[Taxacom] Reproducibility of phylogenetic analysis

J. Kirk Fitzhugh kfitzhugh at nhm.org
Wed Jan 27 12:02:50 CST 2010


Cladograms as ends in themselves. One of the scariest realizations about 
systematics I came to a while back. We engage in all sorts of arm waving 
to get branching diagrams by contradictory methods, publish the trees, 
and sit back. Then do it all over again, ad nauseum. Actually test any 
of those hypotheses? Pish posh.

Kirk

-- 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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
http://www.nhm.org/site/research-collections/polychaetous-annelids
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Richard Zander wrote:
> Interesting exchange here. It reflects the difficulty of checking
> results in systematics. If we could test a process against examples of
> the process, bob's your uncle. But only part of systematics is process
> (evolution) the rest consists of a series of one-time historical events
> (speciation events and the like). Evolution we can test, with
> difficulty, as a process, but cladograms and phenograms are usually
> treated as things in themselves, the ends of analysis.
>
> *****************************
> Richard H. Zander 
> Voice: 314-577-0276
> Missouri Botanical Garden
> PO Box 299
> St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA
> richard.zander at mobot.org
> Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/
> and http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm
> Modern Evolutionary Systematics Web site:
> http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/21EvSy.htm
> *****************************
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Dick Jensen
> Sent: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 6:54 PM
> To: Stephen Thorpe
> Cc: Bob Mesibov; TAXACOM
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Reproducibility of phylogenetic analysis
>
> Gosh, Stephen,that sounds amazingly like the criticisms of phenetics
> that lead (in part) to the cladistic revolution - too many ways to
> determine similarity and find clusters.
>
> The more things change, the more they stay the same!
>
> Dick J
>
> Richard Jensen, Professor
> Department of Biology
> Saint Mary's College
> Notre Dame, IN 46556
>
> tel: 574-284-4674
>
>
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