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Re: Cladism is not an inkblot

Quoting Nick Pharris <npharris@umich.edu>:

> One of my profs has been using a technique known as "clique analysis" to
> determine the phylogeny of Chinese dialects.  In this method, as he's 
> explained it, the favored tree is the one congruent with the
> distributions of the greatest number of characters.  Is anyone on the list
> familiar with this method, and can anyone give me a critique?

Clique analysis HAS been applied to phylogeny. AFAIK, it is not used (at least 
not widely) anymore. I do not feel qualified to summarize the reasons why, but 
if I add to the description, I think you might get the idea. I have always been 
taught that, contrary to the above description, clique analysis does not find 
the tree congruent with the greatest number of characters (such a description 
pretty much outlines the application of parsimony to phylogenetic 
reconstruction). Rather, it constructs a tree based ONLY on the larget SET of 
congruent characters. Thus, homoplaisy is eliminated from the matrix _a priori_ 
of analysis. If anyone can clarify this further, or tell us if I have 
misrepresented clique analysis, please speak up.

BTW: this topic is mentioned in Schuh's recent systematics text (sorry, I'm 
about to teach and I can't spare the minute to look it up). I  will not 
recommend purchase, but you may get some illumination there.