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Feathered dinosaur



At 01:16 AM 1/19/97 -0500, Terry Jones wrote:

>  This is one of the problems with discussion lists on the
>  internet--anyone can say whatever they want, even if it is grossly
>  inaccurate and incorrect--there is no peer review.  A good example
>  of this is the recent flood of messages regarding the "feathered"
>  dinosaur(s).  One person sent a message that said the specimen
>  showed feathers, then a host a people assumed it to be true (even
>  tho' they had never seen it for themselves).  However, this was not
>  even published in a peer reviewed journal (nor has it been at this
>  point).  The peer review process may not keep all incorrect
>  assertions out of press, but at least it removes a fair portion of
>  it. 

Though it is true that this list is not the equivalent of a peer-reviewed
journal, I think this comment goes too far.  First of all it is, in itself,
inaccurate.  As I recall more than one person posted here who had actually
seen the specimen involved, and certainly more than one respectable
paleontologist has stated publicly - not just here - that he considers the
structures on the specimen to be feathers.  Just because something has not
yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal (a process that can take
years!) does not mean it is inaccurate or unworthy of report (nor is the
reverse necessarily true!) - I think many of us here have hedged our
enthusiasm with the understanding that these structures may not turn out to
be feathers on closer analysis - we are not fools.

If the writer of the passage has actual evidence that the structures are
not feathers would he please post it here?  And if he does not, might I
point out that his claim that the information is "inaccurate", without
qualification, subjects his post to the same criticism he has leveled
against others?
--
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