[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: More reptile stuff

>I REALLY hope people aren't still being taught that, especially in schools.
>Value judgements of "superiority" and "inferiority" hearken back to the
>pre-Darwinian idea of a Scale (Ladder) of Nature.

Of course they are! You just can't imagine what natural sciences teacher
could say (or not say) in a French school (but I bet it's all the same in
other parts). The scale concept is still used, even if it is not said
explicitely that living beings form one (it's one of their most common
methods!). However, I have strictly no hope of seing any
cladistically-inspired classification scheme (you see, invertebrates are
still monophyletic, as well as fishes).
They have recently discovered *Archaeopteryx* (I'm nasty there) and they say
that with this discovery, we may possibly be able to imagine the possibility
of an hypothesis looking like "birds came from reptiles" (have they ever
been believed to come from somewhere else exept God?).

It's not all. They're not aware of Precambrian. 200 MYA is a good date to
characterise Triassic (245-208 MYA, I think). Men can't evolve any more
because they're two much derived already (no, we have just finished of
getting larger, it won't continue). A frog is less evolved than a man (well,
frogs have evolved since the Triassic, and men only since a few million
years). Sedimentary rocks can only come from deposits in the sea bottom or
rivers. Fossils can only be preserved in sedimentary rocks (there are
exceptions). I'll stop there, but there's more.

>Damn straight!!  Depending on how you define "superiority", even amphibians
>can be considered superior to mammals (at least in terms of species
>some studies, mentioned in a recent issue of _Herpetological Review_,
>suggest that amphbians, like squamates and birds, might outnumber mammals).

Well, no one with contest that insects beat any other group for species
number (although such comparison has not much sense without linnean ranks).
And of course, viruses are much better in niche than lions (although I'm not
always sure about men). But the niches where non-mamalians are better  are
considered "bad", so...

>Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
>Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
>Dept. of Geology              Email:tholtz@geol.umd.edu
>University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
>College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661