[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

RE: Kileskus and Proceratosauridae

Re: "Monophyletic clade" as a tautology

  I think that while the point of it being brought up in the paper was 
interesting in itself (for example, why it wasn't brought up in a larger 
context, aimed specifically at violations of this argument) which is why I 
repeated the comments about it.

  It is true, in fact, that "monophyletic clade" may be a tautology, but this 
is in a strict use of "clade" based on the idea of such a structure as it was 
originally defined. Lately, the term "clade" has been coopted to refer to any 
structure of a tree that can be conceived without regard to a specific 
ancestor-descendant relationship. It could, for example, be used to contain a 
paraphyletic arrangement, and create a paraphyletic clade, which is hardly an 
inconsistent phrase as this has also seen print with few arguments taken 
against it. Is this then an example of an evolving terminology? Would it be 
consistent, then, to argue that "paraphyletic" and "clade" cannot be used to 
describe a singular structure?


Jaime A. Headden

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn
from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent
disinclination to do so." --- Douglas Adams (Last Chance to See)

"Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion 
Hotmail is redefining busy with tools for the New Busy. Get more from your