[Taxacom] Our Monkey Ancestors

Steve Manning sdmanning at asub.edu
Thu Jan 14 16:31:30 CST 2010


I actually had a student some years ago who said exactly the same 
thing - "I didn't come from a monkey!"  He was actually one of my 
better students and didn't ever make any other comparable comments ( 
I just grinned when he said it, as I remember, without saying much at 
all - it was in passing).  I think it was at least possible if not 
probable that he was aware of the fact that the most recent common 
ancestors almost certainly are other things than monkeys sensu 
stricto, and said it with that in mind (or maybe he just wanted to 
make it clear that his mother and father weren't monkeys)!

Steve

At 11:15 PM 1/13/2010, Robin Leech wrote:
>When I put my original story in, it was meant to be
>humorous and informative, informative of how even
>a teacher sees things, and how she will indoctrinate
>her students.  Nothing more.
>Robin
>
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Stephen Thorpe" <s.thorpe at auckland.ac.nz>
>To: "Kenneth Kinman" <kennethkinman at webtv.net>; <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
>Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 9:37 PM
>Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Our Monkey Ancestors
>
>
> > Well, it is all just semantics. In one sense, snakes are (a clade of)
> > legless lizards, but in another sense it is wrong to call a snake a
> > lizard, or a bird a dinosaur. I agree that the latter sense is probably to
> > be preferred, mainly so that we can call things by stable names
> > independently of changing phylogenetic hypotheses. But, all I meant was
> > that the person who "lumps apes with monkeys" has got a point - there is a
> > sense in which they are correct, even if they are not using the terms in
> > the preferred sense.
> >
> > The Collembola/Hexapoda issue is not just semantics, of course, but the
> > available evidence seems unable to definitively decide the issue, at least
> > for now - so often the way!
> >
> > An interesting question (touched on before) is what are animals? Are
> > animals monophyletic? There is a tricky semantic issue here, involving
> > what to say now that the Protozoa have been thrown out of the old
> > Animalia. Did we discover that: (1) Protozoa aren't animals after all; or
> > (2) Protozoa are animals, but animals are a polyphyletic grouping of
> > Protozoa and Metazoa. I prefer (2), but they are very reluctant at
> > Wikispecies, for example, to deny that lions and insects and things belong
> > to a clade properly called Animalia, so they prefer (1)...
> >
> > ________________________________________
> > From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> > [taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Kenneth Kinman
> > [kennethkinman at webtv.net]
> > Sent: Thursday, 14 January 2010 5:03 p.m.
> > To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> > Subject: [Taxacom] Our Monkey Ancestors
> >
> > I disagree,
> >       Calling apes "monkeys" is sort of like calling snakes "lizards",
> > either of which are even worse than "birds ARE dinosaurs" (rather than
> > birds are dinosaur descendants).  It's all cladistic lumping run amuck,
> > towards which I am not inclined to be charitable.
> >       And spiders + insects is far worse, being a polyphyletic
> > grouping.  People who study insects should be hanging around more with
> > those who study crustaceans.  Spiders are a whole different branch of
> > arthropods, and I don't think it is settled on which branch the
> > myriapods lie (or even if they comprise a single clade; now that might
> > be complicated).
> >        Fine if entomologists still study myriapods, but lumping
> > arachnology into entomology is like ornithologists studying Chiroptera
> > just because they happen to fly.  And I am still convinced that
> > Collembola (springtails) evolved from a completely different crustacean
> > group than other hexapods (hexapody evolved at least twice independently
> > from different crustaceans).  If the crustacean people (instead of
> > entomologists) studied springtails, we would probably have discovered
> > their true ancestry years ago.
> >      ---------Ken Kinman
> >
> > -------------------------------------------------
> > Stephen wrote:
> > I just want to point out that it is easy to criticise others with
> > different views, but in this case if, as you say, monkeys are
> > paraphyletic w.r.t. apes, then a person who "lumps apes in with monkeys"
> > has actually got a good point, cladistically speaking! And spiders do
> > tend to be studied in entomology departments, and often in entomology
> > journals, so one could be charitable and interpret "insects" in the wide
> > sense of insects and allies, rather than in the strict sense of Hexapoda
> > (and what about Parainsecta, are they insects? It gets complicated ...)
> > ______________________________________
> >
> >
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