[Taxacom] Morphological molecular reconciliation again (was erecting or sinking higher taxa

Richard Zander Richard.Zander at mobot.org
Sun Oct 14 14:10:14 CDT 2012

Curtis has it right. That is my explanation that included, as total evidence, both apparently conflicting morphological and molecular patterns.
The point is to provide a process-based (macroevolution) scientific explanation, which may be refuted, applicable to both molecular and morphological cladograms. It may be wrong, but does explain the patterns.
Richard H. Zander
Missouri Botanical Garden
PO Box 299
St. Louis, MO 63166 U.S.A.
richard.zander at mobot.org


From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu on behalf of Curtis Clark
Sent: Sun 10/14/2012 1:45 PM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Morphological molecular reconciliation again (was erecting or sinking higher taxa

On 2012-10-14 9:25 AM, John Grehan wrote:
> Richard's conclusion is only possible by saying that the morpogenetic
> evidence is wrong (i.e. throwing it out). And I did mention in my response
> an explanation for the molecular evidence being wrong in this case - that
> the molecular evidence result has been negatively affected by the presence
> of unrecognized plesiomorphies (due to the phenetic nature of character
> state determination and analysis).

If I'm understanding Richard, he's hypothesizing that orangutans are a
grade, that was at one time widespread, and that gave rise to chimps,
bonobos, mountain and lowland gorillas, and humans, without itself being
transformed by anagenesis. Those orangs that gave rise to humans had
previously given rise to chimps, and so there would be expected to be
strong molecular similarities between humans, chimps, and the extinct
orang subgroup that gave rsie to them. But those orangs still share
morphological features with the SE Asian orangs, and those features were
less changed when humans speciated than when chimps, bonobos, or
gorillas speciated. So the orang-human morphological similarities can
appear to be symplesiomorphies relative to chimps, bonobos, and
gorillas, while at the same time being evidence of close relationship.

Richard, am I on the right track?

Curtis Clark        http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark
Biological Sciences                   +1 909 869 4140
Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona CA 91768


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