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Re: Interesting hypothetical...

On Mon, 8 Sep 1997, Harold Hutchison wrote:

>       Two dozen velociraptors in an operating pack with the usual
> killing claws and hand claws on the one hand and a squad of Marines, 
> with full body armor, M16 rifles and M203 grenade launchers slung 
> underneath the rifle barrels, all of whom have Field fighter I knives
> honed to a razor-sharp edge.  Some of the Marines have standard
> Mossberg 500 shotguns with 00 buckshot and extended magazines.
>       My brother put his money on the raptors.  My money went on the
> Marines.  Who wins the bet?  Could human beings with body armor and
> rifles hold their own against raptors on the raptors' home turf?

Judging from your question, I have to wonder how you ever found this list.

And judging from the responses so far, you might or might not get an
answer here, whereon everyone so constantly rails against errors and
proclaims their intent to correct them.

Of course, one can argue whether your post deserves a response at all--and
even whether it was posted seriously--but I have my reasons for believing
it deserves being addressed at least once and at least in the following
manner. (And since it doesn't require very technical knowledge of
dinosaurs, I can de-lurk to address it myself).

You and your brother have no business arguing about _any_ scenario,
hypothetical or otherwise, until you have decided whether to argue it
based on the known and theorized facts of reality, or whether to base it
on a complete flight of fancy--or whether to mix the two and thereby end
up with a complete flight of fancy.

So far, you have chosen fancy. Jurassic Park and Lost World are fiction,
as are the books that spawned them. The central premise that extinct life
can be revived through fossilized DNA is fiction; the misanthropic "ideas"
spouted by Crichton's characters are fiction; the blaming of man's follies
on his capacity for reason and productivity is fiction; and the dinosaurs
with clever minds and indestructible bodies are fiction. It is _all_
equally fiction and more or less equally erroneous. But just as some
people see a worthless playboy of a "mathematician" proclaiming that
scientific inquiry is a "penetrative act" [meaning: rape] against nature
[meaning: the jungle god/dess] and bleat, "Baa-aa, this movie must be
right," others see a nine foot long Velociraptor reasoning out how to open
doors, and bleat, "Baa-aa, this movie must be right." (It is interesting
to note how many people proclaim allegience to fact and science while
blindly accepting as fact everything _but_ the dinosaurs.)

If you wish to debate your scenario based on fancy, you posted to the
wrong list. I suggest instead a newsgroup or list whereon nobody has any
standards whatsover about anything at all, and couldn't care less about
acquiring any. Such a place isn't hard to find. Internet is full of them.

If you would rather debate your scenario based on reality, then start by
asking yourself what the hell your point is, since man and dinosaur have
never met and most likely never will. Assuming that you still have a
reason to care about such a silly thing after answering that question, 
then follow up by researching just what the hell a "Velociraptor" was and
whether a well-armed, well-trained and battle hardened Marine could kill
by himself (and without the grenades and the rifle) an entire pack of the
Asian dog-sized pseudo-birds whose intelligence was closer to that of an
ostrich than that of a dog, a chimp or a human.

Oh, you didn't _know_ any of that about the raptors, eh? Are you just as
ignorant about the arms you would have them facing as well? Wouldn't it be
just as pointless to argue your scenario if you didn't know a tactical
shotgun from a walking stick? Then why bother to engage in debating
phantasmagorical scenarios involving the _dinosaurs_ you are completely
ignorant of?

I have to doubt it's because you want to learn, any more than those who
have simply mocked your post did so because they want to teach.

But just in case, I suggest finding a good and relatively current book
about dinosaurs, and reading it from cover to cover. "Archosauria" by John
(McLaughlin?) comes to mind; "The Dinosaur Heresies" by Robert Bakker is
very good, but is written at a very conceptual level putting forth
sweeping theories concerning animals you don't yet understand the concrete
facts about; "The Dinosaur Enclyclopedia" published by the Dinosaur 
Society (I think--my copy was lost in a home disaster) will provide an
excellent source of concrete-level reference material about every
then-known dinosaur.

Other more qualified people on this list can suggest other reading
materials, and I'm sure there are some here who would. Many of them have
_written_ such materials, so I would take their knowledge of dinosaurs
rather seriously, if I were you.

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