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Re: Morpho v molecular (was Re: Tinamous: living dinosaurs)
The signal/noise ratio is more interesting than the absolute amount
of signal for easy calculations of branch support ("easy" maning
those that only consider the best-supported pairing and not
"almost-as-good" alternatives). IF you compare the support for ALL
POSSIBLE sisters of one branch, then indeed the signal should
conspicuously add up. But if you don't, adding noise simply increases
support for alternate (non-most-likely/-most-parsimonous) sisters but
you won't know which, while decreasing support for the most
likely/most parsimonious one.
Isn't this already how bootstrap, for example, works? In particular,
have a look at the table that PAUP* puts out under the bootstrap tree.
It lists all groupings that occur in 5 or more % of the trees. Sometimes
there are surprises in there.