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Re: Juravenator; or How not to perform a phylogenetic analysis

On Thu, 16 Mar 2006 20:59:55 +0100 David Marjanovic
<david.marjanovic@gmx.at> writes:

> > The solution to this problem?  Stop pressuring those who's 
> specialty is
> > something other than cladistics to include cladistic phylogenies 
> in their
> > papers.

> The solution to this problem? Get yourself a coauthor who knows how 
> to 
> conduct a phylogenetic analysis and has done that before as a 
> publication in 
> its own right. Such as... judging from his work on birds... Chiappe 
> himself. 
> ~:-|

Yes, that would be another option. ;-)

BTW:  I'm not claiming that the authors of _Juravenator_ were somehow
"pressured" into including a cladistic analysis in their paper.  They may
well have wanted the phylogeny of the animal to be the main emphasis of
their thesis.  But I've heard of other authors who *have* been pressured
to do so.

My comments were not intended to be anti-cladistics.  However, to assume
that every member of, for instance SVP, must be an expert on cladistics
before they can publish on a taxon, would be unfair.  It would also be
unwise.  Some paleontologists would be "bad" at doing cladistics, while
others would be "good" at doing it.  The resultant scientific literature
would become cluttered with a mish-mash of both useful cladograms and
garbage cladograms.  That may be the present situation! (sensu Mickey
Mortimer's earlier comment).  But it would only get worse if cladistic
phylogeny were required for *all* published research on taxa.

Not all ice skaters can do a quad.  It's not required in competition. 
The ones that can do a quad should go for it.  The other's can do their
own thing (and may still win the competition).