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December 2, 2013 Archives

In posting an item about the 'pig-ape hybridisation' suggestion for human origins, the Daily Mail is a) coming rather late to the story (a slow day in the newsroom, perhaps?) and b) showing more regard for sensationalism than for good investigative journalism.

The story's one I've posted about before (& I've reposted my original piece below). Seeing it again really makes me think that the originator of this particular idea is trying to have it both ways. If our morphology is as similar as he claims to that of pigs, and different from chimps, then the differences should show up in our genes. Yet they don't; genetically we are much closer to chimps than to swine. He claims that this can be explained by repeated back-crossing with early humans - which is effectively no more than special pleading (& conveniently ignores the issue of significant differences in chromosome number between the two taxa). 

 

The internet is a wondrous place: a source of information, of amusement, and - alarmingly often - of material that elicits a combination of 'say what?' and <head-desk>. And a hat-tip to PZ Myers for this particular example...

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Recent Comments

  • Alison Campbell: We have significant areas of DNA homologies with fruit flies, read more
  • Sirius Lunacy: 5 hundred 28 hertz vibrations Pumped into water distillations Clears read more
  • herr doktor bimler: And people will pay for the privilege of being hoodwinked read more
  • Ted Herrlich: And people will pay for the privilege of being hoodwinked. read more
  • Chris Mannering: Problem was because you couldn't/didn't take the idea seriously to read more
  • Alison Campbell: Only if one assumes that students are stupid & professors read more
  • herr doktor bimler: does powerpoint make students stupid and professors boring? If the read more
  • Alison Campbell: Quite so. read more
  • herr doktor bimler: Prokaryotes have a single, circular chromosome I'm not clear on read more
  • Alison Campbell: I love this, Sari. What a great story. read more