Re: Neoteny was Re: god makes hubey

chris brochu (
22 Nov 1995 14:49:42 GMT

In article <> H. M. Hubey, writes:
>>Explain how neoteny indicates a pre-set goal, please.
>It's odd that they don't look like more primitive ancestors
>and instead like their more developed (virtual) descendants.
>Human babies look like what we'd normally extrapolate as
>our future descendants.

Since I've never seen anyone extrapolate our future descendents, I'm not
quite sure how you come to this decision. (And isn't "future descendent"
a bit repetitive and redundant because it says the same thing more than
once? I've never seen a "past descendent.")

In any event, your post reveals a thorough misunderstanding of
heterochrony. Paedomorphosis does not mean "descendent A will look like
ancestor B;" rather, it means "descendent A will possess a character at
maturity that was lost during earlier ontogenetic stages by descendent
B." Paedomorphic salamanders don't look like more primitive
temnospondyls, but they bear gills as adults, whereas their ancestors
lost gills before adulthood. Nowhere does any definition of heterochrony
state that a descendent will look like an ancestor.