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RE: Challenge to Cking

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Posted by: emoneill at Sat Oct 4 14:55:02 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by emoneill ]  
   

>>Okay Cking, I have a final challenge for you. Tell me whether B and C form a paraphyletic or polyphyletic group in this example:
>>
>>The relationships among the taxa are ((A,B)C)(D,E). The character matrix is:
>>
>>A - 000
>>B - 111
>>C - 111
>>D - 000
>>E - 000
>>
>>Lets assume that 1000 other characters support the above relationships perfectly (i.e. no homoplasy), so the relationships are not ambiguous.>>

>Those 1000 characters are meaningless without knowing what they are. They >could be symplesiomorphs, or they could be synapomorphs or they could be >homoplasies (convergences, parallelism or reversal) or a mixture of different >combinations of these types. A naive cladist may be impressed by the claim of >1000 similarities, but I am not.

They could NOT be symplesiomorphies because symplesiomorphies are not informative about relationships and I clearly stated that the characters support the relationships above (i.e. they are informative). Did you miss the phylogeny above?
Also they could NOT be homoplasies, I told you there are no homoplasies, see above. That only leaves 1000 synapomorphies, not just similarities. You do know that it means for a character to "support" a phylogeny don't you?

I won't waste time commenting on the rest of your response because you could not even understand the example. Feel free to try again though. I'll try to make it easier to understand: of the 1000 synapomorphies, 10 are autapomorphies, 2 for each OTU (I had not thought to have any in the original example but we can add them now. Frankly it does not really matter if they are here or not but I don't want you to try to weasel out of this on some technicality) . The rest are evenly distributed on the more basal branches on the tree. For example 330 support A as sister to B, 330 support A B as sister to C, and 330 support D sister to E. We can assume A-E form a monophyletic group. Again there is no homoplasy, all the characters actually support the relationships as described (except the autapomorphies which are uninformative about the phylogeny). There are no symplesiomorphies. Here is a diagram of the tree in case you are having trouble understanding what ((A,B)C)(D,E) means.

A B C D E
|__| | |__|
|___| |
|_____|

You can clearly see that A B and C form a monophyletic (or holophyletic if you please) group. Please tell us how to determine if B and C form a para or polyphyletic group.

Just to referesh your memory this challenge is in response to a statement you made.

Cking wrote: " If you do not know whether it is polyphyletic or paraphyletic, then you also do not know whether it is monophyletic or not. Hence a cladist cannot claim that he/she knows anything in such a case. To then suggest that such a group is "not monophyletic" is to assert what is not actually known. "

I believe I have clearly proven you wrong, but if I am mistaken please explain.


   

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