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Re: Tarbosaurus?



In a message dated 7/26/00 9:00:35 AM EST, jeffmartz@earthlink.net writes:

<< You don't like this, and you
 want SOME kind of pat answer to fall back on until some information becomes
 availible.  The trouble is, a pat answer (especially one that assumes that
 two complex situations are near identical) is highly untrustworthy, and the
 situation is probably more complicated.  Your reasoning is like picking two
 McDonalds at random and saying "These restaurants serve the same food and
 dress thier employees in the same uniforms; until data becomes availible, it
 is best to assume that the proportions of black, white, hispanic, and asian
 employees of these restaurants is identical".  Is it more reasonable to just
 fall back on the assumption until data is availible, or just say "I have no
 idea" in the meantime?  The latter is more honest. >>

I'm not looking for a pat answer (I certainly don't care one way or another 
how many species of tyrannosaurids there were in eastern Asia versus 
Mongolia), but to me the signal is so strong that it overwhelms the 
complications, which often work against one another and cancel (for example, 
there may be a low tyrannosaurid ratio in a facies, but collectors take all 
they can find, increasing the ratio through collection bias). The taphonomy 
is like noise; you can sometimes filter out the effects to get at the 
underlying information.