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Re: EARLY EVOLUTION OF 'BIRDS'
--Original Message-- From: Stewart, Dwight <Dwight.Stewart@VLSI.com>Date: 07
November 1998 00:30
>All things being equal, 9 heads or tails in a row
>CAN occur, but will be rare. Sampling is the issue & with fossilization it
>seems that sampling is skewed automatically.
But how come the skew is one way for J pterosaurs and the other for "J
>the point is that statistics can be very
>skewed or even rendered inaccurate by sampling. This is complicated by
>interstitual or matrix inbedded chaos. No matter how ordered a system is,
>there is always an element of chaos inbedded within the structure.
There are few systems so chaotic that stats can't be applied.
>The reverse is also true. In a complex system, which all biological sytems
>there are numerous
> Elements of chaos (or unpredictability) within the structure.
> One element would be variation in animal behavior. The point being
>that a sampling population could seen intuitively robust, but in fact be
>seriously skewed to produce one outcome or another.
Skews are just more material for a statistician to work on. Skew is even a
formally defined statistical entity. It seems very strange to me though
that small pterosaurs can be preserved and found by the dozen but 20k+
theropods either didn't preserve well or weren't so easily noticed. There
just possibly *might* be some very wierd process hiding those "J mani's" but
if you have to assume something, it's best to assume something 99% likely
rather than the 1% alternative.