[Taxacom] hominid challenge and Pavetta challenge

J. Kirk Fitzhugh kfitzhugh at nhm.org
Wed Sep 23 17:02:31 CDT 2009

It's useful to keep in mind that reference to 'total evidence' is not 
the same as 'the requirement of total evidence.'  While one might argue 
swamping as a reason to void the former, it can't be used against the 
latter, which is a maxim of rational reasoning, trumping any swamping 


Jason Mate wrote:
> Still haven´t read the papers you sent so I will limit myself to saying that ´total evidence´rarely (never say never) swamps a "real" signal. However, if one dataset has conflicting information (homoplasy) suboptimal trees, which are not that much longer than your optimal ones, may emerge. This is not necessarily bad (unless ones cherished node disappears, as has happened to me). In addition nobody (that I know of) equates a 3rd codon change from A to G with a wing vein appearing or disappearing. Still, there are plenty of morphological characters s.l. which are equally as minute, such as continuous characters. As for fossil evidence, I still don´t understand your opinion as there is no reason why it can´t be incorporated into your analyses, as has been repeatedly explained by others in TAXACOM.
> Jason
> P.D. I apologise for accidentally sending my last post twice with different headings. Technical error and vanity are to blame.

J. Kirk Fitzhugh, Ph.D.
Curator of Polychaetes
Invertebrate Zoology Section
Research & Collections Branch
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90007
Phone: 213-763-3233
FAX: 213-746-2999
e-mail: kfitzhug at nhm.org

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