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Re: Sinosauropteryx filament melanosomes challenged

 Look, I accept that the evidence for the dinosaur-bird link is strong
 and that some of those who feel otherwise may not be objective on the
 issue. However, the assumption I am getting is that because
 Feduccia, Olson et al are almost certainly wrong on this one their
 entire careers are suspect.

What? Why?

 I happen to be an ornithologist, not a dino person, by training, and
 I know Storrs Olson personally (though we do not meet often), and I
 would like to point out that Storrs is a distinguished ornithologist
 with a career of valuable research behind him, including important
 work on avian taxonomy and island avifaunas that may be as unfamiliar
 to dinosaur biologists as some dinosaur work is to ornithologists.

Indeed it is. I am hardly interested in that kind of thing, so I don't know anything about it.

The difference is I don't make grandiose claims about it that obliviously contradict the data or the principle of parsimony.

 Calling him and others like him "unmentionables"

Sorry for the misunderstanding. I was trying to allude to section 8h of the DML rules: we are not to discuss creationism, so I called the creationists "Unmentionables".

 hinting that they have compromised their degrees by taking an
 unpopular stand (and, I admit, defending it less well than they
 might) is in my view unfair and unhelpful (and I will admit that
 Feduccia in particular has himself crossed that line in the other
 direction, but that doesn't make this sort of ad hominem stuff

Not by taking any particular stand, but by failing to learn about the existing data.

"Argumentum ad hominem" means "argument at the person" as opposed to "at their argument". "X is a BANDit, so whatever they say is most likely wrong" would be an ad-hominem argument; that's not what I've done. "Insult" is orthogonal to "ad-hominem argument".

I, for one, haven't even said that Lingham-Soliar's new paper is wrong. I haven't read it yet, and the discussion here hasn't been so detailed that I'd have been able to really form an opinion. I've said the paper really should have cited Li et al. (2010), and I implied it should have dealt with the arguments in that latter paper. I'm not talking about conclusions, I'm talking about methods.

 If the papers we are discussing do not make their case it should be
 (and may well be) because their science is wrong, not a priori
 because their views are unacceptable or because they can be tagged
 with a pejorative label.

Their views are by no means unacceptable. The way they (currently) reach them is. Science is a method, not the results of that method.

Concerning pejoratives, I have no problem calling myself a BAD guy.

 And I should add that this particular rant is not aimed at anyone in
 particular, least of all Dr, Marjanovic

Yeah, right. That must be why it's addressed to me _and_ the DML instead of to the DML alone, and why it references things such as what a degree means in Austria that only I have brought up. <sigh>

Don't apologize or anything. Just don't be afraid of being honest next time. :-)