[Taxacom] Patterns of homoplasy

John Grehan jgrehan at sciencebuff.org
Tue Aug 19 16:58:37 CDT 2008

My reading of orthogenesis was that it was originally conceptulaized as a hypothesis for a biological mechanism for evolutionary change (i.e. that evolution may occur even without natural selection), and was not confined in its scope to homoplasy.
In another respect, the problem of homoplasy may be exacerbated by the way characters are interpreted. The molecular phylogeny of humans and great apes, for example, generates quite an immense amount of 'homoplasy' in biological (non-nucleic acid) characters whereas the biological phylogeny does not.
John Grehan


From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu on behalf of Curtis Clark
Sent: Tue 8/19/2008 4:35 PM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Patterns of homoplasy

On 2008-08-19 06:46, Peter Stevens wrote:
> Of course, there are several 
> papers on "tendencies" from back in the 1980s and early 90s, but this 
> line of thought didn't get very far then.

It never occurred to me before now, but orthogenesis was in some senses
an attempt to explain homoplasy (although its practitioners would not
have used that term).

Curtis Clark                  http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark/
Director, I&IT Web Development                   +1 909 979 6371
University Web Coordinator, Cal Poly Pomona

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