Re: You say you want a devolution?

David Campbell (
Mon, 17 Nov 1997 18:43:33 -0400

>Is it a bird? Is it a dinosaur? The dinosaur-to-bird
>theory, a mainstream evolutionist orthodoxy, is faltering.
>A new book that proclaims the old faith, The Mistaken
>Extinction: Dinosaur Evolution and the Origin of Birds, is
>hitting the stores this month. But Alan Feduccia,
>chairman of the biology department at the University of
>North Carolina, has come out in opposition: "The
>dinosaurian origin of birds is based on sloppy science." As
>academic evolutionists fight among themselves, the
>feathers are beginning to fly.
Alan Fedducia asserts that birds are close relatives of dinosaurs rather
than descendants. Archaeopteryx remains a reptile to bird transition in
his views; he simply disagrees as to exactly which reptiles. A confounding
factor is that the "Birds are dinosaurs" crowd includes fanatic cladists [a
particular method of analysis], so a lot of the arguement is not over the
evidence but rather whether the analysis is properly done.