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Re: Valid Questions



At 07:27 PM 8/28/98 -0400, Larry Febo wrote:
>Whoa now Tom! I didn`t mean to raise any hackles. I just wanted some
further information from George. Gee, I `m not up much on what goes on in
paleontological circles nowadays. I thought more than just a handful of
enlightened people were into BCF. Just a few....that`s too bad. What you said:

Yeah, just a few.

For you and others, please don't let the discussions on the list fool you
into thinking that this idea is widely accepted, or even widely known,
outside of the internet community.  You'd be surprised at the number of
famous (and less famous) paleontologists who aren't aware of BCF.

>"If you agree with the BCF phylogeny, the above is a valid question. If you
>are working from the phylogenies accepted by almost every working dinosaur
>paleontologist in the world, the above is nonsensical."
> That reminds me a great deal of the story of one Alfred Wegener, a mere
meteorologist who was laughed out of the lecture hall when he dared propose
to a vast majority of "working geologists" that the continents drifted
apart. (He had plenty of good evidence to support his claim, by the way.
Paleontological evidence, which was somehow not taken notice of). What a shame!

Funny thing is, Wegener's theory WAS widely accepted (in the southern
hemisphere) soon after his publication.  The idea that he was laughed out of
the room entirely is an over-exaggeration (although it certainly was true at
the majority of universities in Europe and North America).

However, to be fair, he did not provide a mechanism for his theory, and
parts of it (i.e., the idea that the continents moved OVER the ocean basins,
and the particular rates of drift he calculated (which were an order of
magnitude or two too great).

>Well, I`ve said before, I believe in BCF, so I guess I`ll just have to
continue asking George my VALID questions. Thank you.

In some ways, this is the most symptomatic part of all.  You "believe" in
BCF.  Fine.  However, science is not about belief: it is about method.
Hopefully, what you mean here is "currently, I find that this scenario
better explains the data as currently known".

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:tholtz@geol.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661