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Re: Dinosaurs, creationists, the ark

>-"Regular, dinosaur-hipped variety; which is how the should come
>because dinosaurs were reptiles."
>Re: His hideous explanation of Saurischia, which is been an archaic 
>term for over a decade.  Modern cladistic diagrams (i.e. after 1985) 
>have four main branches of dinosaurs: Paleodinosaurs (Lagosuchids 
>etcetera), Herrerasaurs (Herrarasaurids and Protoavids etcetera), 
>Theropods (three-toed, meat-eating [normally] dinosaurs and birds),
>and Phytodinosaurs (Sauropods and Ornithischians).  They also will 
>put Pterosaurs and Ornithosuchians as respectively more distant 
>outgroups.  All of these together make up the group Ornithodira, 
>which has been raised to class status under the name Aves or
>Ornithodira because they are not morphologically or physiologically 
>similar to "reptiles". [Yes, I agree in the monophyly of 

To be fair, "Phytodinosauria" has yet to be defended in an explicit
cladistic analysis with character matrices, RIs and CIs, etc., whereas the
Saurischia/Ornithischia split has been defended in Gauthier 1986.

Furthermore, it has been argued that Dinosauria should be defined as the
most recent common ancestor of Saurischia and Ornithischia, and all of that
ancestor's descendants. Any taxon falling outside of this node (such as
Herrerasauridae or Lagosuchus) are excluded from Dinosauria proper, but
remain in Dinosauromorpha (= dinosaurs and all ornithodirans closer to
dinosaurs than to pterosaurs).  Also, most cladistic taxonomists agree that
Aves is a subgroup of Dinosauria, and Dinosauria a subgroup of Reptilia.
>-"Have you ever seen the teeth of a Panda "Bear"? . . . long, sharp,
>teeth.  The fruit bats of Australia or New Zealand?
>Re: Obviously Dr. G. failed Comparative Anatomy and dental school.  
>The Pandas (pandas are not bears, please tell Dr. G. not to refer to 
>them as such) have large sharp teeth a) because they were inherited 
>from a common Carnivoran ancestor with raccoons, and b) because 
>they are helpful in removing edible bamboo from the plants (have you
>ever tried to eat bamboo?).  Fruit bats have sharp teeth because they 
>a) inherited them and b) are used to puncture the skin of fruits and 

Actually, Pandas (or at least Great Pandas, Ailuropoda melanoleuca) ARE true
bears, and back in their proper place among the Ursidae.  The lesser panda
(Ailurus) is the sister taxon to the Ursida (=bears + pinnipeds).

>hands.  There is evidence that Sauropods (Brontosaurs) were not egg 
>layers.  A live-birth Brachiosaur would be about the size of a 
>Volkswagon, not the cute cat-sized animal the audience is picturing.

Actually, there is evidence that sauropods WERE egg layers: see the
approprite chapters in Dinosaur Eggs and Babies.  I'll stack the positive
evidence of sauropod eggs (AND embryos) against Bakker's theory any day!

>-"Now this is a drawing by Dr. Roy Mackle . . . and even though they
>didn't get any pictures of it Dr. Mackle said, 'No question about it, this 
>animal is there.'  . . . even though there's no photographic evidence . . 
>. Mackle was able to record the voice print."
>Re:  Dr. Mackle went to the Congo and conveniently forget to remove 
>the lens cap from his movie camera when he came across the Mekile 
>Mmbembe (or however you spell it).  His description however is 
>bogus.  He describes a creature similar to a sauropod, except that it 
>had a very flat back.  No sauropod (or dinosaur for that matter) had a 
>flat back.  The most distinctive feature of sauropod anatomy is their 
>long spined vertebrae, always at least as long as the centra.  Many 
>species (Diplodocids Dicraeosaurs, Mamenchisaurs etcetera) had the
>spines split over the neck and upper back causing two ridges to be 
>visible.  If Dr. Mackle had really seen a dinosaur, it is beyond me how 
>it could slip his mind that there were ridges over the back and neck.

Only a few sauropods had tall neural spines as you describe them.  Many
sauropods DID have a flatter back.  As for fleshy or scaley spines, the only
positive evidence for this is on a diplodocid.  They may well have been
present in all sauropods, but this is pure conjecture.
(NOT that I am defending Mackle: if sauropods still lived, they would have
been spotted and cpatured long ago.)

>-"Kind; which probably goes up to a family level."
>Re: Which kind are Hyena's in?  Are they in the dog kind or the cat 
>kind?  Are they in their own kind?  Are cats, dogs and hyenas in a 
>kind together?

Creationists explicity say that hyaena's are in the dog "baramin" ("created
kind").  Of course, there are incredible amounts of skeletal, soft tissue,
molecular, and behavioral synapmorphies uniting hyaenas with cats, civets,
and mongooses.
>-"All of the languages in the world seem to have originated from one
>central language."
>Re: Oh?  Most linguistic experts really struggle when they study 
>language origins.  For instance, Indo-European is a pretty well 
>established language family, it SEEMS to have roots with 
>Finno-Ugric, but no one can be really certain because they are vastly 
>different.  No one has any idea where Basque came from.  No one 
>has any idea where Etruscan came from.  Those languages are not at 
>all similar to any other languages in the world at all, and yet Dr. G. 
>claims he knows where they came from.

Plus, one would EXPECT all human languages to stem from some single root
tongue if one accepts the monophyly of Homo sapeins sapiens!

>have to clean or feed the animals because they were hibernating.  That's it.
> If you want the tape, just ask'im for it, 'k?

I wouldn't mind a copy.  Know thine enemy, and so forth...

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist
Dept. of Geology
University of Maryland
College Park, MD  20742
Email:Thomas_R_HOLTZ@umail.umd.edu (th81)
Fax: 301-314-9661