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Re: [Re: Feathered/scaly theropods: trying to make the point.]



<Jura - who believes all dinosaurs are scaly, until proven otherwise.>
To which you responded:
<It _is_ proven otherwise (not a mathematical proof, but a juridical
proof).>

Rather than juridical, relating to the law, I suggest magisterial, which
means authoritative.
A mathematical proof is true using mathematical logic.  A legal proof is
true using legal logic.  Ascribing stubble/feathers to dinos not shown to
have them is true using a cladistic logic.
In all 3 cases, the result is based not on observation, but
self-consistency.  The difference is that where math (I think) and legality
each have a single, accepted logic, cladistics has multiple logics based on
different principles (pure parsimony being just one alternative).
In addition, some mathematical logical arguments and many cladistic
arguments are subject to eventual refutation by new observations.  In both,
it is possible to draw conclusions which are proven wrong.  That an argument
is logical does not make it correct.
So, a cladistic argument relies to an extent on the credibility, the
acceptance of the choices made by the person(s) making the argument.
Magisterial communicates that aspect of argument from authority.