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Re: Martin 2004 critique (somewhat lengthy)
On Mon, 30 May 2005 19:21:19 -0700 (PDT) "Jaime A. Headden"
> There's not reading it, then there's ignoring it. There is an ugly
> truth in
> people and that is they will ignore data which will often conflict
> with what
> they believe to be correct or the right course to take.
The frailties of human nature may play a roll in molding Martin's agenda,
but its effects can be neutralized by both an effective peer review
process and by a responsible journal editor.
In all of his papers on the subject, Martin (and Feduccia) has argued
that birds are not dinosaurs (while deftly avoiding whether he is
referring to cladistics or to the Linnaean system). Cladistically, it is
clearly a factual error, because the clade Dinosauria has been DEFINED to
include birds (by Padian and May, 1994, I believe). So in this case,
Martin is clearly wrong. There is no need for us to read Martin's
opinion on the matter. The Earth is round, not flat, gravity exists, and
birds are dinosaurs. If one wants these facts to be different, then one
must teletransport one's self to a different (anti-) universe where a
different set of scientific rules apply. But back in our own universe,
any further debate on the point is unnecessary. Even future cladistic
analyses cannot remove birds from the Dinosauria.
So, why do journal editors continue to allow Martin's error to get
published again and again and again? Beats me.
If his submitted manuscripts had received even a QUARTER of the scrutiny
of review that a student senior thesis typically receives, then we would
have been reading much more scientifically coherent contributions from
him for the past decade. This same criticism also applies to those who
have been reviewing Feduccia's manuscripts over the last decade.
Journal editors cannot stop authors from *thinking* about deceiving
others. But responsible editors CAN prevent the published expression of