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Re: Resetting the "molecular clock hypothesis"



i thought this mailing list's policy was not to dignify creationist BS with any 
discussion


--- On Wed, 7/23/08, David Marjanovic <david.marjanovic@gmx.at> wrote:

> From: David Marjanovic <david.marjanovic@gmx.at>
> Subject: Re: Resetting the "molecular clock hypothesis"
> To: "DML" <dinosaur@usc.edu>
> Date: Wednesday, July 23, 2008, 8:07 PM
> > Riv Biol. 2008 Jan-Apr;101(1):93-108.
> 
> Rivista di Biologia is a journal without peer-review that
> publishes 
> creationist attempts to imitate the scientific process. It
> can be safely 
> ignored on that basis alone.
> 
> > There exists a remarkable correlation between genetic
> distance as measured 
> > by protein or DNA dissimilarity and time of species
> divergence as inferred 
> > from fossil records. This observation has provoked the
> molecular clock 
> > hypothesis. However, data inconsistent with the
> hypothesis have steadily 
> > accumulated in recent years from studies of extant
> organisms.
> 
> As usual, creationists are -- at best -- behind their times
> in their 
> understanding of scientific knowledge. Even the
> ornithologists now 
> understand that the molecular clock hypothesis holds only
> as a very, very 
> crude approximation, that each clade, each gene, and lastly
> each base pair 
> has its own speed of evolution.
> 
> > Here the published DNA and protein sequences from
> ancient fossil specimens 
> > were examined to see if they would support the
> molecular clock hypothesis. 
> > The hypothesis predicts that ancient specimens cannot
> be genetically more 
> > distant to an outgroup than extant sister species are.
> 
> A very strict form of the molecular clock hypothesis would
> predict that. But 
> why bother? We already know it is wrong. If I had been a
> reviewer on this 
> manuscript, I'd have recommended rejection on the
> grounds that the author 
> doesn't know what they're talking about. But, as
> mentioned, nobody was a 
> reviewer.
> 
> > Also, two distinct ancient specimens cannot be
> genetically more distant 
> > than their extant sister species are.
> 
> Does that mean anything?
> 
> > The findings here do not conform to these predictions.
> Neanderthals are 
> > more distant to chimpanzees and gorillas than modern
> humans are. Dinosaurs 
> > are more distant to frogs than extant birds are.
> Mastodons are more 
> > distant to opossums than other placental mammals are.
> 
> More distant to opossums than _any other_ placental mammals
> are? Was the 
> damage to the sequence counted as difference, or what?
> 
> > The genetic distance between dinosaurs and mastodons
> is greater than that 
> > between extant birds and mammals. Therefore, while the
> molecular clock 
> > hypothesis is consistent with some data from extant
> organisms, it has yet 
> > to find support from ancient fossils.
> 
> Which extant birds and which mammals?
> 
> And what is this talk about distance anyway? Why not count
> apomorphies 
> instead of differences? Oh, right, that's because...
> 
> > Far more damaging to the hypothesis than data from
> extant organisms, which 
> > merely question the constancy of mutation rate, the
> study of ancient 
> > fossil organisms here challenges for the first time
> the fundamental 
> > premise of modern evolution theory that genetic
> distances had always 
> > increased with time in the past history of life on
> Earth.
> 
> Told you the author is a creationist: "Being ignorant,
> I believe that some 
> unrealistic hypothesis is a fundamental premise of modern
> evolution theory, 
> without which the theory would utterly collapse; this
> hypothesis is wrong 
> (especially if my lack of understanding of the data is
> counted as evidence); 
> therefore the theory of evolution is wrong; therefore the
> lack-of-theory of 
> creationism is right; therefore Jesus. Praise the
> Lord!!!1!" (If you're 
> bored, count the errors in the logic.)
> 
> --------------------------
> 
> Any discussion of this should be kept offlist, in order to
> avoid useless 
> discussions of creationism (as required by 
> http://www.lifesci.ucsb.edu/~mrowe/dinosaur/administrivia.php#no_nos).
> 
> Please don't time me out just yet -- I'll be away
> from any computer from 
> July 27th to August 9th anyway.