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Re: labels are imaginary

On Sun, 4 Feb 1996, Jeffrey Martz wrote:

>      The point I'm making is just that we assign labels only for 
> our understanding.  So why say "avian dinosaur" and "non-avian 
> dinosaur" when you could just say "bird" and "dinosaur"?  
> Cladistics has created a convoluted naming system that 
> does not clarify things any better than the traditional 
> system.  Whats the point?                   

If you can prove to me that ALL non-avian dinosaurs are functionally and 
anatomically more similar to each other then any of them is to a bird, 
I'll go along with you.

The point is, I don't see the *usefulness* of separating birds from the 
rest of the dinosaurs (aside from dumb stuff like being able to say 
"dinosaurs are extinct").  I don't know if "dinosaur" is the best name 
for the descendants of the last common ancestor of _Iguanodon_ and 
_Gallus_, but apparently it's what were stuck with.

Crossopterygii and Osteichthyes are another matter.  Throw 'em out!

> LN Jeff

Nick Pharris
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447

"The gene pool could use a little chlorine."