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RE: Challenge to Cking

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Posted by: emoneill at Sun Oct 5 16:16:23 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by emoneill ]  
   

>>There is a very simple answer to your question. It is: garbage in, garbage out. IOW, a tree is only as good as the characters that are used to construct it.

This hypothetical data set is better (more robust, contains less homoplasy, and has evenly distributed characters and therefore even branch lengths) that any real data set that has ever been published. So what is your point about garbage?

>>Evolution is history, and history can only be inferred, but not directly observable. Sometimes there just isn't enough available evidence to infer history with any degree of certainty.

Not in this case.

>>You can draw any tree you want and use it as a riddle of some sort, but at the end of the day, it makes no difference.

The difference it makes is proving you were wrong, which turned out to be pretty easy.

>>If you cannot determine whether a group is polyphyletic or paraphyletic using the available evidence, then you cannot claim that it is "not monophyletic".

Can and did. Do you think B and C form a monophyletic (holophyletic if you please) group? I don't. Can you tell me if they are para or polyphyletic? Nope.

>>Asserting what is not actually known is perhaps a favorite past time of the cladists and their supporters, but that is not what scientists do.

Not known?!? Its an example that I made up. I told you what the relationships were.
If you can't figure out what the monophyletic groups are then you don't know how to read a tree.

>>If you want to speculate on the phylogenetic status of a particular group of organisms, then feel free to do so. Just don't call it science.

Speculate? LOL. So now it is speculation to identify taxa as monophyletic or not by looking at the tree and applying the definition. LOL.


   

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