Unformatted text preview: Response to“How Much Can Cladistics Tell Us About Early Hominid Relationships” Article by John Hawks Response by Tyson Gersh This article begins by challenging the validity of cladistic analysis as a method of classifying organisms, specifically hominids. According to the author, John Hawks, existing hominid phylogenies have been rendered virtually inadequate by relatively ignorant interpretations of scientists. Hawks argues that certain advancements in our understanding of the evolutionary nature of traits are mandatory for an accurate hominid phylogeny. Supposedly, the great number of studies with varying results evidences his argument. Hawks suggests that this impediment results from several aspects of cladistic analysis, including the undeniably (1) limited number of fossils available for examination, which in turn, results in a (2) limited number of characters that can be observed, (3) ambiguities in the definitions of hominid characters, which, is in part due to the (4) close relationship of the taxa, in addition to an overall (5)...
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- Spring '08
- Cladistics, Phylogenetics, Computational phylogenetics, cladistic analysis, John Hawks