[Taxacom] paraphylophobia again

Barry Roth barry_roth at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 20 10:20:53 CDT 2009

How about finding one synapomorphy uniquely shared by Strepsiptera and a subgroup of Insecta?  I'm sorry, but the "search for a missing link" model below seems too limiting.  We estimate phylogenetic relationships of many (probably most) groups of organisms without having intermediates.  Indeed, intermediates present their own kind of taxonomic problem.  Without imputing any kind of superstitious outlook to Stephen, this reminds me of the demands of creationists for "transitional forms."
Barry Roth

--- On Sun, 7/19/09, Stephen Thorpe <s.thorpe at auckland.ac.nz> wrote:

The general problem is knowing when to stop and move on to something  
more productive. Take the Strepsiptera problem, for example. A huge  
amount of time and resources goes into trying to work out the  
phylogenetic position of Strepsiptera within Insecta, but it cannot be  
conclusively solved until a fossil is found which is half-way between  
a strep and something else.


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