Sunday, July 20, 2008

Field Guide to Cladists

Many of our readers who subscribe to EvolDir probably saw the message announcing the upcoming event: "Beyond Cladistics: A Festschrift for Prof C J Humphries" a few days ago. Since the link to the program had some kind of error and since when Rich introduced me to the blog, he said he hoped I would offer some insight into the minds of Cladists, I thought I would both post the correct program link and offer a few words of (attempted) explanation. If you're wondering, "What the heck is a "festschrift?!", these are traditional amongst the Cladists, who definitely are lovers of tradition - and are simply books of collected contributions in honor of one of them presented by colleagues and former students. Oftentimes, these are accompanied by events where these authors present papers that highlight topics of relevance to said honoree. As Wikipedia points out, for those non-elitists, these usually are called "symposia" and the books are called "Essays in Honor of..." I won't be attending this festschrift, but am very curious about some of these talks - especially those that by the title seem to suggest that there's a resurgence of phenetics and of course many which seem to promise to discuss the future of cladistics. Perhaps I can get some reports from my colleagues here who might attend. I'll let you know in October.


Salva said...

I see the program, the talk about phenetics is given by Williams and Ebach, if you check their blog, and some of their recent papers, you will find that for Williams and Ebach, if you use computers, you are pheneticist :P.

It would be nice if you get some reports ;)

Susan Perkins said...

Wow - then the future is definitely a phenetic one!

Joe Felsenstein said...

Williams and Ebach consider almost all the members of the Hennig Society to really be pheneticists, so I'm not sure what Quentin Wheeler is doing as a co-author of their talk -- I suspect they consider him a pheneticist too!