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Posted by Kenny Wray on September 13, 2002 at 15:23:22:
how similar is similar? Obviously if two different species can hybridize they could be considered close, but again how close is close. 50%, 75%, 95%. In some recent searches I have done, I have found there to be no one answer. Very few studies have shown how similar two organisms are genetically. I have seen one study that showed a cross between a horse and a zebra and that molecularly they were only 87% similar, where as I once saw that dogs and red fox are 90% similar, but no evidence of hybridization has ever been published or communicated. Then there are those who claim that chimps and humans absolutely could not form a hybrid offspring, but they are 99.5% similar genetically. So how close is close? That was my point. To say that what matters in hybridizing is genetic similarity is not much of an answer. Although it is true in some sense, I'm not sure how that can be quantified. Glad that you didn't mean to be as harsh Mike. I try not to come off that way unless someone personally attacks. Remember, most people here are learning. As a teacher, I have found that one of the hardest things to do is to get students to make educated guesses or draw conclusions (regardless of how wrong they may be). My point is, that through a computer people are doing alot more public brainstorming than they would in person and so sometimes it does seem messed up. It is a delicate balance.