[Taxacom] Paraphyletic species and paraphyletic higher taxa
jgrehan at sciencebuff.org
Tue Dec 14 12:16:30 CST 2010
Accurate in the sense that it denotes a phylogenetic group.
If the goal of constructing groups is to represent groups comprising all
descendants of a unique common ancestor then that ability would be
considered useful. If the goal of constructing groups is something else
then presumably usefulness would be defined in some other way.
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Richard Jensen
Sent: Tuesday, December 14, 2010 1:10 PM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Paraphyletic species and paraphyletic higher taxa
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
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
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