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Re: Some thoughts on cladistics



HP Baeker wrote:

> So, although transitional forms exist and any line drawn is more or less
> arbitrary, it is nevertheless useful to draw the line somewhere. When you
> get near to the line, you have to be well aware of its arbitraryness, but
> as long as you stay away from it, it is helpful.

Doesn't the idea of a "transition" assume an end goal or purpose?  Or a
state that is trying to be achieved?  Australopithecines (or maybe
Kenyanthropus) were not transitional to Homo sapiens, they were a lineage
evolving like every other lineage.  Evolution,. being random and all, cannot
have an end goal, and without that, there is nothing to transition to.
Unless you consider every species transitional, but if everything is
transitional, that nullifies the meaning of "transitional."  It's all or
none.

That's a fundamental flaw with a hierarchical system that assumes
archetypes.  Everything that is different must be a transition to those
archetypes from other archetypes, which is an idea that is inherently
flawed.

-Demetrios Vital