[Taxacom] Fw: John Grehan & great apes

Robin Leech releech at telusplanet.net
Thu Nov 6 15:18:34 CST 2008

Hi Taxacomers,
A message forwarded from my good buddy, Ken Kinman.
John Grehan may want to answer the issues Ken raises.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Kenneth Kinman" <kennethkinman at webtv.net>
To: <releech at telusplanet.net>
Cc: <jim.croft at gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, November 05, 2008 7:48 PM
Subject: John Grehan & great apes

> Hi Robin and Jim,
>       Here we go again rehashing Grehan's tired old arguments against
> molecular data and yet ignoring the weakness of his own data.  What I
> would like to know is how he explains away rather convincing
> morphological data such as following:
>       Uddin et al., 2004 (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 101(9):2957-2962)
> studied the morphology of spindle cell pyramidal neurons in the anterior
> cingulate cortex of the brain.  There is a clear progression:  greatest
> numbers in humans, next greatest numbers in chimpanzees, followed by
> gorillas, and the least numbers in orangutans.  Furthermore, they are
> absent in all other primates (or other mammals).  This correlates with
> not only the numbers of these spindle cell neurons, but their size as
> well:  greatest in humans, followed by chimps, and smallest in gorillas
> and orangutans.
>        This is an elegant example of morphological evidence which
> corroborates the molecular evidence.  At least it seems much stronger
> than arguments about something as  muddled and unconvincing as external
> ear morphology which must be FAR more subject to homoplasy and seems
> relatively superficial in any case.

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