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Re: No Hedging.

>For those of you who believe recent molecular evidence suggesting early
>mammalian ordinal divergence is not a challenge to the claimed competence
>of our current fossil record, i.e., that genetic changes may lead to few
>morphological changes (at least as recognizable from bones) and that we
>have already found the bones of these genetically radical creatures, here
>are Hedges' beliefs. The quote is from an on-line Science news service.

This quote indicates some ignorance on Hedges' part, but it still doesn't
indicate a real conflict between the available data sets, which is more
fundamental than the misinterpretations of individuals.  Benton had some
statements in the Science review of this work that were equally as
incorrect - e.g. his argument that the molecular data indicate we should
find elephants and rabbits in the Cretaceous, which is not what the
molecular data say at all.

This quote by Hedges, by the way, is not surprising, given some of the
other papers Hedges has authored or coauthored on the subject of
molecules-versus-morphology.  Most of the systematics community have come
around to saying "molecules or morphology?  Yes!", but he is one of those
who would still favor one over the other.

As a matter of clarity, I do NOT regard molecular clocks as reliable.


Christopher Brochu, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Department of Geology
Field Museum of Natural History
Lake Shore Drive at Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL  60605  USA

phone:  312-922-9410, ext. 469
fax:  312-922-9566