Wednesday, October 13, 2010

* Dino to Bird Theory (4)

"The congruence of other characters is sometimes
offered as justification for such assumptions:
birds are theropods because they share
other characters with theropods and, therefore,
must have the same digital identities as theropods
(e.g., Wagner and Gauthier 1999, Makovicky and
Dyke 2001, Padian 2001b). This reasoning is circular.
Synapomorphies are invoked to defend the
hypothesis; the hypothesis is invoked to defend
the synapomorphies."

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