Re: [asa] The Charybdis of the Modern Synthesis

From: David Campbell <>
Date: Mon Sep 28 2009 - 10:41:24 EDT

The term "Darwinian" is problematic in these contexts, too. The
recent PNAS paper suggesting that caterpillar-like larvae are a
product of hybridization between an onychophoran and an insect
identified that as non-Darwinian, but I don't think Darwin himself
said anything that would rule such out. What was meant was
"reticulate rather than following a strictly branching pattern". In
reality, I doubt that any evolutionary biologist would deny that there
is some reticulation, and there's much more recognition of it as a
widespread phenomenon now than a few years ago, as studies suggest
that there's more than had been generally recognized, with rampant
"hybridization" in prokaryotes. Nevertheless, the
onychophoran-caterpillar link is probably erroneous, as there are so
many fully arthropod features in caterpillars, as no one has noticed
evidence of a separate genome applying to the larvae in Drosophilia,
and as becoming wormlike is an extremely common convergence.

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections
University of Alabama
"I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Mon Sep 28 10:42:20 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Mon Sep 28 2009 - 10:42:21 EDT