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Re: The position of tyrannosaurs (was Re: Armour Symposium Recollections)



In a message dated 5/14/01 3:26:54 PM EST, tholtz@geol.umd.edu writes:

<< Please note that Olshevsky's "tyrannosauroid implosion" represents
 Dinogeorge's accepting taxonomic decisions many of the rest of us agreed
 upon since the late 1990s, via Thom Carr's work and others. >>

The chemist Joseph Priestley once wrote, when other chemists had already 
debunked the phlogiston theory and were trying to persuade him that it was 
incorrect and that no one believed it any more, "No man ought to surrender 
his own judgment to any mere >authority<, however respectable." Likewise 
here: it doesn't matter how many authorities share a certain opinion about 
certain kinds of dinosaurs; I reserve the right to form my own opinion in 
each case. If it happens to coincide with that of the paleo mainstream, all 
well and good. If it doesn't, well, then either they or I may eventually come 
around (although Priestley never did).

In the case of the tyrannosaurids, Tracy Ford's photos of the Stygivenator 
molnari holotype were the last straw: Aublysodon was cooked. (Later, Tracy 
showed me a cast as well.) It had been a >long< time since I first saw the 
specimen in Rob Long's office at Berkeley, and my "tyranno-vision" has 
improved since then.