Possible and Impossible Inferences From Reconstructed Evolutionary Processes using Phylogenies as an Example

Research output: Working paperPreprintAcademic

Abstract

Our understanding of past evolutionary change is often based on reconstructions based on incomplete data, raising fundamental questions about the degree to which we can make reliable inferences about past evolutionary processes. This was demonstrated by Louca and Pennell (2020), who showed that each pure-birth process can be generated by an infinite number of birth-death processes. Here, I explore what it means to reconstruct past evolutionary change with three approaches from measure theory, group theory, and homotopy theory to better understand structural constraint and origins of (non)identifiability. As an example, the developed framework is applied to the case of birth-death processes.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherarXiv
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • phylogenetic analyses
  • group theory
  • homotopy theory
  • evolutionary biology

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