The title of this post suggests something more grandiose than I intend to present. But it is a key question. This is just a rant of sorts that I need to get off my chest. Perhaps I shouldn't, but I need to.
A recent quiz question for my Introductory Biology class:
"What is the relationship between the number of species or groups under cladistic analysis and the number of possible cladograms?"
The number of species or groups under cladisitc analysis is irrelevant to the number of possible cladograms. However, as the number of species increases the number of possible cladograms increases.
I'd like to say that the student is just hedging, but I truly believe the student thinks this answer makes sense.