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RE: Who says dromaeosaurs can't fly?

Greg Paul (GSP1954@aol.com) wrote:

<Everyone get used to it. At least some basal dromaeosaurs could fly baby,
and better than Archaeopteryx. In no way was Crypto a protoflier, it was a
fully developed flier whose performance approached and equalled that of ...<
Readjust your minds to the new reality.>

and dino.hunter@cox.net wrote:

< You know, I grow werry of this argument. People keep saying we don't
disagree with the 'possiblity' but then argue completely against a flying
dromaeosaur. 'They' have this dogmatic view, that just won't change. These
arguments just help Feduccia and Martin. To many are just way TOO consertive
for my tastes. >

These current discussions seemed to be answered in Jere Lipps' fine post on 
Paleonet yesterday.  Quoted with permission from Dr. Lipps:

Subj:   Re: paleonet fossils and molecular data 
Date:   9/13/2002 12:57:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time 
From:    jlipps@uclink4.berkeley.edu (Jere H. Lipps)
Sender:    paleonet-owner@nhm.ac.uk
Reply-to:    paleonet@nhm.ac.uk
To:    paleonet@nhm.ac.uk, paleonet@nhm.ac.uk
I am surprised to hear such talk from paleontologists!   Paleontologists need 
to cooperate with any and all sorts, and mostly I'd say they do.  Sometimes 
they actually go after the discipline themselves, if it enhances their paleo. 
  At the UCMP, we run a molecular lab just to combine the data with the 
fossils, without having to wait for the molecular types.  Molecules give us 
another historical record that we should feel very comfortable with.   Mostly 
it gives us other hypotheses to test.  I have yet to see any solutions come 
from it, but then that makes for real exciting paleontology!!

I think that in any science (paleontology is not an exception) when people 
support only a single hypothesis, they must resort to all kinds of defenses 
and attacks on those who don't go along with it.  If these same people worked 
with multiple working hypotheses, used any data source to test (NOT PROVE) 
those hypotheses, and were ready to add hypotheses to the list of testable 
ones when additional data suggest that it  would be useful, then we'd have 
far fewer of these mostly destructive kinds of interactions.  

Molecules usually provide a  different set of alternative hypotheses that 
paleo alone cannot generate, but paleo commonly can test them.  Paleo 
provides hypotheses that molecules can't, but they often can help sort them 
out.  There is no conflict! Only an elimination of hypotheses.  If yours gets 
eliminated or challenged and you have no alternative, then I can understand 
where this bitterness comes from.

Check the references in www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/people/jlipps/Science.html for 
more about alternative hypotheses development and testing, if you are