The difference between phylogenetics and cladistics

The fundamental difference between phylogenetics and cladistics is that phylogenetics is the study of evolution, whereas cladistics is evolution.

The fact that cladistics has emerged from phylogenetics is due to the problem that speech is fundamentally inconsistent so that there is no single consistent arrangement of words, but instead many consistent arrangements of words, just as there is no single perfection of biological organisms, but instead many perfections of biological organisms.

This problem means that if a person studying evolution falls into the belief that there indeed is a single (“true”) consistent arrangement of words about evolution, then this person actually falls into the same search for perfection as evolution itself is about, ie, begins to evolve in search for the (non-existing) single (“true”) consistent arrangement of words about evolution.

This trap does thus not lead to a single (“true”) consistent arrangement of words about evolution (as believed, or hoped), but instead to a continuous diversification of (“true”) consistent arrangements of words about evolution, just as the evolution of organisms continuously diversifies kinds of organisms. The search for an impossibility factually results in the opposite. And, suddenly, it reenters the situation that prevailed before Linné presented his system of classification. Rational thinking has passed the orthogonal wheel around.

Biological systematics thus ought to avoid the trap called “cladistics”. The fact that it is inconsistent (ie, actually a belief) means that it leads rationality into a vicious circle (see Henri Poincaret).


2 responses to “The difference between phylogenetics and cladistics

  1. Is there a solution, or a better way? I tend to like and agree with your angle, but then what? What should we do?

    • “My angle”? It isn’t “my angle”. It is the metalevel of speech. I’m just trying to explain our options given our speech (ie, the metalevel). Some people claim that everything’s possible, I just try to explain that it isn’t. There are in fact several impossible things. One of them is to find “the true tree of life” and another is to find “Higgs particle”. If they had been possible, then everything had been possible, but then time would not have been relative to speed in space and change would have been an illusion (as already the ancient Greek Parmenides suggested). Today, we know that time is relative to speed in space and thus also that Parmenides, Peter Higgs and Willi Hennig are wrong (which also Bertrand Russell demonstrated logically in 1901).

      The “solution” of this fact, or rather how we shall handle it, is to be honest about what science (ie, rationality) can achieve. If we pretend that science can compete with beliefs, then we actually commit suicide of science. We have to be honest with the fact that scince can only falsify statements, not verify them, which Karl Popper have explained exhaustively. Science can thus not even handle statements about “the origin of life” or the existence of a “standard model” of “particle physics” (are there indeed “particles”?) . This is “the better way” for science (or rationality): to just handle questions it can handle.

      What we (scientists, or rationalists) ought to do is thus to uphold a clear aisle between (rational) science and belief. It includes that we have to admit that we simply can’t falsify (or discard) belief, except from not being science. This aisle is actually fundamental for the existence of (rational) science. We have to understand that (rational) science is not a competitor to beliefs, but rather the orthogonal opposite to it.

      The existential problem with this fact is that (rational) science does not offer a God. On the contrary, it means that there isn’t any. This is a problem for people that want to both believe and be rational, but this problem is insoluble, since belief can’t be consistently combined with rationality. We can’t both beleive and not believe at the same time without ending up in Russell’s paradox. Instead, this is a choice, and independently of what we choose, we have to be honest about what the choice means. Rationality or belief? The former without Gods and the latter with Gods.

      We can’t both eat the cake and keep it.

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