Geological calibration of molecular clocks

Thomas G. Lammers lammers at UWOSH.EDU
Mon Jul 11 08:28:30 CDT 2005

At 08:07 AM 7/11/2005, John Grehan wrote:
>I have not read the entire article although I have seen the abstract.
>Their concluding statement as cited by Robert is quite telling. If there
>is incongruence between two historical narratives (in this case the
>geological story and the molecular clock story) and the authors cannot
>make up their mind between them what value is the study?

"Value"?  Well, as a test of a hypothesis?  The geological story is a
hypothesis, and we test it with the molecular clock story.  If we get
congruence, we can accept the hypothesis; if we don't, we get more
hypotheses and test them.  I *thought* that was how science works ...

I must say,  that last sentence of yours sounds as though it was written by
a scientific creationist, the sort who expects every study to "prove"
things conclusively and without doubt, so they can "believe" it or not
"believe" it.  Maybe I'm wrong, but I just don't think that's how science

Thomas G. Lammers, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Curator of the Herbarium (OSH)
Department of Biology and Microbiology
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901-8640 USA

e-mail:       lammers at
phone:      920-424-1002
fax:           920-424-1101

Plant systematics; classification, nomenclature, evolution, and
biogeography of the Campanulaceae s. lat.

"Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that stood his ground."
                                                               -- Anonymous

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