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Re: Bad as opposed to BADD



In a message dated 96-10-29 15:10:49 EST, znc14@ttacs1.ttu.edu (Jonathan R.
Wagner) writes:

>  ...all of the dinosaurs we find in the fossil record are independant
> radiations of a main stem of arboreal dinosaurs which stayed in the trees
> learning how to fly.

With but a few minor semantic quibbles (such as [1] a dinosaur is not a
radiation, and [2] not all the dinosaurs arose >independently< from this
stem--most of them certainly evolved from earlier dinosaurs), I would say
you've summed it up in a nutshell. Now MEMORIZE IT, because you're going to
need to know this in the years to come.

>        Why don't you make it this clear?  I don't know, but if asked to
> guess, I'd say it is because stating the theory this clearly points out just
> how improbable and un-parsimonious it really is.

Sorry, but you're all wet here. Consider the following statements, some true,
some false:

[1] The sun revolves around the earth.
[2] The earth revolves around the sun.
[3] Organisms change in time through the preferential survival of favorable
lineages, whose characteristics are transmitted from one generation to the
next.
[4] All matter is composed of atoms, whose motions and interactions determine
its bulk properties.
[5] Gravity is the effect of curved spacetime on the trajectories of moving
objects.
[6] Atoms are small, hard spheres with hooks on them whereby they attach to
other atoms to make up molecules.
[7] Small dinosaurs evolved the ability to fly by leaping from cliffs.

Each of these is a very clear, straightforward statement of a scientific
theory. There is no way to tell, by examining the statements themselves,
whether they are true, false, improbable, or un-parsimonious. And just
because a theory can be summarized in a single sentence is no reason to
consider the theory trivial or insignificant. Your statement thus reveals a
prejudicial attitude toward BCF that I think results from not paying enough
attention to what I've been saying this past year and blindly, uncritically
accepting the BADD paradigm, such as it is.

>>Padian & Holtz's (or is it Holtz & Padian's?) node-based definition
>>of the clade Dinosauria as the common ancestor of _Triceratops_ and
>>birds and all its descendants is quite precise, and I use the
>>completely equivalent definition of Dinosauria as the common
>>ancestor of _Iguanodon_ and _Megalosaurus_ and all its descendants
>>in _Dinosaur Folios_ and _Mesozoic Meanderings_.
>
>         Not _completely equivalent_, currently equivalent.  For
> example, if Feduccia believed in cladistics, I'm sure he would
> disagree.

Whether or not Feduccia believes it to be true makes no difference. And the
word "completely" is redundant, used deliberately for emphasis. The two
clades are indeed currently completely equivalent. "Currently" and
"completely" are not mutually exclusive adverbs.