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Re: Consistency index was Re: Clarification of scope of paleoart->uses



A problem with the CI is, why is it a more valid measurement when not
including uninformative characters than when so doing. We may say that
to set a standard. However, if we dismiss autapomorphies, we are
putting aside characters which are not homoplasious and may be
exaggerating the proportion of homoplasy relative to general change,
in case we are interested in some measurement of what proportion of
change is homoplasious for some evolutionary reason, which looks to me
as the better service the consistency index may give to science.
Besides, I was once told at a course by a programming cladist that CI
is senseless in comparing the merits of phylogenies, because homoplasy
exists, and the most parsimonious hypothesis is not less parsimonious
than others for showing high CI.

Regarding your aprehension for high CIs, it seems reasonable in cases,
but truly we have to know about the group and the characters employed
by other authors to differentiate between cherry-picking or an high CI
when not cherry-picking (if not it may be concluding from a prejudice
on particular authors).

Now, putting the autapomorphies in the matrix may also be good if not
publishing the matrix within a paper-published work (if someone is so
exigent as to complain about problems of space). In addition, at times
after re-checking you may make characters uninformative, and putting
them aside may imply the bother to change the number of the additive
characters (at least in TNT) and the character list text.