Phyly

Barry Roth barry_roth at YAHOO.COM
Thu Nov 11 16:41:53 CST 2004


--- "Dr. James Adams" <jadams at EM.DALTONSTATE.EDU> wrote:

[...]
>          I would, however, have a real problem recognizing and working with
> a group that is a known polyphyletic group -- anything that includes taxa
> that are not true sister taxa (includes the ancestor) is completely
> misleading.  Any group/group name should indicate some evolutionary
> relatedness.

I take it that "working with" largely means making predictions about the
possession of yet unobserved or undiscovered character-states in individual
taxa that are members of the study group.  Because of the fact of organic
evolution, membership in a holophyletic group gives the best hope for being
able to make such predictions correctly.  Paraphyletic groups may not be much
worse, but certainly polyphyletic groups are likely to be misleading in this
respect.  Are there other kinds of "working with" groups where holophyly is
especially helpful?

Barry Roth




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