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Re: Protoavis

>      What do you mean by "rhetoric"?  If by "rhetoric" you mean 
>that we haven't changed our opinions because we haven't had reason to, 
>more evidence to support the dinosaur-bird connection has come to
>light, and no new fossils have appeared to flesh out the Protoavis (or 
>crocodile or thecodont)-bird connection, then yes, I guess we are being

You're right, rhetoric is a harsh word. When I read through the archives
I came accross an abundance of messages that were highly critical of not
only Dr. Chatterjee and protoavis, but of the idea that birds are not
living dinosaurs in general. These posts did nothing to state the merrits
of their own case, or even to evaluate the new evidence objectively.
Statements like (I'm paraphrasing):
"This thing just is not a bird!"
"Theropod-bird relationships have already been clearly established, so
this thing must be a mistake."
and most commonly:
"It's probably just a chimera."
One or two posts attempted to stir debate but were responded to with the
above statements with little or no attention paid to their actual
questions. The result was little or no sharing of information or ideas
and the abrupt squashing of the topic. 
In the last three days (which have been surprisingly quiet aside from the
few posts on this topic) we have more thoroughly discussed and explored
this subject than we have in the last three years. Opinions haven't
changed, but at least people are willing to back them up.
Now that's science.

By the way, I want to thank all of the people who have participated in
this thread. You have been anything but rhetorical.