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Re: book reviews, parsimony and some loose ends

George wrote (first quoting me):

>> How can you not see the problem here, George?

> Well, you can support BADD theory, [...]

George, your response was completely non sequitir.  I'll take that to
mean that you don't really have any answers to my questions.  If
anybody else thinks George actually answered my questions, please
explain to me the connections I missed.  For now I'm standing by my
original assertions that George's quotes are inconsistent and that
this inconsistency indicates a serious flaw in his reasoning.
However, if George won't stick to the point I see no reason to
continue the discussion with him.  I comment here mainly in the hope
of finding someone else's perspective.

>>> 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.

While I confess that my statement was a bit of a cheap shot, no,
George I really don't know what you're talking about.  It's not at all
clear to me from the passage (even in its entire context) whether you
have difficulty believing that a) a quadruped could use its forelimbs
to grasp prey or b) a quadruped could evolve into a biped because that
transformation made it easier for the animal to grasp prey with its
forelimbs.  Charitably I could infer that you meant the latter,
though, your writing appears to indicate the former.  In any case,
since there clearly are quadrupeds that grasp prey with their
forelimbs, and since it's not that hard to imagine an ambush predator
experiencing selection for bipedality in order to make the forelimbs
more efficient grasping organs, I don't know why you'd have such a
problem with "b" either.

Mickey Rowe     (mrowe@indiana.edu)