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Of Placozoa and Porifera, which branched off first? (Conversely: which are closer cousins to us?)

I've heard both suggested as our most distant cousins with bodies, so was wondering which ordering is currently considered most likely. Of suggestions that Placozoa branched off later, I've heard some saying that the branching was even post-Cnidaria/Ctenophora. This seems very unlikely: is it?

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  • $\begingroup$ Currently we don't even know which of the Porifera or Ctenophora branched off first. However, between the Porifera and the Placozoa, the Placozoa are more similar to Cnidaria + Bilateria. $\endgroup$ – entonio Nov 26 '17 at 2:49
  • $\begingroup$ @entonio Does this resolve the Ctenophora v. Porifera debate? (It does for me, but I don't know if that's because of my bias towards Porifera - like many, I've been very uncomfortable with the analyses that put Ctenophora as the most distant) $\endgroup$ – Bertie Wheen Jan 17 '18 at 16:10
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    $\begingroup$ Bertie, thanks for the paper, it echoes a lot of what I think about this myself - many recent phylogenetic 'upheavals' are in fact methodologically unsound, and this is probably one of them. Still, my issue is with the whole 'this settles it' discourse - I just don't see that the data is enough to settle some things, but people are eager to have the last word on them. I think one day these times will be looked upon with some condescension, we got a lot of new toys to do phylogeny with, but so far we've been sloppy and dishonest using them. $\endgroup$ – entonio Jan 18 '18 at 3:14

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