[Taxacom] Molecular data and synapomorphies

Richard Zander Richard.Zander at mobot.org
Wed Dec 3 16:05:51 CST 2008

Alan Forrest wrote:
"Further, from Richard Zander's comments, it is clear that there still
exists an unproductive split in opinion between molecular systematists
and their more 'traditional' counterparts. It is reminiscent of
phenetics vs. cladists, horticulture vs. science depts in botanic
gardens, barcoding vs. the loss of field systematic expertise etc etc."

My comment:
Yes, and only recently has there been much of an outcry. Like the cow in
the Larson cartoon: "Hey! This is grass. We've been eating grass!" The
only way one can deal with this split is to offer a third way, a
combined method to produce a better product.

Total evidence is not that, since we are combining in one analysis
molecular data on genetic continuity with morphological data from
studies searching out conservative probably selectively linked traits.
Combining apples and orangs give cole slaw. 

I (and Jimmy Carter and the Dahlia Lama) recommend my syncretic method
as a possible third way:


Richard H. Zander 
Voice: 314-577-0276
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

More information about the Taxacom mailing list