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Re: What is biomechanics? (or, The Truth About Flying Snakes - Was: Re: science and philosophy)

Quoting Colin McHenry <cmchenry@westserv.net.au>:

> >> Which just supports my point.  Dromaeosaurs and Troodontids make pretty
> poor
> >> precurosrs for a flying animal (from a biomechanical point of view), if
> you
> >> ask me.
> >
> >OK.  Cladistics: Lesson 1.  Cladistics is not about precursors.  Cladistics
> is
> >about nearest attested relatives.  Please write this on the blackboard 5000
> >times.
> >
> >--Nick P.
> Okay, I'm actually going to bite on this one.
> Dear Nick
> Which part of "precursors.....from a biomechanical point of view" mentions
> cladistics?

It sounds like I misunderstood you.  I thought maybe you were saying you didn't 
like cladistic methodology because it posits dromaeosaurs or troodonts as 
precursors to flying birds (which it doesn't).

> You see, I'm actually interested in
> what this beast might of looked like.  Believe it or not, I do understand
> that we will probably never find the fossil that it directly ancestoral to
> birds...but I do beleive that we should be able to deduce, by identifying
> 'nearest attested relatives', what the dinosaur that spawned birds looked
> like.  Oh, and I'm interested in how it may have lived, and all that sort of
> stuff too.

Fair enough.

> You can take your cladistics lesson 1 and....oh well, never mind.  At least,
> please don't patronise me.

All right.  I apologize.  It's just that there seem to be an awful lot of 
people out there who mistake hypotheses of sister relationship for hypotheses 
of ancestry.  If you are not one of those, I'm sorry.

Nick P.