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Re: More on the genus problem
As far as I know, a "transformed" cladist would think it different.
So what? Are there any such people left in the world? :-)
Although the phylogenetic tree may be appreached with cladistic
methodology, we have no certainty that parsimony prevailed in
1) That's why maximum likelihood and Bayesian analysis -- extensions of
parsimony that take more factors into account -- were developed. Indeed,
parsimony is more prone to long-branch attraction than they are.
2) However, parsimony fares better in simulation studies when the speeds
of evolution of too many different nucleotides are different
3) Also, parsimony doesn't have a problem with missing data as long as a
few informative cells remain, while likelihood and Bayesian analysis run
into great trouble according to a simulation study in the Systematic
Biology issue of February.
As far as I understood, we use parsimony because the resulting scheme
have maximal information content.
I don't see how a cladogram produced using parsimony contains more
information than one produced using likelihood or Bayesian analysis. But
these didn't even exist yet in 1979. I bet Farris was talking about how
a phylogenetic tree contains more information about phylogeny than a
classification does... which is... like... not surprising.