Update: See relevant portion of interview transcript below.
Mark Norell, chairman and curator of the Division of Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History, was a guest on the Leonard Lopate Show this afternoon. He has a new book out called Unearthing the Dragon: The Great Feathered Dinosaur Discovery.
It turns out, according to Dr. Norell, that the increasingly accepted notion that "birds are dinosaurs" is creating problems for some folks. Dinosaurs are reptiles, see, so if birds are dinosaurs, that means they're reptiles too, and you can't be eating reptiles and still be kosher.
Dr. Norell has been getting calls from some rabbis complaining about this revoltin' turn of events on account of what it basically means is that, for example, chicken soup is now treff, non-Kosher, kaput-ski on the Jewish Mom's Penicillin-ski.
Well, I'm not Jewish, and G-d knows I could hardly follow all the Jewish Food Minutiae I used to see on rec.arts.sf.fandom, so don't be yelling at me if any of this is wrong. I'm just reporting what I heard.
There will be a RealAudio link at that Lopate show link later today, I should think, if you want to hear it for yourselves.
Update: You can also podcast WNYC.
Transcript of relevant section of the interview (begins ~ 15:30 into interview):
Leonard Lopate: Hasn't the discovery of feathers put paleontologists at odds with some other groups? Ornithologists? Creationists? Even some clergy? Mostly rabbis. What is bothering -- I can understand Creationists having a problem with this.
Mark Norell: ... As someone who is not Jewish, myself, and someone who just -- my closest connection to it is having several, you know, friends who observe kosher household rules and things like that, is -- I got a couple of letters from rabbis saying that these things couldn't be dinosaurs because then they wouldn't be kosher. That living birds wouldn't be kosher if they were considered reptiles. So --
LL: So you couldn't eat chicken because chickens came out of -- descended from reptiles. But aren't dinosaurs reptiles?
MN: Dinosaurs are reptiles.
LL: I thought reptiles were cold-blooded.
MN: No, that's a misnomer, I mean, basically, is that -- birds are reptiles also -- in modern classifications. Again, you have to think of it as a hierarchical nesting of sets. It's just humans are primates, primates are mammals, and mammals are vertebrates. In the same way, birds are dinosaurs, dinosaurs are reptiles, and reptiles are vertebrates. So, birds are a kind of dinosaur and dinosaurs are a kind of reptile.