[Taxacom] orangutan outrage

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Thu Jun 25 13:49:42 CDT 2009


> No - as I pointed out in response to Ken, the genome in its 
> morphological manifestation already demonstrates the 
> human-orangutan clade

OK, thanks.  I didn't read your response to Ken until after I wrote my post.

> Or morphology will be the necessary corroboration. It may be that
> obtaining the pertinent information from the DNA strand will only be
> possible if the developmental link to its morphological 
> aspect is known.

I agree that morphology will play a vital role in our journey to get from
where we are now, to where we can extract every scrap of phylogenetically
useful information from the genome.  So will biogeogrpahy, biochemistry, and
behavior (among others).

> There have been some recent theories about cytoplasmic molecules that
> interact with DNA. But I have not kept up with that field.

Yeah -- I almost mentioned that.  But then, where does the information come
from to design the cytoplasmic molecules?  Once can only presume that the
genome of the parent provided the information to build the gamete cell.
Thus, it's still (ultimately) genomic -- at least for multicellular
organisms.  Perhaps the cytoplasmic chemistry of single-cell organisms is
somehow able to perpetuate information across many generations?

Anyway, it seems we are more or less on the same page, then -- although you
may be more pessimistic than I am about our current abilities to extract
phylogenetic information from the genome, as well as the pace at which we
are improving on that front. 

Gotta run....

Aloha,
Rich







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