National Academy as National Enquirer?
December 4, 2010 12:47 PM Subscribe
Caterpillars evolved from onychophorans by hybridogenesis
posted by scodger (26 comments total)
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. Caterpillars did not evolve from onychophorans by hybridogenesis
In the November 24, 2009 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science
), two papers were published side by side.
The first, by Donald Williamson, claimed that caterpillars and other insects which go through a "grub" stage, were not evolved conventionally, but arose as the by product of interspecies mating between onychophorans
and an ancestral insect. This paper was submitted through "Track I", a controversial method
which allowed members of the NAS to shepherd papers into the journal more easily than standard peer review.
The second paper was a spirited rebuttal of the first, with the same title except for the words "did not" inserted.
The publication of such a controversial paper in the well regarded PNAS journal lead to a number
of critical responses
, including a news and views article
, again in the same issue of PNAS that concluded:
"Perhaps the most amazing thing from this article is not the bold proposal, but the fact that the author believes that there is a research program behind his claims: “As an initial trial, it should be possible to attach an onychophoran spermatophore to the genital pore of a female cockroach and see if fertilized eggs are laid”. I am not sure this can be taken seriously."
Track I submission has since been discontinued