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Re: Some thoughts on cladistics



In a message dated Thu, 1 Nov 2001  4:59:27 PM Eastern Standard Time, "Ken 
Kinman" <kinman@hotmail.com> writes:

>      At the risk of "oh no, here we go again", I like the example of 
> classifying Emperor Charlemagne, his siblings, and other "close" relatives 
> in a paraphyletic group.  Weren't members of this family closely related (in 
> some ways to the exclusion of their distant descendants in the present day)? 
>   Being one of Charlemagne's descendants myself, 

Hey, me, too!

should I consider myself 
> more closely related to him than he was to his own brothers and sisters?  

Perhaps not.  That's kind of a judgement call.  But we also need to classify 
*you*, and you unquestionably belong with Charlemagne, to the exclusion of his 
brothers and sisters (assuming you are not also descended from any of them, a 
problem which, mercifully, does not arise in vertebrate taxonomy).

--Nick P.