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RE: Cope'd Law
> I would appreciate if someone could enlighten me on the dataset on which
> Cope based his infamous law. Or was it entirely based on his Lamarkian
Cope's Rule was observed in many group of organisms, primarily vertebrates
(not surprisingly, his field of expertise). As he considered it a general
rule among organisms, he didn't tie it to any one particular group.
His Lamarckian philosophies may have certainly influenced him, but Cope's
Rule is not a bad first order approximation of
> On another note was Cope responsible for inspiring the super
> carnosaur model of Abel?
Not certain why you ascribe the Super Carnosaur Model (of tyrannosaur
origins) to Abel: when I coined the phrase "Super Carnosaur Model" I
specifically referenced it to H.F. Osborn. And in that sense Cope certainly
DID have an influence: Osborn was a protege of Cope's, and his own
"aristogenesis" view of evolution developed from Cope's model.
[For those not familiar with the term, the "Super Carnosaur" model of
tyrannosaurid origins is: tyrannosaurids represent the culmination of a long
line of ever larger, ever bigger skulled, ever shorter armed, ever fewer
fingered theropods. The classic version runs _Teratosaurus_ ->
_Megalosaurus_ -> _Allosaurus_ -> _Gorgosaurus_ -> _Tyrannosaurus_.
_Teratosaurus_ as used here, however, has since proved to be a composite of
plateosaurid prosauropods and rauisuchian (non-dinosaurian) predator
To given Osborn his due, he had independant (albeit incorrect) reason for
rejecting natural selection as the operation by which evolution worked.
Osborn accepted the incorrect age models of the Earth proposed by physicists
such as Lord Kelvin: these models put the Earth as only tens of millions of
years old, the K-T boundary at 3 million years ago, etc. Natural Selection
would have insufficient time in which to operate in these conditions, yet
Osborn could clearly see the evidence of evolutionary change through time.
Thus an appeal to an inborn driving "force" for evolutionary change along
predetermined lines was not unreasonable.
(Had he accepted the evidence of the geologists, that the Earth was hundreds
of millions to billions of years old, I don't know if he would have still
preferred his own aristogenesis model).
> It is quite peculiar that the hangover of these
> ideas lasted quite long.
Peculiar, yes, but not unknown. Osborn was the Big Guy at the AMNH, and so
he got to say what went up on the exhibits and in the exhibit books.
Textbooks copied these exhibits and books; popular audience & kids books &
encyclopedia articles copied the textbooks. Later generations of books
(Not that Matthew, Brown, and von Huene's idea, that tyrannosaurids were
giant coelurosaurs, was totally unreported during the middle decades of the
century. Lull and Gregory each published college textbooks which favored
coelurosaurian tyrannosaurids during this time. Still, the spectre of
Osborn loomed very large indeed...).
Furthermore, active research in dinosaurs greatly decreased worldwide in the
decades following Osborn. With little new material or analyses to work
from, there was no reason for people to change these earlier ideas.
Hope this helps.
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Department of Geology Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland College Park Scholars
College Park, MD 20742
Phone: 301-405-4084 Email: email@example.com
Fax (Geol): 301-314-9661 Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-314-7843
- Cope'd Law
- From: "ekaterina amalitzkaya" <firstname.lastname@example.org>