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> In a message dated 11/11/98 12:23:41 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
> << "Why" is simply
> shorthand for "What particular *overall* benefits, and under what
> circumstances, would lead to something evolving as opposed to it not
> evolving?". >>
> Inherent in this discussion is the idea that deinonychus chose a hunting
> strategy which required longer and more powerful arms. Once this strategy was
> in place selection would operate in favor of the animals which used this
> strategy best.
> I'm not arguing with the concept, but I do want to point out that in the sense
> of these traits being developed by the animal as a result of 'learned'
> behavior, the mechanism does include both an environment created by the animal
> and persistence over time. Isn't this a kind of correct Lamarckianism?
I would think it would more likely be a case of the ancestors of deinonychus
having a variety of physical configurations, and the ones that had adaptations
that best suited the animal's environment were preserved, and the adaptations
dictated behaviors; this explanation makes more sense to me personally than to
imagine that the DNA of the ancestors of deinonychus somehow anticipated that
longer, stronger arms would better facilitate a hunting behavior. But this is
my opinion, and as several of the List members will probably point out, I'm not