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Re: Cladistics and stuff



Well, crow (perhaps a dinosaurian dish) is the most frequently served meal in 
science, the McDonalds of Academia. I always found it best when served and 
processed quickly so that you can get beyond the bruised ego and try to prepare 
a better meal with the lessons learned. I've also found that you tend to have 
to eat it less often, and it is more palatable even when you do, if you season 
your ideas in a way to let them work, or not, on their own without the genetic 
load of your ego and self-esteem as a necessary passenger on the ride. That's 
why I like throwing out wacky ideas - it keeps me in practice for accepting 
ideas that won't fly.

Sorry, Linda and I are working late on the video interactives for the Hall, the 
brain is puch drunk from being here sin 7 this morning.

Ralph Chapman

Ralph E. Chapman
Applied Morphometrics Laboratory
National Museum of Natural history
ADP, EG-15  NHB, 10th & Constitution, NW
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, DC 20560-0136
(202) 786-2293, Fax: (202) 357-4122
Chapman.Ralph@nmnh.si.edu

>>> "Ken Kinman" <kinman@hotmail.com> 05/09/01 01:46AM >>>


Ralph,
     I'm just glad to have discovered someone like Peter Dodson, who 
combines scientific rigor and commonsense in a way that I find very 
appealing.  He seems more critical of cladistic "analysis" than I am, but I 
certainly understand his concerns.
     On the other hand, I avoid quoting members of the ABSRD camp (even on 
matters we might agree upon), just to avoid possible "guilt by association". 
  Nevertheless, nothing would please me more than if they were partially 
right and it turned out that birds evolved from some non-coelurosaurian  
theropod**, and that both sides had to "eat some crow".
                ----- Cheers, Ken
** I realize that such a group is impossible by cladistic definition, but 
what I am saying is that if Coelurosauria turned out to be a 
heterodefinitional synonym of a much more inclusive group (like Tetanurae), 
it would show that neither side had a claim on the whole truth.
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