Fwd: Re: [TAXACOM] Lucy in Newsweek

Curtis Clark jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU
Wed Mar 31 11:46:58 CST 2004

At 11:06 2004-03-31, John Grehan wrote:
>>No, he doesn't understand DNA.
>How so?

Cladistics is a method, not a type of data. Gary knows that. I'm guessing
that his error is based in the assumption that since early DNA work used
"phenetic" methods, nothing better exists.

>Not avoiding at all. The trouble is that there is actually very little
>morphological support for such an arrangement compared with that of the
>orang-human clade.

If the similarities are plesiomorphies, there is no support for a
human/orang clade. It's as simple as that. And the outgroup (the gibbons)
is well-established, both by molecules and by morphology. As you pointed
out, any molecular analysis that roots with Pongo (rather than Hylobates)
is suspect. The same is true of a morphological analysis.

Curtis Clark                  http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark/
Web Coordinator, Cal Poly Pomona                 +1 909 979 6371
Professor, Biological Sciences                   +1 909 869 4062

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