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Re: Morpho v molecular (was Re: Tinamous: living dinosaurs)



A priori, we should fairly consider morphological and molecular
characters the same, because of being evidence-bearers. In this case
we can say the molecular data matrices bear a great advantage in being
based on more evidence. But, running the total evidence matrix would
say what present evidence supports, and not aprioristic dismissal of
each type of evidence. Regarding the complication of evolutionary
rates for molecules, one may follow Farris in considering that
calculation of rates of change can only be performed on the basis of
given  phylogenies, and thus should not be used to construct the
phylogeny on the first place.