Mollusc outgroups (was 'cladistics' of sequences)

Ken Kinman kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Mon Jun 7 12:54:39 CDT 2004

John Grehan wrote:
    Well that's interesting in that on one hand you have said (if I recall correctly) that you place your faith in DNA sequences but chose an arrangement that is contradicted by those molecular systematists who now way that the human-chimp relationship is proven.  How can you question the veracity of the human-orang relationship on the basis of its conflict with DNA sequencing and yet accept the Pan, Gorilla relationship which is also in conflict (although it makes plenty of sense in terms of morphology).
     At this point, I am questioning the veracity of ALL proposed great ape topologies.  As for where I place my trust (not "faith"), it certainly isn't solely on molecular sequences.  And I never said I "accept" the Pan-Gorilla relationship.  However, I think it is a viable third hypothesis, and would also very much enjoy seeing the lessons that could be learned if the chimp-human and orang-human hypotheses were BOTH wrong.  Anyway, I really don't have time for great apes right now, but I don't think any of the topologies will be a slam dunk without providing strong evidence from both morphology AND genetics.  It's not safe to put too much trust in just one or the other (i.e., too many eggs in one basket).
         ------ Cheers,
                      Ken Kinman
P.S.  And I would also remind everyone that I believe cladistic analysis is a great tool and gradually getting better.  It is what strict cladism is doing to classifications (post-analysis) that really irks me big time.

More information about the Taxacom mailing list