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



> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> Andy Farke
>
> >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.
>
> I might be more convinced given a few double-blind trials.

Indeed, an additional aspect to this double-blind test would be to use only
sections of the slabs immediately adjacent to the bony fossils, and
intersperse these with random slabs of the same horizon which are not
adjacent to any body fossils. If there really are body traces present than
the folks using this identification technique should be able to recover that
information even when they don't have a clue as to what body fossil it is
associated with, and should never recover the same type of pattern in
sections of slabs not near bony fossils.

If, on the other hand, this is merely a Photoshop-enhanced Rorshach test,
than the non-body fossil associated slabs should at least sometimes show
similar patterns, and the sections from immediately adjacent to body fossils
should be consistent with the (unknown to the observer) anatomical position
of that fossil.
>
> >In this, Peters' work may
> >pioneer graphic methods of observation that, as yet, have not been shown
> >to be failures at.
>
> I agree that the method may be useful in some cases. . .*if* and
> only if one
> can compare the results with the original specimen. Extraordinary claims
> require extraordinary evidence. I've seen the former. . .the
> latter I have
> not.

Bingo!

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/tholtz.htm
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796