[Taxacom] Usefulness (and paraphyly discussions)

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Wed Dec 22 18:49:57 CST 2010

Hi Richard,
      Okay, I understand your arguments about the problems stemming from
phylogenetic analysis using only exemplars that are present-day taxa
(and skipping the theory part).  However, I don't understand how that
leads to the conclusion that ALL paraphyletic taxa are unnatural (see
your statement  below), or that a paraphyletic group is always going to
be synchronic.  I don't see how such blanket statements are true if some
workers do go beyond mere phylogenetic analysis (and don't skip the
theory part).       
Richard Zander wrote:         
      All paraphyletic taxa are unnatural. They are patterns of
relationships generated by nonultrametric cluster analysis. Scientists
should use the patterns to generate theories of natural processes and
base classifications on those. Not skip the theory part and classify
life by the patterns of relationships. That's unnatural. 

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