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Re: Peering at review



In a message dated 10/20/02 10:26:14 PM EST, qilongia@yahoo.com writes:

<< Maybe Georgre resents it because BCF has not been received well by other 
scientists, but thats based on data, not personal ideals. >>

BCF seems to me to be a very obvious and reasonable scheme that allows birds 
to evolve in trees and at the same time allows their descendant theropod 
dinosaurs to evolve as terrestrial cursors. Obvious and reasonable enough not 
to be discarded out of hand, anyway. What is definitely >not< obvious is the 
evolution of theropods to birds from the ground up, for which there have been 
any number of  wild and wacky proposals in the peer-reviewed, published 
literature, including but not limited to such ideas as birds evolving from 
theropods that were adapted to leaping off cliffs and out of trees, or 
running around flapping their forelimbs like Peter Pan. Small wonder the 
paleornithologists scoff at dinosaurologists. For some reason, many 
dinosaurologists interpret their cladograms so that the leaf node taxa form a 
phyletic series from large, cursorial animals to small, flying birds. The 
leaf node taxa are >not< a phyletic sequence; the correct phyletic sequence 
is along the >spine< or >trunk< of the cladogram, from the common ancestor of 
Dinosauria, through the common ancestor of theropods, to the common ancestor 
of maniraptorans, to birds. BCF argues that this phyletic string of common 
ancestors comprised animals that always looked much more like modern birds 
(i.e., small, arboreal, feathered) than they looked like the usual image of 
terrestrial cursorial theropods. There's enough data to choke a horse; it's 
by and large just not being interpreted correctly except by us mavericks.