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Phil Bigelow's Dinosaur Listservice
In the past few days, David Peters submitted a long critical review of Dave
Unwins's cladistic analysis in Buffetaut's and Mazin's "Evolution and
Palaeobiology of Pterosaurs", Dave Unwin submitted a humorous response to
Peters' post, and I sent in a brief humorous reply to Unwin's post. As a
result, Phil Bigelow saw fit to send the three of us the following message:
> Any chance that you guys could take your personal sqaubble off-list?
I was taken aback.
Firstly, I did not know that Phil Bigelow was one of the moderators of the
Dinosaur Listservice and therefore in a position to censure contributors for
submissions that he found offensive or perhaps simply tedious. I,
apparently mistakenly, thought that Mickey Rowe and Mary Kirkaldy were the
"owners" of the list and the ones responsible for killing offensive and/or
tedious threads or censuring contributors. Forgive me for my ignorance.
Secondly I, again apparently mistakenly, thought that the Dinosaur
Listservice was not simply a news service designed to provide Phil Bigelow
with what he wants, but rather was a community of individuals brought
together by a common interest in discussing all things related to
"dinosaurs". I expect that the discussions of such a community may include
humor and sincere expressions of emotion in addition to mere facts and
opinions, and also will include much that is not of interest to all.
Indeed, for example, I thought that the "Extinction" thread of January and
February, which included quite a number of messages from Phil Bigelow, was a
complete waste of my time. Yet I was willing to delete the many
"Extinction" messages so that I could get to those that I found to be of
interest. It never occurred to me to contact the contributors of the
"Extinction" messages and tell to stop wasting my time.
Thirdly, it has long irritated me that pterosaurs were discussed on the
Dinosaur Listservice because I do not think that pterosaurs were closely
related to dinosaurs. It might make sense if pterosaurs were the major
sister-group of dinosaurs as suggested by the cladistic analyses of Padian,
Gauthier, and Benton, but in spite of the "thing" that David Peters
published suggesting that pterosaurs were prolacertiforms, the notion that
pterosaurs are further down the tree than the "Ornithodira sensu Gauthier"
has been gaining favor among pterosaur workers. I do not think that I have
ever sent in an initial post about pterosaurs, instead I have always
responded to the statements and queries of others, but I have hung around
primarily to counter the preposterous assertions of David Peters, his
photointerpretation methodology, the unossified bones that no one can see,
the dorsal frills that no one can see, and the multitudinous babies within
the body and at the breast that no one can see. Judging by Phil Bigelow's
categorization of what Dave Unwin and I were doing as a "personal sqaubble",
I have been wasting my time, and certainly presenting facts to counter
Peters' imaginings has taken much time that I can ill afford to spare.
Therefore, since I completely misunderstood the purpose of the Dinosaur
Listservice and am guilty of posting at least one message that Phil Bigelow
found to be somehow objectionable I am unsubscribing from the list. In the
future, if any of you have any questions about pterosaurs I suggest that you
contact David Peters or, better yet, Phil Bigelow.
S. Christopher Bennett, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Basic Sciences
College of Chiropractic
University of Bridgeport
Bridgeport, CT 06601