Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The significance of the Senter studies

It may be that Senter still does not realize what he has done inadvertently.
He set out to make fun of "creationists" but he has highlighted the Achilles heel of the dino to bird theory.
Generally, articles on the dino to bird theory focus on how maniraptors are birds. And because the writers call maniraptors "dinosaurs", readers are left with the impression that birds evolved from dinosaurs.
But using baraminology, Senter brings to light the separation between dinosaurs (non-maniraptor coelurosaurs) and maniraptors. He calls them the "tyrannosaur cluster" and the "bird-like cluster".
No evidence has EVER been produced for a connection between dinosaurs (non-maniraptor coelurosaurs) and manirpators.
And now Senter documents that they are not connected.
It is too late for Senter to now deny what his data and analysis have shown.

24 comments:

  1. In your estimation, how possible do you think it is that maybe, as Senter himself says about your interpretation of his OWN work, that you might have misinterpreted Senter's studies?

    Also have you read the full paper yet? You may find some of his conclusions surprising.

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  2. I did find his findings surprising. He unintentionally brought to light the fact that there is no connection between dinosaurs (non-maniraptor coelurosaurs) and maniraptors.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Phil Senter psenter@uncfsu.eduSeptember 20, 2011 at 4:59 PM

    The author of this blog misinterprets nearly every article he blogs about, including this one. His interpretations are so outlandish that half of me thinks he's just having fun posting deliberate nonsense for personal entertainment. There is no one in the evolutionist community or the creationist community who takes his blog seriously, which also makes me wonder whether it is meant to be taken seriously. It it so ridiculous that I would not be surprised if the entire blog is meant as a joke.

    --Phil

    Phil Senter, Professor and Graduate Coordinator
    Department of Biological Sciences
    Fayetteville State University
    1200 Murchison Road
    Fayetteville, NC 28301
    (910) 672-1304
    psenter@uncfsu.edu

    ReplyDelete
  4. Prof Senter, we all owe you a great deal for publishing your articles using baraminological analysis.
    It is the first time that I know of, that anyone has so clearly shown that dinosaurs (non-maniraptor coelurosaurs) are not related to maniraptors. (The "tyrannosaur cluster" is not related to the "bird-like cluster").

    I know that that was not your intention. But sometimes when you try to make fun of others (eg "creationists") it turns back against you.

    It is actually a good life lesson.

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  5. "And now Senter documents that they are not connected. It is too late for Senter to now deny what his data and analysis have shown".

    You must realise this is not true, the Senter papers on this never once argue that maniraptors are not dinosaurs or that the "tyrannosaur cluster" is not related to the "bird-like cluster". On the contrary they show that the fossil record is more and more showing the connectedness of the dinosaur groups. In the 2010 paper for example there is only a small gap between the two clusters, smaller than that between many groups classified as maniraptors (for example basal oviraptors and ornithomimosaurs). The gap is insufficient to substantiate any claim the two groups are unrelated. In the 2011 paper Senter shows that there is positive correlation between non-maniraptor coelurosaurs and maniraptor groups, again insufficient to justify a claim they are unrelated.

    btw why have you posted an obvious cut and paste from Prof. Senter's email to a third party? This is clearly not from Senter to you and you are in effect impersonating him by posting it on your site

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  6. Dr. Pterosaur, you say: "Senter brings to light the separation between dinosaurs (non-maniraptor coelurosaurs) and maniraptors. He calls them the "tyrannosaur cluster" and the "bird-like cluster".
    No evidence has EVER been produced for a connection between dinosaurs (non-maniraptor coelurosaurs) and manirpators".

    I read the relevant parts of Senter's study, and it seems that you are wrong and those who criticise you are right. Senter indeed finds significant conncetion between coelurosaurs and paraves. And maniraptors ane not among the 4 distinct groups he mentions at the conclusion.

    It seems you have not payed enough attention to the study. Perhaps you should reconsider your position re: Senter.

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  7. Here is the comment that Senter submitted to this blog:

    Phil Senter psenter@uncfsu.edu has left a new comment on your post "The significance of the Senter studies":

    The author of this blog misinterprets nearly every article he blogs about, including this one. His interpretations are so outlandish that half of me thinks he's just having fun posting deliberate nonsense for personal entertainment. There is no one in the evolutionist community or the creationist community who takes his blog seriously, which also makes me wonder whether it is meant to be taken seriously. It it so ridiculous that I would not be surprised if the entire blog is meant as a joke.

