[Taxacom] cladistics (was: clique analysis in textbooks)

John Grehan jgrehan at sciencebuff.org
Wed Aug 17 07:28:22 CDT 2011

Since I live in the states I hear the conflation of refute and reject
quite often here. Perhaps it is as bad elsewhere, but I do not know.

The orangutan theory has not been refuted, no matter how many times Ken
may make that claim. There are a lot of people who believe that
molecular sequence similarity patterns refute the theory, but whether or
not that is the case has yet to be demonstrated. But yes, the theory is
rejected by the vast majority (of whomever). But then in the history of
science there is nothing necessary about the majority view in the
validation of science.

Like Ken, I sleep well!

John Grehan

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Kenneth Kinman
Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 10:50 PM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: [Taxacom] cladistics (was: clique analysis in textbooks)

Dear All,
      Gee, I am a fan of cladistic analysis (if done correctly), but I
never thought that ANY form of cladistics was "necessarily" correct (but
a lot that seemed better than John's, although admittedly I have seen
some that were worse, even at higher taxonomic levels, and thus more
detrimental and regretably sometimes accepted by far too many).

       As for some people having used "refuted" as a synonym of
"rejected", whoever they might be, I really doubt that they are
restricted to users of US language (as opposed to English language as a
whole or even other languages).  In any case, I predict an exclusive
orangutan-hominid clade will continue to be both refuted and rejected.
It has very clearly been "rejected" by the vast majority, but a small
minority still insists that it has not been "refuted".  Anyway, I'm not
going to lose any sleep over that one, but I am admittedly still
bothered by the question of whether chimps clade exclusively with
gorillas or with hominids.  Hopefully we will see some more informative
papers on that subject in the near future.     
      ------a user of "US language",
                           Ken Kinman                    
John Grehan wrote:
     Yes I am asserting that 'my' form of cladistics is necessarily
correct - or at least more correct or better than some others. And I
realize that I am sticking my neck out on that and perhaps setting
myself up for a fall - in which case the orangutan evidence will not
doubt be refuted (and I am not using that term as a synonym of rejected
as often occurs in US language). 


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