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

Curtis Clark jcclark-lists at EARTHLINK.NET
Thu Nov 18 21:53:45 CST 2004

on 2004-11-18 06:20 Ken Kinman wrote:
> Curtis, Whoa!!  Looks likes you are comparing apples to oranges (or
> even to non-fruits).  At least Thomas is comparing two varieties of
> apples.

I'm comparing trees and hypanthia. They are both apples, but a chainsaw
is a more appropriate tool for sectioning one than the other. (I'll
leave it to the reader to decide which, as I clean sticky pulp off my
monitor. :-)

> 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.

I suspect the cosmologists might disagree.

> Even very large clades basically begin with a single species.

Exactly. Species are the lower limit of phylogenetic study. We discover
paraphyletic species. We invent paraphyletic higher taxa.

Curtis Clark        
Web Coordinator, Cal Poly Pomona                 +1 909 979 6371
Professor, Biological Sciences                   +1 909 869 4062

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