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RE: Reporting back again!




On Monday, October 12, 1998 3:05 PM, luisrey [SMTP:luisrey@ndirect.co.uk] 
wrote:
>
> I think if we read the message of the talk as a whole (despite a lot of
> rethoric babble to cover his back, creating an appearance of being open,
> amiable and conciliatory) he was trying desperately to cling to 
something.
> His description of Megalancosaurus included a lot of dubious protoavian
> characteristics (and he didn't mention that it is regarded as a
> prolacertilian,  had a prehensile tail not a rudder, and that the four 
hand
> fingers were paired and opposable as in a chameleon.)
> If he really wanted to hypothesize a 'trees down' alternative he could 
have
> done better if he endorsed George Olshevsky's BCF theory. George used to
> regard Megalancosaurus as a model for a distant 'possible' ancestor... 
but
> then we return to what Ruben doesn't want to see: Pterosaurs and 
Dinosaurs
> would form a natural family. ALL  dinosaurs would have been arboreal and
> keep descending from the trees in different stages of evolution 'towards'
> the ultimate bird design. That is, all dinosaurs would be birds and birds
> dinosaurs.
> The fact that is that his talk >still< included a reiterative appraisal 
of
> Sinosauropteryx protofeathers as collagen fibers (which will be
> demonstrated,if not it's already, as one of the greatest fairytales of 
the
> XX Century). So I didn't see a critical and thoughtful reappraisal... 
just
> politics as usual.
>
> I contend that protofeathers, feathers and warmbloodedness are  basal
> characteristics of the Dinosauria (which Lagosuchus-like thecodontians 
were
> incipiently developing and gave way to the also warmblooded 
Pterosaurs)...
> and I think this will continually be proven so.

If I may briefly summarize your points:
1) Ruben is using politics, rhetoric and duplicity
2) because he is desperate.
3) He deliberately ignores data
4) in order to justify a "fairy tale".

Please note that *none* of these arguments makes Ruben's data or theories 
any more or less believable.  These points are all personal attacks on 
Ruben rather than legitimate science.  Your personal attacks are, in turn, 
almost the only basis for your conclusions.  In essence, your thesis is 
that feathers and "warmbloodedness" (meaning  what?) are basal to the 
Dinosauria because -- some 200My later -- Ruben is duplicitous, desperate, 
political, etc.  While I am sure that Dr. Ruben is an influential guy, I am 
curious to see the data that substantiate your apparant assertion that his 
character flaws alone were sufficient to determine the metabolism and 
integument of a clade which has been extinct lo these 65 My.

  --Toby White