Predictivity vs Useful

Peter Stevens peter.stevens at MOBOT.ORG
Thu Feb 17 09:07:12 CST 2005

Indeed.  And I had already replied privately to Barry as follows:

>Absolutely!  But I can imagine a cynic's response - what about
>petiole anatomy (e.g.), what about flowers (which i could not look
>at for Peridiscaceae), etc.  But then one invokes yet other
>characters, and one might get involved in the molecules/morphology
>debate/polemics.  It is a grand life if you don't weaken.


>One must be wary of ascribing consilience to morphological traits that are
>discovered to happen to agree with molecular data when there exist possibly
>equal numbers of traits that do not agree (conformance rationalization) and
>support other arrangements. Jinking from one set of traits to another is
>okay if one set can be discounted in some way (e.g. statistically).
>Otherwise, the contrary sets remain to annoy.
>Richard H. Zander
>Bryology Group, Missouri Botanical Garden
>PO Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA
>richard.zander at <mailto:richard.zander at>
>Voice: 314-577-5180;  Fax: 314-577-9595
>Bryophyte Volumes of Flora of North America:
>Res Botanica:
>Shipping address for UPS, etc.:
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>St. Louis, MO 63110 USA
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Barry Roth [mailto:barry_roth at YAHOO.COM]
>Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2005 8:49 PM
>Subject: Re: [TAXACOM] Predictivity vs Useful
>Thank you.  I would say therefore that your two examples demonstrate well
>power of genealogy/phylogeny-based classifications to generate correct
>predictions.  It's particularly neat that the results from one data set
>(molecular) led to consilient results in another (morphological) set.
>--- Peter Stevens <peter.stevens at MOBOT.ORG> wrote:
>>  >Yes, of molecular data.
>>  P.
>>  >Peter,
>>  >
>>  >Were the new classifications (Plstyspermation to Alseuosmiaceae and
>>  >Soyauxia to
>>  >Peridiscaceae) based on phylogenetic analyses?  That is, were the
>>  >groups formed
>>  >by these (and related?) re-allocations hypothesized to be monophyletic?
>>  >
>>  >Best,
>>  >
>>  >Barry
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