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going offlist on Protista, bacteria

Dear All,
Probably best to go offlist to continue these somewhat offtopic discussions. I'm probably already skating on thin ice, and don't want to get thrown off the list. We often discuss such things at sci.bio.paleontology (on usenet) and occasionally on Taxacom.
However, I think it is grossly unfair (and inaccurate) to characterize dinosaurs (and all the rest of the metazoans) as occupying a tiny twig on the tree of life. Such exaggeration will only confuse and intimidate students and everyone else. Even "Korarchaeotes" (with very distinctive rRNA) are just an aberrant group within Class Crenarchaea.
The number of Metazoan phyla has also gotten out of hand (I recognized 24, and even that is too many). Order Tullimonstrida (Tully monsters) is probably just an aberrant group of sipunculans or molluscs.
And finally, ether-linked lipids are not restricted to the so-called "Archaea" (also called Metabacteria, which is an older and more appropriate name). You can read about the ether-linked lipid "myth" in my 1998 paper (available online) at http://www.geocities.com/kinman/april.html
-----Going offlist with this now, Ken
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