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RE: Testing for arboreality (was RE: On science (was Re: a bunch of otherstuff))
* > Why [do the arboreal study Holtz suggested] again. Just to have 90% of
>scientist laugh them off.
>>Granted, if scientists want to scoff they will scoff. So what? Are we
interested in where the data can lead us or what certain people will say?<<
* It depends on how long they laugh and scoff and how resultant one is. I
know of several times in history (Palaeontologically speaking) that the
scoffing made the paleontologist change their views, and not because of how
they really thought. Human nature can be a bitch at times.
>BIAS, an over whelming bias not to except this possibility.
Well, yes, there may be a bias against Protoavis. I myself have not seen
Protoavis, but my understanding from those who have is that it is difficult
to tell whether the animal is composed of a single individual or a chimera
of other animals, including non-dinosaurs. It would be interesting and
possibly revolutionary if it were to be shown that birds arose in the
Triassic and not the Jurassic.<<
I personally have no problem with a Late Triassic origin for birds. If
Feduccia had said it, it would be better accepted. It's like if I or George
say it (and we have) then its like ...oh, its them, yea what ever... but if
Martin or Feduccia say it its...Oh they know what their talking about, it
must be so...Reputation, politics, etc.
>>The problem would seem to be that the
evidence for Protoavis is at the moment equivocal. Because most of the
evidence we have now (in terms of fossil specimens) suggests most strongly
that the first birds occur in the Jurassic, most paleontologists would be
inclined to stick with that. It's not a bias against Chatterjee, just that,
as in all of science, we have to go with what evidence and data we have. If
Protoavis is equivocal in what it can tell us about bird origins, it makes
sense not to topple the current evolutionary theory until better evidence
presents itself because the current evolutionary theory on the origin of
birds from coelurosaurs in the Jurassic period best explains the evidence
I say that it's the BIAS against this that compels people to say he's wrong,
not just the evidence. Some of it isn't well preserved but ...
>>Yes, I understand, not everyone agrees with this. That's fine. That's
it's a theory. But until we get better evidence from the Triassic, we
shouldn't throw out a pretty decent explanatory theory of bird evolution and
How long have they been saying Late Jurassic origin? A hundred years? NOW
when Feduccia and Martin say, hey, maybe it should be the Early Jurassic
(which George and I have been saying for years now) is it being thought more
detail about. The ones with the better reps are better accepted than not.
>have to STOP looking at birds as they are today and look at what birds
>>Okay, great. So why not do the study on theropods, etc., and take the
measurements, statistical data, etc.? What would you suggest doing, if we
don't take Holtz's tack? Furthermore, if birds came first, how do we set up
a methodology to indentify the early Triassic birds, or what functional
characters would clue us into bird ancestors, etc.? If the scientific rigor
and methodology are there, these sorts of studies could yield important
results that throw light on other possibilities and may change people's
minds about bird evolution.<<
Take Holtz's tack, but you'll end up with the same thing. Betting people
over the head and they still won't believe you. I've talked at length to
several paleontologist and I now from where I speak. Some will say that I've
misinterpreted the evidence, or made things up. Human nature.