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Re: Some thoughts on AVES



----- Original Message -----
From: <NJPharris@aol.com>
To: <kinman@hotmail.com>; <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2001 11:49 PM
Subject: Re: Some thoughts on AVES

>> A definition for Mammalia along the lines of "the first organism to
possess three auditory ossicles homologous to those of living mammals and
all of its descendants" would be absolutely lovely, as far as I'm concerned
(since it both captures exactly a traditional conception of Mammalia and
ensures that the group thus defined will be monophyletic).<<

Can you pinoint the exact time in history when that adaptation occurred?
That idea assumes an over-night acqusition of an adaptation.  This argument
has been criticized already; it relies on a knowledge gap that's so hard to
fill in that we may never be able to, but it's still only a gap in our
knowledge.  Why depend on what we don't know, when we have a method that
works off of what we _do_ know (phylogenetic taxonomy)?

-Demetrios Vital