[Taxacom] The difference

Richard Zander Richard.Zander at mobot.org
Sat Oct 27 15:48:42 CDT 2007

Rich:  Thanks for the follow up. I do think that the author of every paper that analyzes a combined morphology and molecular data set does make a decision on the number of apomorphic shared DNA bases implied by a shared apomorphic morphological trait, namely one. This could be wrong by two orders of magnitude. Even if a shared morphological trait were recognized as a surrogate for, say,only  10 shared molecular traits, the fabric of modern phylogenetic classification would necessarily change. 
1. Combined data sets would suddenly not swamp the morphological component, 
and if the data sets were not combined, then
2. morphological data sets would suddenly have high bootstraps and maybe statistically certain BPPs on branch arrangements. 
(Remember when "optimality alone" of morphological data sets was in vogue as justification for using cladograms in classification? Maybe we are back to puzzling over morphological cladograms.)


From: Richard Pyle [mailto:deepreef at bishopmuseum.org]
Sent: Fri 10/26/2007 6:21 PM
To: Richard Zander; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: RE: [Taxacom] The difference

I agree -- and the point of my message was to emphasize my agreement (though
maybe I didn't articulate it well). And, I'm not so sure there is a large
literature concerning this issue. 

My point was (like your point), that despite the fact that it should be
"obvious", very few people seem to treat it as such -- as your post


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Richard Zander [mailto:Richard.Zander at mobot.org]
> Sent: Friday, October 26, 2007 12:15 PM
> To: Richard Pyle; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: RE: [Taxacom] The difference
> Well, sure, Rich, I appreciate that I did not include an
> acknowledgement that there is doubtless a large literature
> glancing off this obvious fact. There is, however, no action.
> If morphological traits are surrogates for more than one
> molecular trait, there is certainly no mention, hint, or
> quibble about this in actual phylogenetic analyses of combined data.
> R.
> ******************************
> Richard H. Zander
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> ******************************
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-
> > bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Richard Pyle
> > Sent: Friday, October 26, 2007 4:31 PM
> > To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> > Subject: Re: [Taxacom] The difference
> > place
> > to use the word "epiphany" for something so obvious that any
> high-school
> > student with a grade of "C" or better in introductory biology should
> know,
> > but I think it representes a fundamental cognition of
> something we all
> > know to be factually true, but haven't quite itegrated it into our
> > mental abstraction of biodiversity to the point where it shapes our
> perspective
> > of
> > the world around us. I know that sounds largely like
> gobble-dee-gook,
> but
> > there is something real in there about interpreting the
> world in a new
> way
> > after putting an otherwise obvious fact into proper context
> (I had a
> > similar experience late one night the first time I saw the moon as a
> 3-dimentional
> > object floating in space, rather than a big disk).
> >
> > Aloha,
> > Rich
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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> > Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> > http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/mailman/listinfo/taxacom

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