Quote: Colin Patterson on Evolutionary Trees

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”All one can learn about the history of life is learned from systematics, from groupings one finds in nature. The rest of it is story-telling of one sort or another. We have access to the tips of a tree; the tree itself is theory and people who pretend to know about the tree and to describe what went on with it, how the branches came off and the twigs came off are, I think, telling stories.”

Colin Patterson (Senior Palaeontologist, British Museum, Natural History, London) in an interview on BBC Television, 4 March 1982. Patterson is a leading exponent of the science of cladistics.

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