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Re: Archaeopteryx problem



> For instance, the giant panda and
>  the red panda are similar enough to both be called pandas, down to
> their
>  sesamoid thumbs (the only creatures to have them), but they are
> believed
>  to have no close relationship.  
>  If it can happen in that instance, on what basis does the
> evolutionist  claim the so-called reptilian features of Archaeopteryx
prove descent from reptiles?

     Convergence is very much an evolutionary concept. Specifically, it
involves two animals of seperate origin evolving superficially similar
characteristics, usually because they are both pursuing a lifestyle in
which those traits are advantageous. Convergence is determined when one of
the two animals has more characters in common (though often very
subtle ones) with ANOTHER group then it does with the animal it
superficially resembles, implying that the convergently similar animals
evolved the similarities independantly.  If you are implying convergence
is responsible for the resemblance of Archaeopteryx and birds to
dinosaurs, or any other reptile, you are still talking about evolution.
      Not knowing as much about mammals as I would like, I can't tell you
what clued zoologists in to the fact that the panda and red panda are
similar through convergence and that the red panda actually shares more
derived features with raccoons then it does with pandas, but I am sure
someone else on the list can.  In the case of birds, although other groups
of archosaurs such as crocodilians seem to have evolved a few
superficially bird-like characters (such as conical teeth with restricted
crowns), birds share MANY more with theropod dinosaurs then they do with
any other group.    
     By the way folks, I am predicting a massive and uninformative assault
on creationism and Karl in response to his posting.  Save it.  If you we
want people to understand what makes evolution work and the evidence and
logic that substantiates it, we have to discuss things with them, not
shower them with abuse.  Discuss it as long as they feel like talking
about it, and keep the postings on the list as long as they more or less
involve dinosaurs.

LN Jeff  
O-