A recent stratocladistic analysis of blastoids by Bodenbender and Fisher (2001) provides one of the most complete treatments yet of stratocladistics, a method developed by Fisher (1994) to include stratigraphy as primary evidence in phylogeny reconstruction. Stratocladistics uses information on the sequential order of fossils in the stratigraphic record as evidence for the sequence of evolutionary events, and thus assumes that the fossil record is adequate for such an operation. The method has been defended philosophically as a way to reduce the number of ad hoc assumptions of nonpreservation in the fossil record relative to standard parsimony methods. Operationally, it...

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