Lucy in Newsweek

Fri Apr 2 20:46:46 CST 2004

In a message dated 4/2/2004 8:04:37 AM Pacific Standard Time,
jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU writes:

> Perhaps "overall similarity" is not the best measure, but I can't believe
> that you are suggesting that evolutionary history leaves traces in the
> morphology, but not the genome.

I should like to ask a question, and I mean ask. If the "selfish gene" view
were taken, couldn't DNA be viewed as a parasite? Now studies of parasite and
host phylogenies show that they are not always congruent. Tree topography and
rates may differ between parasite and host. Differ enough, I believe, that you
can't derive one from the other. It isn't always a case of coevolution. Again,
assuming the "selfish gene" wouldn't be more conservative to conclude that
genetic phylogeny isn't necessarily the same as species phylogeny, as John has
suggested? OK, it's two questions.

Herb Jacobson

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