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Re: Dinosaurs to birds



In a message dated 1/23/99 10:57:09 PM EST, jbois@umd5.umd.edu writes:

<< As such, species are constantly
 influencing their own success and likelyhood of survival by the quality of
 adaptations they are able to come up with.  And for many of these it is
 possible to discern distinct _trends_, i.e., we can tell who the winners
 might be _before_ the outcome is announced.  And some of these are
 apparent in birds.  There is a trend to better flight characteristics, to
 rapid growth.  >>

Trends in evolution are an illusion fostered by your selecting a particular
lineage from the tree of life from among all the billions of other lineages.
Select a crocodile, and suddenly you see trends to ever better
"crocodileness"; select a bird, and suddenly you see trends to ever better
flight, etc. Select Homo sapiens, and suddenly you see trends toward greater
intelligence, bipedality, etc. There is no way to predict which lineages will
survive and diversify and which will become extinct. It is a random process.