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AW: Notarium question
evelyn sobielski writes:
> > Like I said, you do the analysis to _discover_ whether this (and
> > other characters) have a single origin or multiple origins.
> > but over-emphasizing one "important" character to the neglect of
> > others that tell a different story.
> Indeed - and this is where the past experience shows it to get
> tricky: without a priori assumptions, it is often be impossible to
> decide when some feature (I do not say "character", because one
> feature may be one or several evolutionary characters) becomes
That is the whole point of cladistics: you don't have to make those
decisions. You just pour all your observations into the matrix and
let the computer sort it out.
(Not that I don't have my reservations about this; but that is for
> In the case of the notarium, looking at how it differs between
> falcons and flamingos for example could be helpful for character
> choice. (One can always hope for some non-notarial character to
> provide a counterweight, but if a notarial character can do the
> job, all for the better)
Sure -- but here you're talking about making two (or more) character,
or three or more states, on the basis of different _morphology_ rather
than because of your a priori ideas about phylogeny and character
optimisation. Completely different kettle of fish.
/o ) \/ Mike Taylor <firstname.lastname@example.org> http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\ "Is there a doctor in the fish?" -- Eric Idle, "Baron Munchhausen"