[Taxacom] orangutan outrage

John Grehan jgrehan at sciencebuff.org
Thu Jun 25 09:22:51 CDT 2009

What I notice is that there is a continued claim for the supremacy of moleuclar similarity while molecular theorists continusoulsly jumpr from one form of moleuclar data and analysis to another (protiens, amino acides, DNS hybridization, sequence analysis, SINE analysis etc), in the process saying that the newer approaches elimiminate the deficiencies of the earlier, even though the earlier appraoches were themselves considered to always be superior to morphological evidence. 

The comment below implies that squencie simiarlity is "simple" (presumably misleading) but the savoir will be whole genome analysis that will really, really give us the 'right' answer (something always claimed for every preceeding molecular technique). Whole 'genome' analysis would seem to suffer the same fundamental deficiency as partial analysis - the inabilty to identify apormophic states of individual bases in the absence of any emprical indication of what base preceeded the current one.

Technical advances are too often conflated with conceptual advance.

John Grehan

> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-
> bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Paul J. Morris
> Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 9:57 AM
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] orangutan outrage
> On Thu, 25 Jun 2009 08:31:58 -0400
> "John Grehan" <jgrehan at sciencebuff.org> wrote:
> > Whole genome
> > comparaison are also no solution anyway because of the underlying
> > problem of not being able to individually recognize apomorphic states
> > for base relationships.
> I'd disagree with you here, whole genome comparisons are allowing
> people to move beyond simple sequence similarity to a
> potentially much more powerful level of thinking about larger scale
> patterns, in effect, identifying classical homologies in patterns of
> gene evolution.
> See, for example, McBride & Arguello, 2007.
> http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=1
> 8039874
> Your point about outgroups, is of course well taken.
> -Paul
> --
> Paul J. Morris
> Biodiversity Informatics Manager
> Harvard University Herbaria/Museum of Comparative Zo├Âlogy
> mole at morris.net  AA3SD  PGP public key available
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