Re: Neoteny was Re: * makes hubey

H. M. Hubey (
23 Nov 1995 18:38:01 -0500 (Phillip Bigelow) writes:

> A fetus is the earliest stage of ontogeny. When working out
>ancestor-descendant relationships, where do you propose we draw
>the line as to what stage of development is relevant and what stage is not?

I'm free to pick on any stage I want if I want to point out
some resemblences.

I've pointed out two cases in which there is nonlinearity.

1) chimp to human bipedalism. The arms stopped getting longer or else
the two went in different directions from the CA. ONe got longer arms
and shorter legs, the other longer legs and shorter arms.

2) fetal stage to birth: At birth chimp babies resemble human
morphology (the skull) than adult chimps. Before birth the ontogeny
would seem to follow something along the lines of phylogeny.

(PS. I say would seem to to be ornery, for obvious reasons. Read your
criticism and maybe you can see why. We're back to the same problem:
some people's bone-gazing is scince -- even if not accurate -- and
others' immediately is criticizes, strangely enough by the same people
who swallow the other version hook, line and sinker without even
a whimper. Why? Because they've memorized it and heard it and read
it repeated often enough. No other reason.)

>In gathering data, biologists use all stages of development to draw
>conclusions. You just grab one narrow ontogenetic age range and start
>arm-waving wildly, while claiming that you can "see" what our
>descendants will look like in the distant future. Can you say "Jean

Try to read the above and tell me if the standard line is really
correct -- i..e does ontogeny follow phylogeny or is it only
somewhat and for some time?


Regards, Mark