Abstract— The order of states in a transformation series describes an internested set of synapomorphies. States adjacent to each other in the transformation series thus share a degree of homology not found in the other states. Whether the level of homology is relatively apomorphic is determined by rooting the order with outgroup comparison. The analysis of state order is a homology problem and is solved with a two-step process using similarity and congruence with other characters as criteria. Other methods that have been proposed (e.g. transformation series analysis, non-additive analysis, morphocline analysis, ontogenetic analysis) fail to apply both similarity and congruence, and thus cannot be used independently for determining character state order.