Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The principle of parsimony has long been used as a basis for choosing one hypothesis over another, based on the idea that a simpler explanation is preferable to a complex one. This principle is the basis of maximum parsimony analysis of data, in which the goal is minimizing the number of events (changes) required to arrive at the observed data. This is intuitively appealing when changes are rare, but can lead to systematic errors when change is common. In spite of this concern, parsimony-based analyses are applied to a wide range of situations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBrenner's Encyclopedia of Genetics
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9780080961569
ISBN (Print)9780123749840
StatePublished - Feb 27 2013


  • Bat
  • Cladism
  • Evolution
  • Genome evolution
  • Homology
  • Homoplasy
  • Innovations
  • Long branch attraction
  • Notochord
  • Occam's razor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine


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