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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.