[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: My apologies, but... physiology revisited



I'm now washing my hands of Stan Friesen on the subject of Ruben et
al.'s recent paper in _Science_.  If even after all this he cannot see
the impropriety of assessing a paper without reading it, then I don't
see how anything I write will effect him.  For others not so
emotionally invested in defending an (IMHO) inappropriate behavior I
offer the following.  Stan wrote:

> The argument they are trying to make is of the following form:
>
>       1: Endothermy requires (implies) large RT's (E => RT)
>       2: Dinosaurs lack large RT's
>       Ergo: dinosaurs were not endothermic.
>
> Now, for this to work they have to demonstrate that #1 is true
> *without* *exception*.  It is NOT sufficient that it be true on
> average.

If Stan had read the paper he'd know that there are other references
available about respiratory turbinates.  In living animals it seems
reasonable to conclude that some method of water retention is
necessary for endothermy.  In greater than 99% of said animals, that
function seems to be carried out by RT's even though developmental
studies indicate that these structures were evolved independently in
birds and mammals.  It may not be true that RT's are required for
endothermy, but if dinosaurs had a different way of maintaining
respiratory water while breathing as much as birds and mammals then
one would wonder why birds evolved RT's.  In any case, Stan's analysis
above is a straw man since Ruben et al. are practicing science not
mathematics.  I invite others to read the paper rather than accept
what's written here (even by me) as a substitute if you really want to
understand the arguments proffered by the people who are actually
putting in the hard work to understand dinosaur physiology from the
perspective of science.  A good bit of that hard work is submitting it
for peer review.  If (after reading it) Stan has real objections to
the paper, he should submit them to the editors of _Science_.  The
same goes for Greg.  Of course the editors will probably want Greg to
submit his data and an explanation of how it was collected before
they'll publish his objections.

--
Mickey Rowe     (mrowe@indiana.edu)