Lucy in Newsweek

John Grehan jgrehan at TPBMAIL.NET
Sun Apr 4 08:00:17 CDT 2004

At 09:17 PM 4/3/04 -0800, Curtis Clark wrote:
>I understand that doubt, but I no longer agree with it. As long as the
>"flow" of the genome is primarily longitudinal, through the species tree,
>the fact that individual gene trees may not be congruent is "merely" a
>temporary inconvenience; eventually the pattern will become clear.

Much of the molecular stuff seems to involve DNA base pair sequences rather
than 'genes' as such. I guess I may be out of touch with what people refer
to as a 'gene'. In my understanding it is a pattern of morphological
inheritance. Presumably it is being used differently here?

>And the same could be said for morphology. Has anyone ever assessed
>attached earlobes, PTC-tasting, widow's-peak, and other putative human
>single-locus traits for polymorphism in chimps or orangs?

Don't know about the genetics, but earlobes has been identified as a very
margin potential synapomorphy for humans and the African apes. However its
variability of occurrence in each may be problematic for this status.

John Grehan

>Curtis Clark        
>Web Coordinator, Cal Poly Pomona                 +1 909 979 6371
>Professor, Biological Sciences                   +1 909 869 4062

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