[Taxacom] To clade or not to clade

Derek Sikes dsikes at ucalgary.ca
Wed May 24 08:14:51 CDT 2006

As I understand it Parsimony is an optimality criterion that one can  
use to rank trees that have been built by any number of clustering  
methods. It is not, therefore, a clustering method, it is only a  
method of scoring trees...


On May 24, 2006, at 6:08 AM, Richard Zander wrote:

> I went to a meeting of the Classification Society and took the pre- 
> meeting cluster analysis tutorial. At question time, I asked the  
> guys running the tutorial (the then president of the Society, and  
> Pierre Legendre) if they thought maximum parsimony was a clustering  
> technique.
> They looked at each other disconcertedly, mumbled, then allowed as  
> how, yes, it was. I did get the feeling that they were indulging in  
> some hegemonizing, but they have a point. Cladograms are not  
> ultrametric, but certainly cluster. Given the many kinds of cluster  
> analysis (compare k-means), why not?
> ******************************
> Richard H. Zander
> Missouri Botanical Garden
> PO Box 299
> St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA
> richard.zander at mobot.org
> Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/
> and http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm
> For FedEx and UPS use:
> Missouri Botanical Garden
> 4344 Shaw Blvd.
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> ******************************
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Barry Roth [mailto:barry_roth at yahoo.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, May 23, 2006 11:49 PM
> Subject: [Taxacom] To clade or not to clade
> I have heard (and used) it in discussions with pals and colleagues  
> -- generally in situations where the rules of formal syntax and  
> diction were, er, relaxed.  But it is a good word ("taxon A clades  
> with taxon B in this cladistic analysis"), on the model of "taxon C  
> clusters with taxon D in this cluster analysis."  Cladistic  
> analysis is not a clustering procedure, so it is incorrect to use  
> the verb "to cluster" in that context.  I also like the word (did I  
> coin it, or just dream that I did?) "concladal" -- meaning,  
> obviously, "belonging to the same clade."  It follows the model of  
> "congeneric" and "confamilial" but without attribution of any  
> particular taxonomic rank.
>   Barry Roth
> Don.Colless at csiro.au wrote:
> Dear Ken,
> You have, I think, just created linguistic history. I'm not aware  
> of any previous use of the verb "to clade". As Dr Johnson might  
> have said "A good word, Sir".
> Don Colless,
> Div of Entomology, CSIRO,
> GPO Box 1700,
> Canberra. 2601.
> Email: don.colless at csiro.au
> Tuz li munz est miens envirun
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Derek S. Sikes, Assistant Professor
Division of Zoology
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2N 1N4

dsikes at ucalgary.ca

phone: 403-210-9819
FAX:  403-289-9311

"Remember that Truth alone is the matter you are in Search after; and  
if you have been mistaken, let no Vanity reduce you to persist in  
your mistake." Henry Baker, London, 1785

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