I just took a look at this chapter in the book. He doesn’t go into much detail at all, but he cites is an abstract from a conference in 2005. After a bit of digging, I found the abstract. Here it is:
R10. Statistical Evidence for Five Whale Holobaramins (Mammalia: Cetacea) S.R. Mace and T.C. Wood, Bryan College. As a prelude to a more extensive examination of the whale fossil record, we have analyzed a published dataset of cetaceans (Messenger and McGuire 1998) using baraminic distance and classical multidimensional scaling (MDS). The dataset consists of 207 characters scored for 72 taxa. The characters are skeletal and soft tissue. The taxa consist of 66 extant cetacean species, one composite taxon of family Basilosauridae (suborder Archaeoceti), and five artiodactyl outgroups. The three cetacean suborders are represented by 60 species from all 33 genera from suborder Odontoceti (toothed whales) and six species from the three families of suborder Mysticeti (baleen whales). The archaeocete taxon is a composite of the Upper Eocene species Basilosaurus cetoides, Zygorhiza kochii, and Dorudon osiris. After filtering the dataset for 95% character relevance, we used 121 characters to calculate baraminic distances. Baraminic distance correlation revealed two groups of taxa whose members are positively correlated but which are negatively correlated with each other. The two groups corresponded to the Odontoceti and the Archaeoceti + Mysticeti + Artiodactyla. We hypothesized that the second group actually comprised multiple apobaramins, and we recalculated baraminic distance correlations for the non-odontocete only. These results revealed significant negative correlation between the Mysticeti and Archaeoceti + Artiodactyla. Baraminic distance correlations for just the Archaeoceti + Artiodactyla revealed significant negative correlation between those two groups. We also calculated baraminic distance correlation for just the odontocete taxa, and found significant negative correlation between the Ziphiidae, Physeteroidia, and the remaining Odontoceti. For all baraminic distance correlation calculations, the Mysticeti, Ziphiidae, Physeteroidea, and remaining odontocetes exhibited within-group significant, positive correlation. We calculated three-dimensional MDS on the baraminic distances as recommended by Wood (2005). Our results showed a stress of 0.165 after MDS calculations. The 3D MDS results confirm our distance correlation results, showing six well-defined groups separated by clear gaps. The groups correspond to the Artiodactyla, Archaeoceti, Mysticeti, Ziphiidae, Physeteroidea, and the remaining odontocetes. We conclude that the extant cetaceans comprise at minimum four holobaramins, based on positive correlation with ingroup taxa and negative correlation in ingroup/outgroup comparisons. These four holobaramins are the Mysticeti, Ziphiidae, Physeteroidea, and the remaining odontocetes. Most significantly, the Archaeoceti, while occupying a morphologically intermediate position between the extant cetaceans and the artiodactyls, are very much closer to the artiodactyls than to any of the extant whale holobaramins. Based on the limited sample, we also propose that Archaeoceti may be a fifth whale holobaramin. Future research should examine more of the archaeocete species to determine their baraminic relationships in greater detail, especially the pakicetids and ambulocetids. Other studies will be needed to evaluate the putative ancestral status of mesonychids or hippopotamids. Messenger, S.L. and J.A. McGuire. 1998. Morphology, molecules, and the phylogenetics of Cetaceans. Systematic Biology 47(1):90-124.Wood, T.C. 2005. A creationist review and preliminary analysis of the history, geology, climate, and biology of the Galápagos Islands. CORE Issues in Creation 1:1-242.
I have not delved into the types of methods that they used here, nor am I well-versed in the arguments they’ve used to define ‘baramins’ in the past. So I can’t really critique the results without a thorough understanding of the methodology (which goes well beyond what I have time to do right now). However, I notice a couple of major problems with the taxonomic sampling here that would have a profound effect on the results.
(1) They included just one archaeocete cetacean, and it was a composite of three different species, one of which (Dorudon osiris) is not even a recognized species anymore. There are a number of prominent differences between these species, so to collapse these into a single representative is problematic. Plus, there is a wealth of earlier diversity among archaeocetes that is obviously not accounted for at all.
(2) They posit a gap between the archaeocetes and modern cetaceans they included. Obviously, there is quite a morphological gap there. But they also do not appear to have sampled any of the many fossil cetaceans that existed in the 40-million-year gap between archaeocetes and modern forms, including a number of fully extinct cetacean clades, as well as the earliest members of all of these modern lineages. In some sense, this type of selective sampling would predispose you to finding gaps between these different groups, mainly because you didn’t sample the many fossils that actually fall between the two and demonstrate in a more clear manner their affinities.
That’s about all I have time to do for now. Hopefully this helps.