Create your own conference schedule! Click here for full instructions

Abstract Detail

Systematics Section

Zander, Richard [1].

Theory-based Alternative to Axiomatic Structuralism in Systematics.

1. Phylogenetics attempts an axiomatic quasi-mathematical foundation: (a) cladogram as fundamental pattern in nature (structuralism), (b) all non-data-set information mapped (relegated) to cladogram, (c) strict monophyly (a principle) eliminates non-axiomatic theory aspects of macroevolution, (d) explanation of paraphyly and polyphyly as "convergence" is the only explanation if analysis is axiomatic. 2. Phylogenetics as discovery process fails through inconsistency between analyses: (a) morphology and molecular analyses, (b) paraphyly and polyphyly on molecular cladograms, (c) classifications from synchronic and diachronic relationships. 3. Evolutionary theory allows consistency with only apparent loss in precision: (a) Alpha taxonomy based on informal genetic algorithms providing heuristic initial theory of relationships, (b) Morphological phylogenetic analyses provide natural keys (based on conservative homologous traits whose similarity implies close evolutionary relationships), (c) Molecular phylogenetic analyses provide genetic continuity and isolation events but not necessarily speciation, (d) Heterophyly within molecular and between morphological and molecular cladograms is informative of deep ancestral taxa, and (e) Dollo's Law and biosystematics provide additional data to help judge theoretical diachronic direction of evolution. 4. The phylogenetic tree of life is a set of commonly well-supported nested parentheses but lacking scientific realism among the nodes. The evolutionary tree of life is a combination of Besseyan cactus and cladogram, being an approximation combining synchronic phylogenetic pattern and diachronic caulistic inferences through both deduction and induction. Examples are given.

Broader Impacts:

Log in to add this item to your schedule

Related Links:
Modern Evolutionary Systematics Web Site
Res Botanica

1 - Missouri Botanical Garden, Science and Conservation, PO Box 299, St. Louis, MO, 63166, USA


Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Khorassan Ballroom/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Monday, July 11th, 2011
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PSY002
Abstract ID:47


Copyright 2000-2011, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved