[Taxacom] Mona Lisa Smile

John Grehan jgrehan at sciencebuff.org
Wed Jul 26 07:15:52 CDT 2006

I think Thomas and Ken should look at my paper before they start making
assertions that I trash molecular data. I don't. I just say that there
is a problem with the way linear sequence patterns of DNA are
interpreted to generate phylogenetic meaning. What I do say is that
current methods may lead to an erroneous interpretation of those base
differences that obfuscates primitive and derived conditions, and that
developmental genetics may be where the resolution is to be found. My
argument is that there is a case for molecular biologists to figure out
why their current approach does not get the 'right' answer. Comparative
Biology IS the key.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-
> bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Thomas Lammers
> Sent: Wednesday, July 26, 2006 12:03 AM
> To: Ken Kinman
> Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Mona Lisa Smile
> ----- 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
> 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.
> hypothesis we favor, we must explain BOTH sets of observations.  They
> be reconciled.  That is why I questioned whether we were being
> into a certain line of thought by cladistic thinking.  If we backed
> from our stick-figure mindset, and thought about populations in their
> environment, gene flow, reproductive biology, isolation, etc. -- all
> stuff we used to call "biosystematics" -- might we not gain insights
> accomodate BOTH the molecular and morphological data?  Could we not
> things more clearly if we emphasize complex real-world phenomena
> of simplistic stylistic abstractions?
> Tom Lammers
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