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Re: A long post about DUMB METATHERIANS vs EVIL, SMART PLACENTALS



<Given roughly equal diversity before, random action should yield 50/50--or
do I misunderstand how this statistical process works?>

Given the number of trials -- one -- the result could be 50/50 or 100/0 in
either direction, unfortunately.  Though over a series of trials you'd more
closely approximate 50/50 assuming equal vulnerability to malign effects,
flukes do happen.
So, it's hard to reason back to causes on the basis of what survived.
Assuming mutation is random, this is also a good argument against accepting
any character as 'basal' if the animal is known to have lived only
subsequent to a supposedly less basal animal.  Unless the character is
unlikely to mutate for some reason, or has a function or connection to other
characters otherwise known to be more primitive, you couldn't know for
certain whether a character appeared before or after the separation within
the lineage.
This doesn't affect the validity of your argument, but I guess it does
remove one potential support for it.