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Re: idiosyncrasy in birdland
To pick at one piece of evidence in the hypothesis and declare it invalid
(as in this collagen/feather query) does not invalidate the entire
hypothesis, composed of dozens to hundreds of equally important pieces of
evidence. As professor/ teachers, would Feduccia and Olson declare that
ALL answers on a student's test were suspect if only a FEW were wrong? No,
That assumes the feather interpretation is wrong in the first place. :-)
Yet Hone and Benton's paper literally did that to Peters 2000. And
Bennett's website criticizing ALL my work as "suspect" rests on his
assertion that I did not identify or even see two bone lines, which he saw
but did not identify -- ignoring all of the thousands of other bone lines
I saw but Chris did not. Go figure.
Evidence is still lacking for them actually being "bone lines". In fact, you
still haven't replied to my tracings of your photos from two years ago.
All that being said, I find it ironic that pterosaur fellows like Home,
Benton, Naish, Padian and Unwin do not embrace, or at least tip the hat to
the Macrocnemus to Longisquama hypothesis on pterosaur origins as the most
parsimonious to date. Rather they (philosophically) fall in with the
Feduccias and Olsons by calling it 'heterodox' and 'idiosyncratic' AND by
not proposing a MORE parsimonious phylogenetic scenario that includes and
tests all (or even a few) proposed taxa. After all, it's been seven years.
That elephant is still in the room.
Hey, have a little patience. There are two unpublished theses out there (by
Hone and by Atanassov), and my thesis, work on which will hopefully start
soon, will most likely be huge enough to include that topic again. In, say,
ornithischian phylogenetics seven years are nothing :^)
In seven hours one could have plugged in characters for all suspect taxa
and tested all hypotheses
No way. Even if you have all the relevant fossils lying on your desk, you
can't work that fast.
But what we really want is a gunfight in the middle of town, hopefully in
front of the tavern where we can all raise a glass when the dust settles.
I agree wholeheartedly. It just isn't high noon yet.
Nor has it rained enough that Django could drag his coffin up the hill. But
rest assured, he's coming, and he'll feel forced to open the coffin. Just
you wait. In the meantime, you could try ordering your characters and
dropping those that are most obviously related to ontogeny and/or size. Will
take more than 7 h, but you have time.