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Re: justification for excluding lagerpetids and/or pterosaurs from a phylogenetic analysis of the Archosauria
first of all, I'm sorry for calling you "Peter". I know your name but
it was 1:58 AM in the Czech Republic when I wrote it so I was sleeping
rather than thinking. I hope this is a good apology:o) Now:
> To answer your question, the data is in the publishing cycle now,
> but I've also published bits and pieces elsewhere. The problem with
> all current small studies, like Nesbitt, is they have no overarching
> study on which to understand large branch relations. They go with
> what they know and its untested.
That's actually not what I was asking. I was asking whether you are
able to concede that you may be wrong. Because this is the basic thing
in science. I, personally, am always opened for discussions with
people who disagree with me, because I can learn a lot of things (even
when they aren't right), but I have to see that (1) they are not
convinced of something before they actually learn about it, and (2)
they must know how to argue. I have a friend whose knowledge of proper
argumentation is worse than my knowledge of political situation in
Nauru, so every single debate with him ends earlier than it really
starts. On the other hand, there are people who know how to argue (or
at least try it) but they are _a priori_ convinced that they are right
and the other side is wrong. So, in short, I agree that the origin of
pterosaurs is not the clearest thing in vertebrate paleontology, but
you absolutely can't say that they _aren't_ ornithodiran pan-avians.
Available information (though not based on horribly large matrices;
but why they must be?) suggest that they are, and although it's "only"
a phylogenetic hypothesis, people will prefer it until convincing data
that suggest something else are provided.
David, I would be very happy if you could send me your papers off
list. I read several discussions you had here so I think I know your
approach (that's also why I don't share your viewes... sorry), but I
still lack your peer-reviewed works.