Posts Tagged ‘systematics’

Here’s an issue that’s been on my mind as I’m shuffling trees around from several concurrent phylogenetic projects.

The primary output from phylogenetics programs is tree diagrams depicting the relationships among organisms.  Very clean, very crisp, very precise diagrams.  Precision isn’t in itself a problem, but for the human foible of mistaking precision for accuracy.

I’m not interested in a precise estimate of evolutionary history so much as a correct one.  I’m reminded as much when I see my estimates change from one precise conclusion to another as I add more data from more species.   The razor-sharp output from the algorithms is seductive.

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