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Re: Bad as opposed to BADD



[Nobody's complained yet, but I strongly suspect that most of us would
 prefer it if you'd take this "I said, you said" discussion to
 personal e-mail.  -- MR ]

In a message dated 96-10-30 15:11:04 EST, znc14@ttacs1.ttu.edu (Jonathan R.
Wagner) writes:

> At 11:18 AM 10/30/96 -0500, Senor Olshevsky wrote:
> >There is no way to tell, by examining the statements themselves,
> >whether they are true, false, improbable, or un-parsimonious. And just
>
>         Taken by themselves.  No one on this list will read the summary of
> "BCF" which I presented *by itself*.  Many of us understand the basic
> concepts of modern evolutinoary theory, dinosaur paleontology, parsimony,
> and basic scientific method.  When viewed in this context (which is the
> context which I, and certainly many others, view your theory), the rewording
> I presented does highlight the flaws in your theory.

All right, here are the paragraphs that you wrote:

"I'm afraid I must invoke a criticism you too often level at me,
George.  Why don't you just say what you mean.  If you understand this fact,
then why do you insist on muddying the issue by refering to dino-birds?  Why
not just say that 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.  Spawning the dinosaurs we know and love was
just a pastime for them, so to speak...
        "Why don't you make it this clear?  I don't know, but if asked to
guess, I'd say itis because stating the theory this clearly points out just
how improbable and un-parsimonious it really is."

There is nothing in the quoted paragraphs that points out any flaws in BCF.
Rather, all you do is restate BCF in one-sentence form and then assert,
"STATING THE THEORY THIS CLEARLY POINTS OUT JUST HOW IMPROBABLE AND
UN-PARSIMONIOUS IT REALLY IS." You have taken a statement >by itself< and you
have made an unsubstantiated comment about it. That is the >entire< content
of your paragraphs. You have not in any way shown how restating BCF in
one-sentence form points out any flaws in BCF. If anything, restating BCF in
one-sentence form, which I have done on numerous occasions for this list,
makes it easier to see just how dinosaurs are related to dino-birds and how
much more likely it is that they evolved this way than in some other way.

Indeed, the substance of your end of this "debate" thus far has been nothing
more than simply asserting that BCF is wrong, un-parsimonious, unconvincing,
and so forth without producing any deep reasons for why you think so. This
you do with such terse responses as "Sorry, not convinced"; "Not proven"; and
so on, scattered through your communications. It is not as easy as you think
to construct a >proper argument<, which is desirable in this situation; but
it is extremely easy to simply be >argumentative<, which is, after a while,
just plain obnoxious.

[Then again, maybe you're both better off just cooling your heels for
 six months or so...  If the next message in this thread doesn't
 contain more substance I'll probably reject it (as I debated rejecting
 this one). -- MR ]