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The Diversity of Life (was LIONS & TIGERS REVISITED



>>Since we cannot induce fossils to interbreed, we will, of course, never be
able to settle the question of what species there are in the fossil record.
Ordinarily, this would not be bothersome to me, but I've recently read
several articles in which it is categorically asserted that species diversity
has increased earth over time, and that modern species diversity is as
great as it has ever been in all of earth's history. Balderdash. There is
simply no basis for this kind of assertion whatsoever; the horribly
depauperate fossil record cannot be compared to the rich modern world in
species diversity.<<
I _had_ wondered about that.  In The Diversity of Life, Edward O. Wilson makes
much of the supposition that life is more diverse now then ever.  He even has a
nice graph that shows the number of species increasing though time.  He must 
have
based his theory on _something_, but what?  I hear the fossil record for 
plankton
is pretty good (diatoms and all that).  Has _their_ diversity been increasing?

Dan