Re: Birds on evolutionary scale

To: James Davis <>
Subject: Re: Birds on evolutionary scale
From: Hugo Phillipps <>
Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 15:11:41
Jim -

At 11:25 18/11/1998 +1000, you wrote:
> Although different groups
>can be very distinct, there is no reason to conclude that one group is
>more advance than another.  Would you agree with my understanding of the
>source of the confusion?     

I think some terms, such as 'advanced', used to categorise species are so
value-laden and subjective as to be useless and misleading.  What does an
evolutionary 'scale' measure? Is it physiological or behavioural
complexity?  Is it ecological specialisation?  Is it some kind of measure
of difference or change from an ancestral form?  Evolutionary change is
blind and reactive, not a progress to a preordained or 'advanced'  future


Hugo Phillipps,
Birds Australia Conservation & Liaison,
Australian Bird Research Centre,
415 Riversdale Road,
Hawthorn East, VIC 3123, Australia.
Tel: (03) 9882 2622. Fax: (03) 9882 2677.
O/s: +61 3 9882 2622. Fax: +61 3 9882 2677.
Email: <>
Web Homepage:

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