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Re: theropod infanticide revisited



Stephan Pickering (stefanpickering2002@yahoo.com) wrote:

<REPLY: Excuse me, Jaime, but this editorial emendation on your part is
nonsense, as I have a rather good grasp of English. I specifically stated
"behavioral infanticide among theropods", as researchers are "draw[ing]
from the bulk" of living dinosaurs. You may read into my sentences
whatever you wish, you may opt to use nouns for whatever you wish to term
extant theropods, but "birds" are living dinosaurs, and, had I wished to
write something else, I would have. You have the propensity of wishing to
re-write the words of scholars to suit your own ideology; you do not have
the right to edit my work. The study of extant theropods is a worthy
subject of any forum.>

  First of all, I love birds, and my own studies on the biomechanics of
flight have led me to a healthy respect of birds. I think there is too
much being read into what I write (I imply exactly what i write, and there
isn't anything between the lines) that seems to boil over the top in
respect to Stephan. It often seems he takes it personally. The very first
sentence is a statement of knowledge that is not actually practiced, as
Stephan has been asked repeatedly to clarify his use of "theropod" for
extant birds, extinct birds, and all extinct non-avian theropods, when he
in fact does not use terms to separate these different entities during a
conversation. Thus the statement of his command of the langauge, as
affluent perhaps as Gould's, seems to be in error to my understanding; it
would be toward a purpose of more clarity in communication, the purpose of
such terms like "non-avian theropod" or "bird", that such terms be used,
rather than the lumping of all into "theropod" (also a noun, Stephan) that
is tending to obfuscation when I read these messages about extant bird
behavior applications to permineralized skeletal assemblages. A
popularization of some "science" called dinosaurology (practiced by those
more interested in the popularity of dinosaurs rather than the science of
them, and as supported by Stephan's own onlist statements about a
distancing from any science) with a proposed and practiced subsummation of
ornithology because for some reason birds are just a group of theropods,
is a hypocritical method of ignoring bird versus the popular dinosaurs;
hypocritical in that Stephan ignores herpetology, mammalogy, and
ichthyology, as all subsets of the same groups that are paraphyletically
(in some cases) set within one another phylogenetically.

  Second, I am personally offended by the following statement quotes from
above: "You have the propensity of wishing to re-write the words of
scholars to suit your own ideology; you do not have the right to edit my
work." I have not ever before the sending of the responded-to email quoted
by Stephan ever "re-written" his terms, which would be hypocritical of him
to say so as he himself did so not yesterday with a poem, and has done so
in the past. This is aside from the blatant generality above in some
attempt to demure me in my place, or perhaps for daring to suppress the
man. Why, I never ... the very last thing I would ever do is supress a
researcher, and the only times I have ever gone anywhere near a critical
review of a poster has been to critique the science of the methods by
which data is applied. I most certainly have the right to review and
relate my opinions on presented material in this _discussion forum_, and
would like to think that my grasp of evolutionary biology and anatomy is
sufficient for me to comment on that which I do. I am also freely
admissive of my shortcomings in this forum and in application to science,
and when I err, I do remark on it.

  Third and lastly, the study of birds is easily and freely pursued here.
I myself have been studying the jaws of many birds lately in application
of my research. However, the problem I have is not birds, as [implied?]
above, but in the application of behavior to fossil animals (as I have
explained before) from mammals and birds, and have asked that the
application be in such a manner that can be testable. If anyone wants
their work to be scientific, they had also better have a healthier
appreciation to criticism, which is often not at all personal, and I
myself [at least try to] keep my personal feelings off the list (there
were exceptions during Vets Day and mid-September of last year) and would
advocate that others do so. This list is here for science, and if science
will not be observed, than the post serves no purpose being presented.

  That is all,

  Cheers, 

=====
Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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