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Cladism and conspiracies

Eric Lurio wrote...
>Of course I do, a group of palentoligists who wished very much that
>were still alive decided that the best way to do so was to downgrade birds
>from something unique and beautiful into tiny T-rexes. Since dinos are
>reptiles, then birds, which are an unimportant group of dinosaurs who just
>managed to survive to the present day, must be too. While most biologists
>don't accept that, a few palentologists do, and most of them post here.

    Unfortunately, most of them don't.
    I think it was Fedduccia who made that particular shoot from the hip
psychological judgement that advocates of a dinosaur-bird link were
motivated by a desire to feed dinosaurs in thier backyard feeders.  He must
have taken a poll or something.  In any case, the principle in phylogenetic
taxonomy of including ALL the descendants of a common ancestor in a taxon
(e.g. calling birds reptiles) was around for a while before it was applied
to dinosaur phylogeny.  Dinosaur paleontologists didn't invent it just so
that they could call birds little feathered dinosaurs.  And the idea of tiny
T.rexes flying around is really scary.  Stop it.

>I distinctly remember a cover story in Nature about how they found a turtle
>ancestor. This was before some cladist decided that it must be a diapsid
>then the beastie was all of a sudden surpressed.

    Can someone relate the harrowing tale of the typically supressed

LN Jeff

Be silent always when you doubt your sense.
-Alexander Pope

(I probably should have followed that one more closely)

Read the best books first, or you may not have the chance to read them at
-Henry David Thoreau

Jeffrey W. Martz
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