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Re: bauplan convergence (EXTREMELY SARCASTIC!)
To translate from Matt's post, Paleontology is indeed an experimental
science regardless of what some might suggest. There are just many types of
experiments and it takes some imagination to do them correctly - even with
living beasts that you can look at. To suggest that doing science on living
beasts is so much different than doing it on extinct ones mostly just
demonstrates some or lots of ignorance about doing evolutionary work in
general. After all, most zoologists really don't get to do much or any
direct work on their beasts where they live either. Just ask anyone who
works on any animal that lives in deep water, or in the tall canopies. Some
observation is possible but not that much real chewy science. They do manage
to do some great science, however, as do many paleontologists.
If George or Garth wish to remain in just-so land, as George has
demonstrated almost daily for a long time on the list, they have the right
to. Just don't malign the great work that is being done by loads of
paleontologists all the time. I honestly cannot understand why anyone with
those thoughts has any interest in paleontology at all. It's like going to a
great restaurant and only enjoying the background music.
>>> "Matthew Bonnan" <firstname.lastname@example.org> 06/20/00 12:02PM >>>
Yeah, let's all give up and go to the beach. Hey, Mickey, just can this
DinoList thing. What a tremendous waste of time. Since none of us were
alive to see any of this stuff, there's absolutely no way to test anything
that happened in the past. What are we all thinking? In fact, get rid of
SVP. Just of a bunch of folks throwing out untestable nonsense. Let's
up the ghost on this one already.
Well, back to my waste-of-time graduate work. Sheesh, I shoulda done
something more pragmatic! =P
>From: Garth Godsman <email@example.com>
>To: Dinosaur Mailing List <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Re: bauplan convergence
>Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2000 22:42:58 -0700 (PDT)
>Some of the posts in this thread have verged on the
>ridiculous, with talk of testing one strange
>hypothesis after another.
>We are not dealing with an experimental science here,
>but rather a historical science. I think some people
>on this list have paid way too much attention to
>Popper and/or the post modernists for their own good.
>--- Dinogeorge@aol.com wrote:
> > In a message dated 6/19/00 3:30:14 PM EST,
> > email@example.com writes:
> > << I've pretty much given up speculating on the
> > origin of bird flight.
> > There are just too many possible variables and too
> > little direct
> > evidence. You might as well ask how turtles
> > developed shells: it
> > requires the scapulae to somehow end up on the
> > inside of the rib cage.
> > How the heck did that ever happen? Sometimes I
> > think logic is entirely
> > the wrong approach to studying evolution. >>
> > I'm afraid I have to agree with you on this point,
> > strongly. Speculating on
> > the whys and wherefores of the evolution and the
> > possible behavior of fossil
> > animals is simply a giant waste of time. Either the
> > answers are entirely
> > obvious or the answers are simply impossible to
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