    --Phil

    Phil Senter, Professor and Graduate Coordinator
    Department of Biological Sciences
    Fayetteville State University
    1200 Murchison Road
    Fayetteville, NC 28301
    (910) 672-1304
    psenter@uncfsu.edu

    ReplyDelete
  8. Note the quality of the comment from Senter. Rather than addressing any of the over 200 posts on this blog he spends his time insulting me and attempting to ridicule me.
    It is a sad observation that even those who are professionally involved in this field have the same low level of maturity as the teenagers and university students who post on the discussion groups and blogs.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dr. Pterosaur, you say: "Senter brings to light the separation between dinosaurs (non-maniraptor coelurosaurs) and maniraptors. He calls them the "tyrannosaur cluster" and the "bird-like cluster".
    No evidence has EVER been produced for a connection between dinosaurs (non-maniraptor coelurosaurs) and manirpators".

    I read the relevant parts of Senter's study, and it seems that you are wrong and those who criticise you are right. Senter indeed finds significant conncetion between coelurosaurs and paraves. And maniraptors ane not among the 4 distinct groups he mentions at the conclusion.

    It seems you have not payed enough attention to the study. Perhaps you should reconsider your position re: Senter.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Senter identified the tyrannosaur cluster and the bird-like cluster. There is no connection between them.
    If you think Senter shows a connection between them please provide the link and copy and paste what you think is the relevant material.

    I have said that
    "No evidence has EVER been produced for a connection between dinosaurs (non-maniraptor coelurosaurs) and manirpators".

    If you have evidence that there is a connection, please provide the link(s) and copy and paste what you think is the relevant material.

    Let's deal with evidence.

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  11. In all of this, we need to remember the fact that dinosaurs (non-maniraptor coelurosaurs) are not like maniraptors. Non-maniraptor coelurosaurs are dinosaurs. Maniraptors are flying and secondarily-flightless birds.

    That is the major point.

    ReplyDelete
  12. "Senter identified the tyrannosaur cluster and the bird-like cluster. There is no connection between them.
    If you think Senter shows a connection between them please provide the link and copy and paste what you think is the relevant material".

    Here is the copy and paste, from the same 2011 study you linked to:

    "When the Coelurosauria matrix was used, positive correlation was found between therizinosauroids and Paraves + Oviraptorosauria and also between therizinosauroids and the more basal coelurosaurian taxa Compsognathidae, Ornitholestes and Haplocheirus (Fig. 3). One could therefore reasonably argue that therizinosauroids bridge the morphological gap between the more birdlike theropods and the rest of Theropoda"

    So there you go.

    "I have said that
    'No evidence has EVER been produced for a connection between dinosaurs (non-maniraptor coelurosaurs) and manirpators'.

    If you have evidence that there is a connection, please provide the link(s) and copy and paste what you think is the relevant material".

    Again in the 2011 study you linked to, Senter continues:

    "Also, taxon correlation with the basal Theropoda matrix found significant, positive correlation between Paraves and basal coelurosaurs such as Ornitholestes and tyrannosaurs".

    Evidence: Dealt with.

    ReplyDelete
  13. "When the Coelurosauria matrix was used, positive correlation was found between therizinosauroids and Paraves + Oviraptorosauria and also between therizinosauroids and the more basal coelurosaurian taxa Compsognathidae, Ornitholestes and Haplocheirus (Fig. 3). One could therefore reasonably argue that therizinosauroids bridge the morphological gap between the more birdlike theropods and the rest of Theropoda"

    So are you saying that Compsognathidae, Ornitholestes and Haplocheirus are the ancestors of the bird-like creatures?

    ReplyDelete
  14. "Also, taxon correlation with the basal Theropoda matrix found significant, positive correlation between Paraves and basal coelurosaurs such as Ornitholestes and tyrannosaurs".

    Are you saying that Ornitholestes and tyrannosaurs are ancestors of the bird-like creatures?

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  15. "One could therefore reasonably argue that therizinosauroids bridge the morphological gap between the more birdlike theropods and the rest of Theropoda"

    This is an odd-sounding sentence. It looks like Senter is mixing apples and oranges.
    The "positive correlation" is from his cladistic analysis.
    The tyrannosaurid cluster and bird-like cluster are from his Baraminology analysis.

    That is why he is stuck with the awkward, non-scientific, statement that "One could therefore reasonably argue".

    "One could reasonably argue" is just a name for an opinion.

