Thank you Andrea for clarifying this. You are one of the most honest and
modest people I know, and I am glad that your side of this story is now in
the open. You have my support, as always.

On Wed, 15 May 2019, 06:33 andrea cardini, <> wrote:

> I have to correct Fred on this:
> > we accelerated our writing. My paper was the first to be finished,
> > probably because it is a single-authored item by an emeritus with no
> > other obligations,
> No, WE did not accelerate the writing. We started a cooperation, after
> my small finding, and we were supposed to work all together on this. At
> some stage, we heard no more from Fred and I suggested to have two
> companion papers, but NEVER got an answer from Fred.
> Months later, Fred let us know he was presenting and discussing results
> (without ever asking me if I was OK with this). Finally, HE decided to
> go on on his own, submit and announce in this list (again letting me
> know after he was done). This is an accurate reconstruction of the
> events. The other one is not and Fred was not unaware that I wasn't OK:
> before the preprint he just announced, he (again without ever asking)
> had already done an informal presubmission to a journal and the journal
> has my written complaint about it.
> I let the morphometric community judge if this is the appropriate
> behaviour. Certainly it is not what I teach students, but possibly it is
> what a famous retired emeritus and one of the leader of a scientific
> community can do.
> All the best
> Andrea
> PS
> On a technical side, as I never thought that CVA was the source of all
> evil and BG-PCA a simple solution, here too I agree that the method has
> some problems but I am more than confident that it can still be WISELY
> applied in many cases. That small N (especially when one works with
> small differences) and large p (numbers of variables) are not desirable
> in very many types of analyses is written in all introductory textbook
> on multivariate stats (at least those written in simple non-mathematical
> language for non-numerically skilled people like me).
> In relation to this, there's a point I raised many times for years in
> this list and in some of my papers: one uses the specific landmarks
> required for her/his specific aim (I am in debt to Paul O'Higgins for
> teaching me this). Semilandmarks are a great tool but should be used
> when really needed and bearing in mind that almost inevitably p will
> become big and that might create problems. There are different views on
> this, including that having many points makes beautiful pictures: I
> agree but probably most of the time that is not the aim of a biologist.
> However, there might be cases when even with small N semilandmarks might
> be a huge step forward and possibly the best example I know it's the
> virtual reconstruction of fossils (further analysis of those data may
> then be harder, because of very big p and small N).
> I definitely share the frustration of many taxonomists and
> palaeontologists who have often very precious material and very small
> samples and want to get the most out of them. Regardless of p/N
> problems, estimates of means will be then inevitably inaccurate (and
> sometimes even biased, as the sample could be few and maybe related
> individuals of a rare species). Sometimes those means could be OKish
> (macroevolutionary analyses with very large differences?); most of the
> time they will be as accurate as trying to estimate the average body
> height of Italian men using a sample of 10 men from the same small
> region of Italy. Again, not my discovery: it's all in the introductory
> stats textbook, but I myself too often forget about it.
> --
> Dr. Andrea Cardini
> Researcher, Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche e Geologiche, Università di
> Modena e Reggio Emilia, Via Campi, 103 - 41125 Modena - Italy
> tel. 0039 059 2058472
> Adjunct Associate Professor, Centre for Forensic Anthropology, The
> University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley WA 6009,
> Australia
> E-mail address:,
> FREE Yellow BOOK on Geometric Morphometrics:
> --
> MORPHMET may be accessed via its webpage at
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