[Taxacom] Mona Lisa Smile

Thomas Lammers lammers at uwosh.edu
Tue Jul 25 23:03:29 CDT 2006

----- Original Message -----
From: Ken Kinman <kinman at hotmail.com>

> P.S.  On the other side of the coin, I think John Grehan takes the opposite extreme of trashing molecular data without offering any molecular data which supports his orangutan theory.<

Yes, exactly.  That was my point when I said that I did not doubt that both sets of data were "real."   I do find the morphological data impressive, but we cannot simply wish away the molecular data.   Whatever hypothesis we favor, we must explain BOTH sets of observations.  They must be reconciled.  That is why I questioned whether we were being constrained into a certain line of thought by cladistic thinking.  If we backed off from our stick-figure mindset, and thought about populations in their environment, gene flow, reproductive biology, isolation, etc. -- all the stuff we used to call "biosystematics" -- might we not gain insights that accomodate BOTH the molecular and morphological data?  Could we not see things more clearly if we emphasize complex real-world phenomena instead of simplistic stylistic abstractions?

Tom Lammers

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