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Re: historical origins of BCF [was Re: Feduccia's delusion]
In a message dated 12/1/01 0:57:23 AM EST, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
<< > Whatever the trackmakers were, we now know they are dinosaurs, but in
> they were thought to be birds.
Yes, like ancient Greeks thought that mammoth skulls were cyclops skulls.>>
Well, no Greek ever saw a cyclops, but we have all seen birds. The Greeks
>did< recognize that mammoths were unlike anything else they had ever seen
and acted appropriately within their cultural milieu. If the term "mammoth"
weren't so entrenched, one could actually make a case for renaming mammoths
<< > So in 1802 dinosaurs were thought to be giant
> birds. (Sometime before that, they were thought to be giant people.) They
> weren't known as dinosaurs until 1842.
In 1802 they weren't talking about dinosaurs, they were talking about "bird"
footprints. The idea that they weren't birds didn't occur to them.>>
Good thing, too. Because, you see, dinosaurs >are< birds. They got that part
<< A discussion about what a dinosaur is, before dinosaurs were identified, is
not a commentary on dinosaur-bird (boy, taking into account both sides of
this discussion, the terms "dinosaur" and "bird" are mutually
inclusive...that's potentially confusing) relationships. They didn't think
in terms of the dinosaur-bird issue because there wasn't an issue to them.
They were not talking about what we are talking about, so they shouldn't be
seen to have done so. >>
When you go back into the historical origins of a topic, you cannot expect to
find the same concepts that we have, which have evolved after some 200 years
of research and discovery. They were >indeed< talking >exactly< about what we
are talking about, namely dinosaurs, but without the additional 200 years'
perspective we have on the subject.