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Re: Giant birds
In a message dated 11/10/99 4:13:02 PM EST, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
<< But if it's redefined, it's not the same group anymore. >>
The same group can have an endless number of different redefinitions. Just
because you are redefining a group doesn't make it a different group. It
might and it might not. And if you are redefining a group and thereby making
a different taxon, then your new taxon might require a new name, unless
there's one already available from a previous definition.
Basically it all boils down to personal preference. You like "birds" to be
less inclusive than "dinosaurs," ok. You like "dinosaurs" to be included
within "birds," also ok. And this being the way it is, is why there are
endless content-free debates about which scheme is better. I don't
particularly care whether dinosaurs are birds or birds are dinosaurs, or
whether you call birds Aves or Avialae or Schmurds. When you write your paper
or put up your Web site, just make sure you let everybody know which is
which, so that we all know what you mean. It takes time to arrive at
satisfying definition no matter what it may be.
What I do care about is that people recognize that neither pole in the
present "ground-up" versus "trees-down" debate about avian flight is entirely
correct, and that BCF is closer to the truth than either of those positions.
And since this is my seventh dinosaur-list post of the day, I'm calling it
quits until tomorrow.