[Taxacom] base alignment

John Grehan jgrehan at sciencebuff.org
Fri Aug 25 08:20:42 CDT 2006

In the course of continuing my investigations on the orangutans and
human origins evidence I am beginning to delve more into the molecular
claims. This is an area I do not pretend any expertise (on the other
hand when I started I didn't have any expertise with primate morphology,
but that did not prevent me finding out that many of the claims for
derived human-chimpanzee characters were either unsubstantiated or
undocumented) so I have to start from scratch. 


I would be interested in any feedback or direction to suitable
publications or web sites that outline the procedures by which
substitutions and gaps are balanced to result in base alignments between
species. In my current (and perhaps primitive) understanding, this
process does not appear to be cladistic, but a theoretical model by
which homologies are constructed. If this understanding is correct (and
so some of you may point out that it is not) it would seem to me that
character states in molecular studies are not empirical in the same way
that they are in morphology (i.e. the homologies are the result of a
calculation in molecular studies). 




Dr. John R. Grehan

Director of Science and Collections

Buffalo Museum of Science1020 Humboldt Parkway

Buffalo, NY 14211-1193

email: jgrehan at sciencebuff.org

Phone: (716) 896-5200 ext 372




Ghost moth research


Human evolution and the great apes




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