follow up on paraphyly / polyphyly

SKÁLA Zdeněk skala at INCOMA.CZ
Thu Nov 11 17:14:35 CST 2004

Agreed generally; on the other hand, it has probably little to do with the paraphyly/monophyly discussion. We should move beyond the simple statement "paraphyly is bad because Hennig told us" and discuss the pros and cons carefully.
All arguments given up to date against the paraphyly seem to be either internally inconsistent or missing a theoretical background. Perhaps I have overlooked some good argument(s) and will be happy to see one. In a case such discussion should start (again) I would ask all potential participants to read the past threads on this subject first - it would be useful not to discuss the same things again.

Best regards!
Zdenek Skala
skala at

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Schmitt [mailto:m.schmitt at UNI-BONN.DE]
Sent: Thursday, November 11, 2004 1:38 PM
Subject: Re: follow up on paraphyly / polyphyly

Dear colleagues,

At 10:56 11.11.2004, Zdenek Skala wrote:
>Michael Schmitt wrote:
> > 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.
>In my view, this is a pretty ideological posting. The discussion and
>solving of "problems" should come first and THEN we can decide about our
>adherence to Hennigian (or any other) system.

Of course, everybody is free to deem my posting as ideological.
Nevertheless, I uphold a view (obviously) opposite to that of Zdenek Skala:
I think, first we have to choose a theoretical background or frame, and
then we (can) decide on possible solutions to problems. In my opinion, it
makes sense only against a certain theoretical background or within a
certain methodological frame to discuss on "problems", since only after
having chosen a certain background we can recognise problems at all.

                                  Best regards
                                 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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