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Re: Overlooked 2001 publication & SVP abstracts

When Stephen Pickering (StephanPickering@cs.com) wrote:

<<Re: the SVP abstracts and Megalosauridae. Their taxonomy, osteology, and
hypodigms have been developed by me (revising, updating the unpublished
mss. by Sam Welles, which he gave to me along with all of the photographs
and negatives), and will be appearing by December or January on the WWW.
An actual paper publication of the mss., Mutanda Dinosaurologica, is being
considered also. These basal Tetanurae (Megalosaurus, Metriacanthosaurus,
Eustreptospondylus, Poecilopleuron) are sister taxa to Avetheropoda's
Allosaurus. >>

  I was a tad rude in my response:

<This is such an antiquated view, now I know this is Welles' manuscript;
it sounds like his style, somewhere back in the 80's. It's ancient; and
maybe one should actually try to update it. Compeletely ignores
*Torvosaurus*, the allosauroid affinities suggested of
*Metriacanthosaurus*, and misspells *Poekilopleuron* (a spelling firmly
established by Eudes-Deslongchamps). Also, the taxonomy, until published
in hardcopy of some form meeting ICZN requirements, does not count as

  Furthermore, I was also dismissive of information I have no knowledge
of. I have not seen the manuscript. I took what was considered an archaic
paradigm (megalosaurs as carnosaurs) and simply dismissed the information
and being impossible in it's formulation as to accuracy. I appologize to
Stephen on this accord.

  However, I must say that the use of Welles' old manuscripts does rub me
the wrong way, as I have seen some of what he has written to a
phylogenetic design, including the *Ceratosaurus* monograph that Madsen
repenned, but did not apparently fix on the comparative section, because
the phylogeny in use was not detailed or substantiated, and was
representative of some information that had been disproven years before.

Later, Stephen wrote:

<We are here to discuss the science of dinosaurs, so I shall not say to
you what I would want to say in response to your ill-chosen comments. When
my manuscript is published, then you can, on a scientific basis, make
comments (which I shall, I assure you, ignore).>

  Now, while my comments were unscientific, I can assuredly state that the
above was as well. Take reasoning that is demonstrated and dismiss it out
of hand, I have no faith in the value of contributions on such a nature.
So why discuss science? We are not in this for ourselves, but to present
data and refine ideas or form new ones that further our understanding of
an ancient world and perhaps influence our understanding of the present
time. Instead, the above is a blanted a priori dismissal of any
contradicting data.

  You have every right to ignore anything said against your reasoning. But
not when to guise it in "science." Every student of science, wether
professional or amateur, needs to learn to be able to roll with the


  Appologies to Stephen and the list for my rant earlier and Cheers,  

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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