Apology, was Re: genetic vs morphological trace of phylogeny

John Grehan jgrehan at SCIENCEBUFF.ORG
Thu Apr 15 11:25:27 CDT 2004


Apology accepted. It is quite evident that Curtis and I represent
fundamentally different approaches to science and naturally we are unlikely
to see the exploration of issues the same way, and I can imagine my
unregulated path can be frustrating for some or many. However, at least
there is no obligation for anyone on this list to comment or respond to
anything in particular - which is something I see as being very positive
for this forum.

So while its true I am not as familiar with the ins and outs of molecular
approaches and so perhaps I should be saying nothing, it is also evident
from the literature that there are problems raised by molecular
systematists that give credence to the proposition that a molecular
phylogeny is not inherently true, no matter how self-consistent, and it is
also evident that at least some cladists also question whether DNA sequence
and related approaches are really 'cladistc' or just phenetics dressed up
in cladistic terminology and analyzed using algorithms that are also
applied to cladistic characters in morphology. I will continue to raise
questions - particularly as they come to me from people in the field, and I
will continue to have opinions on the subject as a result - particularly
where the molecular analysis is not a good predictor of morphology as is
the case of humans and hominid fossils that have more in common with a
supposedly unrelated taxon than the molecular sister group.

Ken commented a while back (if I recall this correctly_ that he was against
competing phylogenies simply on the basis of one having more characters
than another). How does this translate to his support for molecular
techniques that would seem to be influenced by the same factor?

John Grehan

At 07:54 AM 4/15/2004 -0700, Curtis Clark wrote:
>At 09:47 2004-04-14, I wrote:
>>Quoting off-list email on-list without permission of the sender is
>>generally regarded to be in very bad taste, and in the United States is
>>technically a violation of copyright law (although effectively
>>unprosecutable). It seems you are in a minority in this case as well. :-)
>I promised John a public apology if I had misconstrued his actions. He
>assures me that I did, that he in fact had the permission of the
>unidentified correspondent to post the passage to Taxacom. I apologize for
>my accusation, and for impugning John's character in this manner.
>I have decided that it is a waste of my time and John's to continue our
>interchange about the meaning of cladistics, so I will no longer respond to
>his posts on the issue.
>Curtis Clark                  http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark/
>Web Coordinator, Cal Poly Pomona                 +1 909 979 6371
>Professor, Biological Sciences                   +1 909 869 4062

Dr. John Grehan
Director of Science and Collections
Buffalo Museum of Science
1020 Humboldt Parkway
Buffalo, New York 14211-1293
Voice 716-896-5200 x372
Fax 716-897-6723
jgrehan at sciencebuff.org

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