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Re: Selected quotes from Qiang et al......

Jonathan wrote:
> To which I counter-reply:
> You are right (to some degree), people like Martin and Feduccia
> do actually encourage more thorough analysis of data and do deserve
> some credit as scientists (although I do have doubts about
> them knowing more comparative anatomy than just about
> all the people on this list).  It is a bit frustrating
> however, because unfortunately the media likes controversy
> and the only reason the general public is not more aware of
> the "extreme probability" that birds ARE dinosaurs is because these
> two gentlemen refuse to accept it.  Their hypotheses are mainly
> based on negative evidence and they don't use comparative methods,
> is that really such good science? Until they come up with some "actual
> data" to support their conclusions, I will find it difficult to respect
> their opinions on bird evolution on the same level as others.  The digit
> homology thing is inconclusive.

        WE have only recently begun to get "real" data to SUPPORT the 
bird-dinosaur hypothesis, as well.  We need to remember that many of our 
interpretations of many avian anatomical characters are just 
that--interpretations-- based on our ASSUMPTIONS that we understand which 
characters are primitive and which characters are derived and which bumps 
on skulls are, in fact, significant. We think we know what is going on, 
but then they thought they knew what was going on when they described 
_Trachadon_, too. 

Josh Smith
Department of Geology
University of Pennsylvania
471 Hayden Hall
240 South 33rd Street
Philadelphia, PA  19104-6316
(215) 898-5630 (Office)
(215) 898-0964 (FAX)