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Re: book reviews, parsimony and some loose ends



In a message dated 96-10-24 16:31:19 EDT, mrowe@indiana.edu (Mickey P. Rowe)
writes:

> How can you not see the problem here, George?  By your own admission,
> the fossils necessary to fill in the details of your "BCF" idea have
> not (and probably never will be) found.  It's thus disingenuous for
> you to claim that your view is better supported than any alternatives.
> How many millions of years separate "the common ancestor of all the
> archosaurs" and "any particular modern bird--say, the robin"?  How
> many of those A(i)'s can you fill in for us in order to convince us
> that parsimony is aptly applied here and not in the places where you
> complain about its application?

Well, you can support BADD theory, in which the origin of avian flight is
presented as a miraculous event resulting from the accumulation of numerous
specific adaptations, all of which appeared for reasons other than flying. Or
you can support BCF theory, in which flight slowly originates on a particular
lineage of arboreal archosaurs wherein the adaptations occur as systematic,
incremental improvements to a volant lifestyle. The choice is yours. You want
more information about BCF, buy the third edition of _Mesozoic Meanderings_
#2 when it's ready.
 
> And in an argument with LN Jeff, George writes:
> 
> > I don't see how quadrupeds could use their forelimbs as grasping
> > organs in prey capture, supposedly leading eventually to bipedality;
> 
> While I wouldn't argue that they're on their way to bipedality, the
> above quote makes me wonder if George has ever seen a big cat hunt.

You know what I'm talking about here, Mickey. Don't go all "logical
positivist" on us now.