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RE: THYREOPHORES AND PUBLICATION: A VIEW FROM THE PEANUT GALLERY



Ken Kinman wrote:

>     I welcome and appreciate "constructive" criticism.  The peanut
>gallery refers to a small group who just criticized, and seemed to have
>nothing constructive to contribute.  Even Tim admitted to being a member
>of said group.  

I swore I would ignore this thread from now on - lest the list become
constipated with this perennial topic - but I can't less this comment go
through to the keeper...

My criticisms aimed to be constructive - at least initially, when I was
trying to fathom what Ken was actually doing to theropod taxonomy.  But
after a while - at the point when I did figure out what he was doing - I'm
afraid the "Kinman System" itself became the target of my "destructive"
impulses.  

The Kinman System JUST DOESN'T WORK.  And I'm sorry, but there's no way I
can conceive of to improve a system that is so thoroughly flawed and
misguided - apart from eliminating it altogether.  I've struggled (and
failed) to come up with any constructive comments that would *assist* a
taxonomic system that is based on the premise that the shape of the wrist
bones is a "key apomorphy" that can neatly delineate one "Class" of
vertebrates from another.  This is the very same system that advances
_Bagaaratan_ as an avian and _Alvarezsaurus_ as an "ornithomime-segnosaur
grade" theropod - simply because the author of said system says it is so.  

Frankly, I'm distressed at the thought that a casual observer could come
across the "Kinman System" (such as by perusing the DML archives) and
mistake it for an accurate synthesis of the current state of phylogenetic
and paleontological research.

Back to my peanuts.  *crunch* *crunch*



Tim

------------------------------------------------------------ 

Timothy J. Williams 

USDA-ARS Researcher 
Agronomy Hall 
Iowa State University 
Ames IA 50014 

Phone: 515 294 9233 
Fax:   515 294 3163