[Taxacom] Usefulness (and paraphyly discussions)

dipteryx at freeler.nl dipteryx at freeler.nl
Thu Dec 23 02:10:31 CST 2010


I can not claim to have a comprehensive enough grasp
of methodology to really appreciate Richard Zander's 
sense of humor, but this looks straightforward enough.
Presumably you are so primed to react to the word 
"paraphyletic" that in this case you neglected to take
care to read what he actually wrote?


-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
Van: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu namens Kenneth Kinman
Verzonden: do 23-12-2010 1:49
Aan: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Onderwerp: [Taxacom] Usefulness (and paraphyly discussions)
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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