[Taxacom] Lightening up on Pongidae (was: orangutan outrage)

John Grehan jgrehan at sciencebuff.org
Sat Jun 27 11:45:08 CDT 2009


 
I may lack a decent sense of humor, but I see nothing funny about
bigotry of this kind and even less so in its dissemination.

John Grehan

-----Original Message-----
From: mivie at montana.edu [mailto:mivie at montana.edu] 
Sent: Saturday, June 27, 2009 12:23 PM
To: John Grehan
Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Lightening up on Pongidae (was: orangutan outrage)

OK, speaking of things that could be ignored, I just heard the most
amazing explanation of Grehan's vehemence on this subject from an
Afrocentric friend, and given John's idea that silly theoretical
constructs should not be ignored, thought I would share it.

The rejection of an African sister-group to humans in favor of an Asian
one is simply another example of the dominant eurasian scientific elites
trying to deny yet again the importance of African contributions to
history.  I.E. those who oppose the Homo-Pan sister pair are racists. 
This logic has as much basis (or lack thereof) as some presented on this
listserver.

But, it IS funny.

Mike



>
> What I see in the responses by Richard Zander and Ken Kinman is this 
> determination that the molecular evidence is really, really, right no 
> matter how it is contradicted by the morphological evidence. And by 
> hook or by crook they (or the molecular theorists) are going to find 
> an 'explanation' (excuse) to explain away the morphological anomaly. 
> The idea that bean counting of DNA bases is the essence of phylogeny 
> is now so entrenched that I doubt anyone who has walked out on this 
> plank will be able to back away (especially if they have claimed that 
> the chimpanzee theory is fact). Of course I have walked out on an even

> longer plank against popular opinion. But then only a few decades back

> panbiogeography was ridiculed out of hand, and while it is now just 
> generally ignored (standard scientific procedure by the majority - one

> technique that should be taught to students in science classes so they

> can recognize it in themselves or others), one can no longer get away 
> with ridicule.
>
> John Grehan
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Kenneth 
> Kinman
> Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 10:18 PM
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: [Taxacom] Pongidae (was: orangutan outrage)
>
> Richard Zander wrote:
>      If gorilla and pan were on a very short shared branch that did 
> not show up in molecular cladograms, then the paraphyletic group 
> homo-pongo would be the ancestor of gorilla-pan (mapping the traits 
> that characterize the taxa). Any evidence for a short molecular branch

> connecting gorilla and pan?
> ----------------------------------------------------
>  Dear All,
>       Richard Zander brings up a very important point.  The group 
> "Homo-Pongo" (and their extinct relatives) could very well have 
> paraphyletically given rise to a Gorilla-Pan clade.  If so, one might 
> regard gorillas as just overgrown chimps.  This would not surprise me 
> in the least.  And it would also mean that the morphological 
> similarities between humans and orangutans are retained plesiomorphies

> of the great apes that were subsequently lost in a Gorilla-Pan clade.
>       That is why I think a thorough evaluation of great ape genomes 
> is so important.  Whether the first such evaluation is "thorough" 
> enough to convince the vast majority of scientists remains to be seen.

> My own personal expectation is that it will support an African clade 
> (Gorilla, Pan, and Homo) with orangutans as an outgroup (sorry, John).

> However, I have no strong expectations whether Pan (chimps) will clade
exclusively
> with gorillas or with humans.  We shall see.   Until then, I see no
need
> to comment further.  And as I have pointed out several times, my 
> Family Pongidae will remain paraphyletic with respect to Family 
> Hominidae no matter what the results are.  The results will only 
> affect which genus of Pongidae that I will code as the sister group to
Hominidae.
>            --------Ken Kinman
>
>
>
>
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