Re: half-evolved feather pt 2

Stephen Jones (
Fri, 01 May 98 06:18:22 +0800


On Tue, 21 Apr 1998 19:41:38 -0500, Glenn Morton wrote:

>At 05:55 AM 4/22/98 +0800, Stephen Jones wrote:
>>GM>Stephen, I didn't say that Longisquama was an intermediate
>>>between birds and reptiles. I don't know where you got this.
>>>From your post of 4 April. You said that "this group (basal archosaurs,
>>including thecodonts)" were "the most likely candidate for proximity to
>>avian ancestry":
>>Date: Sat, 04 Apr 1998 14:09:16 -0600
>>From: (Glenn Morton)
>>Subject: half-evolved feathers
>>"Megalancosaurus, in combination with Longisquama, a Lower
>>Triassic thecodont with featherlike scales and furcula, render
>>this group (basal archosaurs, including thecodonts) the most
>> ^^^^^^^
>>liekly candidate for proximity to avian ancestry."~A. Feduccia
>>and R. Wild, "Birdlike Characters in the Triassic Archosaur
>>Megalancosaurus," Naturwissenschaften, 80(1993):564-566
>While technically I didn't say it, in the spirit of the discussion you are
>absolutely correct and I was wrong above.

Thanks for this qualified admission that you were wrong". I now take
it that you *do* claim that "Longisquama was an intermediate between
birds and reptiles"?

>SJ>then you cite "evidence that dinosaurs had feathers independently
>>of flight"! Which is it to be?

GM>Dinosaurs can have feathers which are not related to flight.

If a "Dinosaurs can have feathers" and not be a bird, then what
exactly *is* a bird?

GM>After all, if progressive creation is correct, then the feathers
>of the ostrich, who can't fly were created by God but never designed
>to fly.

Your "attack-is-the-best-defense" strategy is noted. But it does
not necessarily follow that if God created birds to fly *normally*
that it is a failure if some birds later lost the ability to fly, in
order to adapt to an ecological niche left vacant by dinosaurs.


>>GM>Of what value is this? It was mentioned in Nature magazine a few
>>>weeks ago which is where I learned of it.


>>The clear impression given is that what you "ran into" was the
>>Naturwissenschaften article. Why were you not open and above board
>>and state from the outset that "It was mentioned in Nature magazine a
>>few weeks ago"?
>>Indeed, you still seem to be less than open in the vague way you say:
>>"It was mentioned in Nature magazine a few weeks ago." Why don't
>>you give exact references and even a quote, like you did for the
>>Naturwissenschaften article?
>I didn't go look up the Nature article because it takes so much time to find
>things some times. I have a huge library and sometimes I am lazy. HEre is
>the Nature article. "Theropod-Bird Link reconsidered: discussion and reply,
>A. Feduccia et al, Nature, 391(1998):p. 754

OK. When it arrives, I will look it up. Thanks.


Stephen E (Steve) Jones ,--_|\
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