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RE: Vancleavea campi - what is it? - not an archosauriform.
Sorry Mike, but what you wrote tewlls me that you misunderstood my use of the
term _ad hominem_:
Wikipedia's opening paragraph on the phrase reads as follows: "An _ad hominem_
argument, also known as _argumentum ad hominem_ (Latin: "argument to the
person" or "argument against the person") is an argument which links the
validity of a premise to an irrelevant characteristic or belief of the person
advocating the premise."
In even its most broad application, correct use of the phrase is attributed to
arguments or statements pointed at the arguer, and not the argument, as if it
had ANY relevance. The fault of an argument that devolves to such an issue
becomes both uncivil and useless for scientific discourse. Is that valuable?
As for what David did, you can actually figure out what he did and how long it
took him to do it BEFORE remarking on that action as if to invoke omniscience
on the matter by asking him yourself. I would, before faulting someone else,
and when I have jumped the gun I've eaten my words (publically). Some of us are
interested (in an offhand way) of the eventual reformation of David Peters (as
said, tongue-in-cheek). I personally do not agree with several of Dave's
arguments, but my disagreements are made from personal observations and
reasoning through methodological comparisons. This does not extend to my
judgment of Dave as a person, or his civility and concern for others. He raised
a point, and coded and ran his interpretation in his own unpublished analysis.
Immediate disagreement arises, and he posts it.
As a reflection of the methodology espoused by Dave in the past, one could for
example cite Mayr's response to Lingham-Soliar's recent review of Mesozoic
dinosaur integument, where Mayr responds to the methodological practice TLS
applies ONLY to the psittacosaur specimen with which he is experienced, but
also calls into question one of the methods by which TLS used to examine the
material (virtually) -- citations follow this post. To be exact, TLS used a
photoshopping method to partially examine photos produced by Mayr et al. in
which several "bristles" which were broken were interpreted as lacking a hollow
lumen, as there was no apparent dark stripe; Mayr clarifies that this is due to
over-preparations produced by those individuals who had the fossil prior to the
Senckenburg Museum. TLS has a response to that, but I've not read it. But the
point there lies in that the discourse is rendered without name-calling,
insults, or implications of any sort of contempt any one person may have toward
another. This is even done in a civil and direct fashion with two replies from
Chris Bennett to Dave Peters' own published works.
Mayr, G., Peters, D. S., Plodowski, G. & Vogel, O. 2002 Bristle-like
integumentary structures at the tail of the horned dinosaur Psittacosaurus.
Lingham-Soliar, T. 2008. A unique cross-section through the skin of the
dinosaur Psittacosaurus from China showing a complex fibre architecture.
_Proceedings of the Royal Society, B_ 275:775-780.
Lingham-Soliar, T. in press. Dinosaur protofeathers: Pushing back the
origin of feathers into the Middle Triassic? _Journal of Ornithology_
DOI: 10.1007/s10336-009-0446-7 (Pub online, 9/1/09)
Mayr, G. in press Response to Lingham-Soliar: "Dinosaur protofeathers: Pushing
back the origin of feathers into the Middle Triassic?" _Journal of Ornithology_
DOI: 10.1007/s10336-009-0476-1 (Pub online: 11/13/09)
Lingham-Soliar, T. in press. Response to comments by G. Mayr to my paper
"Dinosaur protofeathers: Pushing back the origin of feathers into the Middle
Triassic?" _Journal of Ornithology_ DOI: 10.1007/s10336-009-0475-2 (Pub online:
[Note that as of the 5th of December, the original work which has already
received a response to the originating article has YET to be published on paper
-- now that's swift, and a kudo to the availability of the First Cite system
many journals are now employing.]
Jaime A. Headden
"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)
"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn
from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent
disinclination to do so." --- Douglas Adams (Last Chance to See)
"Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion
> From: email@example.com
> Date: Sat, 5 Dec 2009 10:39:17 +0000
> Subject: Re: Vancleavea campi - what is it? - not an archosauriform.
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> CC: email@example.com
> Sorry, Jaime, but whatever tone David adopts I can't agree that his
> 39-word dismissal of a 51-page monograph can be described as "civil".
> For him, based on a couple of hours looking at Nesbitt et al.'s
> figures, to dismiss the work that they did over a period of years with
> the actual specimen -- well, at the very least that qualifies as
> "uncivil". I can think of a few other words I might have used but
> let's leave it at that.
> And do I really have to point out that "ad hominem" doesn't just mean
> "saying something unwelcome"? If I had said "David did this work,
> therefore it's wrong", that would have been ad hominem. What I
> actually said is that the work itself (if you want to call it that) is
> woefully inadequate.
> Well. I am not going to be drawn into a classic DML pissing contest,
> so I will leave this thread for you to have the last word. Enjoy.
> 2009/12/5 Jaime Headden :
>> It seems to me that for the most part, David Peters is enormously civil. The
>> phrasing may be off, and we may even disagree strongly and even come from
>> this discussion exasperated at the unpublished refutations, but at least he
>> is civil, and deserves the patience and tone in which it is given (at the
>> least). This reply from Mike Taylor seems bornerline _ad hominem_. Could we
>> at least be more civil with one another?
>> Jaime A. Headden
>> "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)
>> "Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn
>> from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent
>> disinclination to do so." --- Douglas Adams (Last Chance to See)
>> "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
>> different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
>> has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
>> his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion
>>> Date: Sat, 5 Dec 2009 09:52:45 +0000
>>> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
>>> To: email@example.com
>>> CC: firstname.lastname@example.org
>>> Subject: Re: Vancleavea campi - what is it? - not an archosauriform.
>>> David, do you really have SUCH contempt for Nesbitt, Stocker, Small
>>> and Downs? Are you really SO confident that your interpretation,
>>> which is based entirely on their work, is better than theirs? Does
>>> the possibility that they might just know what they're talking about
>>> not even enter your mind?
>>> Seriously, dude.
>>> 2009/12/5 David Peters :
>>>> One of the reasons why Vancleavea campi does not have an antorbital
>>>> fenestra and upper temporal fenestrae is because it is not an
>>>> archosauriform. It is a askeptosaurid thalattosaur and a sister taxon to
>>>> the short-snouted Miodentosaurus. [Links below]
>>>> The scales are still weird.
>>>> The neomorph bone between the orbits is nothing more than the ascending
>>>> process of the premaxilla.
>>>> For those who still think you have to stare at a specimen in person to
>>>> publish on it, well, now you see how that can prove to be a wee bit myopic.
>>>> David Peters
>>>> Cheng, Y.-N., X.-C. Wu, T. Sato. 2007. A new thalattosaurian (Reptilia:
>>>> Diapsida) from the Upper Triassic of Guizhou, China. Vert PalAsiatica 45:
>>>> Nesbitt, S. J., M. R. Stocker, B. J. Small and A. Downs. 2009. The
>>>> osteology and relationships of Vancleavea campi (Reptilia:
>>>> Archosauriformes). Zoological Journal of the Linnaean Society 157, 814-864.
>>>> Parker, W G. & Barton, B. J. 2008. New Information on the Upper Triassic
>>>> archosauriform Vancleavea campi based on new material from the Chinle
>>>> Formation of Arizona. Palaeontologia Electronica 11 (3); 14A: 20p.
>>>> Wu, X.-C., Y.-N. Cheng, T. Sato and H.-Y. Shan. 2009. Miodentosaurus
>>>> brevis Cheng 2007 (Diapsida; Thalattosauria): Its postcranial skeleton and
>>>> phylogenetic relationships. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 47:1-20.
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