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Re: BCF (was New Article in Experimental Zoology)
George Olshevsky (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote:
<Have a look at Ax, 1989:
Ax, P., 1989. "The integration of fossils in the phylogenetic system of
organisms," in Schmidt-Kittler & Willmann, eds., 1989: 27-43.
Schmidt-Kittler, N & Willmann, R., eds., 1989. Phylogeny and the
Classification of Fossil and Recent Organisms, Abhandlungen des
Naturwissenschaflichen Vereins in Hamburg (NF) 28, Verlag Paul Paray,
Hamburg: 300 pp.
Time to revise our concept of what a "bird" is.>
Oh, no. This would be a very BAD idea.
In the history of bad ideas, this would be near the very top. Next to
seeing what would happen if you flew a few planes into a pair of
The entire world has a majority concept of what birds, or vögeln,
ptitsi, ornithoi, etc., are... and sauropods frankly do not cut the cake.
Nor do *Agilisaurus* or *Eoraptor*, etc. I like the idea of bird-lke
anatomy in taxonomy, it's fun, and would favor Ornithotarsi, but the word
"bird" and all its incarnations has, to my knowledge, a very applied and
structured concept. Using the word "bird" or it's incarnations to
systematically include non-birds would be a horrible path to walk. Very
few would follow, as I see the set up. And you would be VERY hard-pushed
to get the public to conform. No, science is not for the public to decide,
I do know this, but in the vein applied above by George, it would be one
of the worst things to do in this day and age of advancement to -- almost
allegorically -- call a sauropod a bird.
Advancements in systematic thought have come a long way from Owen's
famous debates with Huxley on gorillas, *Amphioxus*, and birds, but one of
these is not picking extant forms as meters to all fossil forms along
stem-lineages as it ignores the diversity along the stem. Birds are an
end-product, not the meter.
Jaime A. Headden
Little steps are often the hardest to take. We are too used to making leaps
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do. We should all
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.
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