Re: Neoteny was Re: god makes hubey

Phillip Bigelow (
25 Nov 1995 11:28:16 -0800 (H. M. Hubey) writes:

>>To me it's strange. IF I extrapolate from say lizards, to dogs, to cats,
>>to chimps, to humans, I wind up thinking that future of humans is
>>like what the sci-fi writers imagine; smaller jaws, larger eyes,
>>larger braincases, less body hair, etc... Well, that looks a
>> lot like a human baby.

You can't extrapolate from lizards to dogs to cats, Mark. The phylogeny
doesn't follow that tree at all.
1) Although cats display more apomorphies than do canids, they did not evolve
from canids. Therefore, there is no linear relationship for those two

2) Lizards are a relatively well-derived (read "highly-evolved") group of
reptiles. Further, they are not the ancestors of dogs or cats. So there is
no linearity in this case either.

3) Chimps and humans evolved from insectivorous mammals, NOT from
carnivorous mammals such as dogs or cats. So, there is no linearity in
this case either.

The best guess (and, admittedly, most generalized guess) at a "linear"
evolutionary path to humans is:

A synapsid reptile----> therapsid reptile----> Mammalia----->

---->Placental mammals----->Insectivora----->Primates--->

----->Anthropoidea---->Hominoidea---->Homo sapiens

(the source for this information is found in the college textbook
_Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolution_, by Robert Carroll, 1988.
ISBN 0-716-71822-7. As much as Mark disdains references, I included this
source for those others, who like to look it up).

Hubey continues:
>>Is there a foreshadowing of some sorts?

Not if you are depending on your lizard-to-dog-to-cat-to-chimp-to-human
assumption, which is factually wrong.