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Re: Archaeopteryx

George Olshevsky (Dinogeorge@aol.com) wrote:

<Rock formations are just rock formations, and how we organize them into
higher levels of geological time is quite arbitrary. Yet everyone seems
comfortable using them. Why not likewise with Linnaean subdivisions?>

  Because unlike organization and use of formations, ranks have been used
to decide validity of relationship (closest broad case example, Aves as a
Class cannot be contained by Reptilia, also a Class, so therefore Aves
cannot be descended from within Reptilia; an even broader, distant example
can be the assumption of a ranked identity of Bacteria, as a Kingdom,
which as it turns out contains basal Animalia, Plantae, etc.) rather than
relationship be used for deciding assignment of rank. Ranks at this point
become redundant and likely as just of historical value. They can be done
without -- have been done without -- without the problems associated with
deciding which rank Aves should be, or Dinosauria, etc.


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.

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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