Title: Baraminological Analysis of Jurassic and Cretaceous Avialae

Author: Paul Garner, Todd Wood and Marcus Ross

Category: Earth Sciences

Conference Year: 2013

Abstract: The baraminic status of Jurassic and Cretaceous Avialae was evaluated using statistical baraminology. Baraminic distance correlation (BDC) and three dimensional multidimensional scaling (MDS) was applied to six previously published character matrices. The results reveal discontinuities between most Avialae and the Deinonychosauria (Troodontidae + Dromaeosauridae) and little evidence of continuity between modern birds and dinosaurs, suggesting that recent claims that statistical baraminology supports the evolution of birds from dinosaurs are misplaced. Nevertheless, we did find positive BDC and MDS clustering of some Avialae and deinonychosaurs in four of our analyses, suggesting that at least some Jurassic and Cretaceous Avialae may be clustered with dinosaurs. This observation raises the interesting philosophical question: what is a bird?