What does Common Ancestor mean?
Spiders belong to the class Arachnida, insects to the class Insecta - http://www.washington.edu/burkemuseum/spidermyth/myths/notinsects.html. The vernacular for spider though is insect, both Aracnida and Insecta breath through their bodies. Lets classify all creepy things with lots of legs breathing through their bodies as Insecta3 as per Naming Conventions.
A child at the zoo tells how he saw a "big monkey" and a "little monkey" he is using the vernacular for gorilla and ape.
The common ancestor between a brother and sister is their mother. If man and ape descended from a "common ancestor", what would this CA have looked like to an observer back then? Both JohnWilkins and John Harshman stated that it would have looked like a "monkey", "ape", "simian' , "flea scratching baboon" or any other vernacular that one would wish to use. John Harshman insists that our CA was a monkey hanging by its tail in the trees a few million years ago. Wilkins stated that using "ape like ancestor" instead of "monkey" for the CA merely replaces one vernacular for another.
In one context a "common ancestor" is a human being, in another it represents symbolically a monkey(vernacular usage, use simian if it makes you feel less stupid). RichardDawkins stated that the ancestor between fish and land dwelling creatures wasn't a fish but a "common ancestor". But to an observer back then wouldn't this CA have looked like a fishy thingy? If the Epicureans are this confused as to what they mean with CA then imagine the confusion we have with 'natural selection'. JohnWilkins in his audio podcast that he linked from on scienceblogs.com stated that if you read RichardDawkins books you are guaranteed to get it wrong.
PZ Myers on 'precursor populations: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/12/ray_comfort_gets_it_half_right.php#comment-1236746 PZ wrote: "......We evolved from precursor populations containing both males and females........"
These precursors, did they look like monkeys,simians, bonobos or did they look like a "precursor"? What would the precursor of this precursor have looked like, a common ancestor. What does a *precursor* between you and your sister look like. Precursors, common ancestors, Arachnida, Insecta, monkey and baboon symbolically represent an idea. There is no rule that says one isn't allowed to refer to a spider as an insect in the vernacular sense. In the same way there is no rule which says that "selection" always must be used in the decision making sense. Neither is there a rule that forbids referring to your mother as your "precursor" or her "precursor" as a "common ancestor" hanging by its tail in the trees 10mil years ago.
Lets presume this "precursor" gave birth to another "precursor" at what point would this "precursor" say: Mommy why are your teeth so long!? Did monkeys give birth to talking monkeys. The reply to this question is what did the first speaker of French mother speak, which is a false analogy because his mother's morphological features would have been exactly the same. For the monkey man transition morphological changes would have had to taken place. How many such changes for example was there in the cow whale transition, a billion, 100 million.