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Re: Dinosaurimony (Re: Definitions...)



In a message dated 98-08-10 16:58:55 EDT, znc14@TTACS.TTU.EDU writes:

<< "The simplest explanantion which accounts for the most data
 with the least number of unsubstantiated hypotheses and unsupportable
 assumptions is the most likely to be correct." >>

Unfortunately, accounting for the most data, having the least number of
unsubstantiated hypotheses and unsupportable assumptions, and being the
simplest explanation are mutually independent, so a parsimonius hypothesis may
be impossible to formulate.

<<The use of parsimony in cladistics does not
invoke a particular characteristic of the process of evolution (or of
natural processes in general), it merely assumes that logical evaluation of
evidence can lead you to the true answer.>>

The use of parsimony in cladistics is simply one way to convert a character
matrix into a cladogram. Nothing more or less. Here is a character matrix,
here is the cladogram we get if we use parsimony analysis on the character
matrix. If you want to interpret the cladogram as some kind of phylogeny, or
want to use it to classify organisms, go right ahead--but beware.