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Bad as opposed to BADD

George Olshevsky writes:

> Of course it does. BCF exaptations, however, are not nearly as
> >wild< as those proposed by BADD. Forearm feathers as insect traps
> (ever try to trap a fly with a feather duster?) that later become
> wings! (I must admit, however, that this one is getting too
> far-fetched even for BADD paleontologists.)

Despite what he might have us believe, George does not hold the corner
on the market on the idea that flight evolved first in arboreal forms.
I suspect that idea is older than George is (it's most certainly
decades older than "BCF").  The message to which I'm responding
completely confuses the distinction between the arguments "how did
flight evolve" and "what is the phylogenetic position of birds with
respect to other dinosaurs".  I suspect most of us have problems with
BCF because of its claims about the latter.  Its claims about the
former are not so far fetched.

Despite the tone of the message to which I'm responding, George is not
a lone heretic with all of his ideas about the history of birds.
Furthermore there is no singular "BADD" against which "BCF" stands in
contrast.  George makes a lot of claims.  If you were to poll a bunch
of professionals with a list of George's claims (preferably with no
indication of how the list was generated) you'd find that a lot of
paleontologists would agree with some of them.  Of those finding some
agreement with George, not all would agree on the same items of my
hypothetical list.  That's the way science goes, particularly in areas
where data are sparse.

George, please get over the martyr complex.  I think you're doing the
readers of this list a gross disservice every time you try to pass
yourself off as the only person making any sense.

Mickey Rowe     (mrowe@indiana.edu)