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Electric Car Taxonomy (was: A Word on ABSRD)





Jaime,
(1) I will leave it up to the BCF experts on the list to clarify once again if I am misstating their individual views. However, if maniraptors did evolve from winged and feathered arboreal ancestors (whether they flew or glided), I personally would favor Aves be expanded to include them. PT on the other hand freezes the meaning of Aves, and we could have a whole lineage of Triassic and Jurassic feathered and gliding-flying "non-Avean" birds under PT. And excluding maniraptors from Aves may very well be like excluding ratites.
(2) And as for the analogies of dead horses and Model T cars, the automobiles of today are so complicated most people have to consult a specialist when they break down. What I am looking for is a more simplified "Electric Car Taxonomy", that would be easily understood and maintainable by most everyone, less expensive and less likely to breakdown. Taxonomists could add all kinds of bells and whistles (coding?) for the details of phylogeny without forcing it onto everyone else.
What I fear is that PT is going to build taxonomic "helicopters" so complicated and difficult to maintain and fly, that they will be crashing all the time (or if we are lucky, just grounded for repairs much of the time).
Classification is for everyone and both eclectic (traditional) systematists and non-systematists see PT as unnecessarily complicated and confusing, and we are resisting your attempts to swamp us with phylogenies that might not be correct anyway.
FAIRNESS: If we systematists absolutely must have a simple way to designate "oviparous synapsids" or the multitudes of other combinations of taxa, it is only "fair" that we bear that burden and not insist that everyone else bear that burden with us! It is unfair to complicate the classifications which are used by everyone just to make communication a little easier for us, and it is viewed somewhat as "ivory tower" elitism, even by many systematists.
------Ken Kinman
*******************************************************
From: "Jaime A. Headden" <qilongia@yahoo.com>
Reply-To: qilongia@yahoo.com
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
CC: kinman@hotmail.com
Subject: Re: A Word on ABSRD
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2001 21:54:09 -0800 (PST)

Ken Kinman (kinman@hotmail.com) wrote:

<I have expressed my hopes that the "Birds Came First" Theory is
actually true, because it could very well turn out that "birds"
(not Aves) did evolve from very primitive dinosaurs or even
dinosauriforms,>

  This is not BCF, this is Chatterjee's perspective. BCF holds
that so-called avian morphology was kickstarted in the Triassic
and that dinosaurs have become explicitly terrestrial from an
arboreal ancestor, to which they _returned_ in the maniraptoran
fold, then "true" birds.

<Whether we then expand Aves to include maniraptors is a bridge
we will have to cross if and when we get there.>

  "Aves" has been classically used to include *Archaeopteryx*
since the 1860's. Gauthier explicitly stated this, and Chiappe
refined it by framing the statement in phylogenentic terms.

<Whether BAM is totally right or not, today's cladistic
algorithms will probably be considered extremely primitive a few
decades hence, and there's probably a lot more computer garbage
being generated than you might think.>

  Hmm. Just because the computer algorhithms 20 years hence will
be better than those now, therefore better at retrieving input
than now, is like saying the PT Cruiser's specializations make
it obscene why anyone would built the Ford Model T, forgetting
that that same vehicle was a certain improvement over the
horseless carriage, and the horse-drawn carriage before them.
Just as Keesey said, PT is a step or two above Linnean taxonomy,
returning to refine a dead horse is to say the Model T was a bad
course and we might just put wheels on the horse instead. [Only
an example, anyway.]


===== Jaime A. Headden

  Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhr-gen-ti-na
  Where the Wind Comes Sweeping Down the Pampas!!!!

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