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Dinogeorge wrote:
<Obviously I haven't gotten across why the "ground up" BADD paradigm requires
miracle: The miracle is in the accumulation of a >suite< of characters (not
just one or two but lots) in a non-flying, large, cursorial biped that
suddenly allows it to fly.>
    I'm with Matt on this one, George.  Like a clever politician, you are
painting your opponent in preposterous colors and then demolishing him.  Too
BADD you can't run for president on the BCF ticket.  I think you could win.
    You conclude that a miracle is required, after stating a preposterous set
of requirements.  Who said the cursorial ancestor was large?  YOU DID.  Who
said the transition to flight was sudden? YOU DID.  WHO said the suite of
characters were ALL flight related?  YOU DID, (vide supra).
    Others like myself see the evolution of cursors to fliers as a slow
transition, and the suite of characters as not necessarily all coming at once
or for the same purpose. 
    <why would anyone think that birds evolved wings before they went into the
air (became arboreal)? Yet this is just what the "ground up" paradigm
     As you know, I like the notion of wing feathers evolving to modern
lengths for the modern purpose of brooding, with exaptation to flight
happening along the way. Characters like furculae and semilunate carpals make
sense in terms of managing a large set of brooding feathers, again, look at
modern birds.
<Big theropods six feet long or bigger simply ran around flapping their arms,
and suddenly, like Peter Pan, they became small and could fly. This is the
    Nice and preposterous, George, but you imply that no theropods existed
which were smaller than six feet.  Somebody once said that, due to the patchy
nature of the fossil record, it is virtually impossible to prove that
something DIDN'T EXIST.  Doesn't your statement assume the non-existence of
tiny theropods in the Triassic/Jurassic that could have evolved into birds?
On what basis do you make this assumption?