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Re: Stonesfield theropod OUM J13506

Stephan Pickering (stefanpickering2002@yahoo.com) wrote:

[on the late, great Sam Welles]


  I won't ever dissatisfy any one paleontologist's work for any others,
and would like to make this clear. However, comparative study is
important, as well as effort through the experience. Not to same anything
for his expertise, but the man put through two major papers on theropod
dinosaurs, one of which was the *Dilophosaurus* monograph that, frankly,
could have been illustrated better and more accurately, and the other work
with Long on astragalus morphology that is a major important work on
comparative anatomy but is yet sadly out of date. Welles' work suffers
from the dogmatic approach of the man, and the lack of justification of
some of his taxonomic and systematic research, as is evident in some parts
of the systematic sections of his work (*Dilophosaurus* and some
ceratosaurs in evidence). Notably, the manuscripts were unpublished, and
revising the work laid out therein from another is to add flavor of
another mind that may not have grasped the intent of the original author.
Such was evident in the convoluted tale of the Marsh, Hatcher, and Lull
monograph, each setting out to review an original manuscript and "finish"
it, then ending up completely rewriyting it; in the process, Lull created
new taxonomy Marsh never intended, rendering the result unlike the
manuscript Marsh had prepared. One must see this as an aspect of
post-mortem review, no matter the notes involved. Problematically, keeping
a manuscript in the original flavor and "editing" it has a tendency to
work up outdated material, poor review, etc., or to end up generating a
public record of what may be poor science; Welles dismissed cladistic
work, for instance, and applicationg of such is an "affront" to the spirit
of his work. I cannot stress it enough: science must evolve, as its aim is
to involve evolution, and in order to do this it is not so much playing
with giants or standing on their shoulders, but paving new ways around the
old problems. As Welles made notes on many taxa, so did and do many other
researchers who have never furthered the work. This does not invalidate
the work, but I cannot see it validating it, either.

I wrote:

<<It is very peculiar to hear of *"Megalosaurus" hesperis* being a
ceratosaur, and I would very serious like to know what is concluded to its
status as a ceratosaur?>>

  I was hoping to hear on a response to this, as presenting such a public
statement warrents a little attention. This is, as I can see, a unique
interpretation. If the intent is not to follow up on discussing it, why
was this taxon brought up?


Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

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