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Re: Sci Am - present.



>At 09:08 PM 2/13/98 -0000, J. Jackson wrote:

>>Possibly the main opposition to BCF arises from the evidence of (for me,
>>bad) cladistics.  The obvious question now is "How can we tell how reliable
>>blind cladistics is ?"

By any of a variety of randomization tests, comparing cladistic procedures
against other methodologies.  They've also created artificial phylogenies
in the laboratory with viruses and checked reconstruction algorithms
against a known tree.  Based on these, parsimony is a reliable tool.
Likelihood methods, from these analyses, may be more reliable, but these
are model-driven and much more appropriate for molecular data.

Another response to this question lies in the argument of vox populi.
Science should not be run as a democracy, but ask yourself why the vast,
vast majority of systematic biologists today use phylogenetic systematics,
if it's so blind.



chris


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Christopher Brochu

Department of Geology
Field Museum of Natural History
Lake Shore Drive at Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL  60605  USA

cbrochu@fmppr.fmnh.org