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Re: Re. Progress

Assuming you wish to steer clear of "plesiomorphic," "apomorphic,"
"autapomorphic," you could refer to "basal" and "derived" characters or 
The term "advanced" carries inappropriate connotations with it.  Evolution is 
directionless, but it branches and radiates, and stasis, mass extinctions,
convergences and reversals are all part of the mix, so it is best to avoid terms
which might be construed to suggest a simple linear progression of life forms
toward an ideal state, except perhaps when one is tracing the successive
adaptations of a single specialized lineage over time.

On the other hand, I can't think of a handy synonym for "synapomorphy."  Perhaps
it's just as well.

-- Ralph W. Miller III       gbabcock@best.com

Look that one up in your _Funk and Wagnalls_.