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Re: The pterosaur in the egg: a new report (joke)

Tim Williams (twilliams_alpha@hotmail.com) wrote:

<The next issue of _Martha Stewart Living_ will feature my description
(and  vague diagnosis) of _Supercalifragilisticexpialidocisaurus rex_. 
The type  specimen is a skeleton I once saw in a book.>

  And if the type was valid, a real specimen, and in the
description/naming published in a form which coincides with the Code, it
would be valid, even if it would be made a synonym, or its diagnostic
nature doubtful. This is not really the point. One should try to separate
what one _likes_ from the rulings of the Code. Hopefully, in the next
recognized "legal" Code to take priority, the rules may have a more
concise, less broad statement on criteria for publication, so that it will
be more clear where, when, and how such names can be formed. This is not
to dismiss Peters' name, but to enforce that it be published in a more
reviewing, more scientific forum than a "dinosaurologists'" magazine.

  I bear no antipathy to Peters, nor should anyone, as he has been the
model of proper conduct even when words were said in public denouncing not
only his work, but the person who drove them. This is an admirable trait.
Eventually, should evidence prove him out, he would have the last laugh;
but also, one would feel that if demonstration in person of the
defects/inclusions in the slab do NOT represent actual preservation of
past life forms and Peters sees this, he would acquiesce. So far, the only
major critique done on his work has been the Photoshop-tracing procedure
itself, rather than to denounce the findings with actual data. Using
Photoshop, I myself, along with Mickey Mortimer, took a high quality photo
of the skull of *Protarchaeopteryx* and attempted to find the diamonds in
the rough of the matrix, and came to largely similar conclusions on what
we saw. I have enjoined others to take the same material that Peters has
and attempt to "find" structures. Indeed, inclusions or defects in the
slab have proven, to me, to bear a striking resemblance to such organisms
(or their traces) and these bear scrutiny. It has already been shown that
plant matter, invertebrates, microvertebrates, and such will preserve in
the same slabs as larger vertebrates in lagerstätten, so these
inclusions/defects DO need investigation. In this, Peters' work may
pioneer graphic methods of observation that, as yet, have not been shown
to be failures at.

  We shall see.


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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