Tuesday, July 20, 2010

More on Incongruence

Let's look at other studies:
"Third, if the temporal paradox would indicate that birds should not have evolved from dinosaurs, then what animals are more likely ancestors considering their age? Brochu and Norell (2001) analyzed this question using six of the other archosaurs that have been proposed as bird ancestors, and found that all of them create temporal paradoxes — long stretches between the ancestor and Archaeopteryx where there are no intermediate fossils — that are actually worse. Thus, even if one used the logic of the temporal paradox, one should still prefer dinosaurs as the ancestors to birds.[8] Pol and Norell (2006) calculated MSM* values for the same six proposed bird ancestors and obtained the same relative results."

The studies by Brochu and Norell (2001) and Pol and Norell (2006) indicate that theropods were more likely to be the ancestors of birds than the other six archosaurs they compared them to. (It is noteworthy that they did not compare them to pterosaurs, which is a pity).
But I want to point out something.

Here is the table of values from Pol and Norell (2006)

Note the MSM* values:
Theropods: 0.31 - 0.40
Others (avg): 0.26 - 0.32

The dinosaur (theropod) value is indeed higher (a higher level of congruence) than the others. But does an MSM value of 0.31 - 0.40 actually indicate a high level of congruence? No. It is hardly better than the worst possible value. According to Wills et al "the lowest possible MSM* value is 0.25."
It is again a situation like the calculated GER value we saw for Paraves (by Turner et al). Not congruent.
The dinosaur-to-bird theory is not congruent (not in synch) with the actual fossil record.

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