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Re: Ghosts of New Papers Past



Third to last sentence of the abstract of the James and Pourtless paper
ends:
   "the verificationist approach of the BMT literature may
    be producing misleading studies on the origin of birds."
Does anybody know what they mean by "verificationist"?  The word has an
established meaning in philosophy (it's the thesis that only statements that
can in principle be verified are meaningful, associated with Vienna Circle
logical positivism: cf. A.J. Ayer's "Language, Truth and Logic"), but with
that meaning it doesn't seem to make sense here.
   Perhaps they mean something like "the approach which presupposes that the
popular but in our opinion contentious claim that BA (d.t.) D has already
been verified, so the only interesting cladistic questions are those asking
which particular (d.t.) D are the sister group of birds"?  Is this a
standard way of writing?

Allen Hazen
Philosophy (PASI)
University of Melbourne