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Re: Life Beyond the Cladogram
Wow. I don't even know where to start with Tony's post. I am overcome
with emotion at actually seeing so many words like "hypothesis,"
"testing," and "approaches" in a single post on this list. Having seen
similar comments to the ones he described from reviewers, I have to
pretty much agree with everything he said. I have often wondered why
systematics has become the single-minded pursuit of so many of us, when
there are so many additional, equally or more interesting and perhaps
important questions out there. Taking nothing from Paul's work (I think
his P3 paper published earlier this year is an absolutely marvelous work,
the scope of which made we want to go lie down for a while when I first
saw it), I also raised an eyebrow at the quoted statement in the
This systematic classification system is something that WE came up with
in order to try and make some sense out of the variation we see in taxa.
The animals were STILL there, doing their things, regardless of whether or
not we ever manage to correlate our system of classification with reality.
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