>Given a complete understanding of DNA, would it be possible to
>figure out dinosaur DNA from what we currently know about
>a dinosaur. Granted we could determine a superset of what the
>creature would have had, but would that provide any useful
>information? I suspect we couldn't really answer that without
>the premise - a complete understanding of DNA, but I'm
>curious about people's speculation on the subject.
It would probably be possible to create an animal that looks like a dinosaur, but since we will probably always lack information like colour, there'd be no guarantee it'd look perfect.
Also, i would wager there are many multiple ways of acheiving the same result with DNA, So we could create the DNA blueprint for an animal that looks exactly how we expect a dinosaur to look, but we wouldn't have 'reconstructed dinosaur DNA'.
And then there's the fact that phenotype is not completely influenced by genetics. My understanding is that the genes are influenced by extra information such as the chemicals present in the zygote. DNA may be the blueprint for an animal, but the instructions are probably in Korean (or, if you speak Korean: the instructions are all in Greek) - my take is that you'd need to reconstruct not just the DNA, but also the zygote and the environment that it grows in.