[Taxacom] Antw: Re: Information quantity and decision making / phylogeny
pierre.deleporte at univ-rennes1.fr
Tue Aug 14 06:59:27 CDT 2012
Hi Kirk and Peter
I suggested "improving the explanandum"
(improving our representation of "Life" in order to figure out the "tree
but what is "Life"? a fragment, a sample, or ideally all of it?)
it was many yars ago, a talk is some WHS meeting...
Le 13/08/2012 22:14, P.H. HOVENKAMP a écrit :
> A few questions.
> Isn't it customary to discard a hypothesis only in favour of a better one, not just in favour of another one, if that happens to come along?
> If we accept your "new sets of phylogenetic hypotheses" instead of the old ones, dont we, in other words, consider them "better"? If only because they account for the additional data.
> On any other point of view, is there any point in accepting the new ones instead of sticking stubbornly to the old ones?
> Peter Hovenkamp
> Op 08/13/12, Kirk Fitzhugh schreef:
>> The addition of more and more character data does not 'improve a
>> phylogeny.' What new observations are subsequently included simply lead
>> to new sets of phylogenetic hypotheses that replace the previous. The
>> notion of consistency cannot be applied to the type of inferences we
>> use, contra the old 'maximum likelihood' point of view. 'Improving' a
>> hypothesis, i.e. empirically assessing it's explanatory abilities, comes
>> by way of testing; something virtually never done in systematics.
>> Good luck tackling taxonomic sufficiency, and all the attendant problems
>> that lie beneath the surface.
>> 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
>> On 8/13/2012 7:14 AM, Fabian Haas wrote:
>>> Dear All,
>>> hope this email finds you well. I am currently writing a paper on water
>>> quality and taxonomic sufficiency, i.e. which taxonomic level of id is
>>> sufficient to actually make an appropriate rating of the water quality
>>> and even decision making in the end. The topic comes up with DNA
>>> Barcoding, and the time you spend to have an id, which goes then into
>>> water scoring.
>>> Now, I do have some papers on Taxonomic Suffiency, but would attack the
>>> problem from another side, namely in more general terms: if more
>>> information really gives rise to better decisions, or if we get
>>> overloaded with interesting but in the end useless information. I did
>>> find a few older papers in scholar.google.com (up to 1990 that seems to
>>> be a hot topic) and the like. But I am sure there is more: i would
>>> expect that this problem has been looked at also in the perspective of
>>> phylogeny with the advent of molecular sciences. Did this more of
>>> information really improve the phylogenies (and what does improve mean
>>> I would be grateful if you could point me to some papers, or author
>>> names, technical terms, so I can dig further. Like in Taxonomy its all
>>> about having a name... PDFs are also welcomed (fhaas at icipe.org)
>>> best Fabian
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