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Re:Combined answer 1: cladistics
In a message dated 2/1/04 5:27:14 AM Eastern Standard Time,
<< Obviously it doesn't have a monopoly on accuracy -- or if it does, we can't
find that out, because to do so we'd have to compare cladograms to The True
Tree. But... what other scientific methods are there for phylogenetic
reconstruction? I know none. >>
Have you seen those studies (for example, Atchely & Fitch 1991, Hillis et al,
1992) where trees generated via cladistics were matched up with known
Of the 135,135 possible trees in Hillis et al, all five methods under
consideration (parsimony, Fitch-Margoliash, Cavalli-Sforza, neighbor-joining,
unweighted pair-group) predicted the true phylogeny.
Seems pretty darn accurate in those cases, at least!
Apologies to David for originally sending this just to him.