Archaeopterygid bird from China

Karl Magnacca kmagnacca at WESLEYAN.EDU
Thu Mar 31 08:38:38 CST 2005

On 31 Mar 2005 at 17:41, Don.Colless at CSIRO.AU wrote:
> Much of what I've written above reflects my irritation when folk
> produce, say, a cladogram, and then go on about their "phylogenetic
> hypothesis", when it is perfectly clear that they are accepting it as
> gospel, and they continue to derive all sorts of RESULTS about, say,
> biogeography. There's an old term "mealy-mouthed" that I'm inclined to
> apply.

As someone who you would probably accuse of the above, I think the real
problem is people who read papers and accept the results uncritically.
You can only state that your own results are crap to a certain degree
before it becomes painful.  And if your phylogeny is reasonable and is
not likely to be improved on, then it's what you've got to go on for
biogeography and such.  Just because you don't have a perfect
phylogenetic hypothesis as your basis doesn't mean you should just
completely ignore it.

> Of course, I'm a grumpy old man.

Point taken.  Then again, I'm a grumpy young man, whose dissertation
ended up with a weakly supported phylogeny with almost no hope for

Karl Magnacca, USGS-BRD
PO Box 11, Hawaii Natl. Park, HI 96718
"Democracy used to be a good thing, but now it has
gotten into the wrong hands."   --Sen. Jesse Helms

More information about the Taxacom mailing list