As you all know,
I’m fine with criticism. It helps to fix errors and clear up concerns. I’m not fine with this 36-minute video on YouTube by someone disguised in sunglasses pseudo-named AronRa (Fig. 1). Details follow.
The caption for the video reads:
“Explaining how human preconceptions, agendas, and biases have negatively impacted the study of evolution and the classification of life forms. This is to illustrate why we have the peer review process.”
I was writing this while watching, so I’m speaking to AronRa directly in the text below, which now appears in his YouTube comments log.
Not much on pterosaurs here until 32 minutes in, but a good history of paleontology.
Contra your comment, Sharovipteryx is a complete fossil with soft impressions.
At 32 minutes in
I was surprised to see my name mentioned. And then the libel begins.
Contra your comment, I never said everyone who has ever studied pterosaurs is wrong. When something is wrong, I provide evidence for the fact. And I’m quite specific in my criticism and my praise.
Contra your statement, pterosaurs do not have all the characters of the clade Archosauria. That’s why no archosaurs have ever been put forth as pterosaur sisters. And no archosaur has anything approaching pterosaur traits like a long manual digit 4, a long pedal digit 5 and clavicles wrapped around their sternal complex. Just the opposite in fact.
Contra your comment, I never said pterosaurs were lizards from the order Squamata. They nest as lepidosaurs outside of the Squamata. Mark Witton also made the same mistake in his book.
Contra your comment, I never said pterosaurs descended from “lizards with fully avian, double-veined flight feathers.” If you google that phrase, it doesn’t come up. Even fragments of that phrase don’t come up.
I provide photographic evidence, as in your Sharovipteryx example, so the evidence and interpretation can be tested by others. That’s good Science. The fact that no one else has repeated the experiment with an alternate interpretation does not give you the right to say “no one else has seen what Peters sees.” Everyone traces complex fossils and publishes their observations and interpretations! That’s standard practice. Moreover, I support my tracings with reconstructions taken directly from the digital tracings and all the bones fit into standard patterns of construction. So the fault is your believing what one person says, versus what another person can show.
Contra your comment, I never said that Longisquama had feathers.
I did say Longisquama was a glider, but with pterosaur-like membranes (which you show after making the comment), not with feathers.
You say none of my observations of Longisquama’s hind quarters are evidently true. That’s because no one else has put in the effort. It’s as simple as that. Note that even without the parts I have added, Longisquama still nests between long-legged sister taxa with attenuated tails, uropatagia, a sternal complex, an antorbital fenestra and other traits shown in my drawing. So using phylogenetic bracketing would get you pretty much the same reconstruction. That’s called “multiple lines of evidence.”
Contra your assertions and the stories you have heard, I have traveled to museums around the world to see fossils with my own eyes, just like the other paleontologists. I have also been published in peer-review journals including Science, Nature, the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Historical Biology and others, just like other paleontologists.
You put in a lot of effort to create your video, but to what end? If you have any specific questions or need any clarification on any issue, please bring them to me and either I will set you straight, or you will set me straight.
For you to say my work is “wrong, and remarkably wrong” after planting so many lies, doesn’t make you look good. And supporting the work of Darren Naish (at Tetrapod Zoology) who used discarded ideas and the work of other artists to mock my work shows you’re not very careful about how you weigh truth versus fiction.
You picked on two traditionally controversial taxa of the 500 or so I have covered. If you have better interpretations, let’s talk about them.
Blackwashing always backfires.
Here’s a short addition.
AronRa is a creationist debunker. His website is here. So why would he be trying to debunk a site >devoted< to evolution?
I don’t know.