[Taxacom] Ashlock on "The Uses of Cladistics"

Ken Kinman kinman at hotmail.com
Mon Mar 25 11:29:52 CDT 2013

Dear All,
       I learned cladistics from Peter Ashlock at the University of Kansas back in the mid-1970s (just a few years after he coined the term holophyly).  I just ran across the abstract of a paper which he published in 1974 ("The Uses of Cladistics" in Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution & Systematics, Volume 5) which very nicely summarizes his views in a single paragraph, and also introduces a very fine paper:  

"The usefulness of cladistics derives from the fact that cladogenesis, the branching component of phylogeny, is a part of the theory of evolution.  I am an evolutionary systematist, a member of the Simpson-Mayr evolutionary school of systematics, which has profound objections, principally in the area of classification, to the cladistic or so-called phylogenetic school of Hennig (30). Nonetheless, I think cladists are quite right when they complain that their very real and important contributions to biogeography and to chronistics and coevolution have been ignored or seriously misunderstood. It is the purpose of this discussion to review and enlarge on these areas. Accepting the tenets of the cladistic school on biological classification is neither necessary nor desirable, but cladistic analysis is a prerequisite for an evolutionary classification."

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