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Re: begging behaviour among theropods
Stephan Pickering (StephanPickering@cs.com) wrote:
<I'm afraid the silliness of your statement shall remain unanswered by me.
You are missing the point of what I was saying. I was specifically
discussing living dinosaurs, not other aspects of phylogenetic
In reference to Jordan's comment on Pickering's use of "dinosaur" for
birds despite Pickering's own statement that it would be clear when he was
meaning something other than a living bird, I fear this conversation will
fail on its face as Pickering ignores that which others say for his own
interpretation. Which can be both an accreditable and shameful thing. If
we are conducting science, we expect every one to conduct science equally.
Pickering's own statement to me of yesterday is a clear example of his
refusal to work in the discipline by the means it is employed by the
people he cites the work of.
It is easily possible to define bird as a typological concept devoid of
any phylogenetic or systematic information, as much as Aves is one devoid
of a typological concept but involves a phylogenetic and systematic
information. Thus "bird" and "dinosaur" are vernacular, and their
historical use has been, needless to say, both separate and adjoined.
Dinosauria includes Aves by the most reasonable and parsimonious analyses,
and it does not require the prescence of birds to define itself; as Darwin
set down, evolution by descent is a principle that ensures however you
define a name, a descendant is a descendant and an ancestor is an
ancestor. Dinosaurs can be dinosaurs wether they are also birds; but there
are dinosaurs which are non-birds, and it is thus the term "non-avian
dinosaur" is useful to refer to these groups in reference to birds. If one
is not intending to discuss birds, one then talks about the group in
question, and this is true of birds itself: one refers to subgroups of
birds by their names, and one refers to the birds themselves by the
various taxa involved, from Avialae on up to Passerini.
Incidentally, the living birds, or "extant dinosaurs", are either known
by Aves or Neornithes. In a forum of discussion on relationship, it should
be very clear that communication is of utmost importance, and I would ask
that Pickering look at this aspect of the forum when discussing the
subjects he chooses to. This will very much assist in the reduction of
confusion his variety of posts have wrought.
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.
"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)
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