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Re: SCIENCE AND CLASSIFICATION
Virtually everyone (scientists and the public alike) accepts
Archaeopteryx as a bird and member of Aves. If they accept it, they will
probably readily accept the inclusion of other forms with "vaned" feathers
and which laid ornithoid eggs. I don't see any big problems on this front.
The only real problem may be a handful of people who want a crown
group Aves like Gauthier (is Norell et al. now joining him on that?). My
expansion makes more sense than their implosion of Aves.
------ Ken Kinman
In a message dated Tue, 5 Feb 2002 7:26:53 PM Eastern Standard Time,
"philidor11" <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> Expressed that way, no problem at all.
> We've agreed birds have a permanent, identical definition in the
> and scientifically.
No, we haven't. We've established that the scientific term Aves and the
vernacular term "bird" encompass the same set of living entities. Aves is
still *defined* as "the most recent common ancestor of _Archaeopteryx_ and
modern birds and all of its descendants". The lexicosemantics of "bird"
probably vary somewhat even among individual speakers.
Debate over classification of fossil animals will not,
> cannot change the definition.
I guess I agree with that (see above). Such debate may, however, change
the set of entities to which the definition applies.
> On the close calls, whatever isn't a bird is
> a dinosaur
As is everything that *is* a bird...
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