[Taxacom] I got them Nabokov Blues

Fet, Victor fet at marshall.edu
Wed Jan 26 14:43:25 CST 2011

From: Kurt Johnson [mailto:kurtjohnsonisd at yahoo.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 3:08 PM
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum
Cc: Fet, Victor
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] [Fwd: FW: [Taxacom] I got them Nabokov Blues]

This is Kurt Johnson, one of the co-authors of the Pierce paper.  I wouldn't make that judgment you make below without reading the paper.  In fact, in the evolution of the paper itself we took great care to make sure we were framing a hypothesis that could be authenticated as "Nabokov's own hypothesis" (from his rather florid style) and bounced the alternatives about that off several Nabokov scholars.   Nabokov spoke about a sequence of invasion events, and in a precise order re: the taxa involved.  That couldn't have really been tested by a cladistic tree created by anatomical data (which would have been quite "inferred" in itself) but, with DNA sequencing, there is a tree genesis of a much "higher level" of certainty/veracity.   The question was simply whether the DNA sequence fit the scenario Nabokov wrote about.  When it did, other aspects of fine-tuning that, re: climatology, paleoecology etc. could also be factored in an informative way.   So, maybe not so blue?

Kurt Johnson

--- On Wed, 1/26/11, Nabokv-L <nabokv-l at UTK.EDU> wrote:

From: Nabokv-L <nabokv-l at UTK.EDU>
Subject: [NABOKV-L] [Fwd: FW: [Taxacom] I got them Nabokov Blues]
Date: Wednesday, January 26, 2011, 2:19 PM

-------- Original Message --------

FW: [Taxacom] I got them Nabokov Blues


Wed, 26 Jan 2011 19:15:25 +0000


Fet, Victor <fet at marshall.edu></mc/compose?to=fet at marshall.edu>



>From the taxonomists' forum...


-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu</mc/compose?to=taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu</mc/compose?to=taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>] On Behalf Of J. Kirk Fitzhugh
Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 2:00 PM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu</mc/compose?to=taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] I got them Nabokov Blues

Based just on Zimmer's article, Pierce et al. didn't perform any

test of Nabokov's hypothesis. Rather, Pierce et al. inferred a
hypothesis explaining a set of sequence data, whereas Nabokov's
hypothesis explains certain anatomical data. All we're presented with
are two separate explanations (Nabokov's and Pierce et al., assuming
Pierce et al. made no attempt to integrate all relevant data), not a
test of any one hypothesis.


J. Kirk Fitzhugh, Ph.D.
Curator of Polychaetes
Invertebrate Zoology Section
Research&  Collections Branch
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90007
Phone: 213-763-3233
FAX: 213-746-2999
e-mail: kfitzhug at nhm.org</mc/compose?to=kfitzhug at nhm.org>

On 1/25/2011 8:21 PM, Barry Roth wrote:
> http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/01/science/01butterfly.html?_r=2&hp&pagewanted=all
> Swing away, ladies and gents, at the approaches and assumptions underlying the original hypothesis and the interview comments by those who tested it.  I merely muse on the assist that having a taxonomist who is highly celebrated for his accomplishments in another field probably gave to the type size of the headline here.
> Barry Roth

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