Reclassification of Homo sapiens.

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Enmos, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

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    Just to jump in here:
    Genetic analysis.

    Basing it neither on genotype, or physical phenotype, but behaviour patterns, then we and chimps are closer together. I would feel quite comfortable joining a group of chimps, not so with gorillas. (Or bonobos, but that's only because I couldn't handle all the sex.)
     
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  3. CharonZ Registered Senior Member

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    Enmos, what you proposed has been discussed in the scientific community well before either genome was fully sequenced (see e.g. Goodman, Am. J. Hum. Genet. 64:31–39, 1999).
    The genome sequence as a whole however cannot be used straightforward for classification purposes. We are still lacking tools to build stable taxonomic distance based on complete genome sequences. With prokaryotes there are tentative attempts but not in the scale of the human or chimpanzee genome (to my knowledge). Usually again conserved regions or polymorphisms are preferred (as established statistical methods can be applied) rather than taking on the whole beast. Also it is often (usually) not sufficient to compare two species alone in order to classifiy them correctly. However around 2007 also a macaque genome has been published, allowing further analyses. And finally the definition of genus itself may be a problem. There are basically two school of thoughts (again, to my knowledge I am not a systematist) the first defines a genus as a species or a group of species of common ancestry that occupies an ecological situation, or adaptive zone, that is different from that occupied by the species of another genus. The second second (cladistic) definition stats that a genus is a group of species that are more closely related to one another than to species assigned to another genus. In the latter a genus is always monophyletic, according to the former it can also be paraphyletic. Both are limited in different ways however, as our convenient way of trying to assign nature into classes does not necessary reflect natural distinction itself. According to the cladistic definition however, all apes would belong to the same family (Hominidae) and chimpanzees, bonobos and humans would belong to the same subgenus.
     
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  5. Enmos Staff Member

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    Exactly.

    lol @ the sex thing

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  7. Enmos Staff Member

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    The cladistic method makes much more sense to me though. In fact, I really don't see the point of paraphyletic genuses.
     
  8. CharonZ Registered Senior Member

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    The problem lies within the methodology as even with modern sequencing techniques monphyletic relationships are often hard to validate, especially in the light of horizontal gene transfer. But yes, coming from the genomics area it makes more sense to me intuitively, too.
     
  9. madanthonywayne Morning in America Staff Member

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    I'm with SAM! I like being the only extant member of my genus. If you move bonobos and chimps into our genus, I'll be forced to hunt them into extinction, just like we did the Neanderthals.
     
  10. Enmos Staff Member

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    No comment

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