basic behavioral systematics (once again!)

kuento at kuhub.cc.ukans.edu kuento at kuhub.cc.ukans.edu
Fri Apr 26 22:20:05 EST 1991


Hello again (for those who have read my previous request for opinions)

As I had previously stated, I will post the paper that emerges from
this discussion (as well as the concomitant literature search
material) as soon as I am through with revisions.

I have another question re: behaviors and cladistics, this time having
to do with basic methodology in systmatics not just behavior.-- 

That is: traditionally, systematicians have looked for those
characters that they view as being completely (or nearly so) from the
force of natural selection.  The reasons for doing this are unclear to
me (if you think you have a good feel for this, please let me know)
but i think they have to do with wanting to separate the causative
agent of evolution from the process of evolution - in an effort to
avoid circularity??  However, in practice this is only weakly followed
at best.  Most systematists that I know have openly admitted that they use
whatever character that is most helpful.  

Including all of the aspects of an organism into the phylogenetic
analysis seems to me to be the only logical process.  After all,
evolution works on more than just the morphology.  In fact some would
say taht evoltion doesn't work on the morphology and tht what is
selected is the behviors that are performed with the morphology!

In brief my question is threefold:
	a) if the characterization of the traditional approach to
		character selection appropriate?

	b) if so: why is it thought that the separation of the causes
		from the process necessary?

	c) lastly, how does this philosophically affect someone who
		desires to include behavior into their phylogeny?
		-does it mean that we should look for behav. patterns
			that presumably evolution doesn't act upon?
		-if so, how can we characterize those patterns that
			are immune from evolution's action?

Please respond to me directly, as well as to the board.  Thanks in
advance for your interest, it is highly appreciated!

Jim D-B
------(please include "JDB" in subj header of mail to this user)------
Jim Danoff-Burg     (Snow Museum, Univ. of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045)
Bitnet: KUENTO at UKANVAX     "Myrmecophiles-R-Us"



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