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2 x Re: Czerkas' book- Analysis and Criticisms



----- Original Message -----
From: "Cliff Green" <dinonaut@emerytelcom.net>
Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 7:30 AM

> Dear Mickey and list,
>
>     I don't think you exactly caught what I was trying to get across. Your
> response is confusing to me. I have never met any of the Backstreet boys,
> but I hate them personally, and say so as ocassion permits.

Hm. I guess you hate their music. And probably their outfit and how they
generally behave in public. I'm not sure this amounts to hating them
personally... anyway, compare this to Mickey's post: Mickey hates what
Czerkas and co-workers wrote. Nothing else.

> Saying that someone is crazy, twice,

Here are all occurrences of "crazy" I can find in his post:

(*Scansoriopteryx*)
"I'm guessing this is
due to Czerkas' crazy definition of "bird", which will be discussed below."

(*Cryptovolans*)
"So basically, if something is
volant or neoflightless and has feathers, it MUST BE a bird to Czerkas.  And
hence, maniraptorans MUST BE birds.  Now, this wouldn't be too crazy if
Czerkas just had this as an apomorphy-based definition of Aves.  It would be
like Avialae sensu Gauthier and de Queiroz (2001).  The problem is that this
isn't an apomorphy-based clade, it's an apomorphy-based topology."

In both cases the _definitions_ are "crazy" . Many bright minds have given
off crazy suggestions, so I'm sure this isn't enough for Czerkas and/or his
coauthors to qualify as crazy.

>     By the way, I am curious about something. How is it that you are
> qualified to be the standing authority on what is considered
> professional or not?

Of course he is!!! And so are you, as long as you know what science is.
That's an important thing about science: it's not about insiders and
initiation rites.

> Is there a standard guide to writing scientific papers that Czerkas et
> al didn't stand up to?

Much more general than the mentioned lectures, which consider formal and
aesthetic issues as well as scientific ones (to keep description and
discussion apart is a good idea from a scientific point of view), there is a
whole discipline of philosophy called _science theory_. You know, that stuff
about falsifiability. Have a good look here:
www.dinosauria.com/jdp/misc/science.htm,
www.dinosauria.com/jdp/evol/evolfact.htm. If you want more about this, Carl
Sagan's 2nd-to-last book The Demon-Haunted World. Science as a Candle in the
Dark is very good.

----- Original Message -----
From: "ekaterina A" <a_ekaterina@yahoo.com>
Sent: Wednesday, October 02, 2002 12:36 AM [where are you that is is already
tomorrow? 11:17 over here]

[all snipped]

Wagner didn't accept evolution, so how could he have accepted a "missing
link between reptiles and birds". And Heilmann published his book in 1925 in
Denmark (original title: Fuglenes afstamning), a single year after
*Oviraptor* and his "interclavicle" were published in the USA, so I guess he
didn't know of that bone; whether he would have recognized it as a wishbone
is another question still. Apparently the English translation of 1926 and
the American edition of 1927 didn't update the text. The rest is history...
in the West nobody read Barsbold (1983); Bakker (1986) (The Dinosaur
Heresies) still had real problems with the supposed absence of clavicles in
all sufficiently known theropods except the supposedly unfused clavicles of
*Segisaurus*, so he had to invoke either a real reversal, based on
completely preserved inactive genes, or the bone's continued presence as
connective tissue. The former would have been very unlikely because of the
amounts of time involved, the latter is AFAIK not even possible for a dermal
bone, well, I don't know.

Czerkas et al. are not BANDits. BAND means "Birds Are NOT Dinosaurs!".