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Re: How truncation works, and how ranks don't work was Re: Sauropodz r kewl

I discovered a similar magic command in Apple Mail -- Under View -->Message  
pick PLAIN TEXT ALTERNATIVE, and a legible form of the message appears. I had 
not thought of the possibility until it was mentioned, but it was sitting right 
there in the menu. I suspect other email software has similar options.

On Apr 19, 2012, at 12:37 PM, Robert Schenck wrote:

> On Thu, Apr 19, 2012 at 7:11 AM, David Marjanovic
> <david.marjanovic@gmx.at> wrote:
>> Am 18.04.2012 15:53, schrieb Robert Schenck:
>>>  On Wed, Apr 18, 2012 at 9:33 AM, Anthony Docimo <keenir@hotmail.com>
>>>  wrote:
> snip
>> What I do is press Ctrl+U, which shows the source text of the e-mail in a
>> new window.
> I'm just going to pretend that you cast some kind of conjuring spell to do 
> this.
> (but seriously thanks for the informative explanation).
> snip
>>>> all the extant organisms as closely related to the tuatara as mice
>>>> are related to muskrats
>>>  In a way we can do that, we can build a phylogenetic tree with
>>>  quantified branch lengths, calculate the length from mice to
>>>  muskrats, get a number, and then find all taxa at the same difference
>>>  from the tuatara. Now, given two researchers, they'll both produce
>>>  trees with different branch lengths and thus get different answers.
>>>  Hell given two researchers you'll probably get two different tree
>>>  topologies too!
>> And what do your branch lengths represent? The number of evolutionary
>> changes? That depends (to varying degrees) on the dataset you used even if
>> you used the same methods to calculate the tree.
> Well, it's kinda a silly exercise to begin with, but it seems
> reasonable. At least, insofar as your dataset and tree is valid, the
> conclusions would be valid. And it'd be a strange person probably who
> was able to examine mice and muskrats at the same level of detail as
> lizards and tuataras (in order to produce the dataset in the first
> place).
>> The age of the branch?
>> There we get into all the trouble of divergence-dating methods.
> What do you see as the troubles with divergence-dating? (not
> pretending it's perfect). Also for the purposes of our imaginary
> exercise, I think you'd want character change, not time. Of course
> combing the two lets us talk about changes in evolutionary rates, but
> that's a different matter.
> snip
>> Not "we have trouble", but "the category of subspecies has been defined in
>> several different ways, few of which are ever actually used, and some
>> species concepts make subspecies impossible...".
> snip
> Well, if you want to get all accurate, sure.
>> Yep, that was the idea. It would cause enormous upheaval if implemented, and
>> it would almost always assign identical ranks to several nested taxa*
> snip
> Interesting point, something like a Family Rank, nested within a
> Family Rank, something for the philosophers to ponder (a puzzle
> wrapped up in an enigma).
> -- 
> Robert J. Schenck
> Kingsborough Community College
> Physical Sciences Department
> S332 ph# 718-368-5792
> Follow Me on Twitter: @Schenck
> KCC Class Schedule on Google Calendar: http://tinyurl.com/mqwlcy