Poor Willi Hennig...

Mark Siddall mes at zoo.toronto.edu
Sun Sep 17 00:44:15 EST 1995

In article <43csbn$337 at nntp3.u.washington.edu> joe at evolution.genetics.washington.edu (Joe Felsenstein) writes:
>In article <43cdoq$71f at studium.student.umu.se>,
>Ludvig Mortberg <Agneta.Guillemot at historia.umu.se> wrote:
>>Molecular systematics has as see it done enourmous dagage to
>>phyologenetic research. It will take decades to recover from
>>the curse of it. Molecular systematics violates all concepts 
>>we have developed of how evolution happens and can be studied.
>>Evolution is descent by modification. There is no constant clock
>>in the genom that makes it possible to deduce relationships in
>>organisms just by comparing genes and seeing which sequences 
>>are most similar.
>... (and so on)
>>Don't belive trees of life drawn up from rRNA. You're all beeing
>>Willi Hennig would be turning in his grave if he knew how phylogenetic
>>research is conducted today.
>99% of the inferences in molecular systematics are made without
>any assumption of a molecular clock.   So Mortberg's "flame-bait" is
>just a "straw man".  Willi Hennig is ill-served indeed, having some
>followers who do not understand the methods they criticize.

You know... I agree wholeheartedly with Joe here..

>There is no point in having any big discussion of this unless
>Mortberg can explain how existing methods such as parsimony, distance
>matrix methods, and maximum likelihood assume a molecular clock.

Which none of them do. (Well, distance methods can ...).

>If he cannot then we must ask him why his rhetoric is so out of
>proportion to his understanding.

I'm just glad I am not the only acerbic wit around
In fact, I think Willi would be happy.  See "holomorphology" as a
All of the data all of the time.

Mark E. Siddall                "I don't mind a parasite...
mes at vims.edu                    I object to a cut-rate one" 
Virginia Inst. Marine Sci.                     - Rick
Gloucester Point, VA, 23062

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