[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Occam's bulldozer & natural selection & ceratopsians

A BRIEF REPLY: without being necessarily redundant, I
point to: @ 9000 living species of theropods, lineages
descended from the clades surviving the K/T events. In
time, this number will be dramatically reduced. For
pre-K/T dinosaurs, I believe field observations of
extant ecological analogues are foundations for
speculation: the population dynamics of predator-prey
paradigms among mammalian taxa living in econiches
once "ruled" by pre-K/T dinosaurs. Of course, one is
to recognize that this would be guesswork, but
zoological extrapolations of behavioural systems can
be "glimpses", as it were, into possibilities. I
would, however, note that utilization of
crocodylomorphs for dinosaur models is not tenable,
and I grow tired when I read that crocodylomorphs and
avians are the closest living relatives to pre-K/T
dinosaurs. Avians are post-K/T theropods, and
crocodylomorphs are not Dinosauria. Using living
dinosaurs as one's template, then, is a firm
foundation. I agree one is using "speculation" to
infer other aspects of pre-K/T dinosaurs. But, as
Victor Hugo once said, imagination is the mind with an
--- Rob Gay <rob@dinodomain.com> wrote:
> Stephan Pickering wrote:
> >natural selection, and other formulations are,
> thus, to be rooted in the
> engines of the genome on the edge of
> chaos.<snip>Seen from above, however,
> we see not individual ceratopsians, but a herd, what
> Stu Kauffman and others
> call "adaptation to the edge of chaos".<snip>Stu
> Kauffman points to three
> components of what we are alluding to (taken
> together, I suppose, these
> could be "natural selection"): 1) "the tendency of
> complex dynamical systems
> to fall into an ordered state without any selection
> pressure whatsoever"; 2)
> the life of these dinosaurs being "self-regulation
> of the genome to produce
> well defined cell types"; 3)"the postulated sudden
> waves of evolutionary
> change known as 'punctuated equilibrium'".<
> Perhaps it is because I have a poor understanding of
> math (due, in part to
> my math learning disability), but all of this sounds
> quite odd, in respects
> to being applied by someone who disliked the
> character Ian Malcolm and what
> he espouses in a certain sequel novel, when this
> almost seems verbatim what
> Malcolm was saying in the book (not because Stu
> copied from Creighton,
> obviously, I would be implying the other way
> around). Maybe Stu contributed
> to TLW novel, I cannot recall. None the less, this
> sort of seems to be a
> dichotomy between two apparently similar things,
> where one shouldn't exist.
> >Thomas Ray, in a 1991 symposium and major 1992
> paper, points the way (some
> have called it "Artificial Life"). One could (and
> why this has not been done
> with dinosaurs is a puzzle to me), using the
> computer programmes of Tom Ray
> et al., create a dinosaur herd/flock's
> self-replicating algorithms.<
> It seems like you'd need a base for this algorithm,
> right? I mean, you can't
> just pull stuff out of thin air. My question: how,
> exactly, could one
> _accurately_ reproduce dinosaur behavior in a
> computer? Even if by some
> miracle we did get it right, we would have no idea
> if it really was correct,
> because we have no factual basis for it. For all we
> know, some paleoartists
> out there may have actually portrayed a dinosaur
> _exactly_ as they were, but
> we can still never know, because we haven't
> physically seen the animal they
> are reconstructing. It is untestable, as untestable
> as matriarchal (or
> patriarchal) ceratopsian herd, or infrasonic
> sauropods. Not saying that any
> of this couldn't happen, but unless someone invents
> a time machine, its all
> speculation. Grounded speculation, sure, in some
> cases. but untestable
> speculation none the less.
> Peace,
> Rob
> Student of Geology
> 400 E. McConnell Drive #11
> Northern Arizona University
> Flagstaff, Az. 86001
> http://dinodomain.com
> http://www.cafepress.com/robsdinos
> AIM: TarryAGoat.

Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Mail Plus - Powerful. Affordable. Sign up now.