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Now, the second step: try and falsify it. Note that this is, in part, YOUR
job (it is others' job as well, but you have to start it up). Think of
methods of analysis by which to see that your hyptothesis fits the data
better than a more standard model (say, Gauthier et al. 1988). Such a
method of analysis has to be able to choose between alternative phylogenetic
hypotheses by some criterion or criteria which others, independantly, can
For example, you have to demonstrate why your scenario should be accepted
even though it contradicts the anatomical and biomolecular records. You
will also have to demonstrate why physiological evidence takes precendence
over anatomical evidence.
In order to answer these questions, you will need to examine (in detail) the
anatomy of the forms in question. You will also have to examine the
*physiology* of the living forms. Are the biochemical pathways to produce
non-shivering thermogenesis the same in birds and mammals (i.e., is
"warm-bloodedness" in mammals the same as "warm-bloodedness" in birds?
Otherwise, you are talking about two different ways of achieving the same
You are indeed working in the scientific method: you have produce your
speculation and framed it as an hypothesis. Now it is time to do the real
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Maryland Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD 20742 Fax: 301-314-9661
Thanks for the tips! That`s why I`ve brought out my "theory" so early on
this list. I welcome even negative comment, if it`s in a form I can use to
further research the subject. I think I`ve bitten off quite a huge
chunk,...don`t expect me to publish in the next week or two. But when I do,
maybe then I`ll smoke that cigar!....(back to work).