Fwd: Re: [TAXACOM] Lucy in Newsweek

John Grehan jgrehan at TPBMAIL.NET
Wed Mar 31 18:04:49 CST 2004

At 11:46 AM 3/31/04 -0800, Curtis Clark wrote:
>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.

This is just conjecture.

>>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.

Agreed. The present morphological evidence would appear to suggest that the
similarities are synapomorphies.

>It's as simple as that. And the outgroup (the gibbons)
>is well-established, both by molecules and by morphology.

Not always. There was one molecular analysis that put humans and gibbons

>As you pointed
>out, any molecular analysis that roots with Pongo (rather than Hylobates)
>is suspect.

Its not suspect if its a correct choice. The morphology does, however,
indeed suggest that the choice is suspect.

>The same is true of a morphological analysis.


John Grehan

>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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