Message 2004-10-0101: Re: Phylogenetic Notation

Wed, 15 Sep 2004 20:35:03 +0200

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Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 20:35:03 +0200
From: [unknown]
To: PML <>
Subject: Re: Phylogenetic Notation

> > Yes... I just like mine better. :o)
> I dunno, usage of "#" for "not" is pretty nonstandard.

Rather for "opposite". Still nonstandard, but not counterintuitive ei=

> > "the irrational numbers are the real numbers
> > without the rational numbers", I =3D R \ Q
> > (written with those broadened letters).
> A contraction for I =3D {x /member of/ R | x /not member of/ Q}?


> > ||*Lacerta agilis* + *Youngina capensis* \ *Crocodylus niloticus*=
> > ||{*Lacerta agilis* + *Youngina capensis*} \ {*Crocodylus nilotic=
> "||" means "or" in C-based computer code.

I thought "|" did? -- And I don't think it would confuse anyone.

> I see this symbol as redundant and potentially confusing,
> since there's no distinction between the beginning
> version and the ending version.

That's true. (The potential for confusion is probably small, though.)=
about "||:" and ":||" (happens to be identical to a repetition in mus=
ic)? --=20
We'll surely find something.

> > OK... ||A||.
> And then what do we use for species definitions? For lineages? For =
> of taxa covered in future editions of the Code?

Different symbols (other than ||: :||). Regarding species, it isn't y=
clear if they will get phylogenetic definitions at all, or whether it=
be enough to mention the type specimen and perhaps the intended speci=
concept in the database. (Assuming that the database will mark whethe=
r a
taxon is a clade, species or whatever.)

> The problem here is that, in your system, "M @ A" means "the
> clade stemming from the first ancestor of A to possess character M
> with that in A".

I overlooked this again. What's going on with me? Is it the weather? =
;-) --=20
No idea how to rectify this.

> > Besides, if it looks too mathematical, it might drive some people
> > away who might think we were all pattern cladists or
> > pheneticists (especially if they are already prejudiced and next =
> > uninformed).
> Yeah, using math in science? That's absurd!

In the sciences that aren't "exact" or "hard", many people do seem to
dislike math. Besides, not all scientists are good at math personally=
though Austria's education system preassumes it in some places...).


Feedback to <> is welcome!