News from IAB

The mission of the International Association of Bryologists (IAB), as a society, is to strengthen bryology by encouraging interactions among all persons interested in byophytes.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Re: [IAB blog] New comment on [BRYONET] from Zander.

Dear Bryonetters,
In this subject worthwhile to see the paper of J. Podani in the first pages of the last issue of Taxon.
                                                                                    Tamás Pócs


  1. I rather wonder why Podani`s paper WAS published!
    Also worthwhile to point your browser to a post by Williams & Ebach at the Systematics and Biogeography blog:
    (click on or copy/paste)

  2. Podani's paper is a serious contribution to ongoing discussions of how to conduct taxonomy. Williams & Ebach's blog is simply derogatory humor that will appeal only to a small circle of their mean spirited friends.

  3. OK, here is a more serious discussion ... account ... that will appeal to a wider circle of ... well, maybe nobody in this bryological corner.
    The post about Podani´s paper is here:

  4. Efrain DeLuna should not be misguided by that urhomology blog. As one of the bryologists who use molecular data to reconstruct phylogeny, he should first read the paper by Williams and Ebach, 2009 Acta Biotheoretica 57:249-268. They state explicitly that molecular and morphological matrices are really phenetic, leading to a modern version of artificial classification. Or, to cite it more precisely: "And the circle is closed with the profusion of molecular data, the apparently significant source of evidence, their mathematical interpretation as phylogeny, evolutionary explanation as integral, of the insignificance of classification—perhaps, in time to come, this era might be captured as that which created, unwittingly, the most comprehensive artificial classification system yet. But regardless of the uses to which an artificial classification can be applied—no matter how sophisticated the mathematics, how ‘fundamental’ the data—it is not a natural classification". J Podani

  5. Ha!.. just saw this comment by J. Podani!
    Misguided? Moi?? ... Where is my compass? Let´s see... Hmmm... it seems to be working just fine!

    Anyway, thanks for your warning and sharing your understanding of Williams and Ebach, (2009 Acta Biotheoretica 57:249-268). But ... data matrices ...phenetic? Don´t think so. No... they do not say that. Good thing you copied and pasted the quote. Inferred relationships and classifications may be phenetic, but not data.

    Your explanation here is precisely "more of the same": A gracious example of what the urhmology post ( pointed out about your paper in Taxon.

    Thanks, but no thanks. Your epistemological "compass" for taxonomy is "squaring the circle" and does not make sense. I keep mine, .... although blame the Duke Blue Devils!