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There seems to be a certain amount of rejection of non-cladistic methods
because they don't use character matices and tree algorithms, and on the
other side a certain amount of mistrust (?) of cladistics because it does.
Can anyone tell me what happens if you take the characters and weightings
used by a non-cladist and run them through a cladistics package? Do you get
basically the same end point? If yes, then the differences in the various
published cladograms vs non-cladistic classifications are presumably NOT
methodological but relate to the characters and weightings (which seems more
likely anyway to the casual observer like me). If, on the other hand, you
don't get basically the same end point, then it would seem worthwhile to
spend some time working out just why this happens.
Second question:- Much is made of the improvements brought about by
increasing the number of characters used in the analysis. Fair enough, but
given the type of material being used, the more characters you use and the
more specimens you use, the more 'missing data points' you generate. How
does cladistics deal with these missing points?