Posted by: Chris | July 29, 2013

The Other White Meat

This is either one of the craziest things the internet has ever produced or a revolution of Kuhnian proportions.  Everything I know says it cannot be true, but isn’t that what the Aristotleans said to Copernicus?  If true, Mrs. Garrison understands evolution better than any of us:

H/T: Andrew

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Responses

  1. So McCarthy has three hypotheses going at once. The first simpler one, is what he calls “stabilization theory,” The idea that evolution is often driven by hybridization, then selection pressures that cause convergence on a new species with aspects of each parent. That, right there by itself, is a really cool idea to me, since I definitely don’t remember anything along those lines being discussed in any lectures on evolution I ever sat through, watched, or read. It’s also an idea that makes a fair amount of inherent sense, if hybrids really are as common as this guy asserts they are; the reasonable question becomes not whether hybrids play a role in speciation, but how much of a role.

    The second hypothesis is that humans are a hybrid species. He hangs this entirely on issues related to fertility. I have no idea how accurate his information on that topic is, or how clear a marker of hybrid descent it is if so. His arguments in favor of this are unconvincing to a skeptical layman,- they do not provide sufficient context for comparison.

    The third hypothesis is that a pig-chimpanzee hybrid would be the most sensible path to creating a species with basically the traits that distinguish humans from chimpanzees. On this point, I find his arguments like the cleft lip, and prevalence of melanoma most convincing actually – it’s easy to hand-wave away convergent evolution of traits that have obvious benefit, like eye color.

    It’s definitely a nutty, very interesting suggestion overall.


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