I feel that I should apologise for this seemingly fatuous content but it
seems so apt here.
Years ago I came up with Hilary's Law of History : If it stands still long
enough, breed with it.
On 21 February 2018 at 02:28, Dave Tooke <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Perhaps the main problem is the search for a root.
> The picture we carry of an evolutionary tree is well acknowledged as too
> simplistic, but the offer of an intertwined bush in its place is also a
> simplistic idea.
> It’s much more like dribbling different cans of paint on the floor and
> letting them run and mix and cross tracks back and forth mixing and
> mingling as it goes.
> We have an idea of species evolving from one form to another. But
> evolution works by beneficial mutations growing within a population. This
> must occur over multiple generations. Individuals within a species may
> breed with others who carry the mutation and/or (and there is no mutual
> exclusivity) those who don’t. Our definition of a species is a group that
> doesn’t (not can’t) normally breed with other similar groups. But the point
> at which such preferential mating becomes established must necessarily be
> woolly. And we know that ancient hominins interbred.
> Seeking an evolutionary “line” is a fruitless occupation. There isn’t a
> line, there is a blend.
> Dave Tooke
> Sent from my iPhone
> > On 20 Feb 2018, at 14:12, BRIGGS JOHN <0000149b9c30fb63-dmarc-
> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > There are many comments that could be made, here are a few:
> > 1. The Basque area refuge is probably a myth - we don't even know where
> the Basques came from: the Romans make no mention of them so they probably
> weren't in the Basque Region in Roman times.
> > 2. White skin was probably picked up from the Neanderthals, who had been
> in Northern climes for about 500,00 years - plenty of time for evolutionary
> > 3. Stephen Oppenheimer's medical speciality was as a tropical
> > John Briggs
Dr Hilary Stuart-Williams
Research Officer - Stable Isotopes
The Research School of Biology
R.N. Robertson Building (46)
The Australian National University
Canberra ACT 2601
Work: 61 02 6125 2099