Re: trichotomy revisited

Phillip Bigelow (
Fri, 9 Dec 1994 20:25:09 GMT writes:

>I have read it, thankyou. The authors write, "Human DNA has been
>examined for RD114-related nucleic acid sequences with negativeresults.
>The lack of detectable sequence homology of human DNA with RD114 is
>not due to an absence of RD114-related information. In support of this
>this conclusion, p30 protein partially related to RD114 p30 can be found
>in tissues of humans, as well as baboons and other Old World monkeys."

>I am not a biochemist, and I'm not sure just what the significance of
>this is, but Todaro regarded it as evidence of a non-African origin
>for humans. (He suggested Asia, not Danakil.) If it is audacious
>to treat this paper as evidence forgeographic isolation, the
>audacity was first committed by Todaro, the paper's co-author, not
>by Morgan, the author of those non-peer reviewed popular books.

>Nicholas Rosen

Indeed. It appears that Todaro was practicing what the
scientific community refers to as "trying to build a house with toothpicks,
instead of from the logs that the toothpicks came from". Todaro emphacized
the fact that the _total_ baboon-C virus sequence was missing in humans, but
he down-played the fact (if not out-right ignored it) that a _portion_ of
the virus _was_ found in our DNA. I guess if someone wants to provide some
"evidence" for isolation away from Africa, then I can understand Todaro's
motives. However, I don't think that Todaro's conclusions in any
subsequent publications after his _Nature_ are particularly good science.

Now...about Morgan. She did not practice particularly good science, either.
Apparently, either she didn't read the _Nature_ article, OR, she did read
it, but committed the same crime as Todaro did, and ignored the presence of
the p30 protien in humans. If Morgan simply used Todaro's later, biased
conclusions as facts, then Morgan has practiced sloppy research and