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Re: Feduccia (mis)quotes me and mentions the DML in his new book



Mickey Mortimer <mickey_mortimer111@msn.com> wrote:

> Thought you all might find this interesting...
>
> http://theropoddatabase.blogspot.com/2012/01/almost-famous-im-misquoted-in-feduccias.html


Irrespective of who said what, it's actually very unfair to mine a
mailing list like the DML for comments in order to characterize an
entire body of scientific study, given that the DML actively
encourages (as it should) opinions and contributions from amateurs.
Feduccia's editorial is also hypocritical, given that his stablemate
Storrs Olson is on the record (in a published journal) using highly
charged language to define his scientific opponents.  The weaker the
science, the more contentious and vitriolic its adherents, indeed.

The following are lines from Olson's review of 'New Perspectives on
the Origin and Early Evolution of Birds. Proceedings of the
International  Symposium in Honor of John H. Ostrom'. The Auk: 119:
1202-1205.  The article not only features quite a few personal barbs,
but also includes an imputation of outright fraud by paleontologists:

"One of the rituals of the Birds-Are-Dinosaurs-Movement (BADM) is to
hold periodic symposia to reaffirm the belief that birds really are
dinosaurs, much as Southern Baptists hold revival meetings."

"Kevin Padian, the Elmer Gantry of the theropod crusade, is an author
on no fewer than four contributions, which does nothing to diminish
the impression of the whole volume as a dreary, sectarian tract from
the Kingdom Hall of Hennig's Witnesses."

"Having to suppress one's gag reflex as early as page 3, where we read
about 'the considerably more lively varieties [of dinosaurs] flitting
about our backyards,' only generates queasiness for tackling what
follows."

"The whole underpinning of the BADM is cladism, a systematic
formulation elevated to a religion years ago and with adherents as
fervent as any biblical zealot."

"None of this 'dino-fuzz' exhibits the structure of a pennaceous
feather. Furthermore, there reportedly are in the same deposits
various other organisms, unrelated to birds or theropods, that sport
those same filaments. If so, the information has been suppressed."

"Prum's own essay is little more than naked proselytizing, designed to
cajole the heathen onto the path of enlightenment."