I sent the following email yesterday to a small groups of colleagues.
Dear colleagues with an interest in human evolution (students, postdocs, and professors):
I thought you may find the following two short comments informative and interesting (both are posted on the Internet).
1. Molecular clock at best explains half the story on ‘genetic equidistance’ and at worst explains none.
The molecular clock is widely known to be problematic but has yet to be put to rest by a knock out punch. Here, a newly appreciated feature of the original result that provoked the clock and remains the only ‘evidence’ for it was used to ring the death knell for the clock. The clock is a completely mistaken explanation for the equidistance result (sister species are equidistant to a simpler outgroup) first found by Margoliash in 1963 and should never have been invented in the first place if people had fully understood the equidistance result. The result has two features. One is equidistance in terms of percent identity, which originally provoked the clock and remains the only ‘evidence’ for it. The other is the overlap feature where most of the mutant positions relative to the outgroup are shared between the two sister lineages. This feature has been completely overlooked for the past 46 years and fully contradicts the clock/neutral theory. The correct and complete explanation for the equidistance result is the MGD hypothesis that I recently proposed. Since the clock is totally invalid, results based on the clock are automatically invalid, including the human-chimp split of 5 million years and other important molecular dating reported so far that contradict the fossil record.
2. Convergent evolution, rather than common ancestry, explains the sequence similarity between human and chimpanzees.
It discusses one of the best molecular facts (newly reported in Nature this year) that simply cannot be reconciled in any way with the sister grouping of humans and chimpanzees but fully supports the sister grouping of humans and pongids. My new molecular dating based on the MGD hypothesis gave a human-pongid spilt time of 19.2 million years, in full agreement with the fossil record.
Would appreciate your feedbacks,
John Hawks, Milford Wolpoff, Jeffrey Schwartz, Elwyn Simons, David Pilbeam, Michel Brunet, Gen Suwa, Morris Goodman, Christian Schwabe, Laura Katz, Gunter Wagner, Eugene Koonin, Phil Skell, Jerry Harris, Blair Hedges, David Baum, Walter Fitch, Joe Daniel, Sudhir Kumar, Leigh van Valen, James Cai, Laurence Hurst, Tobias Warnecke, David Lambert, Jason Stajich