[Taxacom] orangutan outrage

Les Watson leswatson at westnet.com.au
Thu Jun 25 04:09:08 CDT 2009


Kenneth Kinman wrote:

 > It seems to me that all of this will soon be settled by a thorough
 > comparison of the WHOLE genomes of the great apes .....

This principle is surely applicable to taxonomy across the board. The 
current fashion for deducing "phylogenies" using tiny samples from whole 
DNA complements, then revising classifications without even bothering to 
satisfy the practical requirements for new or revised comparative 
morphological (etc.) descriptions, is rather depressing.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Les Watson
10 Maitland Avenue, Little Grove, Albany WA 6330, Australia
Email: leswatson at westnet.com.au  Phone: +61 (8) 98 44 4398

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Kenneth Kinman wrote:
> Dear All,
>       It seems to me that all of this will soon be settled by a thorough
> comparison of the WHOLE genomes of the great apes.  The most convincing
> synapomorphies will probably be more complex molecular signals (not
> substitutions, additions, or deletions of just single bases).        
>       The big question in my mind is still whether chimps clade
> exclusively with gorillas or with humans.  If, on the other hand,
> orangutans and humans do exclusively clade together, I will be very
> surprised.  I still believe that the morphological similarities between
> orangutans and humans will turn out to be plesiomorphies (especially if
> chimps and gorillas form an exclusive clade).  I wouldn't call Grehan's
> hypothesis either "wacky" or "loopy", but I still think it is highly
> unlikely.
>           --------Cheers,
>                           Ken Kinman





More information about the Taxacom mailing list