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Re: real long--TOO long: Fragment #2

In a message dated 96-09-24 02:56:43 EDT, znc14@ttacs1.ttu.edu (Jonathan R.
Wagner) writes:

> {* Don't patronize me, George.  I said they don't explain everything
> {* at once.  Your theory, admittedly at a smaller scale, takes it all
> {* in, and spits out an affirmative response to every new piece of
> {* evidence.  Why?  Because weaknesses in the fossil record are it's
> {* strengths, and it's main action takes place behind the scenes in a
> {* place from whence no fossils will come.  While it is couched in
> {* modern evolutionary terms, it's about as proveable as Hoyle's
> {* Panspermia (is that the right word?) Genes from Space theory.

I have always maintained that, even though we have no direct evidence of the
earliest dinosaurs, in the form of real fossils, we have indirect evidence of
what they must have been like from the vestiges and traces of their
anatomical characters that remained in their descendants. Those vestiges and
traces I have already listed in a previous post.

Secondly, no scientific theory is >provable<, only DISprovable. What you want
to say here is that BCF is as DISprovable as Hoyle's Panspermia...theory. But
I'm not seeking to >prove< BCF, only to answer arguments that purport to
DISprove it. So far, the fossil record and what we know of evolutionary
trends, homoplasy, and so forth seem to support BCF in favor of BADD.

Indeed, BADD is much less disprovable than BCF, because there is little of
any substance there to put one's finger on. You note that BCF "spits out an
affirmative response to every new piece of evidence," but so does BADD,
insofar as it "spits out" any kind of a response at all(!). For example, I've
yet to see a cladistic analysis of pterosaur-dinosaur-bird relationships that
includes _Megalancosaurus_ and _Longisquama_, despite the birdlike features
apparent in both taxa. Why is this? Because BADD paleontologists have ignored
these two taxa (poor specimens, unavailable for study are two excuses).
Likewise with _Protoavis_: BADD paleontologists have asserted that the
specimen is composite and thus worthless, but where has anything been
published that tells just what _Protoavis_ is a composite of?

In _Mesozoic Meanderings_ #2 first printing (1991), I gave my reasons for
considering _Megalancosaurus_, _Cosesaurus_, _Longisquama_, _Scleromochlus_,
and _Protoavis_ as belonging to various lineages that diverged from the
lineage leading from the archosaur common ancestor to modern birds. If this
phylogeny is correct, or even approximately correct, then the earliest
dinosaurs must have been rather different-looking from what we have so far