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Re: Late night thoughts: Pathetica and Interspersal

You say didn't miss anything, Erik. 

Then you have noticed in this thread that David first mis-characterized my 
position, then spouted a poorly formed opinion as fact ("if they were that 
vulnerable, they would have been extinct by the Late Jurassic"). Then he 
proclaimed that he had "falsified" my position. He made highly simplistic and 
fallacious claims concerning the predicted effects of predation on a very large 
group of animals, again claiming to have demonstrated falsification. He 
interspersed my rebuttal paragraph raising the issue of refugia w/ comments 
repeating the claims (again as fact), and followed w/ an insult wrapped in a 
condescension, and a non sequitur ("Are you saying that your hypothesis cannot 
be tested?"). This argumentation form disguised the fact that he had no valid 
answer for the rebuttal, could only continue his argument through demagoguery, 
and that he had never addressed the issue of refugia at all, completely 
ignoring it.  

If you did not notice that, then you missed something. It is probably because 
interspersal, or "interlinear commentary" as you call it, is the perfect 
vehicle for such activities, although it works well when intentions are to 
further rational discussion. David intersperses in this case because if his 
argument relative to sauropod vulnerability and predation-driven size selection 
is placed in a continuous form, it is easily perceived as weak, and also it 
allows him to pursue the stratagems outlined above. His activity relies on a 
selectively permissive atmosphere onlist, limited time resources on my part, 
and is adversarial beyond the bounds of logical discourse.
You will have further noticed that in this thread he makes claims about maximum 
sauropod size that yield a logical conclusion; that directional selection for 
size never occurred in the largest land animals ever to have lived. So much for 
evolution, apparently. He says they were always all the same size anyway, or 
possibly just appeared at full size and then decreased in size, and that both 
patterns falsify predation as a factor in sauropod size, which they do not. 

And nobody but me even said, "huh?". That is the pathetic part.

Or you may not have noticed... perhaps because interlinear commentary can be 
used as a written form of interruption. Have you attempted debate w/ an 


----- Original Message ----
From: erik kruger <eakruger@yahoo.com>
To: don ohmes <d_ohmes@yahoo.com>; dinosaur@usc.edu
Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2007 1:13:28 PM
Subject: Re: Late night thoughts: Pathetica and Irony

  No offense, but I'm with David.  Interlinear commentary is, if anything, much 
*more* legible than blanket statements before or after another's post.  I don't 
believe that anyone who cares about this or any other thread has that much 
difficulty reading "between the lines," so to speak.
  David said something to this effect in a post last week.  I'll re-state the 
gist: only through interlinear commentary can one be certain to match up 
"response" to original "statement"--otherwise, there's no guarantee that one's 
comments won't be misunderstood . . . or mis-*applied*.  Personally, I like it 
when someone cares enough to interlineate; it implies that they actually 
respect my words enough to thoughtfully attempt to engage with them "in situ."
  This is arguably merely a stylistic preference--but, certainly, David is not 
"dissing" you by his mode of engagement.
  Erik the Red.

    If you reply to this post, DO NOT DELETE ANYTHING. And don't intersperse, 
please. Clear a space above or below, and leave my words intact so people HAVE 
to know what I said, and I don't have to say it again.

"Only that thing is free which exists by the necessities of its own nature, and 
is determined in its actions by itself alone" - Spinoza.

Boardwalk for $500? In 2007? Ha! 
Play Monopoly Here and Now (it's updated for today's economy) at Yahoo! Games.

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