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RE: A conversation with Larry Martin

At least I think he never brought up the supposed lack of supradentaries in 
maniraptorans again.  One theme I noticed in Martin's replies was that he just 
didn't care about a lot of relevent issues, which would be fine if he didn't 
trumpet heterodox ideas.  Another was that his knowledge of dinosaurs is from 
the 70s or so.  An annoying theme among BANDits is continuing to bring up BAD 
ideas that were proposed long ago and are no longer believed, as if they still 
harm the hypothesis.  Just try to read a BANDit paper without hearing about 
Ostrom wrongly identifying Deinonychus' semilunate as a radiale in the 60s, or 
his "fly-swatting" Archaeopteryx idea from the 70s.  But that may be related to 
their own reuse of ideas no matter how often they're discredited.  Jason 
mentioned how the temporal gap problem was refuted quantitatively in 2001, but 
just try to find a BANDit that acknowledges that paper's existence.  These all 
combine to suggest a mentality that is fundamentally stuck in the past and 
unconcerned with details as long as a few guidelines are true (non-dinosaurian 
birds that developed flight in the trees, asa ABSRD).

Yet I think given another decade or so, Martin would have come around.  Ditto 
for Feduccia.  Notice Martin was open to avian ornithomimosaurs, alvarezsaurids 
and tyrannosauroids.  And notice how their recent papers try to claim the 
category of 'dinosaur' is controversial and nebulous.  In 2025, an old Feduccia 
will probably be saying sure maniraptorans are birds and related to 
tyrannosaurs and sauropods, but who really knows if these things are dinosaurs, 
or if "dinosaur" is a useful term at all.  After all, Seeley (1887) said 
"Dinosauria has no existence as a natural group of animals" and "I see no 
ground for associating [Saurischia and Ornithischia] in one group, unless that 
group includes Birds, Crocodiles, Anomodonts and Ornithosaurs."

Mickey Mortimer

> Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2013 12:47:55 +0200
> From: david.marjanovic@gmx.at
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> I can't comment over there, so...
> > As I say in my post, as much as I criticized Martin on this list, I
> > don't know many other scientists who would take the time to write
> > such a long and detailed exchange with an unknown undergraduate
> > amateur.
> Sure. But, judging from your blog post, he did quit in the middle of it.
> Yes, you were an unknown undergraduate amateur, and Martin was
> presumably paid to publish peer-reviewed papers with an impact factor,
> not to reply to you. Time is limited, that's fine. _However_, the
> questions you brought up are so important (not just "were", but still
> are!) that I'd have expected him to address them in one of his following
> papers -- or at the very least conference presentations. To the best of
> my knowledge, he never did that in nine years, and neither has Feduccia
> or Lingham-Soliar or anyone else in that camp ever done it. Why
> aren't... at least the tail fins of aquatic salamanders from the Yixian
> and Jiufotang Fms preserved as individual frayed collagen fibers that
> look like feathers? Why?