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Re: New Refs: The Condor & the ongoing problem of nomina dubia

Stephan Pickering (StephanPickering@cs.com) wrote:

<I am not sure -- and this has happened before -- what you are talking
about, Jaime.>

  Really? I asked for concrete data to back up your assertion that a
single or isolated bone cannot be diagnostic. So far all that has been
done is to state that an individual bone cannot bge diagnostic because its
all by itself. There is no data there. There has been mention of theropod
maxillae that are basically tyrannosaurid, and certainly these exist, but
the presence of apomorphies of *Tyrannosaurus rex*, such as the LACM
maxilla, result in a referral to *T. rex*. Until other data can be
presented, and one can _ignore_ it at whim, the data is there and appears
to suggest an inference to a certain taxon. I have yet to see anything
that refutes this, despite the presence of unique features to the maxilla
itself not possessed by any tyrannosaur and what would seem to be a grade
from albertosaur to daspletosaur to tyrannosaur, and going up from there.

  It's a simple request: data.

<I said the name given to the isolated humerus is a nomen dubium, i.e., I 
do not believe the isolated humerus should be given a name. It now has a 
name, presumably not preoccupied, and has entered the literature. However,

this does not mean the taxon is valid. It is a nomen dubium.>

  Here's the problem. One person says its a nomen dubium. As I do not know
of your expertise on avian humeri in which to determine this humerus is
non-diagnostic, I cannot accept your interpretation. If you would offer a
concise, pertinent reason why this humerus cannot in fact be diagnostic, I
would love to see it. Specialists in avian anatomy tend to differ on the
relatedness of structures in bones of birds, and some certainly have a
greater tendency to diagnose and name bits and pieces, it is not for a
lay-person or non-specialist to decide the validity of taxa or diagnostic
nature of bones on the basis of a premise of "isolated bones are not
diagnostic" and nothing more. This is not science.


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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