[Taxacom] quote of the week

John Grehan jgrehan at sciencebuff.org
Wed Mar 19 07:02:32 CDT 2008

As you all know, the chimpanzee theory of human origin is all the rage
because of their greater molecular similarity to humans than the other
great apes, and that this theory of origin is contradicted by the
biological evidence. For all the (usually blind) faith that is put in
the molecular theory, here is a footnote published in Scientific
American, March 2008 (p. 21).


"One thing everyone agrees on is that reading our history in our genes
is fraught with pitfalls. Getting lots of data has become easy, but
working out which sequences to use, whom to sample, and how to identify
the genetic legacies of natural selection, migration and publication
bottleneck is extremely touch. Even relatively simple analyses involve
assumptions and educated guesswork and can take thousands of hours of
computer time."


So you can chose a method fraught with pitfalls and educated guesswork,
or  the biological evidence where the characters are empirical, there is
no guesswork, and less in the way of computational assumptions
(certainly no need to resort to a priori theoretical models of what the
phylogeny should be in the first place).


John Grehan 



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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