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RE: Challenge to Cking

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Posted by: CKing at Sat Oct 4 18:54:27 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by CKing ]  
   

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


   

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