[Taxacom] paraphylophobia again
Don.Colless at csiro.au
Don.Colless at csiro.au
Wed Jul 22 01:57:33 CDT 2009
In any case, what is a "conclusive" syapomorphy - per se, that is, not as bolstered up by many associated characters? And arguing about the divine nature of Willi Hennig is as fruitless as doing likewise for Jesus Christ? I must add that Hennig was a magnificent taxonomist before his Sherlock Holmes epiphany.
Donald H. Colless
CSIRO Div of Entomology
GPO Box 1700
don.colless at csiro.au
tuz li munz est miens envirun
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Stephen Thorpe [s.thorpe at auckland.ac.nz]
Sent: 21 July 2009 07:35
To: barry_roth at yahoo.com; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] paraphylophobia again
[Barry Roth] How about finding one synapomorphy uniquely shared by
Strepsiptera and a subgroup of Insecta?
[reply] What if (a conclusive) one can't be found? How long should we
keep looking? How much funding should we chew up in the process? How
many other productive lines of biological enquiry should we give up?
Let's all stop what we are doing and search for a synapomorphy linking
Streps to another group of insecta! :)
[Barry Roth] Without imputing any kind of superstitious outlook to
Stephen, this reminds me of the demands of creationists for
[reply] I am glad you are not imputing any kind of superstitious
outlook to me! The specifics of the Streps problem are what makes it
appropriate to look for fossil intermediates, for no other approach
has worked. You need to read up on recent literature on the topic,
Pohl, H.; Beutel, R.G.; Kinzelbach, R. 2005: Protoxenidae fam. nov.
(Insecta, Strepsiptera) from Baltic amber ? a 'missing link' in
strepsipteran phylogeny. Zoologica scripta, 34: 57-69.
Pohl, H.; Beutel, R.G. 2008: The evolution of Strepsiptera (Hexapoda).
Zoology, 111: 318-338.
In short: creationism sux, but so does science when it gets too
obsessed with answering intractable problems of phylogeny - so why
don't we reassess our priorities and do something relatively neutral,
like documenting the world's biodiversity? There are many hundreds of
undescribed beetles here in N.Z., for example, but at current rates
and trends, I fear that they will NEVER all be described...and all the
funding is going down the sinks of those for whom Hennig is God (or
Quoting Barry Roth <barry_roth at yahoo.com>:
> 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.
> Taxacom Mailing List
> Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> The Taxacom archive going back to 1992 may be searched with either
> of these methods:
> (1) http://taxacom.markmail.org
> Or (2) a Google search specified as:
> site:mailman.nhm.ku.edu/pipermail/taxacom your search terms here
This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.
Taxacom Mailing List
Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
The Taxacom archive going back to 1992 may be searched with either of these methods:
Or (2) a Google search specified as: site:mailman.nhm.ku.edu/pipermail/taxacom your search terms here
More information about the Taxacom