[Taxacom] I got them Nabokov Blues

Neal Evenhuis neale at bishopmuseum.org
Wed Jan 26 14:54:40 CST 2011

Just a hunch here, but I think the differences of opinion on this thread simply revolve around whether the word "proved" or "supported" should be used (with regard Pierce et al's study) in modifying the word "hypothesis"  (in reference to Nabakov's "hypothesis").


On 1/26/11 10:43 AM, "Fet, Victor" <fet at marshall.edu<mailto:fet at marshall.edu>> scribbled the following tidbit:

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

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