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Re: Caudipteryx suffered from osteoarthritis

On Thu, Jan 5, 2012 at 8:30 PM, Jaime Headden <qi_leong@hotmail.com> wrote:
>   So it's not so much that _it_ got through review, as much as certain 
> comments made in the paper (I've not read it, so only dealing >with the 
> remarks made so far from the summary) appear to defy the general consensus.

Indeed, I should've been clear that I wasn't saying the findings of
arthritis and the like were bunk. Seems odd that the title is
'arthritis in a bird' when it's not a bird, seems like the sort of
thing that should've come up.

> In which case, it's about having the critics of an idea get their own fair 
> shake, even if it tends to the more aggrieved or aggravating in >tone or 
> structure, such as Olson's bellicose comments in a review.
>   It doesn't help, as Paul P's comments show, that there is a problematic 
> view that there is a sacred and valuable thing in what we
>(using English, no less) call "bird," and that some sacred cows should never 
>be slaughtered. Dinosaurs, the BANDits seem to argue, >shall never, ever be 
>ancestors to birds; the thinking, it seems, is there is a line where birds and 
>reptiles do not cross, a fundamental, >golden line, and now dromaeosaurs, 
>formerly on one side, find themselves on the other, sundered from _their_ 
>other kin.

Right, which is pretty much beyond 'old fashioned' and down-right
anti-biological. I've gotten the impression that many ornithologists,
even if they accept the evolutionary relationship between dinosaurs
and birds, will still never give it up that Birds are Dinosaurs.  Its
not the craziest thing in some ways, sort like saying 'Humans
descended from amphibians, but Human's are not Amphibians (HANA)' ( of
course amphibian has a loose meaning, while dinosaur has a strict

>It won't be pretty, because this is a sign of impending surrender, even if 
>it's decades away, because this amounts to fortifying one's >retreating 
>position, for the sake of protecting their grace.

This is what people like Lakatos and Popper would've considered a
"degenerating research programme" wherein  you allow excessive
modifications to auxiliary supporting theories in order to protect
your 'hard theoretical core' (which in this case is just 'birds ain't
dinos'), AND those modifications to the 'protective belt' don't
actually produce anything new. You can /almost/ argue that these guys
are anti-scientific; but I think that'd be way too unfair, sorta like
how some people consider them 'no better than creationists'.