In article <sticknbd-160494113419 at 188.8.131.52>,
Henry <sticknbd at ctrvax.vanderbilt.edu> wrote:
>I am a molecular biologist, but not one who
>studies molecular evolution, so I ask the following
>question of the folks here. In reading a review, I
>came across the following statement: "The issue of
>the evolution of the [mammalian] metalloproteinase
>family can eventually be resolved by characterizing
>the MMPs in more primitive species." I do not doubt
>that we can learn valuable lessons from such analysis.
>However, because of the lack of linear evolution from
>"more primitive" extant species to so-called "higher
>species," I am not convinced that the issue of evolution
>(per se) of a gene family can be resolved in this manner.
>That is, these genes have been evolving for millions of
>years in all species; therefore, we cannot conclude that
>gene A in humans derived from gene B in, say, fish. That
>they evolved from a common ancestor may be probable,
>but the linear relation implied by the quote above
>disturbs my sensibilities. Can somebody with a better
>evolution background either confirm or deny my suspicions
>that the quote is more than a little specious?
>sticknbd at miranda.cc.vanderbilt.edu
Your suspicions are probably correct. I suspect that anyone who uses the
term "primitive" to describe an extant species has not thought about
evolution very much.
Laurence A. Moran (Larry)