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Re: No pennance for Pinnants

In a message dated 11/8/98 8:12:51 PM EST, 102354.2222@compuserve.com writes:

<< The phylogeneticists had the evidence and, as
 difficult as it may have been to believe, disproved Bock's elegant
 hypothesis.  (Yes, this is a grand oversimplification of the whole
 arguement, but I hope it helps elucidate the nature of the argument). >>

Unfortunately, this cannot be the case. There is no >phylogenetic< evidence
for the cursorial origin of avian flight, nor, for that matter, is there any
>phylogenetic< evidence for the arboreal origin of avian flight. Phylogeny
simply presents hypotheses about relationships based on the supposed
distribution of characters; it says nothing about what the organisms that had
those characters may or may not have been doing with them. Theories of the
origin of flight are constrained by physics and mechanics, not by phylogeny.
Bock's arguments hold water.