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RE: Occam's Bull



I posted this last night, but it apparently didn't get through... So, here it 
is again.



Steve Brusatte writes: >> We all know (or we should) that cladistics is not 
foolproof. << 

Ummmmmm........... Sure we do. 

Steve Brusatte writes: >> But, what tool do you suggest we use?   Linnean 
ranks? The I-think-so-because-I'm-an-expert method?  Should we abandon 
phylogeny? << 

Did this possibly pass you by? 

Kris writes: > Cladistics, we believe, are a great tool to help us sort out the 
mess, but they are still in their infancy. < 

Where in that sentence was it said to look for another method??? 

Steve Brusatte writes: >> Every researcher is going to differ on his or her 
choice of characters and his or her interpretation of those characters.    
That's human nature, and it is never going to change.  No matter how impartial 
scientists (or jurors or anyone for that matter) want to be, there will always 
be personal biases that come into play........ Scientists, as humans, will 
always, whether intentionally or not, let personal subjective opinions enter 
their analyses. << 

Well... It's good to see that you agree... But... What was it that you 
disagreed with again??? Oh yeah... This: 

Steve Brusatte writes: >> Okay, fine. Agreed.  But, what is your recommendation 
to better this problem?......... This method isn't perfect, but what is your 
alternative? I don't have one. << 

That is so odd... Where was YOUR suggestion again?... I must have missed it.    
Oh yeah... You didn't have one... But you sure felt the need to point out that 
I didn't have one either... even though I never said we needed a completely new 
method to begin with. 

But hey... It wouldn't be me if I didn't offer my two pennies worth now would 
it?... So, since you asked, here is just a mild suggestion... 

Let's  Remember to run the traits with the reversals-way of, true to reality, 
para and covergent etc, way that evolution goes about its normal, every day 
business. 

Oo! Oo! And lets not forget to take development into account... As in the now 
you see it... now you don't way, that traits develop in an animal. 

Let's also not forget isolated mutation in either individuals, or in small 
populations, that are simply odd ball events. Digit variations and wormian 
bones... just to name two that we see all the time... come to mind. 

Now... If only we can get our hands on a supercomputer that can handle 
it............. 

Kris