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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
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.