Phenetics (grouping of organisms based on similarity) used to be claimed to be an alternative to cladistics, but now it is widely accepted that phenetic analyses cannot be used to infer evolutionary relationships. However, phenetic methods like neighbor-joining trees are still being developed today.

Are phenetic analyses still valid today for purposes other than determining evolutionary relationships, or are they completely obsolete? Does anyone have an example of a recent paper that uses phenetic analyses in a valid way?

  • $\begingroup$ The phenetics reference in Wikipedia describes several places to look for phenetic analyses. $\endgroup$ – Bugmo Apr 11 '18 at 2:37

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