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Re: Sundry responses of Bois




On Mon, 29 May 2000 KiernanCR@aol.com wrote:

> philidor11@snet.net wrote:

> I'm stating, not so much arguing, that there's a point where an hypothesis 
> becomes theory, and where certain facts have been established, making the 
> invention of new and rival theories unneccessary, *unless* the prevailing 
> theory (in this case, extinction by abiotic agents) is somehow found wanting 
> *or* unless the rival theory proves to have greater explanatory power.

But many professionals _do_ find it wanting.

> Before we invest energy solving a problem, it needs to actually *be* a 
> problem.

There are a total of about 3 studies--all of them valuable but strictly
cursory--on emu life history.  My hypothesis consists of two main
parts: predation before and after the K/T.  As I have discovered, learning
about the beautiful complexity of extant animals is far more interesting
than blowing hard about unwittnessed extinctions.  Still, the study of
extant creatures cannot but help to illuminate the past as well (or we
would have no theory of evol. by nat. selection).

> In the case of Bois' comments, we need to have some reason to 
> suspect latest Maestrichtian mammals of posing a serious and global threat to 
> all non-avian dinosaurs. If we're going to accuse them of the "murder," they 
> need to at least look "guilty." They don't.  We now have other, far more 
> likely suspects.

I don't see how when you don't even have a cause of death!  My suspects
are real, but my analogy is this: a criminal is proven to cause recent
deaths.  It is noticed that past deaths have the same _modus operandi_ and
that they began at the same time as the criminal came to town.  In
straight terms, my hypothesis is this: predators throughout the Cenozoic
have restricted the size of oviparous species.  This provides an inference
for the K/T.