[Taxacom] Order Homoptera probably not paraphyletic after all

Kirk Fitzhugh kfitzhugh at nhm.org
Tue Feb 24 13:43:52 CST 2015

?Ad hoc maneuvers do seem to be a mainstay of systematics these days, 
rather than applying basic principles of rational reasoning.
"All that the requirement of total evidence says is that one's 
confidence in a hypothesis must be proportional to the support that that 
hypothesis receives from one's evidence...."?Neta, R. 2008. What 
evidence do you have? British Journal of the Philosophy of Science 59: 

On 2/24/2015 11:12 AM, Kenneth Kinman wrote:
> Dear All,                                 Many entomologists today regard Homoptera as paraphyletic, and therefore have dumped them in with the Heteroptera into an expanded Hemiptera sensu lato.  I never have liked this great expansion of Hemiptera to also include all the Homoptera, (and of course, it is not necessary if one considers paraphyletic taxa as natural and useful).                         In any case, a fairly recent paper (published a little over 2 years ago) was published in PLOS ONE which presents molecular evidence that Homoptera is probably holophyletic after all, and a sister group to Heteroptera.  They show that most trees actually show a holophyletic (strictly monophyletic) Homoptera, and that those few trees showing a paraphyletic Homoptera are skewed due to long branch attraction with outgroup taxa.                So for those of you who still use Order Homoptera and Order Heteroptera, instead of a huge heterogenous Order Hemiptera, I applaud you.  If Homoptera isn't paraphyletic, there is no reason for the paraphyly haters to over split (or in this case overlump) this perfectly good taxon.  Here's a weblink to the paper:
> http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0048778
>                     ------------------Cheers,                                                    Ken Kinman---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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