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Re: BIRD STUFF AND CLADISTICS
<<Sorry, BCF has very, very little to do with cladistic analysis.>>
I did not say that BCF had anything to do with cladistics. I did say
that your hypothesis seems to be based on the intuitive method employed
by bird wrokers like Olson and Feduccia.
Now, the intuitive method does seem to agree with cladistic analyses in
many cases, such as in the two seperate pelecaniform phylogenies prduced
by Olson (intuitive school) and Cracraft (very cladist). Though recent
molecular studies (which can be just as unreliable and subject as
phylogenetic studies) by Sibley and others suggest that Pelecaniformes
is polyphyletic, I think that the two phylogenies are a very strong
framework for future studies (which I think are being done by members of
<<It does have much to do with interpreting phylogenies that cladistics
or any other method might come up with. BCF is much more functional
analysis than taxonomy or phylogeny, and can be applied to any suitable
cladogram of the theropods (even, for example, the ones currently
enjoying majority support among dinosaur paleontologists).>>
BCF is a wonderful hypothesis from a functional standpoint and I agree
with many of the points, but not all. For one, in your 1994 Omni
article you claim that BCF has a leg up on the traditional dinosaurian
classification because it is able to classify the enigmatic
_Longisquama_, _Megalancosaurus_ and _Cosesaurus_. This is very
phylogenetic in my point of view and very similiar to the intuitive
approach because it relies only on the facts (which may be subject to
change) that these creatures look birdlike, are archosaurs or near
archosaurs, share some theropodian characteristics, and fit well into
your scheme of BCF. This reminds me greatly of the 'fossil-mosaic'
argument used by many intuitive workers.
<<Also, since I haven't published my phylogenetic analyses yet (I have
about 50 pages of manuscript on just the stegosaurs, for example), how
do you know >what< they're based on or how tenuous my methodology is?
>From my brief and occasional comments on this dinosaur list? I claim
that your statement here is far more tenuous than my methodology is.
You're talking through your hat here.>>
Most of what I have on your hypotheses is what you have posted on this
list and have heard from you in very occasional private email (so please
publish! I think that the scientific world would benefit greatly from
any number of your ideas whether or not they are accepted or not). But,
since you obviously do not place much faith in cladistics (from I can
gather), I think it is reasonable to assume that you produce phylogenies
similiar to the way that intuitive systematists do. Now, I must
emphasize again that I do not like cladistics as much as many
systematists do and I do think that other factors, such as behavior,
life-history, etc., should be considered more in phylogenetic analysis.
The aforementioned factors can (and most often do!) produce a phylogeny
that agrees with morphological and molecular studies without applying
strict cladistic principles. However, I think that cladistics, is much
more reliable than phylogenies based on intuitive methods for the most
part, even though we have really nothing to base this on because the
perfect phylogeny will never be found.
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