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Re: Response to Gould?

In a message dated 12/1/00 9:18:05 PM, NJPharris@aol.com writes:

<< I don't see why calling birds dinosaurs would make you any less 
than calling fleas insects, or arthropods, or protostomes, or metazoans. >>

Because "dinosaur" has a specific vernacular meaning. Dinosaurs are giant 
extinct monsters from an impossibly long time ago. Okay, some dinosaur 
fossils are quite small, but they are still from the lost world of the 
Mesozoic. Dinosaurs are from a specific time period that is not our own, they 
are the "terrible lizards" of the imagination that haunt the dreams of 
children and those who remember being children.

Birds are not these things, for robins and ostriches haunt far different 
dreams and live in the same world we do. People are primates but are not 
australopithecine's, for australopithecines are from a specific time only and 
are all gone. 

The common image that comes to mind is important

eric l.