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Re: Stratigraphy, biogeography & cladograms

Time for some rhetorical devices...

At 11:38 PM 1/19/99 -0000, John Jackson wrote:

>Have you ever written a system with a theoretical justification this complex
>(though the process itself may be fairly straightforward) that someone's
>life or livelihood depended on?

Have you ever picked up a fossil theropod bone?  Have you ever collected
fossils through various stratigraphic sections?  Funny, because I would
think that these might have a LOT more to do with understanding bird origins...

Yeah, cheap shot, but it still makes me wonder about the relevence of your
interlude on the subject.

In his response to Chris Brochu:
>Why do you never consider any use of stratigraphic
>information for the maniraptoran problem?

See Brochu, C.A. & M.A. Norell.  1998.  There is no temporal paradox in bird
origins.  JVP 18(3):29A-30A.  Chris has explicitly dealt with the use (and
abuse) of stratigraphic info in looking at the "maniraptoran problem".

>Perhaps you would like to answer this question now:  Why did Archaeopteryx
>give rise to no flightless forms in the Cretaceous except Mononykus and its

Invalid question.  See:
The hesperornithiforms;
_Gargantuavis_ (if it is indeed avian).

The first two lineages of these known before _Mononykus_, and the
hesperornithiforms known LONG before.

Okay, now a suggestion.  In his companion posting "Selling Science", John
Jackson sings his own praises about fighting the good fight along with Greg
Paul against the mainstream.

Might I suggest (as others have before) that you allow Greg Paul to speak
for himself?  Greg is an articulate writer and can and does post when he
wishes to.

Is he marginalized by the scientific community?  Funny, it seems to me he is
an invited participant to the Ostrom Symposium (the primary organizer of
which is Jacques Gauthier).  He presents papers on his various hypotheses at
SVP, DinoFest, and elsewhere.  I know he presented a paper on bird origins
at the Society of Avian Paleontology and Evolution here in Washington some
years ago, and look forward to his chapter in the symposium volume when it
comes out.  He has other works on the same subject forthcoming, about which
I (and others) hope to hear about soon.

If you want to speak for yourself, go ahead.  If you have Greg's permission,
then speak for him.  If not, then please do not.

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