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Re: dinosaur brains



>And because Dale Russell (who otherwise I think the best expert of these guys)
>was speaking about 20-30 million years required for the Troodon, I think if an
>unknown species had the same level of intelligence 30 million years before the
>extinction than we have to count with the possibility of an intelligent 
>species.  I do not know what was in the skull of a Troodon but I am afraid you 
>also don't
>know too much about it. The development of the cerebral hemispheres are 
>important in the human evolution but who knows how another intelligent species
>would evolve?

Actually, we DON'T have to count on an intelligent species, because 
there is no evidence for one.  

As you state, we don't know too much 
about what went on inside the skull of Troodon, so to posit anything 
about Troodon intelligence is speculation.  To further posit an 
unknown species of dinosaur that was even brainier adds a second 
layer of speculation, and to speculate that this hypothetical brainy 
dino had anything at all to do with the K-T extinction adds a third.  
That's three levels of speculation, and only the first has any 
tenuous connection with the world of hard data (and IMHO, figuring 
Troodon IQ's from brain size is pretty darn tenuous).

Now, on the other hand, there is good evidence for things like 
falling sea levels, the Deccan traps, and the Yucatan crater.  We can 
debate ad infinitum (and doubtless will) as to the specific effects 
that these events had, but they all (as far as we can tell) really happened.  

Until we get some shred of evidence for the hypothetical sapient 
dinosaur, say some pottery shards or a spearpoint of verifiable 
Cretaceous age, any speculation about it will be groundless, and from 
the standpoint of serious science, pointless.

That's all I got to say about that.

Matt Wedel