The Future of Systematics: Tree Thinking without the Tree

Philosophy of Science 79 (5):624-636 (2012)
Authors
Joel D. Velasco
Texas Tech University
Abstract
Phylogenetic trees are meant to represent the genealogical history of life and apparently derive their justification from the existence of the tree of life and the fact that evolutionary processes are treelike. However, there are a number of problems for these assumptions. Here it is argued that once we understand the important role that phylogenetic trees play as models that contain idealizations, we can accept these criticisms and deny the reality of the tree while justifying the continued use of trees in phylogenetic theory and preserving nearly all of what defenders of trees have called the “importance of tree thinking.”
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DOI 10.1086/667878
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References found in this work BETA

Galilean Idealization.Ernan McMullin - 1985 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 16 (3):247-273.
The Cladistic Race Concept: A Defense. [REVIEW]Robin O. Andreasen - 2004 - Biology and Philosophy 19 (3):425-442.
The First Eukaryote Cell: An Unfinished History of Contestation.Maureen A. O'Malley - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 41 (3):212-224.
Paradigm Change in Evolutionary Microbiology.Maureen A. O'Malley & Yan Boucher - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 36 (1):183-208.

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Citations of this work BETA

John Dupre Processes of Life: Essays in the Philosophy of Biology.Ellen Clarke - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (1):173-177.
Philosophy and Phylogenetics.Joel D. Velasco - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (10):990-998.

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