Smith (2000)critiqued several recently proposed phylogenetic methods that accommodate stratigraphic data as well as several simulation studies that examine the efficacy of such methods. Here, I will evaluate Smith's claims concerning: 1) the putative ad hoc nature of some tests using stratigraphic data; and 2) the relevancy of simulation studies to empirical studies.

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Wagner (1995) used confidence intervals on observed stratigraphic ranges (Strauss and Sadler, 1989; Marshall, 1990) to test taxon durations hypothesized by a possible phylogeny. Smith (p. 764) dismissed this approach as ad hoc “weighting” of character and stratigraphic data. However, Wagner's use of...

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