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Re: Ah ha! That's where therizinosaurs came from
Meant "flyer" when writing "flightless", sorry.
2011/8/12 Augusto Haro <email@example.com>:
>>> guess, this debate is outside science. There is no rigorous or empirical
>>> scientific method that can demonstrate if an animal had a flying
>>> ancestor or not.
> Parsimony can support the conclusion that an ancestor of a taxon was
> flying (for example, if the three closest successive outgroups to the
> taxon in question are flightless), even when we do not know the actual
> ancestor. There are different reconstructions of the ancestral
> character state, and parsimony can tell us which one to prefer (we can
> in principle describe hypothetical ancestors as if they were actual
> leaves, except for some characters for which parsimony cannot solve
> ambiguity). Someone may say that a most parsimonious hypothesis does
> not mean it is the more possible one, and is thus a not rigurous
> scientific method, but in such a case the same criticism would have to
> be supported against the use of parsimony for phylogenetic analyses!!!