A great quote from a hugely influential paper:

"Some reviewers of this paper felt that the message was "rather nihilistic," and suggested that it would be much improved if I could present a simple and robust method that obviated the need to have an accurate knowledge of phylogeny. I entirely sympathize, but do not have a method that solves the problem. The best we can do is perhaps to use pairs of close relatives as suggested above, although this discards at least half of the data. Comparative biologists may understandably feel frustrated upon being told that they need to know the phylogenies of their groups in great detail, when this is not something they had much interest in knowing. Nevertheless, efforts to cope with the effects of the phylogeny will have to be made. Phylogenies are fundamental to comparative biology; there is no doing it without taking them into account." (Felsenstein, 1985, p. 14)

Phylogenies and the Comparative Method

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