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RE: Coelurosaurian phylogeny: model-based methods and parsimony
> From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] On Behalf Of
> David Marjanovic
> Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 10:01 AM
> > Despite this, some systematists are suggesting superiority of these
> > model-based methods over maximum parsimony based on, for example,
> > increased resolution
> Cynical interpretation of increased resolution: character conflict is hidden.
Not only cynical: informed, and scientific, answer.
This obsession on the model-based folks part over increased resolution is
something the rest of cladistics went through back in the late 1980s and early
1990s. But people have to get to grips with the fact that sometimes the data
are not decisive: sometimes we are honestly left with equally well-supported
mutually exclusive alternatives. That is okay, that is how Science works.
The next step should be to gather new data (new taxa, new characters,
reassessment of old taxa, reassessment of old characters, etc.) to refine the
Similarly, some people hold strict consensus trees in some holy esteem, instead
of acknowledging that like different map projections, each consensus tree
method has its positives and negatives but NONE contains all the information.
Consensus trees are METAresults, not results. The results are the large number
of output trees. There are multiple ways to summarize the data, but a lot of
people get confused and think that the strict consensus tree is actually the
result of the analysis.
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars
Mailing Address: Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Department of Geology
Building 237, Room 1117
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742 USA