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Re: origin of bats/

This appears to be a reply by Anthony Docimo to an offlist e-mail that was sent to him by David Peters. I don't know if it should have been sent to the list in the first place. But it contains a couple of important points that I'd like to comment.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Anthony Docimo" <keenir@hotmail.com>
To: "ptnorton" <ptnorton@suscom-maine.net>; <davidpeters@att.net>; <qilongia@yahoo.com>; <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Monday, June 23, 2008 12:42 AM

Jaime, I'm just giving you the cherries on top. There's so much more
in the dataset.

>then why are you afraid of it?

Why bring up "afraid"? That's totally inappropriate. If you're interested in the topic, kindly contact me off line and I'll share what I have.

are you doing this with everyone?

No, and he shouldn't be expected to do that. The other way around: Everyone is expected to wait for the paper before trying to discuss it.

Insults noted. Name two reptile DNA tests that agree with one another
and reflect morphology.

sooo.....you're using reptiles to prove a point about bats?

No, I'm using reptle DNA tests as evidence against belief in mammal DNA tests, even though some may be right on the money.

What is usually called "DNA test" is figuring out the amount of repetition in certain junk DNA sequences because this amount is subject to individual variation. This is also how paternity tests are made. This is _not_ how cladistic analyses of molecular data are conducted in PAUP* or NONA or TNT or any other cladistics program. There's a lot of information out there on how to do that; for example, there's a book called "Growing Trees from Molecular Data".

Ultimately, DNA must be matched to morphology.

Ultimately, there is only one phylogeny, so all datasets ought to find the same one. As long as they don't, however, it's difficult to say a priori which one is wrong, or if both are.

In placental phylogeny, we have (as I keep repeating) pretty comprehensive molecular analyses, but only a single attempt at a halfway comprehensive morphological analyses -- and the molecular analyses agree with each other, while there seems to be a trend in morphological analyses of (any) placentals to get closer to the molecular topology. So, at present, I think we should trust the molecular ones first. And I didn't even mention the SINE and LINE insertions, the most reliable characters known (...and they are more similar to morphological than to sequence data, actually).

bats are descended from either velvet worms or barnacles. the physical parallels are many! (vampire bats have anticoagulant saliva, just like velvet worms have saliva that keeps their webbing from hardening too soon; hammerhead bats have a plume-like structure in each armpit)

Dr. Martin, thank you. This is my last email to you, Anthony. You're not serious about this and you don't understand the meaning of "suite of characters."

Neither does PAUP*. PAUP* only understands "relative number of derived character states".

Again, these are only part of the formula. Do you walk around angry
and sarcastic all the time? Or only when you respond to new hypotheses?

if I remember my college and high school biology classes, a hypothesis demands support (more than just "i say so") from its author. evidence is required, either at the initial hypothesis-making or shortly after - or both.

If you were really interested, you'd ask for more information.

we've ALL been asking you for more information.

Yes. We will, however, gladly wait for it. A published paper is much easier to discuss than vague assertions to the point of "I have found that bats are feliformians, and it's just so obvious".