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Re: Creation/Evolution



Cross-posted from the SKEPTIC mailing list and it has some dinosaur information.


______________________________ Forward Header __________________________________
Subject: Re: Creation/Evolution
Author:  karen@handley.demon.co.uk at smtp
Date:    30/7/1995 3:48 AM
To:skeptic@listproc.hcf.jhu.edu
In article: <01HTFUVJDHN6004CY8@GW.AGR.CA>  SCRIMGEOURH@ONFPGU1.AGR.CA (Dr. H.J.

Scrimgeour, Chemical Residues, Ontario) writes:

> karen handley <karen@handley.demon.co.uk> (who signs herself, 
> "Roy"?) writes:

Hmm. Karen is my wife. As she set the account up - it remains in her name. 
One of the feeble concessions I made in an attempt to be a 'New man' (Either
a truly mythical creature or one of the transients who will undoubtedly fail to 
show up in the fossil record :-)

Thank you for the eloquent descripton of the reptillian characteristics of 
Archaeopteryx.
I had no idea that there was so much known about this incredible creature 
(Whoops! I
mean organism). I guess that's what comes of having a misspent youth reading 
popularist psuedo science pulp.

On the theory/hypothesis (delete whichever is inapplicable) that dinosaurs were 
essentially reptiles, I thought that they were considered to be warm blooded and
that this accounts for them being much more physically active than was 
previously
thought. Presumably, from what you were saying they diverged into warm blooded 
birds
and cold blooded reptiles. As a matter of interest, are there any warm blooded 
reptiles
alive today - I've already met a few cold blooded birds, so I know they exist. 
:-) 

> But, since seismosaurs obviously did have a neck 
> that long, they must have had the means to pump blood through it.  
> I might point out that the modern giraffe, with its head located 
> well above its heart, has developed a number of specializations 
> to make this possible.

No. I suspect you're being a bit naughty here. IF seismosaur had a neck that 
long
and IF modern physiology can't explain it, then there is something wrong 
with one of those concepts.

Ted Holden writes:

Scientists who study sauropod dinosaurs are now claiming that they held 
their heads low, because theycould not have gotten blood to their brains had 
they held them high. McGowan (again, DINOSAURS, SPITFIRES, & SEA
DRAGONS) goes into this in detail (pages 101 - 120). He mentions the fact 
that a giraffe's blood pressure, at 200 - 300 mm Hg, far higher than that of any
other animal, would probably rupture the vascular system of any other animal, 
and is
maintained by thick arterial walls and by a very tight skin which apparently 
acts 
like a jet pilot's pressure suit. A giraffe's head might reach to 20'. How a 
sauropod
might have gotten blood to its brain at 50' or 60' is the real question. 


 In "Sauropods and Gravity", Harvey B. Lillywhite of Univ. Fla., Gainesville,
notes: 


"...in a Barosaurus with its head held high, the heart had to work against a 
gravitational pressure of about 590 mm of mercury (Hg). In order for the heart 
to eject blood into the arteries of the neck, its pressure must exceed that of 
the blood pushing against the opposite side of the outflow valve. Moreover, 
some additional pressure would have been needed to overcome the resistance
of smaller vessels within the head for blood flow to meet the requirements for 
brain and facial tissues. Therefore, hearts of Barosaurus must have generated 
pressures at least six times greater than those of humans and three to four 
times 
greater than those of giraffes."

Peter Dodson ("Lifestyles of the Huge and Famous"), mentions that: 

"Brachiosaurus was built like a giraffe and may have fed like one. But 
most sauropods were built quite differently. At the base of the neck, a 
sauropod's vertebral spines unlike those of a giraffe, were weak and low 
and did not provide leverage for the muscles required to elevate the head 
in a high position. Furthermore, the blood pressure required to pump blood up to
the brain, thirty or more feet in the air, would have placed extraordinary 
demands
on the heart (see opposite page) [Lillywhite's article] and would seemingly have
placed
the animal at severe risk of a stroke, an aneurysm, or some other circulatory 
disaster.
If sauropods fed with the neck extended just a little above heart level, say 
from 
ground level up to fifteen feet, the blood pressure required  would have been 
far 
more reasonable."

Ted Hodson Writes:

Dodson is neglecting what appears to be a dilemma in the case of the 
brachiosaur, but there are at least two far greater dilemmas here. One is that 
the good leaves were, in all likelihood, above the 20' mark; holding his head 
out 
at 20', an ultrasaur would, in all likelihood, starve. 

Moreover, it turns out that a problem every bit as bad or worse than the blood 
pressure problem would arise, perceived gravity being what it is now, were 
sauropods to hold their heads out just above horizontally as Dodson and others 
are
suggesting. Try holding your arm out horizontally for more than a minute or two,

and then imagine your arm being 40' long and 30,000 lb...... 

An ultrasaur or seismosaur with a neck 40' - 60' long and weighing 25000 - 40000
lb.,
would be looking at 400,000 to nearly a million foot pounds of torque were one 
of
them to try to hold his neck out horizontally. That's crazy. You don't hang a 
30,000 lb
load 40' off into space even if it is made out of wood and structural materials,
much
less flesh and blood. No building inspector in America could be bribed 
sufficiently to let
you build such a thing.

humble old me writes:

Ted Hodson is proposing an argument for gravity being far less in prehistory 
than it
is today. I would love you to read his article and give your opinion - you can 
find it on:

http://access.digex.com/~medved/biganims.html

Whatever you believe/consider/accept (delete whichever is inapplicable), 
somefink's
wrong somewhere, innit?

> > I also believe that in terms of mathematical probability only, 
> > there hasn't been enough time in the last 4 billion years to 
> > construct a complex protein purely by chance, 
>  
> The creationists like to use this argument, but it's fallacious.  
> Consider a game of bridge.  The dealer deals out a hand.  The 
> odds against you getting *that particular* hand are astronomical, 
> but the odds of getting "a good hand" are considerably better.

In my experience, the odds against me getting a 'good hand' at bridge
are astronomical! ;-) Seriously, I accept your point entirely. I only wish 
now that I'd bought 'The Blind Watchmaker' by Richard Dawkins BEFORE
I posted that bloody article.  

> > Life makes a total nonsense of probabilities. What is the 
> > probability that millions of molecules will spontaneously move 
> > six inches to the right and back again - infinitesimal? Easy, I 
> > just wave my arm. The missing factor in the equation is LIFE!
>  
> Easy, the wind dislodges a rock, which rolls down a hillside.  No 
> life in that equation.

Hmm. A little naughtiness creeping back in here I expect. What I meant 
to say was that thermodynamics and quantum physics explain the how 
rather than the why, i.e. it does not explain PURPOSEFUL action. I am
totally useless at analogies BUT never one to learn from my mistakes, here 
I go again: What is the probability that ink would arrange itself on a page
to form one of Shakespear's (I'm not sure if the spelling is correct - but then 
neither was he.) sonnets. If you sit me down with a copy, a blank piece of 
paper, a biro and a jam butty - then it is a dead cert!

In conclusion I would like to say 'Thank you' for taking the time to respond 
so thoroughly to my questions. If some of my style appears flippant, please 
don't take it as a lack of respect, your knowledge of the material is self 
evident and needs no endorsement from me.

I fink I'd better read some more of them there scientifikal books!

Unfortunately I posted another letter on this subject before I read your 
response
Ho Hum.

Roy (who signs himself Roy)