genetic tress and human evolution

Ken Kinman kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Aug 5 21:34:19 CDT 2004

Dear All,
      "Veering so far off" is just one way of describing the accelerated evolution of an exgroup relative to its paraphyletic ancestral grouping.  Humans are just one example, and are not unique in this respect---although it is the reason I continue to use a paraphyletic Pongidae from which Hominidae (sensu stricto) evolved.

      But whales have "veered off" (at an accelerated rate) from their artiodactyl ancestors, insects from their crustacean ancestors, acanthocephalan worms from their rotifer ancestors, spermatophytes from their pteridophyte ancestors, and so on.  But none of these compare with the fundamental division of life when eukaryotes evolved from prokaryotes.  Humans "veering off" from other apes looks pretty minor in comparison to that, and thus we are deserving of only a separate Family, although Huxley once proposed a Kingdom Psychozoa for humans (what that serious or just a joke??).
             ----- Cheers,  Ken
P.S.  My bets are on the prokaryotes (even cockroaches and ants are pretty vulnerable in comparison to them).
John Grehan wrote:
     I won't try to contend Ron's philosophical perspective, but I would question his statement that "Humans are starkly unique from the other animals to such a degree one should ask why we alone veered so far off and so far ahead (or away) of everything else" as somewhat problematic and perhaps scientifically not very informative as I don't see that we have "veered so far off" in any objective way any more than anything else.  And as far as being "so far ahead", I'm still placing my money on cockroaches and ants. Pity I may not be around to collect.

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