[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: New theropod phylogenetics paper



In a message dated 3/3/02 10:05:24 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
StephanPickering@cs.com writes:

<< S.J. Gould has argued that to say "birds" are "dinosaurs" is not true, 
that 
 "birds" descended from "dinosaurs" but are not "dinosaurs" (whatever that 
 semantic tap-dancing means, as it is not worthy of the scientific honesty he 
 is known for). >>

To be fair to Mr Gould, I think he's just trying to be clear, the same way 
one might say "humans" are not "apes" (in the human-exclusive, 
commonly-understood sense of the word "apes") since this upsets some people, 
but that both are descended of a common ancestor. The analogy may appear 
strained because there is no extant "dinosaur" in the popularly-understood 
sense (for want of a better word, a "dragon"), which may be because the 
vulgar definition seems to include their having left the stage at the K-T 
Event.

Chip
www.geocities.com/vorompatra