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Punctuated equilibrium and molecular clocks?

Neil Rickert rickert at cs.niu.edu
Wed Sep 2 15:14:14 EST 1998

Johnjoe McFadden <j.mcfadden at surrey.ac.uk> writes:

>The punctuated equilibrium hypothesis of Gould and Eldridge, in which
>evolution is proposed to go through long periods of stasis interspersed
>with bursts of rapid evolution, is of course related to the fossil
>record. However, periods of rapid evolution should also leave their
>trace in molecular clocks. 

This is not obvious to me.

The rapid evolution might involve changes to genes in a relatively
small fraction of the genome.  It is my impression that the molecular
clock is mainly measured on proteins that have been relatively

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