    Look, you cannot get around the fact that the tyrannosaur cluster is not connected to the bird-like cluster.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Also here is an interesting exercise (that I refer to in an earlier post*). Take a look at what you consider the dino to bird lineage to be and trace the wandering back and forth route that that entails when looking at the Senter diagrams with the colored dots.
    It wanders all over the place.
    I am delighted to analyze this with you.



    * http://pterosaurnet.blogspot.com/2010/08/long-and-winding-road.html

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  17. You did not ask about ascestry. You claimed there was no "connection" between coelurosaurs and maniraptors, or the "tyrranosaur cluster" and the "bird-like cluster". You asked for sources and quotes showing otherwise.

    Senter's 2011 study, the very same you repeatedly quoted, clearly refers to a connection. By "significant, positive correlation between Paraves and basal coelurosaurs". That is not speculation, it is interpreting the morphological evidence.

    The final four groups that are "set apart" from the rest of dinosauria do NOT include maniraptors, as you mistakenly argued. The four groups, and again I quote Senter, are "Eusauropoda + Tazoudasaurus , Hadrosauriformes, Stegosauria and Ankylosauridae".

    Senter says the opposite of what you claimed he did.

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  18. Why is a reasonable argument "unscientific", or just "a name for an opinion"? Senter examines morphological features, and finds therizinosaurs to be correlated to both paraves, and the rest of theropoda. Therefore, he argues that they bridge the morphological gap between the two. And his argument is reasonable, under the light of the "positive correlation" he found.

    Unless you question Senter's ability to evaluate data. But then, why rely on or pay attention to his studies in any way?

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  19. "The 'positive correlation' is from his cladistic analysis".

    No, the source is his 2011 study, the very same one you repeatedly quoted, in which he applies "the baraminological method called taxon correlation".

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  20. Bu "connection" I assumed we all understood ancestry. Are you pulling my leg? Were you confused about that?

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  21. I take his baraminolgy studies seriously.
    I do not take cladistic studies seriously.

    I thought everyone realized that.

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  22. Dr. Pterosaur said...
    "Bu "connection" I assumed we all understood ancestry. Are you pulling my leg? Were you confused about that?"

    I think you really don't understand what these studies show. Connection means "relatedness." Which doesn't necessarily mean ancestry. For instance take a father, his 2 children and their pet dog.

    The Father and his children are more "connected" to each other than they are to the dog, ie they are more related to each other than they are related to a dog. It doesn't necessarily imply ancestry because obviously the 2 siblings are not ancestors of each other.

    In this example it's quite easy to determine ancestry. But when it comes to millions of years old extinct organisms, it becomes exponentially more difficult since a miniscule amount of fossils exist.

    What you can determine though is which organisms appear more closely related or connected to each other they are. For instance, when examining a fossilized plant and a fossilized saber tooth tiger you can, through morphologic evidence determine that the saber tooth tiger is more closely connected to say a modern day house cat than it is to a modern day plant. Likewise the fossilized plant is more closely connected to a modern day plant than it is to a housecat.

    "Connected" essentially means a shared morphology and that the organisms share a closer last common ancestor with each other than they do with less connected organisms.

    What is very difficult to determine is direct ancestry. You cannot easily say a housecat is an ancestor of a sabretooth tiger. You would need millions of fossils covering thousands of years, tracking populations and morphological changes during that period. You'd need to sequence millions of bits of DNA tracking the line from sabretooths to housecats.

    Without a time machine it's impossible to do because of the rarity of the data available.

    What you can say though, is that because a sabretooth and a housecat share so much morphology with each other, that they have a much closer Last Common Ancestor with each other than they do with say, a plant. What that means is that they are more connected with each other than the plant.

    I hope this clarifies what "connected" means in these studies.

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  23. Anonymous, you seem to be unable to break free of the cladistics ideas that you have been programmed to believe.
    I am interested in ancestry.
    If you become interested in moving beyond your cladistics programming, then perhaps we can talk.


    By the way I already know cladistics better than the others here. That is how I know it leads nowhere.

    If the dino to bird theory requires cladistics as the only way to support it, then just say so.

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  24. Here is something that is funny.
    There are fossils for a number of taxa. But none of those work out as ancestors. So the dino to bird enthusiasts fall back on the ridiculous story that there is a lack of fossils.
    THERE IS A LACK OF FOSSILS ON THE PURPORTED DINO TO BIRD LINEAGE.
    That is the dino to bird problem.
    Why not just admit it?

    ReplyDelete