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Re: Ancestors and descendants
In a message dated 6/23/00 12:01:50 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
> This answers the question of whether your 1000-descendants are more closely
> related to you or to your parents, but it does >not< answer the question
> whether >you< are more closely related to them than to your parents and
But since we are looking for a consistent classification scheme here, we have
to make it applicable to my descendants as well as to me. While I could
logically be classified with my ancestors or with my descendants, there is
only one place where my descendants can logically go: in a group with me.
To bring this back into the dinosaur realm, _Velociraptor_ could logically be
classified either with birds or with theropods like _Allosaurus_ and
_Coelophysis_. But when we come to look at the birds, there is only one
place they can logically go: in a group with _Velociraptor_, exclusive of
_Allosaurus_ and _Coelophysis_.
It's not classifying _Velociraptor_ with _Allosaurus_ that I object to (they
are both tetanuran theropods); it is when we try to remove the birds that we
run into trouble, since I believe putting birds in a category with the same
rank as all of the rest of Dinosauria implies that all members of the bird
category are related equally to all members of the dinosaur category, and
that we know not to be true.