[Taxacom] New systematics book
Michael A. Ivie
mivie at montana.edu
Sat Sep 7 18:10:25 CDT 2013
I was rebuked off list for engaging you with my posts on this topic with a
rejoinder about pig singing. Therefore, it seems this is not a discussion
that interests the group. I made a joke, you took it seriously.
To answer your questions, you do not need any response from the list.
Please read Systematic Zoology, 1975-1992; Cladistics 1985 to date, and
Systematic Biology 1992- to date, as well as books by Wiley and others.
Your points are exhaustively and repeatedly addressed therein, although
sometimes intemperately and even occasionally rudely. However, you
probably, actually surely, know all that -- you just don't want to accept
You simply don't like classifications constrained by monophyly. Sometimes,
neither do I, probably at times virtually everyone feels that way. Fine,
propose classifications that are not based thereon. No one will stop you,
but you will be criticized by some, and many will not use your
classifications, big deal. Suck it up and get back to work like everyone
However, this personal aversion of your does not require an entire book to
justify not liking monophyletic classifications. Preference is just that.
Just state you don't use monophyly. Do understand, however, your
aversion does nothing to negate the theory or operational methodology of a
minutely debated series of issues that led to something that is well
established to have given us a generation of fantastic progress in
understanding the evolution of life on earth.
P.S. birds are reptiles, get over it.
> I detailed two fatal flaws in phylogenetics, two calamitous
> clarifications of cladistics. You replied with a slogan, an assertion
> that "we" know all about my arguments, and can deal operationally quite
> fine with any problems. Operationally meaning, I suppose, purify the
> data from anything reflecting nonpseudoextinction, run it through the
> sister-group software, and change classifications based on the
> sister-group result.
> Can anyone on Taxacom address my two attributions of error in
> phylogenetics? Directly? Without regressing into nostalgia?
> Philosopher of science Lakatos, in his Research Program, averred that
> rarely must any scientist defend the fundamentals on which his or her
> research project is based. That "rarely" is now.
> Richard H. Zander
> Missouri Botanical Garden, PO Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA
> Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/ and
> Modern Evolutionary Systematics Web site:
> UPS and FedExpr - MBG, 4344 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis 63110 USA
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Michael A. Ivie [mailto:mivie at montana.edu]
> Sent: Thursday, September 05, 2013 6:33 PM
> To: Richard Zander
> Cc: mivie at montana.edu; Ken Kinman; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: RE: [Taxacom] New systematics book
> Hmmm, these arguments seem to me to be reminiscent of the logic
> (certainly not the specifics) of the Intelligent Design refutation of
> Evolution, in that the problems that supposedly negate Evolution are
> actually not problems to those who understand Evolution.
> I am a "regular taxonomist" certainly not a Big Science theoretician,
> and I don't see your issues as anything that we didn't know about all
> along, and can deal with operationally quite fine without regressing
> into nostalgia.
>> Expected comment, Mike. I got a review of a paper once that said "we
>> solved all these problems back in the 1980's." Really? The 1980's were
>> when regular taxonomists gave up and stuck their heads in the sand.
>> The cladists took over with their version of Big Science.
>> It has taken this long to work out that parsimony and other optimality
>> analyses only work with accuracy with pseudoextinction (dying
>> ancestor, two new species). The correct optimality for branching
>> analysis is that which makes the shortest (most likely, most credible)
>> tree given identified surviving ancestors and their daughter taxa
>> based on other information. This is merely, MERELY less precise,
>> correctly less precise and therefore with more uncertainty about
> evolutionary relationships.
>> It has taken this long to work out that molecular "lineages" are
>> molecular strains, and ancestral taxa in stasis generate lots of
>> molecular strains before and after generation of one or more daughter
>> species. The DNA continues to mutate in isolation while expressed
>> traits remain in stasis for millions of years. Molecular phylogenetics
>> gives precise sister group analyses of extant strains, not taxa.
>> Molecular paraphyly. What about extinct or unsampled strains? They
>> could have diverged molecularly long before or after any extant
>> strain. Oh, oh.
>> My stance is that the alternative to cladism must be addressed now,
>> even if you see it as 1980's stuff that you and your cladist fellows
>> way back in the day.
>> Richard H. Zander
>> Missouri Botanical Garden, PO Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA
>> Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/ and
>> Modern Evolutionary Systematics Web site:
>> UPS and FedExpr - MBG, 4344 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis 63110 USA
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Michael A. Ivie [mailto:mivie at montana.edu]
>> Sent: Thursday, September 05, 2013 5:34 PM
>> To: Richard Zander
>> Cc: Ken Kinman; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] New systematics book
>> Wow, it this had not just come in on a communication system not
>> invented then, I would think I was reading something from 1976! Is
>> this a 1980's theme party?
Michael A. Ivie, Ph.D., F.R.E.S.
Montana Entomology Collection
Marsh Labs, Room 50
NW corner of Lincoln and S.19th
1911 West Lincoln Street
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717
(406) 994-4610 (voice)
(406) 994-6029 (FAX)
mivie at montana.edu
More information about the Taxacom