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Problems of Bayesian trait reconstruction on linguistic phylogenies in evolutionary anthropology

Fortier-Dubois, É. (2016) Problems of Bayesian trait reconstruction on linguistic phylogenies in evolutionary anthropology. Research Project 1 (minor thesis), Ecology and Evolution.

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Abstract

The parallel between biological evolution and cultural evolution allows, with some caveats, the use of phylogenetic comparative methods in anthropology, including ancestral trait reconstruction. The controversy over such methods requires additional evaluation. I used the program BayesTraits, together with phylogenetic trees built from linguistic and historical data, to perform Bayesian reconstructions of world religions and ethnological traits in cultures of the Indo-European language family. By excluding certain taxa from an analysis, performing a reconstruction on different tree sets, and comparing the reconstruction with the known historical record, I highlight some issues of the method that must be taken into account in future studies.

Item Type: Thesis (Research Project 1 (minor thesis))
Degree programme: Ecology and Evolution
Thesis type: Research Project 1 (minor thesis)
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:24
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:24
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/14471

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