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MARSH AND EVOLUTION



Tom Holtz wrote:
<<If one looked at living taxa only, there is a vast morphological gulf
between Aves and Crocodylia.  If you just added in Compsognathus and
Archaeopteryx the gulf would be greatly reduced (between non-neornithines
and crocs), but the clade comprised of Archaeopteryx and Neornithes and
Neornithes itself would both be supported by very large numbers of
synapomorphies with almost no character distribution amibiguity.>>

This reminds me of a quote Marsh wrote in 1877 which really strikes me as
Marsh saying that Linnean systematics sets up artificial barriers in the
minds of people:

"It is now generally admitted by biologists who have made a study of the
vertebrates, that Birds have come down to us through the Dinosaurs, and the
close affinity to the latter with recent Struthious Birds will hardly be
questioned.  The case amounts to a demonstration, if we compare, with
Dinosaurs, their contemporaries, the Mesazoic Birds.  The classes of birds
and Reptiles, as now living, are seperated by a gulf so profound that a few
years since, it was cited by the opponents of evolution as the most important
break in the animal series, and one which that doctrine could not bridge
over.  Since then, as Huxley has clearly shown, this gap has been virtually
filled by the discovery of bird-like Reptiles and reptilian Birds.  
Compsognathus
and Archaeopteryx of the Old World, and Ichthyornis and
Hesperornis
of the New, are the stepping stones by which the evolutionist of
to-day leads the doubting brother across the shallow remnant of the gulf,
once thought impassable."

Linnean Systematics were set up in a non-evolutionary world and should be
abandoned post-haste!!

Pete Buchholz
Tetanurae@aol.com

------------------------

Marsh, O C.  1877.  Introduction and succession of vertebrate life in
America.  The American Journal of Science and Arts - Third Series, Volume XIV
(83):337-378.