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To gauge whether biogeographic dating may be of practical use, I analyzed the well-studied turtle clade () to assess how well biogeographic dating fares when compared to fossil-calibrated dating estimates reported in the literature.
This is done using the program BEAUti (which stands for Bayesian Evolutionary Analysis Utility).
Three approaches were compared: fixed-rate dating, node dating, and total-evidence dating, with age estimates differing greatly between the three methods.
Shortcomings of each approach in relation to our dataset are discussed, and none of the age estimates is deemed sufficiently reliable.
It is sometimes called a gene clock or an evolutionary clock.
The notion of the existence of a so-called "molecular clock" was first attributed to Émile Zuckerkandl and Linus Pauling who, in 1962, noticed that the number of amino acid differences in hemoglobin between different lineages changes roughly linearly with time, as estimated from fossil evidence.