The use of geologic age or range data in phylogenetic reconstruction is strongly debated (Cracraft and Eldredge 1979; Smith 1994; Fox et al. 1999; Heyning and Thacker 1999). Vermeij (1999) voiced concern regarding ‘rectangular data matrices' and concluded that stratigraphic data are particularly suitable for improving phylogenetic inference. We find two major problems with his conclusion and question the validity of stratocladistics or any other phylogenetic method incorporating temporal data (e.g., Wagner 1998).

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1. Geologic age is not a property that can be used as a character in phylogenetics. Age is not a property...

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