Date: 3/30/17 10:43 am From: Mike Patterson <celata...> Subject: [obol] Re: BREAKING NEWS
Mr Norgren seems quite passionate on this subject...
I have read just about every actual paper on this including the infamous exchange of buttals and rebuttals between Snell and Smith. I do not believe that Smith faked data, but I think he relied more heavily on the aid of locally sourced assistants than he admitted to and I think that those who eventually peer-reviewed his work were so enamored by the experimental design and outcomes in line with their expectations regarding Mayrian Evolutionary Theory that they failed in their duty to be objective and conservative (and I mean conservative in the dictionary sense, not the oxymoronic political sense).
There is, however, more to this proposal than the he-said, he-said tiff between Snell and Smith, including an increasingly damning body of genetic evidence... and I've read much of that stuff as well.
Lumping Thayer's Gull will bring the AOU into line with almost every other Ornithological Group in the world, most of those groups have been in a splitting mood regarding many other gull species.
Now, having said all that, I can find reasons to favor any of the competing Iceland/Thayer's scenarios and I encourage Mr Norgren to submit his own proposal to NACC. I believe the only requirement is membership in the AOU. The Iceland/hybrid-swarm/Thayer's hypothesis has many champions.
And for the half-dozen or so folks on OBOL who find arguing about gulls enlightening, I recommend they start their journey down the Iceland/Thayer's rabbit hole at:
This page is well sourced and will provide a starting point for collecting and examining the actual source material. It does not include many of the more recent genetic studies which show very little separation between Iceland/Kumlien's and Thayer's nor any consistent geographical patterns of distribution.