[Taxacom] I got them Nabokov Blues

Richard Zander Richard.Zander at mobot.org
Wed Jan 26 16:08:32 CST 2011


My two cents: Phylogenetic hypotheses are not hypotheses, they are facts (variously well supported). Of course they have lots of certainty. It is the theory based on those facts that may not be so certain. Phylogenetics, because it begins and ends with sister-group analysis, has no theory (the theory that similarity implies evolution is trivial, i.e. exactly WHAT ancestor-descendant evolution may be theorized by THESE exemplar relationships?). 

Also, given that any species can split many times molecularly through isolation, without speciation, any node on a cladogram may be the same taxon as any other node. Thus, interpretation of the fact of similarity is tendentious and probabilistic.

This does not mean that Nabokov was not correct. 

Nah, I haven't read the article either, but this is Taxacom, and much of what we share is poetry, or heuristic, or exercise against the creeping Alzheimer menace.

 
* * * * * * * * * * * * 
Richard H. Zander 
Missouri Botanical Garden, PO Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA 
Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/ and http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm
Modern Evolutionary Systematics Web site: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/21EvSy.htm


-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of J. Kirk Fitzhugh
Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 2:58 PM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] I got them Nabokov Blues

Thanks Kurt. The difficulty is that cladograms are not in themselves 
tests, and no amount of sequence data used to infer phylogenetic 
hypotheses can act as test evidence or to increase hypothesis support. 
While the hypothesis you inferred is intriguing, it has no greater or 
lesser certainty/veracity than Nabokov's orignal hypothesis inferred 
from other classes of characters. Both sets of hypotheses remain as they 
are - hypotheses that have not yet been subjected to testing (based on 
what is presented in Zimmer's article).

I do look forward to reading your paper.

Kirk

On 1/26/2011 12:43 PM, Fet, Victor wrote:
> 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]
> To: NABOKV-L at LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU
> Date: Wednesday, January 26, 2011, 2:19 PM
>
>
> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject:
>
> FW: [Taxacom] I got them Nabokov Blues
>
> Date:
>
> Wed, 26 Jan 2011 19:15:25 +0000
>
> From:
>
> Fet, Victor<fet at marshall.edu></mc/compose?to=fet at marshall.edu>
>
> To:
>
> NABOKV-L at LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU</mc/compose?to=NABOKV-L at LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>  <NABOKV-L at LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU></mc/compose?to=NABOKV-L at LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>
>
>
> > From the taxonomists' forum...
>
> Victor
>
> -----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
>
>   valid
> 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.
>
> Kirk
> --
>
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> 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>
> http://www.nhm.org/site/research-collections/polychaetous-annelids
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>
>
>
> 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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