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Re: Progress (Dino heart--Williston's prediction comes true!)



Chris Lavers wrote:
<<In general, any time you see the words 'primitive', 'advanced',
'sophisticated' etc. in biological discourse (all over the place,
unfortunately) just ignore them. They are hangovers from old ideas about
'progress' in broad scale patterns of evolution, for which there is no
evidence (none that can't easily be countered, anyway).>>

I've seen 'primitive' used to mean 'appearing early in the line leading
to...' and 'advanced' meaning 'specialized' or just 'later'.  Anything wrong
with these usages?
More broadly, can't 'progress' be used to mean 'better adapted'? This is not
referring to a Great Ladder, but aren't certain adaptations like flight such
major advantages that one would be able to refer to a line of animals better
and better at flying as making progress toward flying?  If so, couldn't
intelligence be considered one of these major adaptations?  (Remember that
like flight significant intelligence has developed in many lines of
animals.)
I prefer to think of such definitional distinctions as 'clarification'
rather than 'hedging'...