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Re: Fighting dinosaurs

[ My gut reaction to the following was to send it only to Tracy, but
  upon reflection and counsel from a disinterested other party, I've
  decided to allow it with this caveat:  If you want to respond to
  this message either make your response specifically relevant to
  dinosaurs (e.g. tell Joe something about the articulation of the
  specimens whose taphonomy he's questioning), or send your response
  someplace else (e.g. to Joe directly).  -- MR ]

Tracy Ford wrote:

> Joe Daniel wrote:
> >Does it strike anyone as a little strange that, even if these two
> >animals were suddenly covered in sand, that they would be suddenly
> >frozen in that position or would continue fighting each other for
> >their last moments?  Surely the last thought of both of them was
> >getting out of the sand.  I would tend to think that that foot found
> >its way to its final resting place not as an act of aggression but
> >simply trying to find a foothold to get itself to air and escape.
> >This of course means that any discussion of fighting tactics based
> >on the burial positions is somewhat meaningless, isn't it?  Surely
> >someone else has thought of this so what am I missing?
> Oh, please not again. Why, oh why do people keep questioning what the
> experts say?
> THEY WERE FIGHTING. Many eperts have studied it, they DIED that way. I
> just ran across a nice Japanese Dino book that has good color view's of
> the two, and they died that way.
> Tracy
> [ FWIW, I'd rewrite the second question, Tracy; there's always reason
>   to question the "experts".  However, I would concur that people
>   sometimes ought to pay a bit more respect to those who have actually
>   examined the evidence first hand... -- MR ]

Why do people keep questioning the experts?  Let me remind you of how 
science is done, if I may be so brash.  First off, practically 
everything we know has come from questioning the supposed experts.  If 
we didn't we would all still believe that the sun revolved around the 
earth and we would be living in grass and mud huts.  The experts got 
that way by questioning the world around them and by not taking 
everything as gospel.  In all due respect to the experts, they are 
sometimes wrong.  Or should we just take everyone who questions 
authority out back and shoot them?  Oops, there goes Darwin, Einstein, 
Galileo, and EVERY OTHER FAMOUS SCIENTIST.  Of my own experience, the 
papers and seminars I did in college that got the most lauded response 
from my professors were those in which I presented good arguments 
against a published paper by an acknowledged "expert."  Of course it 
helps when you can include the published opinions of other experts that 
support your stance :)  This also points out one other thing:  there are 
very few instances in which ALL the experts agree.  Nothing is certain 
in science, there is always room for questions and reinterpretations.  
The scientist that falls so in love with his theories that he can't bear 
the thought of someone questioning them is in the wrong field.  Also, 
those who follow the experts on blind faith are bound to feel 
disappointed and betrayed by them when the  newer truth is revealed.

Oh, and by the way, please reread my last sentence.  To remind people, 
it ends with "what am I missing?"  I never said I had the final say, I 
never said I knew without looking at the fossils that everyone else was 
wrong and I was handing down a judgement from one high.  I simply stated 
something that on the surface looked logically wrong and wondered if 
anyone could give me insight into how this might happen.  Your comments 
were neither helpful nor appropriate IMHO.  If anyone does have some 
helpful comments and can help explain this to me by all means respond, I 
would be interested in hearing from you.  I do not follow anyone on 
blind faith but I recognize that those who are working in the field know 
a hell of a lot more about it than I do, which is why I signed onto this 
group in the first place, so I could learn from the comments given by 
other contributors, the great majority of whom are clearly intelligent 
and knowledgable about the subject.

Joe (not the ultimate guru but trying his best to understand) Daniel