Tree thinking for all biology: the problem with reading phylogenies as ladders of progress
Phylogenies are increasingly prominent across all of biology, especially as DNA sequencing makes more and more trees available. However, their utility is compromised by widespread misconceptions about what phylogenies can tell us, and improved "tree thinking" is crucial. The most-serious problem comes from reading trees as ladders from "left to right" - many biologists assume that species-poor lineages that appear "early branching" or "basal" are ancestral - we call this the "primitive lineage...[Show more]
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