Anatomical Homology - the importance of using concepts...

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Anatomical Homology Nested patterns of shared similarities between species play an important role in testing evolutionary hypotheses. "Homology" is one term used to describe these patterns, but scientists prefer other, more clearly defined terms. Explore Evolution would have done well to accurately present the way scientists talk about this issue, instead of building two chapters around a misguided attack on a particular word with a meaning that dates to pre-evolutionary attempts at understanding the diversity of life. Explore Evolution 's use of the term promotes confusion and obscures the actual ways in which scientists use the term, and more modern concepts. Explore Evolution 's authors could have found those modern concepts clarified in the writing of David Wake, work they cite and quote inaccurately, obscuring the point he and others have made about
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Unformatted text preview: the importance of using concepts which reflect modern biology, not a term which predates evolutionary thinking. The chapter badly mangles key concepts, and repeats creationist canards, without presenting the actual state of science. Homology is defined only by implication: Despite using the word "homology" or "homologous" over 80 times, Explore Evolution never provides a clear and consistent definition of homology. Their use of the term confuses and obscures the actual ways in which scientists analyze the morphological evidence of common descent. Homology is not simply similarity, nor is similarity in development the sole basis for assessing homology. A focus on "homology," as opposed to terms and concepts with clearer meanings and less historical baggage, only adds to the confusion....
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This note was uploaded on 11/08/2011 for the course BIOLOGY BSC1086L taught by Professor Leostouder during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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