"Native Australian budgerigars are blue in colour"

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: "Native Australian budgerigars are blue in colour"
From: "Kurtis Lindsay" <>
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2007 18:56:13 +1100
M. Tarburton wrote:

So I think it is clear we need to teach our youngsters to challenge
everything they hear and read, and to look widely and thoroughly before
making concrete statements relating to science. Part of looking widely
could be learning something about birds.

Dear Michael,

It is usually made clear that science is based almost completely upon

In scientific usage, a theory doesn’t mean a unsubstantiated guess, as it
can in everyday speech. A theory is a logically self-consistent model or
framework for describing the behaviour of a related set of natural or social
phenomena. It originates from, or is supported by experimental evidence. In
principle, scientific theories are always tentative, and subject to
corrections or inclusion in a yet wider theory. In other words many theories
contradict one another thus are always up for questioning by other
scientists. As a result of this questioning, knowledge is improved as
scientists have been able to compare different thoughts and theories and
build on their/our knowledge and thoughts of the 'big picture'.

In relation to archaeopteryx, the idea of this organism being the “link”
between birds and dinosaurs is simply another theory and due to substantial
support from many scientific bodies, is the current preferred theory that
supports the link between dinosaurs and birds.

M. Tarburton wrote:

They claim that “the fossil record also gives evidence that species
have changed over time, and may show how new species arose.” They use
Archaeopteryx as an example and claim that its morphology has allowed
scientists to deduce “that birds have evolved from a dinosaur ancestor.”

The word "deduce" used by the text book you refer to emphasises that the
idea is not "set in concrete". It is rather a questionable theory and due to
a good amount of supporting evidence it is currently the preferred theory
(not the concrete theory) on the link between birds and dinosaurs.

The scientific paper “Mesozoic birds: Evidence and implications” which you
have based and concluded your argument on is a relatively good piece of
evidence and an example of fair scientific questioning and opposition to the
preferred theory. Scientists still argue on how divergent the bird like
dinosaurs were around the time of and even pre Archaeopteryx and even wether
birds all actually originate from this one ancestor.


Kurtis Lindsay

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