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Re: OCCAM'S RAZOR & THERIZINOSAURS



--Original Message--  From: Thomas R. Holtz, Jr   Date: 31 July 1998 14:09
Subject: Re: OCCAM'S RAZOR & THERIZINOSAURS


>At 12:11 AM 7/29/98 +0100, John "High Priest of Olsvhevsky-ism" Jackson
wrote:

>>Yup.  Three wierd discoveries within twelve months, and only George
>>"Cassandra" Olshevsky's theories predicted them all.  Spooky eh?
>>
>
>Very curious statement...


Come on Tom - when are you going to give him some credit for his
predictions?  After all, prediction surely is an important part of that
fully-agreed-upon unchanging entity you suggest "science" is!

It would have been a bit mean to have named all the people who hadn't
predicted:

1)  Sinosauropteryx's fluffy stuff

2)  Caudipteryx (& Protarchaeopteryx)'s feathers

3)  The early Jurassic "therizino..."

. . . as well as a bit laboured.  As you've called it into question though,
I feel justified in pointing out that no cladogram-wielding professional
palaeontologist well known to this list (for example you and Chris)
predicted *all three* (except perhaps for > . . . the Colbert-Chatterjee
hypothesis (i.e., all major lines of dinosaurs originated in the Triassic) <
. . . which may be an honest expression of belief but is unfortunately
difficult to test).  And by the way, I'm not trying to get at professionals
(yet), I just wish they would play the game and allow the theory(s) which,
by the currently accepted philosophy (prediction power) is doing best, *to
appear in print at least once!*

It's a good job dino palaeontology is only a branch of entertainment and so
doesn't really matter. . . otherwise, doing the watertight job of keeping
ideas out of the media which don't suit you would look like an excellent
piece of conspiracy and corruption.

Which philosopher of science ever said only a "professional's" theories
count?  If you don't think certain theories are even worth mentioning, put
it to the test and see what the general public think.  Ask engineers, vets,
the average eight year old kid whether a creature with body form half way
between a squirrel and a bird "has no obvious arboreal adaptations" - and if
you get 100% agreement *then* you might have some justification in keeping
K-BCF off the pages of "Nature" & "Science" for another ten years.

>The feathered nonavians had long been predicted by non-BCFers: you should
>have seen Ostrom strutting around at the press conference (and correctly
so).


I'm pleased he was happy.  However I don't expect him or Kevin Padian, when
referred to in the role of world experts, ever to mention K-BCF. . . which
incidentally is adhered to by a respectable section of frequent contributors
to this list.


Cheers

JJ

"You are awful . . . but I like you!"


Actually I'm a bit wobbly on pre-Archae-BCF, and I'm not quite *the* high
priest even of K-BCF (though perhaps '. . .a . .'), and I'll own up to
knowing very nearly nothing about segnosaurs and absolutely nothing about
the early J jaw.