David J. Patterson
paddy at EXTRO.UCC.SU.OZ.AU
Thu May 5 06:28:40 EST 1994
RE: Paper by Cavalier-Smith
> Can anyone specifically tell me what they find inaccurate
> about his paper?
Inaccuracy assumes accuracy.
I have many disagreements with Tom's paper
(which I have communicated to Tom and have put into print - the latest
version will be in the Proceedings of the 9th International Congress of
Protozoology). However, my greatest objection is that it lacks a
rationale - an explicit purpose. The success of that purpose would then
be a measure of its 'accuracy'. Critics, like you or I, would have an
oppotunity to participate in the collective responsibility of achieving
If there was an explicit rationale to create a phylogenetically-based
cklassification, then one could point to the numerous groups which
contain organisms which differ so greatly in their organization that
close phylogenetic proximity is improbable (Opalozoa, heliozoa are two).
Similarly, if there was a phylogenetic basis, one might argue that the
elimination of paraphyletic clusters might make a more rational structure
- whereas here paraphyletic clusters are as frequent as polyphyletic
clusters. However, with this scheme the phylogenetic element appears
only to be implicit, and as long as this remains the case, it is not to
be criticised. It is merely to be observed as an historical artefact.
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