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odds and ends



In case you didn't know, I've been away from the net for most of the
past two weeks or I would have likely stepped into some of the
discussions that occurred here.  I'm glad to see that y'all were able
to put out the little flame wars without my interference.  I knew I
could trust you!  :-) You can relax now, Ray; I'm back at the helm.
(Everybody else thank Ray Mcallister for keeping an eye on things for
me.  Thanks from me too, Ray).  Glad to see you didn't have to
exercise your authority, and if you're on PaleoNet then just this
saturday you saw an example of what I was worried about!

On the topic of topics, I heartily agree with all sentiments about
free speech, but I'd like to sound one note of caution.  The net
should allow completely unfettered communication, but this list should
really try to stick to dinosaurs.  I won't complain too much about the
list drifting since I'm a frequent offender, but dinosaurs are
supposed to be the topic of discussion; that's what people sign on
for.  I don't think it's censorship for me or anyone else on the list
to ask that we try to stay on topic.

In that light, listproc occasionally acts like a censor in its gung ho
attempts to avoid mailing loops (and after the afforementioned event
on PaleoNet, I'm not likely to complain soon!).  The following is a
message that listproc rejected as a "false alarm" in its mailing loop
detector.  If you want to respond to it, please keep the attributions
straight! 

  Date: Sun, 25 Jun 1995 18:20:26 -0400
  From: Lightwaves@aol.com
  To: dinosaur@lepomis.psych.upenn.edu
  Subject: Another genetics Q, exticntion relation

  If there was an extraterrestrial event proir to the K/T ectinction
  it seems the resulting evironmental chaos would not have been enough
  in itself to yield these results. Associated vulcanism could well
  have added to the problem, but there seems to be yet something else
  involved. Could it have been a case of speices numbers, say within
  almost all populations, dropped beyond the genetic barrier for a
  healthy breeding base? I know every species requires a genetic
  selection base broad enough to limit undesirable mutations, and the
  'event' would have left some species mere shadows of their former
  populations. Of those able to initally survive and breed the
  suseptability to disease and predation would have made continuation
  of their linage very tough. I feel a shattered world-wide ecosystem
  would have given life a test of epic proportion, and genetic
  limitations had to have occured among some species.
  
  I'm not sure this will hold water, but it's a tought I haven't heard
  before, which means nothing except I'd like to know want y'all
  thank. ;-)

  Roger A. Stephenson      lightwaves@aol.com      POWER Macintosh user-pro 
  artrist

Me (Mickey) again.  First off, does your signature contain a
misspelling?  If not, what is a pro artrist?  In answer to your
general question, yes, reducing a population to a small number of
individuals will increase the probability that the species in question
will go extinct.  I think that's what you're talking about anyways.
If there aren't many individuals around, then there aren't likely to
be individuals with the right genes to sail through additional
calamities.  Is that what you meant?  I don't know what you mean by
"genetic barrier", though...

-- 
Mickey Rowe     (rowe@lepomis.psych.upenn.edu)