Kevin Thiele Kevin.Thiele at PI.CSIRO.AU
Tue Jan 11 07:13:48 CET 2000

At 12:54 07/01/00 -0500, Joe Kirkbride wrote:

>>>From a strictly practical point of view, multistate characters must be
>allowed to function with just a single state.  In an ongoing study, a
>character such as corolla pubescence is included in the character list.
>After collecting data from one, or just a few taxa, you may only have a
>single character state known.  As the research progresses, additional
>character states will be discovered and added to the character list.  In
>the preliminary stages of any taxonomic study the number of known
>character states is usually very low, and must be allowed for!

Good point, and you're right.

>My major concern with this process and its discussions is that the results
>will be something that works and is practical.  The most computionally
>perfect system may well turn out to be impractical and unworkable.  I sincerely
>hope that it is kept firmly in mind that the results have to work in the
>real world, not the ideal world.

I couldn't agree more. But we also need to use this process to move ahead.
And we need to make sure that the taxonomists on the list keep an eagle eye
on the computer jocks to make sure they don't go off to Saturn.

Cheers - k

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