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Fwd: My response to allegations by Spencer Lucas



(Forwarded from Vrtpaleo with permission from Bill Parker.)
_______
 
I must admit that I actually admired Dr. Spencer Lucas's point by point  
rebuttal of the letter of complaint that I sent to the Department of Cultural  
Affairs involving the *Heliocanthus/Rioarribasuchus* case.   Someone
reading through his commentary without knowledge of the publication  history 
of these specimens would surely be swayed and his allegations of  impropriety 
towards me appear convincing.  However, these comments are  misleading and his 
allegations demonstrably false.

1) I did in fact visit  the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science 
in the spring of 2003 with  the permission of the staff.  I have notes, time 
stamped photos and an  e-mail to support this.  In addition I was accompanied 
by a colleague who  also has notes and photos from that day.

2) Never at any time was I  informed by museum staff that I could not have 
photos of the material.  Dr.  Lucas's claim that I inappropriately obtained 
photos is untrue as is his  statement on why he would not let Kate Zeigler 
supply 
me with additional photos.  This is supported by e-mail documentation.

3) Dr. Lucas provided me with  explicit verbal permission to rename the 
material and even suggested a  name.  This is based on a personal conversation 
at 
the NMMNHS in 2003 and  was witnessed by a colleague.

4) Dr. Lucas's claims that they were  unaware of my intent and that the 
naming of *Rioarribasuchus* was based on his  own independent conclusions is 
also 
demonstrably false. The truth lies in the  literature history of the specimens, 
including a review of a 2005 manuscript by  Randall Irmis and myself in which 
he refers to me as a "taxonomic splitter" and  by a comment made in his own 
report (p. 7). It states that "as for disagreement  with Parker's assessment 
that *Desmatosuchus* belonged to a new genus, at the  time Lucas et al. 
continued to believe the material to represent  *Desmatosuchus*." This comment 
is in 
regards to two papers published in 2005 by  Lucas and colleagues, one of which 
appears in the same volume as my  paper
with Randy Irmis.  This demonstrates that although they were aware  of my 
hypothesis they explicitly disagreed with me that the material was  referable 
to 
a new genus.  They can not claim their findings to be  independent.

These crucial inaccuracies in Dr. Lucas's account have  misled the Department 
of Cultural Affairs, his supporters including Drs.  Silberling and Anderson, 
and the vertebrate paleontology community.  It is  now up to Dr. Lucas as well 
as Dr. Hunt, and Mr. Speilmann (I am assuming that  they are part of the 
"us", and "we" referred to repeatedly in Lucas's written  response) to explain 
why, if they are innocent of any wrongdoing, they provided  this erroneous 
information.  Furthermore Mr. Ashman and the Department of  Cultural Affairs 
need to 
explain why they did not allow testimony by Dr. Martz  and myself at the 
inquiry to properly defend ourselves from such false  information and personal 
attacks (including the letter by Norman  Silberling).  An expanded account of 
the 
points which I present above as  well as the supporting evidence is available 
 at
http://www.miketaylor.org.uk/dino/nm/visit/response.html

Bill  Parker



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