[Taxacom] Monophyly is testable?

Curtis Clark jcclark-lists at earthlink.net
Sat Apr 4 23:08:47 CDT 2009

On 2009-04-04 16:02, Bob Mesibov wrote:

> +1. I wonder how much of the systematics stoushes over the years have
> arisen because at the back of some participants' minds is the belief
> that there's One True Tree and that the real goal of systematics is to
> reveal it in all its (completely illusory) glory.

I don't think it is unreasonable to take as axiomatic that there is a 
single evolutionary history of life on Earth (in contrast to parallel 
histories, or only the illusion of history). I don't think it is 
unreasonable to seek to know that history. True, it may not be entirely 
(or even usefully) characterized as a tree, and it may not ever be 
Knowable (with the capital "K"), but I don't think it's illusory.

Curtis Clark                  http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark/
Director, I&IT Web Development                   +1 909 979 6371
University Web Coordinator, Cal Poly Pomona

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