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Re: Dinosaurs Decoded



 As far as I'm concerned, the hypothesis that _Dracorex_ and
 _Stygimoloch_ are j[...]uvenile _Pachycephalosaurus_ is complete and
 utter bunk. Bakker gives a good rebuttal here:

 http://scienceblogs.com/laelaps/2008/04/paleontological_profiles_rober.php

"Good rebuttal"? The first half is nothing but an argument from personal incredulity(*), which is now partly falsified by the discovery that "*Torosaurus*" is the adult stage of *Triceratops*. The second half is an appeal to unpublished specimens; there's nothing wrong with that in principle -- except that I've been told (warning: third-or-more-hand information ahead!) that there's a specimen that is intermediate between *Stygimoloch* and *Pachycephalosaurus* and shows partly resorbed horns. Either some (or all!) of these unpublished specimens are misinterpreted, or the situation is <throwing up arms and flailing them about> even more complicated than anyone thinks at present. We'll really have to wait for several papers here.

Besides, Bakker doesn't seem to know what "theory" means. Calling the growth series idea a hypothesis (as you did), or even a speculation, would have been much more appropriate ("speculation" would have had the added bonus, for Bakker, of sounding somewhat derogative, even though it's a technical term like any other); a theory is something big and overarching that explains a large chunk of "life, the universe, and everything" all at once, like the theory of evolution, the theory of general relativity, or the theory of quantum electrodynamics.

* A logical fallacy that runs like this: "I can't imagine it, so it's wrong".