|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] (fwd) Re: Human & ape evolution
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Date: Wed, 10 May 2023 21:17:46 -0700
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From: John Harshman
Subject: Re: Human & ape evolution
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Xref: panix sci.bio.paleontology:77283
On 5/10/23 8:31 PM, JTEM wrote:
> John Harshman wrote:
>> The obvious
>> question, which you ask, is whether any African primates, in addition to
>> humans, also lack this particular sort of insertion.
> Not really.
> Obviously the further you get away from humans, the less they matter.
That's in no way obvious. I would ask you to explain your reasoning, but
you won't whether I ask or not.
>> There's no
>> particular reason why every African species should have experienced the
>> exact same set of infections.
> It's also obfuscation, because it has nothing to do with the question here,
> which has to do with why there is one specific species, the one that gave
> rise to us which does not show any evidence for it.
Is there one specific species only? Or are there other African primates
>> In particular, if chimps and gorillas both
>> experienced a wave of independent PTERV1 insertions while humans did
>> not, this is not good evidence that humans originated in Asia
> That's a lie. It *Is* evidence. Your value judgments are worthless.
> Evidence is evidence. Period.
Not true. Evidence can have many degrees of quality. I would rate this
particular bit of evidence at the "crap" level.
> Humans are extremely close to Chimps RIGHT NOW, this retrovirus would
> have burned through africa when our ancestors were three or four million
> years CLOSER to Chimps than the present.
That's an assertion without supporting evidence or even reasoning. Note
that chimps and gorillas gained their virus families independently, so
the closeness of chimps and humans is not very relevant.
> There is every reason to assume that our ancestors would be just as
> vulnerable to this retrovirus as Chimps.
> Again: They place the 3 to 4 million years closer to the LCA than we
> are, and we can and do exchange viruses...
We do, sometimes. But not every time.
>> unless one
> It doesn't work that way. There is no default assumption that Africa had
> to be the point of origin. The retrovirus evidence points to Asia and
> quite frankly you have absolutely no counter. Instead, you bluster, demand
> that other people provide you with different evidence. But this is the
> evidence and there is no counter evidence.
It's extremely weak evidence. It would be strong evidence only if we
knew that being absent from Africa is the only credible reason for
failing to have the virus. You could support that by showing that all
African primates got the virus. Since you have disclaimed that as
relevant, I don't see a way for you to support the claim.
It's not that there's a default assumption; it's that there are two
hypotheses that need to be differentiated. The current evidence doesn't
do much to differentiate them.
> It's not "Six of one, half dozen of the other."
> This retrovirus evidence is evidence, and you literally have no counter.
It's evidence, true. Just not very good evidence. You could try to
improve it in the way I suggested. You could, I suppose, also try to
find additional retrovirus families showing the same pattern.
Still, this is the best response you have ever to my knowledge provided
to any argument. It would be good if you kept that up.
-- end of forwarded message --
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