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Re: Unified Cladistics

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
>  Vertebrate Paleontologist
>Department of Geology  Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
>University of Maryland 

Wrote (snipped):
>The phrase "if that hypothesis is true..." is a bit inappropriate: Truth can
>only be known to omniscient beings (if any).  As beings of more limited
>scope, we can only partially sample Reality.  As such, all scientific
>observations (the distance to the Moon, the size of an atom, the refraction
>index of a particular mineral, the anatomical states in _Archaeopteryx_) are
>subject to further revision with new modifications.
>This I why I said that a cladogram "describes an hypothesis of the
>phylogenetic position of the organism".  It describes an hypothesis, rather
>than the True Phylogeny itself.

hmmm, I guess that's the difference between Oxford and Maryland, we tend to
think that we might be able to show that some things are true....example:
similarities between Loons, and Loon-like enantiornithines are due to
convergence rather than descent...