[Taxacom] quote of the week

Karl Magnacca kmagnacca at alumni.wesleyan.edu
Fri Mar 21 04:49:19 CDT 2008

Don't feed the trolls, don't feed the trolls...

On a related note, I nominate this as a much better quote of the week:
> I wouldn't touch this thread with a 3 foot notonectid cockswain.


On Thu, March 20, 2008 7:19 pm, John Grehan wrote:
>> -----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
> morphology.
> 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.
> Sometimes
>> alignment IS hard and leads to ambiguous or even erroneous results,
> As in the orangutan case.
> John Grehan

Karl Magnacca
Postdoctoral Researcher
Department of Zoology
Trinity College, Dublin 2

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