To : Arthur Biele Subj: Transitions AB [Originally, Archeopteryx] was considered a reptile

Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

From: John Thompson Posted: 24 Sep 94 11:30 To : Arthur Biele Subj: Transitions AB> [Originally, Archeopteryx] was considered a reptile with bird AB> like features. Today, 'Archi' is known to be a 'true' bird. Archeopteryx is considered to be a "true bird" only because taxonomists have agreed upon using feathers as the defining characteristic for Class Aves. This does not change by a whit the fact that Archaeopteryx has many reptilian features (eg pubic peduncle, bony tail, toothed jaw, etc.) not seen in *ANY* modern bird; this is the reason it is considered to be transitional between birds and reptiles. AB> All it's features were complete and fully functional. What's the point of this claim? Only creationists expect to find incomplete structures in transitional forms. Just another manifestation of teleological thinking, I guess. AB> experts agree that Archeopteryx is an evolutionary dead end, AB> and not the ancestor of any modern birds (which are to be AB> found as far back as the early cretaceous period). First, how does being an evolutionary "dead-end" negate transitional form status? This looks like typical creationist "scala natura" thinking. Second, if you're thinking of Protoavis as your modern bird "found as far back as the early cretaceous period" you ought to be aware that 1) Protoavis has not been closely investigated by anyone other than its discoverer, so little can be said about it's taxonomic staus; and 2) due to the poor state of preservation of the find, his assertion that Protoavis has feathers (and therefore its status as *ANY* type of bird) is not widely accepted, much less any claims of it being a "modern bird." * KingQWK 1.05 # 39 * Evolution: the unifying principle of Biology! --- ProBoard v2.01 [EVALUATION] * Origin: Fido 1:139/655 | T.F.G. BBS | Appleton, Wi | (414)739-8242 (1:139/655)


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank