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Evolutionary taxonomy

The current brushing of cladistic techniques gives me an opportunity to pose a 
question I have had for a while now.  In a hypothetical lineage, Species A 
evolves into Species B, which subsequently splits into Species C and D.  A 
cladigram might look something like this:

          A              B      C     D
           \              \       \   /
             \              \       V
               \              \   /
                 \              V
                   \           /
                     \       /
                       \   /

How would one be able to go from this grouping of species, into a sense of the 
evolutionary history of the group?   Could one reconstruct the lineage of the 
group from this diagram?

Believe me, I am not trying to reflame the Clade Wars.  I simply wish to 
understand the dynamics of how Cladistics work.

Rob Meyerson
Orphan Vertebrate Paleontologist

"Keep your stick on the ice!"
        -Red Green