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Re: Feduccia's errors

At 05:40 PM 1/31/97 PST, you wrote:
>From: brucet@mindspring.com (bruce thompson)
> >  Can someone venture a
> > briefish, bullet-point list of exactly what "Feduccia's errors" are?
>I am not sure I can get all of them, but here is a start:

It seems to me that Feduccia's biggest, overriding error is that he uses
much of the book to proselytize for the Birds-did-not-evolve-from-dinosaurs
view with such messianic fervour that he appears to have lost the
objectivity a book like this should have had.  This is not to say that he
is wrong (though I think he is), but that his views appear to have coloured
his ability to present the evidence.  He pours scorn on anyone of the
contrary opinion, stating more than once that they do not understand
biology (though his own views on convergence seem peculiar at best - he
goes into great length explaining why all the similarities between birds
and theropods must be the result of convergence, though they lived very
different lives, but it does not seem to occur to him that the similarities
he notes between birds and such probably arboreal forms as Longisquama
might also be the result of convergence).  His book, in short, is a polemic
rather than the dispassionate text on fossil birds that we still very much
need, and this tone makes it very difficult to judge whether any of the
evidence is fairly, or completely, presented.

That said, I think the book is worth having, if only because there is
nothing else like it, but I suspect (I am not a paleontologist myself so I
cannot say this with any certainty) that it should, unfortunately, be taken
with a grain of salt.
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court                 
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2          Internet: ornstn@inforamp.net