[Taxacom] Felsenstein lecture available on-line
jgrehan at sciencebuff.org
Thu Dec 4 20:29:12 CST 2008
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Dr. David
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2008 1:31 PM
> Occasional convergence, reversion, orotherwise misleading results are
likely to occur with any character,
> molecular or morphological.
Its reassuring to see this kind of statement.
> Molecular data are especially vulnerable to errors from
misidentification, contamination, etc., which
> must be in mind if an unusual result appears.
Cheers, cheers. That's more than most molecular systematists are willing
to admit. But what is an 'unusual result'? Perhaps the chimpanzee-human
molecular similarity is the unusual result given the lack of
> Aligning or at least checking alignments by hand is a valuable way to
catch anomalous sequences,
> whereas feeding raw sequences into an analysis that internalizes the
homology model makes anomalous
> sequences easy to overlook.
In practice the trouble with checking alignments by hand is that no one
(at least of the papers I have seen) bothers to specify how they make
their personal alignment decisions, just give the results. So there is
no predictability to their hand method. Voodoo systematics rears its
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