Re: [asa] New fruit fly threat in Southern California

From: David Campbell <>
Date: Wed Aug 05 2009 - 18:32:48 EDT

>> One of David's examples below provides another example of how evolutionary
>> theorizing can *look* as if it contributes substantially to biological
>> theory or practice while *in fact* being merely a redundant interpretive
>> gloss.

On the contrary, evolutionary models provide a reason for supposing
that species that are presumed to be close relatives based on one set
of data are likely to be similar in other features. (It would be
possible to develop a non-evolutionary model with a similar
prediction, though I can't immediately come up with one that isn't
reducible to "the designer made things to look as though they

If the similarities were merely common constraints imposed by
necessity on separately designed organisms, then there would be no
reason to suppose that other features, not subject to the same
constraints, would show the same resemblances. For example, a
phylogenetic analysis of the flies based on cox1 genes (a
mitochondrial protein) has no known reason to correspond to
similarities in pheromones, except common ancestry. In fact, it would
generally be advantageous for different species of similar flies that
live near each other to have different pheromones to avoid confusion.

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections
University of Alabama
"I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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Received on Wed Aug 5 18:33:48 2009

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