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Re: Science feather strength debate



But in my post I do not pressupose it flies. I just say that some
features, taking together in the case Archaeopteryx was found without
feathers, may have raised the possibility some students envisaged it
as a probably flying creature. Of course, it is all an exercise of
apparent little practical use, because Archaeopteryx was actually
found with feathers, but I talked about this just in response to Tim's
comment, and focusing in the presumptive hypotheses of people without
feathered Archaeopteryx instead of a feature of Archaeopteryx per se.

2010/11/3 Jaime Headden <qi_leong@hotmail.com>:
>
>   One of the big issues with this debate is that some particular debaters are 
> basing their arguments on corollary subjects that are only tangential to the 
> taxa assumed to fly/not fly. Specifically, for example, it is argued that 
> *Archaeopteryx* is close to birds, apparently a descendant or a progenitor of 
> flying animals, and therefore should fly --- or that it had asymmetrical 
> feathers, therefore could fly, etc. These arguments, while adding up, do not 
> any of themselves say "I can fly," but this is the statement nonetheless. It 
> is useless to assess these subjects with nothing less than full-bore scrutiny 
> so as to actually answer the scientific query "Can *Archaeopteryx* fly?"[1]
>
> [1] It should be restated (in my opinion) that I am tired of people instead 
> asking "How can *Archaeopteryx* fly?" as this assumes from the assessors 
> perspective an immediate "yes" to the first question, rather than determining 
> "flight" and various other assumptions. This is often related to the other 
> red-herring false corollary of "arboreal habits means flying habits," or 
> "close enough."
>
> Cheers,
>
> Jaime A. Headden
> The Bite Stuff (site v2)
> http://qilong.wordpress.com/
>
> "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)
>
>
> "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
> different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
> has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
> his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion 
> Backs)
>
>
>
>
>
> ----------------------------------------
>> Date: Wed, 3 Nov 2010 08:41:44 -0300
>> From: augustoharo@gmail.com
>> To: tijawi@gmail.com
>> CC: dinosaur@usc.edu
>> Subject: Re: Science feather strength debate
>>
>> 2010/11/2 Tim Williams :
>>
>> > Yes, very true.  You have to wonder, if _Archaeopteryx_ had been
>> > discovered without the feathers preserved... would anyone think to
>> > suggest that it could *fly*?
>>
>> May the lenght of the forelimb coupled with the inferred phylogenetic
>> allegiances of the material (with recent birds), still suggest so?
>
>