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Re: The big story at SVP

On Fri, Sep 25, 2009 at 03:31:02PM +0200, Andreas Johansson scripsit:
> On Fri, Sep 25, 2009 at 3:28 PM, Graydon <oak@uniserve.com> wrote:
> > He presumably thinks it *is* an early bird, in the no-bird-is-a-
> > dinosaur sense, and is being quoted at shorter length than what he said.
> > (Note that the descriptive text about his statement only makes sense if
> > he thinks the specimen is not a dinosaur.)
> Hm? How does "showing just how blurred the distinctions are between
> groups in this area of the dinosaur evolutionary tree" make any sense
> if the specimen *isn't* a dinosaur?

        ::Alan Feduccia, a palaeo-ornithologist at the University of North
        ::Carolina, Chapel Hill, says the new fossil species adds a "dazzling 
        ::piece to the complicated puzzle of early bird evolution", showing just
        ::how blurred the distinctions are between groups in this area of the
        ::dinosaur evolutionary tree."

In an article that's been talking about the "oldest feathered dinosaur",
this is a statement from Feduccia that it's an early bird, plus a
subordinate clause from the article writer to the effect of "oh, look,
there's argument about this portion of the dinosaur family tree", which
is the writer's indirect editorial comment to the effect that Dr.
Feduccia may not be speaking from a position where he has the weight of
consensus behind him.

So the writer thinks it's necessary to point out that, yes, really, this
is a dinosaur, which only makes sense if Dr. Feduccia is of the opinion
that it's *not* a dinosaur.

-- Graydon