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Re: Bird origins



>nononono.   I mean, when a creaure needs to adapt to its environment, 
>how does evolution seem to know what to evolve to fit that environment? 
>Furthermore, what about the dino-to-bird thing? What sparked that?
      
>Caleb Lewis

Mr. Lewis, you should be advised of the purpose of this list.  Perhaps I am
doing you an injustice, but judging by your email address ("christianwarrior")
I am assuming that you are interested in a creation vs. evolution debate.
If I
am wrong I apologize, but if so you should understand that creationism is not
to be discussed here.  This is not to stifle anyone's views, but to avoid
cluttering up the list with discussions best conducted elsewhere (such as on
the newsgroup talk.origins).  It is analogous to deciding that a list devoted
to the compositional techniques of Stravinsky should not have to be bothered
with requests to explain what a violin is, or with suggestions that we all
ought to be listening to disco instead.

If you are serious in your request, I would strongly advise you to pick up one
of the many basic books about evolution.  There you would learn, very quickly,
that nobody in science thinks that evolution "knows what to evolve".
Evolution
is not directional nor is it purpose-driven, any more than is the path of a
pinball in a pinball machine, which may lead it to success (a high score) or
failure.  The chief difference is that living things, unlike pinballs, are
variable, that these variations are inheritable, and the variations which lead
to a high score are more likely to end up in future generations than are the
failures.

As for the dino-to-bird "thing", which has been going on for over a century
with greater degrees of refinement as more and more discoveries are made, it
was "sparked" by the discovery of Archaeopteryx, a fossil clearly showing a
mix
of dinosaur and bird characters.  The only real scientific debate here is
whether the dinosaur characters indicate that Archaeopteryx evolved from a
dinosaur or from a dinosaur cousin.  This has about as much to do with
creationism as a paternity suit has to do with the doctrine of immaculate
conception.  For a very good popular account read "Taking Wing" by Pat Shipman.
--
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court                 
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2          mailto:ornstn@inforamp.net