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Re: New theropod phylogenetics paper

Chip (Vorompatra@aol.com) wrote:

<I see your point & like many analogies, mine is strained. However,
mammals evolved from "reptiles," but we don't call them that, even if they
are nested  therein. Not evolved from modern reptiles, of course, but the
concept of "reptile" can be variously defined to include things you can
kill in your yard with a rake, OR things that crawled around in the
Paleozoic, or both & everything in-between.>

  Not to detract from Pete, but...

  Yeah, and this very _loose_ interpretation of reptile is what has forced
a problem in even using the name "Reptilia" scientifically. No, mammals
did not evolve from reptiles in any way, shape, or form. The most basal,
reptile-like form that can be attributed to the evolution of mammals
directly without any reptilian connections is *Paleothrysis* or similar,
and also *Sphenacodon* and that most illustrious "pelycosaur" radiation we
all know and love.

<There's a difference between the term "apes" as you use it above, and
"apes" as most people understand it--one hardly ever sees a human on
display in the Ape House at a Zoo (although I can think of some that
wouldn't look at all out of place, but I digress).>

  Er, there is a very precise reason this occurs. Most religious groups
(and Christianity among them) to which the populace adheres to (excluding
scientists for the meanwhile) adamantly distinguish ape and human for a
very, very distinct reason: evolution is not considered a law of God. The
whole conflict involving the famous Monkey Trial and Darwin's book only
illustrates this. Even Owen, most prominent of the British biologists of
his day and since (though Huxley was as good, and taught, he was not as
prominent), adhered to a strictly Biblical interpretation of life, and
defined Darwin's Bulldog on the case of the gorilla (few people remark on
this point, but Huxley and Owen were involved in this argument, the
evolution of man, prior to and during their "origin of birds" debate).
Nonetheless, the reasons for many classical views, as I and others have
pointed out in the past, and which gave rise to still persistant
"scientific" principles of evolution, was a distinctly anti-evolutionary
point of view. This tempered the kettle in which the theories of evolution
simmered until today, when we are faced with drastically destroying one to
favor the other.

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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