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Re: How to Train Your New Papers



 Paul, G.S., and Carpenter, K. 2010. Allosaurus Marsh, 1877
 (Dinosauria, Theropoda): proposed conservation of usage by
 designation of a neotype for its type species Allosaurus fragilis
 Marsh, 1877. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 67(1):53-56.

Good.

 Smith, S.A., Beaulieu, J.M., and Donoghue, M.J. 2010. An uncorrelated
 relaxed-clock analysis suggests an earlier origin for flowering
 plants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
 107(13):5897-5902. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1001225107.

 ABSTRACT: We present molecular dating analyses for land plants that
 incorporate 33 fossil calibrations, permit rates of molecular
 evolution to be uncorrelated across the tree, and take into account
 uncertainties in phylogenetic relationships and the fossil record.

Good so far.

 We attached a prior probability to each fossil-based minimum age,

Are there any maximum ages? (I don't have access to the paper here.) If not, it had to be _expected_ that many of the molecular dates would be too old. Minimum ages can only push molecular dates down (stratigraphically down), and when there's nothing to push them up, down is where they'll stay. Appendix 10 of my 2007 paper with Michel Laurin demonstrates this at excruciating length...