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Re: the tonight show

I am certainly no devotee to the "science" of the Tonight Show or any other mass media outlet. But on the other hand, there is more to "relatedness" than just strict phyletic relatedness, and I'm a little shocked that you would say evolutionary rates are irrelevant. I think that they are very relevant, and believe that your criticism of "Tonight Show science" is unduly harsh in this instance.
From: Dinogeorge@aol.com
Reply-To: Dinogeorge@aol.com
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Re: the tonight show
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 2001 09:18:46 EST

In a message dated 1/9/01 9:09:46 AM EST, kinman@hotmail.com writes:

<< Even though all living birds are equally related to the common ancestor
with dromaeosaurs in terms of "chronological years", I would argue that a
slow-evolving lineage like the tinamous (the most generalized palaeognaths)
would be the closest relatives of any "dinosaur" in evolutionary terms,
certainly closer than a penguin, hummingbird, or sparrow. Evolutionary
rates do differ significantly in different lineages. >>

Please do not follow Tonight Show science and confuse morphological
similarity with phyletic relationship. Flow of time and rate of evolutionary
change are irrelevant to concept of phyletic relationship, which is tied
strictly to ancestor-descendant connections. Phyletic relationship is fixed
topological property of Tree of Life.
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