[Taxacom] Science funding

Mark WIlden mark at mwilden.com
Thu Oct 4 08:23:12 CDT 2012


 scientists were treated as if they were bludgers (i.e.
> parasites) who would contribute nothing of value to society unless managers
> were looking over their shoulders and making sure they worked!

Nothing unusual here. Most managers treat their employees this way.

> 
> John Grehan
> 
> On Thu, Oct 4, 2012 at 3:22 AM, Cristian Ruiz Altaba <
> cruizaltaba at dgcc.caib.es> wrote:
> 
>> Ken is right, and John realistic. However, to change reality we must
>> strive to enlighten our fellow citizens. Dinosaurs and wolves are great
>> players in changing the world's perception of biodiversity. Educating
>> politicians takes a little longer, though.
>> 
>> **
>> 
>> 
>> -----taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu escribió: -----
>> 
>> Para: Ken Kinman <kinman at hotmail.com>
>> De: John Grehan <calabar.john at gmail.com>
>> Enviado por: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>> Fecha: 03/10/2012 12:23
>> cc: "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
>> Asunto: [Taxacom] Science funding
>> 
>> 
>> The place Ken is looking for is called Heaven. If only science were fair,
>> if only funding was allocated properly to the 'right' subjects and at the
>> 'right' amounts. If only society could make the 'right' choices. If only my
>> personal research interests could be funded all would be well in the world
>> of science. If only.....
>> 
>> John Grehan
>> 
>> On Tue, Oct 2, 2012 at 10:46 PM, Ken Kinman <kinman at hotmail.com> wrote:
>> 
>>> ....... If the public wants more specials on wolves or dinosaurs, let
>>> private groups fund it completely.  Governments and universities should
>> be
>>> in the business of balance, NOT feeding the public's fascination with
>>> certain taxa (especially dinosaurs).  If kids are fascinated by
>> dinosaurs,
>>> fine, but their parents should support dinosaur research privately
>> (easily
>>> done if they divert a mere 1% of what they readily pump into professional
>>> and college sports).  Of course, government could fund FAR greater
>> amounts
>>> of conservation and taxonomic research if it just reduced payments into
>> the
>>> corporate welfare system.                          -------------Ken
>>> 
>>> Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2012 20:50:23 -0700
>>> From: stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
>>> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] another putative arthropod outgroup
>>> To: kinman at hotmail.com; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>>> 
>>> but that is still very "hopeful" ... if pentastomids have lost genes,
>> then
>>> we still won't know what they lost exactly, so we can't reconstruct the
>>> "groundplan" any more than we can with lost morphology! MAYBE we will
>> find
>>> some very specific genetic material shared with a crustacean ingroup, but
>>> maybe not ...
>>> 
>>> Stephen
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> From: Ken Kinman <kinman at hotmail.com>
>>> To: Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>; "
>>> taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
>>> Sent: Saturday, 29 September 2012 3:24 PM
>>> Subject: RE: [Taxacom] another putative arthropod outgroup
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>>        I actually think that reduced molecularities (lost genes) will
>>> eventually prove more informative than reduced morphologies in such
>> cases.
>>> The trouble is that a small molecular change can result in a cascade
>>> yielding a number of morphological changes, so it can be like looking
>> for a
>>> needle in a molecular haystack.  If so, what the morphologists call
>>> parsimonious in this case may be deceptive.  Not that I am always swayed
>> by
>>> molecularists (even when they have lots more data).  I look at each case
>>> individually, and weigh morphology vs. molecularity data when they don't
>>> agree.  In this case, there is so little molecular data that it seems
>>> ridiculous to even invoke parsimony at this stage.
>>>                  -------------------Ken
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2012 19:59:08 -0700
>>> From: stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
>>> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] another putative arthropod outgroup
>>> To: kinman at hotmail.com; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> at any rate, is there any sound basis for thinking that the DNA
>> associated
>>> with reduced morphologies won't itself be reduced/absent, so, unless
>> there
>>> is some very specific other DNA shared with a crustacean ingroup (might
>> be,
>>> but might not), we are no better off?
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> From: Ken Kinman <kinman at hotmail.com>
>>> To: Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>; "
>>> taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
>>> Sent: Saturday, 29 September 2012 2:47 PM
>>> Subject: RE: [Taxacom] another putative arthropod outgroup
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Hi Stephen,
>>>      Well, just to be fair, I wouldn't call the morphological data in
>>> this case "extremely" limited.  It is actually quite impressive how much
>>> detail they can see in these Orsten fossils.  My concern in this case is
>>> not so much in how limited the morphological data is (even though much of
>>> it is from such fossils), but rather how limited the molecular data is on
>>> pentastomids.  Sometimes amazing that grant money can be found for
>>> sequencing very large numbers of specimens of some species (or even
>>> subspecies or populations) of certain taxa, but extremely little on a
>> much
>>> higher level taxon like Pentastomida.
>>> 
>>> 
>>>                      --------------Ken
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2012 19:05:25 -0700
>>> From: stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
>>> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] another putative arthropod outgroup
>>> To: kinman at hotmail.com; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>>> The paleontological morphologists insist that it is unparsimonous to
>>> assume that pentastomids have secondarily lost so many crustacean
>>> morphologies<
>>> 
>>> It is a general problem with obligate parasite groups, that they are so
>>> derived and have lost so many characters that their relationships are
>>> obscure. Given that paleontological morphological data is extremely
>> limited
>>> (both by the patchiness of the fossil record, and the fact that you can't
>>> see much on a fossil specimen), I would look to molecular data on this
>> one
>>> (though there is still no guarantee of success). Whether it is
>>> "unparsimonious" or not depends on a whole phylogeny, not just part of it
>>> taken out of context ...
>>> 
>>> Stephen
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> From: Ken Kinman <kinman at hotmail.com>
>>> To: "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
>>> Sent: Saturday, 29 September 2012 1:47 PM
>>> Subject: [Taxacom] another putative arthropod outgroup
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Dear All,      Beside tardigrades and onychophorans, another taxon
>>> (Pentastomida) has also long been put forward as an outgroup to
>>> euarthropods (or arthropods in general, including fossil taxa).  However,
>>> molecular data (18S
>>> rRNA and mitochondrial data), along with very limited morphological
>> data,
>>> indicates that pentastomids are actually highly modified (morphologically
>>> "simplified") maxillopodan crustaceans.
>>>      Anyone want to weigh in on whether morphologists (especially
>>> paleontologists) or molecularists are right on this one?  The
>>> paleontological morphologists insist that it is unparsimonous to assume
>>> that pentastomids have secondarily lost so many crustacean morphologies,
>>> even though they are highly derived due to their parasitic life styles
>> (see
>>> weblink below).  The question is whether they are right, or whether the
>>> molecularists are just sorely in need of far more molecular data on the
>>> pentastomids.  Anyway, if pentastomids are secondarily simplified
>>> crustaceans, will tardigrades turn out to also be secondarily simplified
>>> arthropods (although perhaps from another branch of arthropods such as
>>> chelicerates)?  The debate continues.
>>>              ---------------------Ken Kinman
>> http://www.core-orsten-research.de/Publications/PDF_Paper/ulm_team/2011%20CASTELLANI_ETAL.pdf
>>> _______________________________________________
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>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
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