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Author Topic:   from tree to web?
Modulous
Member (Idle past 389 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 16 of 20 (503054)
03-15-2009 6:33 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by harry
03-15-2009 6:07 PM


Re: Thank you!
THe new scientist the following week published a very angry by Dawkins et'al that took up half their letters section.

You are so irresponsible rar rar rar, dumb load of rar rar....we have to clean up your mess rar rar.

etc

Or, more accurately

quote:
What on earth were you thinking when you produced a garish cover proclaiming that "Darwin was wrong" (24 January)?

First, it's false, and second, it's inflammatory. And, as you surely know, many readers will interpret the cover not as being about Darwin, the historical figure, but about evolution.

Nothing in the article showed that the concept of the tree of life is unsound; only that it is more complicated than was realised before the advent of molecular genetics. It is still true that all of life arose from "a few forms or... one", as Darwin concluded in The Origin of Species. It is still true that it diversified by descent with modification via natural selection and other factors.

Of course there's a tree; it's just more of a banyan than an oak at its single-celled-organism base. The problem of horizontal gene-transfer in most non-bacterial species is not serious enough to obscure the branches we find by sequencing their DNA.

The accompanying editorial makes it clear that you knew perfectly well that your cover was handing the creationists a golden opportunity to mislead school boards, students and the general public about the status of evolutionary biology. Indeed, within hours of publication members of the Texas State Board of Education were citing the article as evidence that teachers needed to teach creationist-inspired "weaknesses of evolution", claiming: "Darwin's tree of life is wrong".

You have made a lot of extra, unpleasant work for the scientists whose work you should be explaining to the general public. We all now have to try to correct all the misapprehensions your cover has engendered.

by Daniel Dennett, Medford, Massachusetts, US , Jerry Coyne, Chicago, Illinois, US , Richard Dawkins, Oxford, UK and Paul Myers, Morris, Minnesota, US



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Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by olivortex, posted 03-16-2009 10:35 AM Modulous has not yet responded

  
olivortex
Member (Idle past 3063 days)
Posts: 70
From: versailles, france
Joined: 01-28-2009


Message 17 of 20 (503137)
03-16-2009 10:35 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by Modulous
03-15-2009 6:33 PM


Re: Thank you!
Thank you Modulous!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by Modulous, posted 03-15-2009 6:33 PM Modulous has not yet responded

    
alaninnont
Member (Idle past 3721 days)
Posts: 107
Joined: 02-27-2009


Message 18 of 20 (503145)
03-16-2009 11:52 AM


While the "tree of life" model has yet to be toppled, there is growing support for a web rather than a tree. As DNA sequencing becomes more common, more examples of horizontal gene transfer are being found in plants and animals.
Plants - Jumping Genes Cross Plant Species Boundaries. PLoS Biol 4(1): e35
Animals - Massive Horizontal Gene Transfer in Bdelloid Rotifers
Science vol. 320 no. 5880 pp. 1210 - 1213

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harry
Member (Idle past 3752 days)
Posts: 59
Joined: 03-15-2009


Message 19 of 20 (503156)
03-16-2009 2:18 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by alaninnont
03-16-2009 11:52 AM


Like it was said in the letter, HGT does not offer signifant enough genetic tranfer to muddle the tree.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by alaninnont, posted 03-16-2009 11:52 AM alaninnont has not yet responded

    
Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 3317 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 20 of 20 (504125)
03-24-2009 7:04 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by olivortex
03-13-2009 1:49 PM


TREE VS WEB
This difference of form underlies the current disagreement on Panbiog-L
http://groups.google.com/group/panbiog/
among Dr. Nelson (of Cladistic FAME) and other panbiogeographers (Craw,Heads,Henderson,Calvalcanti etc )and myself!

Here is my link to the site
http://axiompanbiog.com/panbioglnks.aspx

Sincerely,
Brad McFall
Oh, yea, I show how to get a "web" from Darwin's "tree" here
http://axiompanbiog.com/intro.aspx

Edited by Brad McFall, : additional link


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