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Re: New AVES definition refined (more testable?)

R. Irmis wrote-

> <<Might I ask you why I'm for some reason the lone individual whose
> phylogenetic analyses you will trust?  I mean, sure I feel my analysis
> be _more_ accurate than others' published analyses (if only because I can
> include more taxa, and everyone else's characters), but that doesn't mean
> the others are inaccurate.>>
> And you of course have looked at most or all of the specimens in person,
> right?

Of course. ;-)
I could have mentioned the fact that the authors I listed have examined more
specimens than I have, but I couldn't muster the energy to repeat what I
already wrote regarding Ken's singular trust of my results.  Refer to this
post (apparently ignored by Ken) -
http://www.cmnh.org/fun/dinosaur-archive/2002Feb/msg00005.html for my
complete statement on such matters.  Note that I wrote-
"The authors all have good methodologies and (unlike me, with small
exceptions) have actually looked at specimens firsthand and have access to
more unpublished data than I do.
While not as important as Tracy would have you believe, seeing the specimens
has definite advantages and should make you trust their analyses more than
mine if anything."

However, in truth, this probably does not influence phylogenetic analyses as
much as you might think.  Assuming I base my character codings on the
professionals' illustrations, descriptions and data matrices, I'm no worse
off than they are.  After all, they based their statements and illustrations
on observing the specimen, so I can presumedly trust those codings.  At
worst, I'm on par with them by perpetuating their errors.  The only problems
arise when the professionals disagree (which happens seldomly, but often
enough to be annoying).  I'll be asking the DML about those characters once
I get a bit further in my revision.  Perhaps someone will be able to clear
things up.

Mickey Mortimer