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Re: other challenges



Ken Kinman wrote:

" P.S.  I am indeed very disappointed by the whole Longisquama thing overall.  
Seems rather disingenuous for them to claim that homoplasy covers just 
about everything EXCEPT for feather-like structures.  What goes around, 
comes around."

I can only agree, but think the most amazing thing about the whole 
episode is that Science published the Longisquama paper in the first 
place. The paper lacks any phylogenetic analysis, includes dubious (and 
hypocritical) interpretation of a poorly preserved fossil, and its 
conclusion flies in the face of the vast majority of characters, not to 
say logic.

So why did Science publish the article? They rejected a paper I was 
coauthor on a few years back because our results had been inferred 
indirectly in a one-line footnote in a previous paper! So Science 
claimed the results were already published. I know of many similar 
stories. Clearly, Science can expect the highest rigour when it suits 
them, and throw that all out the window when it doesn't.

>From the Storrs Olson episode a while back it is clear that Nature has 
given these guys the bum's rush (to use an Antipodean phrase!). So they 
should, so long as Ruben et al. continue to produce work that sits 
squarely in the realm of one-eyed speculation. Can anyone explain why 
things are different at the AAAS? There is a big difference between 
silencing dissent and maintaining high standards in the scientific 
literature.

Kendall

----------------------
Kendall Clements
k.clements@auckland.ac.nz