Re: half-evolved feathers

Glenn Morton (
Sun, 19 Apr 1998 20:40:47 -0500

At 11:01 AM 4/18/98 +0800, Stephen Jones wrote:

>I forgot to thank you for this reference and welcome you back to the
>Reflector. It's been a bit dull without you!

You are welcome. My entire goal in life is to provide entertainment for the
list. :-)

>>SJ>This is dated *1993* and is in a non-English speaking journal at
>>>that. What exactly are "featherlike scales" and "Birdlike
>>>Characters"? Do you seriously think that if *real* half-scales/half-
>>>feathers had been found *six years ago* it would not have been
>>>trumpeted from the evolutionary rooftops and republished in
>GM>It was found in 1972 not 1993.
>I said it was "*dated* 1993". My point was that it is 5-6 years old
>and has not apparently been mentioned in journals since.

Stephen, it was mentioned in 1972. Why do you keep missing this? The
article is P. F. A Maderson, "On How an Archosaurian Scale Might have Given
Rise to an Avian Feather," The American Naturalist,106(1972):424-
428, p. 424-425

And it was mentioned, as I said, a few weeks back in Nature. Two guys
accept it two guys didn't.

>GM>Further Naturwissenschaften DOES publish articles in English
>>and the Feduccia and Wild article, which I have a xerox of, is
>>written in perfectly understandable english.
>I said it was "a non-English speaking *journal*". I did not say that the
>article itself was not in English. Your quote from it was in English.

Then it is accessible to an english speaking individual.

>GM>And I might point out that just because an article is in another
>>language does not exclude a researcher wanting to discuss
>>evidence from getting a copy of that article and getting it
>>translated. What is the point of this objection, simply to make an
>You just ignore my main point: "Do you seriously think that if
>*real* half-scales/half-feathers had been found *six years ago* it
>would not have been trumpeted from the evolutionary rooftops and
>republished in SCIENCE and NATURE?"

Once again, Stephen, it wasn't found 6 years ago. It was found 26 years
ago. What is your problem with the number 6?

>GM>Since I don't really give much credence to what Gish says when
>>he hasn't even mentioned Longisquama in any of his writings, I will
>>snip all that and simply direct people to a picture of the
>>Longisquama fossil in Feduccia The Origin and Evolution of
>>Birds,(New Haven, Yale University Press, 1996) p. 134
>Probably the reason that "Gish...hasn't even mentioned Longisquama
>in any of his writings" is that apparently no one else apart from
>Feduccia and Wild have either!

You forget Maderson.

>No doubt they bear a "resemblance to feathers" but so does a balsa
>wood glider have a resemblance a jumbo jet! It's what Behe calls
>a Calvin and Hobbs argument:

That is my point, the scales of Longisquama do resemble feathers. Thank you
for agreeing with my point, finally.

>That in fact is *precisely the point*! Gish has no need to refer to
>Longisquama because apparently no one else apart from Feduccia and
>Wild does. The recent article "The Origin of Birds and Their Flight,"
>Scientific American, Vol. 278, No. 2, February 1998, by K. Padian &
>L.M. Chiappe does not mention Longisquama at all, even though it
>discusses the origin of feathers.

Feduccia is one of the two most widely acknowledged experts on avian
evolution. The other one is Martin.

>And BTW, it's a bad habit of yours to assume that you are the only
>one being serious, and those who criticise your posts are just "playing
>games". I assure you that in criticising the theistic naturalistic
>evolution that you espouse, I am being *deadly* serious!
>GM>By the way, as I pointed out the earliest english account of
>>Longisquama is in 1972 and anyone with an ounce of curiosity
>>could order the russian journal and look at the pictures. I have.
>>Gish et al didn't.
>How do you *know* that "Gish et al didn't" "order the russian
>journal and look at the pictures"?

If he looked at them, then he didn't mention it. Is this better?


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