[Taxacom] Primates (was: burn out)

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Thu Apr 23 20:53:45 CDT 2009

Hi John,
       Well, relative stability is certainly one of my goals.  However,
it is secondary to the more important goals of usefulness and maximal
information.  As Richard Zander has often noted, strict cladifications
reflect only branching patterns, and therefore too often omit valuable
information of other kinds.  Sadly, strict cladifications are also
increasingly destabilizing, except in those cases where large
evolutionary gaps make strict cladifications more valuable (simply
because ancestor-descendant relationships are unknown, due to lack of
pertinent fossils). 
       Clearly there are many things to consider besides stability.  And
as you well know, controversies over what data is most phylogenetically
informative adds just another variable that one must consider.  All
these various uncertainties convince me that a paraphyletic Pongidae% is
best, and its relative stability is also a secondary, but valuable,

John Grehan wrote:
If 'stability' is your justification then perhaps you should group
tarsiers with other prosimians because that was the 'stable'
classification until it became 'unstabilized' by the haplorrhine

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