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protoavis and the press
I think the hostility you sense is more toward the way the popular media
have handled this issue. I think it safe to say that the majority of those
with experience in archosaur anatomy don't think Protoavis is a bird.
Unfortunately, the press picked up on claims without bothering to follow it
up. When the VP community at large began to say in consensus that
Protoavis isn't what Chatterjee thinks it is, the press failed to say
Some people fault Dr. Chatterjee with running to the press before
publication, but from what I've seen the fault has more to do with the
National Geographic Society and the press than with Chatterjee. It was NGS
that pushed for a press release, not Chatterjee, who was being rather
meticulous - incorrect, I think, but meticulous nonetheless.
As a scientist, I find the press to be the best evidence available that
science education in the U.S. is in dismal shape. (Also consider the fact
that "scientific creationists" now have a one-vote majority on the Texas
Board of Education.)
Department of Geological Sciences
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712
You know how it feels when you're leaning over on a barstool and almost
fall over, but not quite? I feel like that all the time.