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Re: Alan Feduccia's medievalism in the February 2003 Discover

Brian: what you say is perfectly true, although
Kevin's paper, taken in totality, is a devastating
rebuke to Alan Feduccia's pseudoscience. I quoted from
Kevin's conclusion as an illustrative overview of a
widely-held perspective. To be sure, there are
phylogenetic methodologies other than cladistics:
which Feduccia does not use because I do not think he
knows how; even his classifacatory schemes are
recapitulations of Wetmore's frameworks of decades
To switch subjects, I have another word I prefer over
"interpolative", Brian: interpellative, which is
closer to what I am thinking and writing. Isn't
English an easy language?!
This year is starting out well.
--- Philidor <philidor11@snet.net> wrote:
> HP Pickering castigates AF using quotes from Kevin
> Padian:
> Feduccia & co.: "(1)have no alternative hypothesis
> that can be tested, (2)
> do not
> use methods of phylogenetic analysis accepted in the
> field of systematic
> biology, (3) have never analyzed the vast majority
> of the characters that
> support the theropod ancestry of birds, and (4) do
> not explain what
> methodologies, if any, they are using to reach their
> conclusions".
> and
> "...Their arguments amount to a disagreement with
> the theropod hypothesis.
> This disagreement rests on
> assumptions about the evolutionary process, not on a
> willingness to test the
> evolutionary pattern through
> the accumulation and analysis of character-based
> evidence. Consequently, the
> dissenters do not feel
> bound to accept or analyze the hundreds of shared
> derived characters that
> independent cladistic analyses have used to locate
> bird origins within
> coelurosaurs.
> These characters, and the methods used, are simply
> dismissed with the usual
> 'garbage in, garbage out'
> bromide. None of this is science, and there is no
> further reason for the
> scientific community, or the
> public, to treat it seriously".
> The accusation in the quotes selected is that AF
> refuses to accept
> cladistics as a methodology and to acknowledge the
> results of cladistic
> analyses as unarguable.
> If that were all there was supporting birds as
> dinosaur descendants, then AF
> is home free.  All he has to do is concentrate on
> the limitations of
> cladistics and ignore the facts, the accumulated
> observations which do make
> a compelling case under any methodology, and he can
> argue cogently as long
> as he likes.  He can even make the opposition seem
> cliquish, requiring
> belief in cladistic analysis as a precondition for
> membership, rather than
> objective.
> The strategy for presenting conclusions is also
> important.

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