J. Moore (
Sat, 4 Nov 95 12:09:00 -0500

LM> Forget Gigantopithecus. It was a dead end. Even though it's teeth show
LM> similarity to hominid teeth, it cannot be closely related to us. It has
LM> been well established, by molecular systematics that our affinities lie
LM> with the chimpanzee. Did I say that molecular systematics has priority
LM> over other methods in systematics? Well it has. Why? Because it's very
LM> sophisticated technically. And above all it uses computers a lot.
LM> Computers are very modern things. This message was written on a
LM> computer. Need I say more?
LM> Ludvig

"Why? Because it's very sophisticated technically. And above all it
uses computers a lot." ???? ;-)

Sorry, but that's not "why". The reason is that molecular studies
are the proper tool to use for studies of relatedness, as they
have been since the decidely low-tech immunology studies of
Nuttall just after the turn of the century. And, it is more
accurately said that the studies we have point to the chimpanzee
as closest to us of the living apes, but this is not definitive.
It's difficult to get that definitive, close resolution, which is
why most studies have simply pointed to "African apes" (and a few
even show gorillas as being closer to us than chimps).

It's definite that African apes are closer to us than Asian apes
are, and likely but not definite that chimps are closer to us than
gorillas are; and it is suggested but not proven that chimps may
be closer to us than they are to gorillas.

Jim Moore (

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