[Taxacom] dinosaurs and wolves

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Wed Oct 3 20:58:52 CDT 2012


But it seems to me that systematists make trees of one kind or another as a
systematic product. Anyway, you make my point, that the problem you see is
not just with cladistics, but with tree building in general.

'Causal understanding' is not necessarily any less vague than 'tree
understanding'

John Grehan

On Wed, Oct 3, 2012 at 8:24 PM, Kirk Fitzhugh <kfitzhugh at nhm.org> wrote:

>  I deny that our goal is to get 'trees.' Per the goal of science, we seek
> causal understanding of the phenomena we encounter. Vague understanding,
> sensu 'trees', isn't much of an accomplishment. ...K
>
>  On 10/3/2012 5:17 PM, John Grehan wrote:
>
>
> On Wed, Oct 3, 2012 at 4:00 PM, Kirk Fitzhugh <kfitzhugh at nhm.org> wrote:
>
>> Hi Pierre,
>>
>> Cladograms are nothing more than abstract devices that imply very vague
>> causal accounts of character origin/fixation in ancestral populations
>> and subsequent population splitting events.
>
>
>
>   But perhaps no more 'vague' than any other tree building device?
>
>  John Grehan
>
>
> --
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> 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.orghttp://www.nhm.org/site/research-collections/polychaetous-annelids
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>
>



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