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Sun Apr 10 17:33:32 EST 2005

"Let me first dispose of a simple matter of etymology.  Ashlock asserts
that "monophyly" has the root-meaning of "a tribe from one"... surely
"monophyly" from its roots, means just "the state of having or being a
single tribe" - compare it with monogamy, monotony etc. ... Ashlock seems
to be adjusting etymology to suit his thesis."

In fact, this rediculous etymology "from one", once refuted by Colless,
has NEVER since been restated in Ashlock's subsequent work as
justification of  his interpretations.

Ashlock states that his paraphyletic group (A-B) in his figure 2 has
"unifying derived characters" that were present in the common ancestor of
the group.  Coless asserts "But by definition, those are PRIMITIVE
characters with respect to that group; no doubt they will also be
"derived" with respect to some larger group, but unless the group is
specified, the term is vacuous... in this case, Ashlock cannot possibly
retain the word "derived"."

"In effect, then, Ashlock has simply issued a declaration of independence
from the awkward constraints of cladism by proposing that classifications
be based, simply, on patristic resemblance; and his description of that
process is the standard re-hash of intuitive, phenetic method,
_interpreted_ in evolutionary terms."

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