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RE: Who says dromaeosaurs can't fly?
From: Luis Rey [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, September 15, 2002 6:11 AM
Cc: Dinonet (E-mail)
Subject: Re: Who says dromaeosaurs can't fly?
"Tracy L. Ford" wrote:
> Welcome to the world of Paleontology.
> To me paleontology is more like philosophy than other sciences. Unlike
> molecular science in paleo you don't have the chance of discounting
> with cold hard physical evidence. We have to relay on theories and
> whether it's our own or a computers (i.e. cladistics). That's the way it
> in paleo.
Well yes in a sense, but unlike philosophers (or like some philosophers
to do so) we should be ready to test and submit to hard facts when they
produced. Paleontology is after all science not pure, idle speculation.<<
Test. Yes, test, but who makes the test? There is not SET test. There is a
'belief' or an 'idea', then we go from there. But we really really can't
'test' fossils. Alls we know is the animal once lived, but that's it really.
We can't test, probe, cut up, etc a living animal, we can't run DNA (well,
maybe if Schweitzer is correct), we don't know their color, so we have to
speculate. Either with or without a computer.
> And if you can't prove cladisically when or if some animals could fly, why
> to cladist argue about it so much? Sure, some say, it's possible that some
> dinosaurs could fly or climb trees, then argue completely against it (see
> Holtz and Haedden's posts). This is one of the things that bothers me
> makes me not believe what they are trying to say.
>>Now Tracy, as you well know I have always taken a hard line against taking
either/or line, and still manage to be convinced of certain things. I have
always been a big advocate of the trees down theory for example (now I'm
decanting towards a combination of run-up trees and down again... but that
another story... I have had really hard discussions with 'dogmatics' from
I agree with this running up trees, trees down.
>>If hypotheses are not bound to be falsifiable and tested we are doing
Your right, so how can these things be falsified? How can they really be
shown wrong? There is no concret, no doubt way to do it. It's not like math
(No I don't what to start that thread again!), which says 2 + 2 = 4,
paleontology can't do that. I'm not saying anything against Paleontology by
>>We can forcefully argue for our own convictions or the results of
our research but (theoretically at least) I refuse to be drawn into a sort
Feduccia personal thing: "Them or Us".<<
Well, for me, working in paleo as little as I do/can, I've felt the majority
of the time, it's been them...
>>By what you are describing then Holtz and Headden ARE doing science.<<
Never said they weren't. I'm just saying, don't say you think something is
possible in one sentence than take two paragraphs to say it's not.
>> They are able to conceive a hypothesis and then reject it and still be
able to accept
the possibility that both could be true until hard facts tell you wrong.
>>And yes, who says dromaeosaurs couldn't fly? I'd say me... depending on
dromaeosaur, of course.<<
Ture, not all of them, but because not off of them did, doesn't mean we
should say, none of them could fly, climb trees, etc.
Visit my website on http://www.ndirect.co.uk/~luisrey
Tracy L. Ford
P. O. Box 1171
Poway Ca 92074