[Taxacom] Evolution of human-ape relationships remains open forinvestigation
jgrehan at sciencebuff.org
Fri Aug 5 06:35:47 CDT 2011
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Kenneth Kinman
Sent: Thursday, August 04, 2011 10:54 PM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Evolution of human-ape relationships remains open
> The last sentence in the abstract refers to "the fact that
> identification of shared similarity does not translate into
> demonstration of synapomorphy."
> Ironically, that has actually been my biggest criticism of the
> theory that orangutans and hominids form an exclusive clade---that the
> identification of shared similarities between orangutans and hominids
> does not translate into a demonstration of synapomorphies (but that
> they are actually most likely symplesiomorphies).
If one reads the paper one will see that similarity alone is does not
translate into a demonstration of synapomorphy, whereas shared derived
similarities (which is what we use) does. That is the difference. Quite
> So I certainly agree with the subject line that the "Evolution of
> human-ape relationships remains open", although a third theory (that
> chimps and gorillas form an exclusive clade) is sadly not getting the
> attention that it probably deserves.
We do, if one reads the 2009 paper.
> Meanwhile, those championing exclusive chimp-hominid or orangutan-
> hominid clades are probably BOTH labelling symplesiomorphies as
> synapomorphies. So I don't sympathesize with either side of that
> debate, and that both are probably throwing rocks from glass houses.
One is entitled to take any view one prefers, but in this case the above
opinion is noting more than an opinion, and one that has no empirical
Last sentence in the abstract reads:
In brief, DOM fails both to test theories of relatedness and to
take into account the fact that identification of shared similarity does
not translate into demonstration of synapomorphy.
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