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RE: Origins (was: Re: Sharovipteryx)

At 05:04 PM 5/25/00 -0400, Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:
What they UTTERLY failed to point out was that:
a) Chatterjee's "protoavian" is explicitly labelled as a dromaeosaur in the
b) Chatterjee is a very strong advocate of the dinosaurian origin of birds;
c) Chatterjee's position is supported by his own numerical phylogenetic

Since the majority of the people at the symposium were not paleontologists,
they had no way of knowing that they were being misled.  The figure used to
illustrate the "dichotomy" of the position was itself one that blasts that
dichotomy: a trees down, cladisitic, dinosaurian origin.

I, too, am amazed by how easily these two logically distinct ideas get conflated.

I have yet to see what I consider an acceptable model for ground-up origin of flight.
And I have yet to see any sound refutation of the cladistic nesting of Aves within Maniraptora.

So, I am with Chaterjee in most respects on this.

Unfortunately, this sort of conflation happens more often than one might wish in scientific work. I know of one old debate about the relationships of a group of marine fossils which involved no less than *three* conflated hypotheses, and yet I never found even ONE article in the series that properly separated them. [Someday I would like to "reopen" part of that debate on that very grounds].

May the peace of God be with you.         sarima@ix.netcom.com