[Taxacom] quote of the week

John Grehan jgrehan at sciencebuff.org
Thu Mar 20 14:19:56 CDT 2008

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Brian O'Meara [mailto:omeara.brian at gmail.com]
in many cases molecular homology statements will be
> reasonable and uncontroversial.

By what standard?

> Perhaps the morphological characters are giving the correct answer
> while the molecular data are consistently misleading about hominidae
> relationships, but if so, the explanation has to come from somewhere
> other than some innate arbitrariness of alignment. 

Why so? If alignment is innately arbitrary then my point is made

But I agree that the explanation is not confined to alignment. The other
problem is that a position involves the swapping of four bases so there
is no way to individually hypothesize the derived state as one can with

Of course some will disagree. Perhaps the problem with molecular
similarity giving the wrong answer (in this particular case) is due to a
problem that is not yet recognized.

> alignment IS hard and leads to ambiguous or even erroneous results,

As in the orangutan case.

John Grehan

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