Perhaps you can help me. Following a recent lively discussion at the
Natural History Museum in London, I came to the conclusion that I might
be a cladist. However, my confusion arises because of the fact that
possession of this term has almost exclusively been reserved for
systematists who use the principles of parsimonious reconstruction of
phylogenies, to the exclusion of all other methods.
Now, although I use distance matrix methods (LogDet included) and the
various likelihood methods for reconstructing phylogenetic relationships
(along with quartet puzzling, maximum parsimony, spectral analysis,
split decomposition), I still think that my prime motivation is to discover
clades of organisms/sequences. Therefore I am a cladist.
I am also interested in temporal data...when things happened and if this
correlates with any other data such as seismic activity or whatever.
What are the origins of the word cladist and can I use it in my .sig file?