The nature of cladistics [was: Whooper; Canadian geese split; paraphyly]

Ken Kinman kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Nov 18 08:20:28 CST 2004

I was responding to Curtis myself, but looks like Thomas beat me to it.  However, my response is from a somewhat different direction:

     Whoa!!  Looks likes you are comparing apples to oranges (or even to non-fruits).  At least Thomas is comparing two varieties of apples.  Evolutionary processes may not be uniform at all levels, but there is an evolutionary continuity that connects these levels.  Cosmology is very far removed in comparison.

     Even very large clades basically begin with a single species.  Of course that founding species might occasionally have been reticulate (e.g., the first species of eukaryote), but strictly cladistic classification ("cladification") has even greater problems dealing with reticulation.
              ----- Ken Kinman

Curtis Clark wrote:

on 2004-11-17 08:15 Thomas G. Lammers wrote:
> That to me is the saddest thing about cladistic methods for inferring evolutionary history: they seem so divorced from the population level phenomena that we know drive speciation.
They are divorced as well from community ecology, big-bang cosmology, or organometallic chemistry. I expect students to know that evolutionary processes are not uniform at all levels of organization; I believe I should be able to expect the same of my colleagues.
Curtis Clark

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