Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Homology versus Analogy in the taxonomy of tetropods

[Excerpt from a sort of novel or extended meditation in progress, Life With Each Other]

Laura was a practical person; yet, out of the blue one day, as they were reading next to each other in bed, she remarked:  “We don’t look much like dinosaurs.”
“I’ve noticed that myself, “ Ronald replied thoughtfully.  “It’s hard to believe that we’re cousins.”
“Yes, I guess you’re right,” said Laura, who was familiar with the basic facts of paleobiology.  “We’re more like cousins than actual descendents.”
Ronald looked pensive, then brightened, as offering a sort of amical compromise.  “But we’d look a lot more alike if dinosaurs wore clothes.”
“That’s true!” Laura gasped, and almost clapped her hands.
“ `How pretty you look today, Mrs. Brontosaurus, in that nice new poke bonnet. ‘ ”

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