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I wrote:
>        So what you're saying then is that he is just plain stupid?  What
>d'you suppose, George, makes a respected scientist set out to make a logical
>gaff such as this?  For truly, there is a logical flaw in the paper.  Is Dr.
>Novas just stupid?
>        If this wasn't the point you were trying to make, I'd like to hear
>what it was.  For the life of me, this seemed to be the major point of your
>post, "The cladist made a boo-boo, and so now they all have egg on their
>faces..."  Unless you seriously believe that all of the folks who helped him
>out (including, I believe, Padian) are also in on this conspiracy against

        There seemns to have been some misunderstanding about this little
bit I wrote, so let me make this perfectly clear:

             TO BE STUPID.*****

        I consider his work to be very valuable, and I hope that this is
clear from my persistant defense of his recent paper.  Yes, I have agreed
with George that there seems to be a slight semantic or logical flaw (I
believe that professional courtesy insists on the former interpretation,
George felt otherwise) in the article.  I do not consider this to be an
important issue, and I certainly would never claim to be a greater authority
on the subject than Dr. Novas himself.
        The above paragraph was written in a *highly* sardonic tone.  I was
attempting to find some meaning in George Olshevsky's baseless criticism of
Dr. Novas' work, and the only conclusion I could reach was that George was
taking the oppurtunity to grandstand.  This grandstanding directly resulted
in the strong implication that Dr. Novas does not know what he is talking
about, and is, for lack of a more delicate word, stupid.
        Clearly, I do not believe this to be that case, and I doubt that
George does either.  The statements quoted above were made in attempt to
demonstrate to George what he was implying, and have apparently ended up
backfiring in most horrible ways.
        I hope that everyone on the list will understand the point I was
originally trying to make (no matter how ineffectual the attempt), and
forgive me if I have mislead you in any way.

        Sincere thanks to Bonnie Blackwell for pointing this possible
misunderstanding to me.

regardless of your opinions about the quality of the work, calling someone
stupid over the internet where some 700 people read it is offensive and
very impolite.  as a graduate student who will want to work in the field
some day, it can also be very self distructive.  may i suggest that you 
tone down your remarks or keep them between you and the person with whom
you are discussing the issue.  such postings only make you look bad, and
i am sure that is not your intent. 
| Jonathan R. Wagner                    "You can clade if you want to,     |
| Department of Geosciences              You can leave your friends behind |
| Texas Tech University                  Because your friends don't clade  |
| Lubbock, TX 79409                               and if they don't clade, |
|       *** wagner@ttu.edu ***           Then they're no friends of mine." |
|           Web Page:  http://faraday.clas.virginia.edu/~jrw6f             |