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Re: Bad as opposed to BADD



On Wed, 30 Oct 1996 Dinogeorge@aol.com wrote:

> 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.

        And I say the "paradigm" is no such things. Some authors have
argued for cursorial origins (Ostrom, Padian, i think) some for arboreal
origins (Bakker, Paul), some have argued for feathers originating as
insulation or as flight structures, some have argued for endothermy as a
bird or dinosaur invention, and some have argued for Jurassic or Triassic
origins, and about the ONLY common thread running through what you
repeatedly imply to be a monolithic and homogenous theoretical construct
is this:
        modern birds are the descendants of theropod dinosaurs.

Which isn't really at odds with what you're saying, just how you say it-
you call the hypothetical ancestor of flighted dinosaurs a bird, other
people call it a dinosaur. Which we end up calling it in the end is simply
an arbitrary human distinction that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE
COURSE OF EVOLUTION. 
        I'd like to ask this: should the group of animals which
paleontologists almost unanimously agree are the direct ancestors of
modern flighted birds, and which they almost unanimously agree are called
"dinosaurs" be called "dinosaurs" or "birds"? Now I'd like to ask this
question: can this question be answered scientifically? No.
        BCF differs from the so-called paradigm in three main regards:
a) arboreal origins of dinosaur bipedality b) extended arboreal period
preceding gliding and powered flight, and c) calling dinosaurs birds.
Since it agrees, however, with what seems to be the only common ground in
the "BADD paradigm" (whatever-they're-called as bird ancestors) we could
actually put it into the "paradigm".
        As for the oft-repeated complaint of huge holes, I'm
getting sick of hearing that one so I'll ask yet again what non-theropod
segnosaurs are doing with three fingers per hand. Now why is that so bad
when "BADD" takes a feature like that for granted, but okay when BCF just
ignores it and doesn't even try to offer an explanation? Or how about the
fact that the cranial nerves seem to wired in the avian pattern? 
        I grant that paleontologists seem to have given the question of
why and how animals evolved in certain ways less thought than they have
building cladaograms, at times, and we could certainly do with a little
more analysis of why dinosaurs evolved bipedalism, and various other
peculiarities of dinosaur evolution, and are sorely lacking for
explanation. On the other hand, a hypothesis is
quite obviously the best hypothesis if no other hypothesis is offered
forth, but that doesn't necessarily make it a very good one.