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Re: [dinosaur] The majority-rule consensus, was Re: Chinlestegophis, new stem caecilian (Lissamphibia) from Triassic of Colorado



> Thanks! I know of other Paleozoic amphibian workers who expressed some 
> uncertainty as to the conclusions , and it is good to hear about your 
> analyses of the results.

Mind you, this is just the matrix as it is. I haven't looked for problematic 
scores in the matrix. Clearly, when so many so different topologies are equally 
parsimonious, tiny changes to the matrix would change the results.

I think we're going to hear a lot about potential changes to the results. On 
the one hand, I'll have something to say about the tabular or supratemporal of 
*Eocaecilia* soon, having seen the holotype in 2013. On the other hand, Jason 
tells me that 1) they bent over backwards when scoring *Chinlestegophis*, in 
order to avoid any potential bias for their preferred hypothesis, so they've 
made the weakest possible case for it, not the strongest possible one; 2) a few 
very interesting features of *Chinlestegophis* were somehow cut from the supp. 
inf. at some point before final submission, so that some interpretations in the 
paper now seem to be founded on nothing when that's not the case. And so on and 
so forth. This is just the beginning, you ain't seen nothin' yet, we're living 
in interesting times, yadda yadda. :-)

One thing is very clear now, however: the stereospondyls cannot be left out of 
considerations of lissamphibian origins anymore. We need stereo- and 
lepospondyls and everything in between all in the same huge matrix with many, 
many more characters, because otherwise we're just not testing all serious 
options.