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Re: link



> what think about of this link? 
>  
> http://palaeo.gly.bris.ac.uk/dinobase/dinopage.html 
 
Pretty interesting, among other things because it leads to a page 
http://palaeo.gly.bris.ac.uk/dinosaur/supertree.html where the authors 
show that they know full well that some claims about the usefulness of 
supertrees are incorrect. Many thanks, Nico! 
 
>From there: 
 
"Is there any point in making big trees? 
 
 Supertrees are a key new way to summarise huge amounts of information and 
to give us a picture of current opinion - a kind of Domesday book. The 
methods are not just used to sort out dinosaurs, but any other groups of 
plants, animals or microbes. It's all part of the 'Tree of Life' 
programme, a large international effort to document all species alive and 
dead, and to find the one great evolutionary tree that links them all 
together." 
 
"'Tree of Life'" is a link to http://tolweb.org/tree/phylogeny.html. 
 
"Does it show us anything new about dinosaurs? 
 
No. Supertree methods are unlikely to come up with anything new since they 
are meant to summarise current knowledge." 
 
But then ("resolve" in italics)... 
 
"The supertree does resolve problems, and it will pick out the 
best-supported solution out of a number that may be available. So it can 
help settle arguments. 
 
What kind of arguments? 
 
 Well, for example, there is a running debate about the place of birds in 
the scheme of things. Our supertree shows once and for all (as if there 
was still any doubt) that birds are dinosaurus" (sic) -- actually, it 
doesn't even do that, because no tree with "avimorph thecodonts", crocs 
etc. etc. was included. 
 
Not that there was any doubt. :-) 

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