Lucy in Newsweek

Sat Apr 3 23:08:26 CST 2004

In a message dated 4/2/2004 7:52:23 PM Pacific Standard Time, 
kinman2 at YAHOO.COM writes:

> Like Curtis, I find it hard to understand why anyone would suggest that 
> evolutionary history leaves traces in morphology, but not the genome.  It just 
> doesn't make much sense if you think about it long enough. 

I don't deny that the genome has traces of evolutionary history, but like 
Rich said earlier:

"Yes, but a historical pattern of what?  Molecules? Genes? Genomes?
Organisms? Populations? Taxa?  I concede that my philosophical ramblings on
this are almost entirely moot, because we all sort of "know" what we mean by
evolutionary history.  But I think we may eventually find that the devil is
in the details."

And also I agree with Curtis when he says:

 "The phylogeny that morphological cladists look at is the species tree, and 
that tree is the *consequence* of speciation, at least in the sense that 
speciation means lineage-splitting (which to me is its most useful definition)." 

And later when he says, 

" Genetic recombination in sexual organisms results in a network, not a tree. 
Lineage splitting makes it a tree."

I just doubt that the history of lineage-splitting can be extracted from the 
genome. Or maybe it can be but as Rich suggested earlier we are a long ways 
from being able to do it.


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