[Taxacom] Paraphyletic species and paraphyletic higher taxa

Richard Jensen rjensen at saintmarys.edu
Tue Dec 14 12:09:36 CST 2010

John Grehan wrote:

"But the group would not be phylogenetically informative or accurate."

I don't know how we can assess phylogenetic accuracy - accuracy implies no error, or meeting a specified standard.  Given that we cannot know what the real phylogeny is, what standard is used to determine accuracy?

We also have to ask ourselves what we want the recognized group to convey.  That is, there is a notion of usefulness connected with any classification and while we may wish our classifications to be useful as explanations of phylogeny, we may also wish them to be useful for making predictions.  These two aspects of usefulness are not necessarily congruent.

Dick J

On 12/14/2010 12:49 PM, John Grehan wrote:
> But the group would not be
> phylogenetically informative or accurate.

Richard J. Jensen, Professor
Department of Biology
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Tel: 574-284-4674

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