[Taxacom] real molecular data

John Grehan jgrehan at sciencebuff.org
Thu Nov 13 15:18:39 CST 2008


Great! Thanks for taking the time to bring this example to general
attention. I need to see what people believe are the convincing
exemplars of evidence. Goodman et al (1994) first assert that the
majority of morphological evidence depicts a closer kinship of African
apes to humans than to orangutans. Subsequent research has shown this to
be cladistically false.

The source of the molecular evidence given for the phylogeny in Fig. 5
is Bailey et al (1992. (Mol Phyl and Evol 1, 97-135.

This paper examined 6,720 positions spanning the Y1 and Y2 gene region
of B-globin. The number of putative apomorphies I found are:

Pan-Gorilla - 3
Homo-Af ape - 4
Homo-chimp 1

This was with an outgroup comprising only one Hylobates, one macaque
monkey, on spider monkey, once capuchin monkey, one tarsier, one galgo,
one dwarf lemur, one brown lemur, one rabbit. 

Others may disagree, but I think this limited outgroup comparison quite
absurd. The total apomorphies themselves are not much, but being based
on so few outgroup species I find it hard to see this as providing
strong support for anything much. Obviously I am in the minority for
thinking so, but I have yet to have anyone demonstrate that my
interpretation is haywire, nuts etc.

I will take a look at the other cladogram (Fig. 4) as I have not looked
at that source yet.

Goodman cite several other corroborating evidence. One is DNA
hybridization which even molecular systematists now acknowledge to be
phenetic. I'll check on the other sources and report back in due course.

John Grehan

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Karl Magnacca [mailto:kmagnacca at wesleyan.edu]
> Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2008 2:27 PM
> To: John Grehan
> Subject: RE: [Taxacom] real molecular data
> On Thu, November 13, 2008 7:02 pm, John Grehan wrote:
> > If you can cite what you would consider a definiting molecular study
> > humans and chimps I would be interested.
> It's not my field so I don't know if it's defining, but this looks
> a decent one: Molecular Evidence on Primate Phylogeny From DNA
> Sequences, Goodman et al. 1994, American Journal of Physical
> Anthropology 94(1):3-24.  Very strong support for African apes, though
> internally unresolved; in fact the clustering of orangs with African
> apes is weak.  Probably looking up the papers it cites and what cites
> would be a good start.
> Karl
> =====================
> Karl Magnacca
> Postdoctoral Researcher
> Department of Zoology
> Trinity College, Dublin 2
> Ireland

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