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Lingham-Soliar's Ichthyosaur Muscles
I was responding elsewhere in correspondence, and realized my rebuttal to
Lingham-Soliar was overdue. Pardon the language, it was written for a more
general forum than this has ended up being:
"Lingham-Soliar did research showing that you can find layers of skin
collagen overlapping into a "network" in fossil ichthyosaurs, the same
kind of network that in dolphins is used to "streamline" the skin. He then
used the same perspective to attempt to show the branching patterns of
Liaoning fossil "feathers" were in fact layers of muscle folding 90
degrees away, forming the "vane," "rachis," and "barbs." What you may hear
is that this "proves" the feathers are fake.
"I frankly have no idea what a muscle is doing coming off the end of my
hand that's longer than my entire arm AND POINTS AWAY FROM MY BODY, but
that's how the observation was interpreted by the press, as that would be
the only reasonable explanation for why such fibers are present, and the
only way to apply the idea of what they "were" to some of these people.
After all, the origin of birds to some is "anything but a small running
dinosaur," or ABSRD for short.
"What Lingham-Soliar did NOT do was show that these feathers have a
_hollow_ quill, clear patterns of barb symmetry, vane asymmetry in
"flight" structures for some forms, and most importantly, show feathers ON
TOP of others with overlaying spreads of feathers, coverts, and down
feathers. These structures have been shown to be IDENTICAL to stages and
types of modern bird feathers, from "fuzz" to plumes to down and all the
way to flight-feathers."
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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