Phylogenetics shows relationships among groups of organisms.
Reconstructing Our PastEdit
Phylogenetics, also known as phylogenetic systematics, is a field in the biological sciences which attempts to reconstruct evolutionary history and studies the relationships between organisims and classifies those relationships in some fashion - species, population, family, clade, etc. and ultimately showing those relationships on a phylogenetic tree.
These phylogenetic trees, with their patterns of branching, represents the descent from a common ancestor into distinct lineages.
There are several methods used in phylogenetics to help construct a tree and those include persimony, liklihood and distance methods:
- Parsimony entails finding the simplest answer or in the case of the phylogenetic tree, the one with the fewest evolutionary changes.
- Liklihood or Bayseian approach uses statistical analysis to find the highest probablity for selecting a phylogenetic tree
- Distance method uses a distance matrix to assess the distance between organisms by evaluating their distance from a common ancestor. It's assumed that the closer organisms are to a common ancestor, the more alike they will be.