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RE: Stenopelix valdensis



Denver Fowler wrote-

You publicly insulted a peer-reviewed author's work,
questioning their position as a scientist causing
offence. You did not make any admission that offence
was not your original intention. Indeed, your reply to
my previous posting contained further statements which
confirmed your intent not to critique, but to insult
and offend. You are reducing the credibilty of this
list to a gossip factory.

My intent was to critique Sullivan's and Bakker's papers, not to offend them. However, I didn't particularily care if I offended them because they wrote offensively about Williamson and Carr and cladists in general. I don't think I have to list the relevent quotes again. If they can dish it out, they should be able to take it, so to speak. I don't think their degrees give them any more right to use that tone than I have. My tone while critiquing is often sarcastic, but that's because I really think these professionals should know better. Whether it be Sullivan, Czerkas, Martin or Feduccia, they shouldn't be publishing such illogical arguments. Peer review should have caught them, at the very least. And no, I never questioned Sullivan's position as a scientist. I explained before that I didn't think he "performs phylogenetic work very scientifically", but that doesn't mean he didn't do other work scientifically (like descriptive anatomy).


I am not the only person who finds this misconduct
inappropriate. I wonder if you know which of your
peers also disapprove?

Regarding dissent on the Stenopelix chracters: it
isn't my place to represent people's views on this
list, but you should be aware that some highly
respected (I am sure that you appreciate what this
means) researchers remain unconvinced as to how strong
the marginocephalia really is. Yinlong was published
in a short paper which did not fully illustrate nor
describe the postcrania. Further analysis may
strengthen the marginocephalia as a natural grouping,
I don't mind at all; it would certainly fit the
stratigraphy okay, but it doesn't mean that we
shouldn't currently discount other hypotheses because
they disagree with yours. Generally I've found there
is an element of truth in everyone's work, so
everything is worth noting. Like I say, it's about
people's observations vs interpretations.

And conversely, I wouldn't mind if Marginocephalia were disproven. I don't think published ornithischian cladograms are well designed or supported, after all. But I'd like defensible reasons for this. Again, it's not that I'm proposing the consensus is correct as much as I'm saying the rationale Sullivan used to reject it is invalid.


I will not be commenting further. I have specimens to
collect.

And I have analyses to perform and critique (Peters invincible pterosaur cladogram, Archaeorhynchus/Gansus...), but I'm always up for more discussion if you want. Have fun in the field!


Mickey Mortimer