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Re: Archaeopteryx problem

> If it can happen in that instance, on what basis does the
>claim the so-called reptilian features of Archaeopteryx  prove
>from reptiles?

I have a feeling I'd be better off holding my tongue, but here goes . 
. .

If Archaeopteryx didn't evolve from a reptile of some sort, either 
directly or via some earlier bird line, what did it evolve from?  
Amphibians?  Are you contesting the evolutionary pathway that led to 
Archaeopteryx, or evolution in general?  As I understand it, 
Archaeopteryx has a heck of a lot more features in common with 
advanced theropods than it does with modern birds.  Archaeopteryx 
skeletons, sans feather imprints, have been mistaken for coelurosaurs 
more than once.  That degree of similarity is completely different 
from a panda's faux thumb.  This is not just "some features."  This 
is the entire skeleton.  If you want to use convergent evolution 
to explain some of Archaeopteryx's specializations, wouldn't it be more 
parsimonious to consider the bird-like characters as products of convergent 

I may be reading too much into this (and please forgive me if that is 
the case), but it sounds like you are using Archaeopteryx as a 
vehicle to attack the entire concept of evolution.  If that is the 
case, I'd like to refer you to Gould's recent essay "Nonoverlapping 
Magisteria," and suggest that this group is probably not the best 
venue for such a discussion.

Matt Wedel