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Re: clad[istics] debate

Norm King wrote:
>I'm finding that I don't have time for e-mail.  Has anyone else arrived at
that >conclusion, or am I alone on that issue, too?
        I have the same problem. I intend to respond to Jeff Martz at some
point, but I haven't had time. Heck, I intend to respond to Stan Friesen on
something he wrote two months ago, but I haven't had time.

        P.S. I will never say "Norm King stinks". :)

>Likewise the most recent common ancestor of 
>Ig. and Meg. could have hit you over the head.  In contrast, their 
>relationship has never had a physical existence.  Their relationship is 
>an hypothesis--a "mental construct." 
        No, it is a real phenomenon. They are linked by the very real
process of ancestry and descent.

>I know that when we start with the real animals and group 
>them together as larger taxa, we are again erecting hypotheses.  The 
>difference is that we are not starting with the hypotheses, and looking 
>for the animals that those hypotheses depend upon for their existence.  
        That they share a common ancestor is not an hypothesis. It is as
close to a fact as we can get in science. That, possessing a common
ancestor, they are linked by a process of common ancestry and descent
follows directly and necessarily from this "fact". This is not dependant on
finding any animal. Hypotheses are involved when one seeks to determine
which other animals are descendents of their common ancestor, but that is
another issue, and certainly does not obviate the reality of the group
(whatever it may contain).

    Jonathan R. Wagner, Dept. of Geosciences, TTU, Lubbock, TX 79409-1053
        "Chimp here does the killing." - Doug Mackenzie