[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: titanosaurs



In a message dated 12/3/02 10:41:58 AM Pacific Standard Time, 
TiJaWi@agron.iastate.edu writes:

<<  Therefore, there's no reason to sort characters
 into "major" and "minor" based on an intuitive notion of it's importance in
 evolution. >>

The whole notion of what constitutes a "character" is utterly subjective, 
which is one reason I consider cladistics as no better than any other method 
of doing taxonomy and phylogenetics. For example, why is "neural spines 
bifid" a character but "dorsal 1 neural spine bifid," "dorsal 2 neural spine 
bifid," "dorsal 3 neural spine bifid," and so on, are not (yet, anyway)?

Our best chance at doing something approaching accurate/real taxonomy is to 
consider character suites (whatever they might be), biostratigraphy, 
biogeography, and anything else we can think of, and see how they stack up 
against one another. That way we might be more able to catch the inevitable 
errors that occur when these data are considered separately.