> So we need to determine exactly what the
> authors are referring to before we can make any conclusions about the
> validity of statistical studies based on mutation rates. Are they talking
> about the rate of mutation, the rate of substitution or the rate of
> molecular evolution?
As a followup to my own response, I went back and read Glenn's quotes from
the Hagelberg et al paper. I am now convinced that they were discussing the
rates of substitution and molecular evolution, not the rate of mutation. In
fact, nothing they discussed challenged the paradigm that mutation rates are
constant, but what they did discuss was how other molecular process such as
recombination can affect the apparent rates of substitution and especially
So it would appear that Gordon Simons' conclusion concerning the validity of
statistical data based on the assumption of the constantcy of the rate of
mutation is both premature and erroneous.
Kevin L. O'Brien