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Re: What Is Not a Dinosaur? (was re: Ankle Articulation in Pterosaurs)



In a message dated 97-01-24 23:24:05 EST, znc14@ttacs1.ttu.edu (Jonathan R.
Wagner) writes:

<< It could his "obvious
 difficulties" could have something to do with his perhaps not being a native
 english speaker, or maybe he's new to phylogenetic systematics, or maybe he
 got his degree (a PhD, if I'm not wrong) at a time when the study of
 phylogeny and the practice of taxonomy was (and still is) rapidly changing.
 Whatever the reason, this is a pretty flimsy excuse for your grandstanding.
>>

Nonsense. You should stop being abrasive in your public comments; it is
petty, stupid, and arrogant. I'm not grandstanding, just calling the paper as
I see it. Language is not a problem; _Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology_ has
a whole staff of editors, and Fernando has cadres of English-speaking
professional friends who doubtless helped him with any linguistic problems he
may have encountered. He has been writing papers concerning phylogenetic
systematics of dinosaurs for much of this decade, so he's certainly not as
new to the discipline as some. A serious published work must be taken at face
value.

<<In any case, I shan't rise to the bait, except to say that I have
never seen one proper cladistic analysis which supports the claim you make
above, and there's more than one against it.  And, like it or not,
cladistics is how you play the game.>>

Not the way I play it. Cladistics is bunk, to quote R. T. Bakker (1996 SVP
annual meeting). Why should I employ a system I believe to be fundamentally
flawed? Just because everyone else does? Nothing I've read in or about
cladistics has answered my objections except with handwaving and
dogma-spouting. Cladists imagine their system is God's (or Hennig's) gift to
systematics, but they have thus far been unable to justify this stance to me.