1974: Hennig, Willi (1974): Kritische Bemerkungen zur
Frage "Cladistic analysis or cladistic classification ?".
Z.Zool.Syst.Evolutionsforsch. 12, 279-294 (English translation in 1975:
"Cladistic analysis or cladistic classification ?" A reply to Ernst Mayr.
Syst.Zool. 24, 244-256.

All the other, subsequent, definitions and considerations are either
non-Hennigian (roughly: non-cladistic) or just exemplifications or
reiterations of Hennig's arguments.

Thus, the primary question is, in my view, whether or not we aim at a
strictly phylogenetic (Hennigian) system. In case of yes, things are clear,
in case of no, the "problems" are irrelevant.

                         Greetings and best wishes
                              Michael Schmitt

* Prof.Dr. Michael Schmitt (Zoologischer Anzeiger, Editor-in-   *
* Chief; Bonner zoologische Beitraege, Editor-in-Chief)         *
* Zoologisches Forschungsinstitut und Museum Alexander Koenig   *
* Adenauerallee 160, D-53113 Bonn, Germany                      *
* Phone/Fax: +49 228-9122 286, e-mail: m.schmitt at    *
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