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I've been outta the loop for a while, but I'm back on the dinolist again. =)
And what should I find whence I resubscribe to the list but another debate
on the value of cladistics! =)
I suppose to briefly address Josh Smith's appropriate concerns about the
subjectivity of character data, I would say that many skeletal characters
have functional significance. Perhaps by understanding what certain
characters mean functionally and paleobiologically, we may be able to narrow
down or eliminate certain characters, or even combine them. Do the shape of
the head of the humerus and the shape of the glenoid constitute two separate
characters or one? From a functional perspective, the shoulder don't work
well without both parts, so perhaps these two characters should really be
In any case, good to see so many familiar names again. Can't promise I will
be as copious in my responses as I had been previously, but I will answer my
fair share of things as the opportunities arise.
And my sincerest condolances to friends and family of Betty Cunningham,
who's valuable posts will be sorely missed here.
Adios for now,
Dept Biological Sciences
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
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