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Re: SCIENCE AND CLASSIFICATION




Dear All,
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


******************************************
From: NJPharris@aol.com

In a message dated Tue, 5 Feb 2002 7:26:53 PM Eastern Standard Time, "philidor11" <philidor11@snet.net> writes:

> Expressed that way, no problem at all.
> We've agreed birds have a permanent, identical definition in the vernacular
> 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...

--Nick P.


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