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RE: Titanoceratops, giant ceratopsian from New Mexico

David wrote:

<Does that mean it's wrong?>

  No. What I have argued (all that I have argued) is that the data as PUBLISHED 
is unsupportive of the claims (also published) publicized, spoken of, or 
alluded to in response to said publication (which has NOT been published). I 
would say have these people either show up, or shut up, but that might be 
deemed RUDE, no? I have been waiting for the paper, I was NOT present for SVP, 
but was under the _illusion_ that unpublished data is USELESS for dialogue or 
debate on this form, especially when dealing with a publication on that level 
of detail.

<_Please_ stop making terms up.

I mean, you know what "reductionism" without a modifier means, don't you?>

In the general, yes, at least as far as adjectives go:

"2. the practice of simplifying a complex idea, issue, condition, or the like, 
esp. to the point of minimizing, obscuring, or distorting it." 
(http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/reductionism) [The first definition 
used it the one I am sure YOU are thinking of, which is philosophical.]

Technical "reductionism" as referring to causation, also yes, although in a 
more limited regard. In this case, I am attempting an adjective for an action 
to "reduce" the taxonomic entities as though they were real, and as Scannella 
and Horner argued, as if it were more simplistic and therefore better. This is 
not wholly consistent, and even while the authors may argue for anagenesis, 
this does not mean that the various stages of a lineal progression may not be 
adequate to split into taxonomic categories. It is still "reduction" to lump 
after the fact, and on this level without the prepared presentations to support 
it, I would argue less than viable.

<So why don't you simply W4tP?


To expect them to publish everything at once, _that's_ idiotic.>

  Because when I ask for others to hold their comments in reference to this 
research, or ask why a "synonymy" was performed without the concordant actions, 
or when Scannella and Horner publicize their views on lumping, why hasn't the 
research that supports this hasn't been published, I get [what seems like] a 
run-around about it being in prep, or that this particular data would be 
handled in the future. So long as it gets discussed in this manner, I will 
beggar this point. I asked Denver point blank why the anagenetic and 
stratigraphic resolution data was not handled PRIOR to the taxonomic lumping 
(as it would have gone hand in hand with the yet-to-present osteohistological 
analysis) to lump Maastrichtian taxa down to singular _specific_ entities.

  And I've asked why all of this has to do with taxonomy in the first place. It 
makes people like Dever seem to think I prefer a multitude of names over some 
other system, and this too is also a run-around. My criticism of the "lumping" 
has NOTHING to do with my personal beliefs on the taxonomy (which are null -- I 
do not care what name to call them, but would like to compare in the tightest, 
most efficient manner, a means by which I can call them something when it is 
relevant). Frankly, naming every single "species" a "genus-species" couplet 
should have NO impact on the value of species recognition (whatever the hell 
that is), anagenesis, or ontogeny. Yet it seems to matter to others.


Jaime A. Headden
The Bite Stuff (site v2)

"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