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Re: Sinosauropteryx filament melanosomes challenged

It sounds like this Issue pivots on ascribing terms like higher and
lower to any one feature in nature where doing so would necessarily
identify preferential treatment to that feature solely because we're
singling it out.  If "higher" = more complexity and therefore
specialisation for a niche then "lower" = more capable of adaptation.
Why is it objectively better that a species be able to survive the
death of our sun than for a species to survive the extinction at the
KT boundary?  Both cataclysmic and disastrous to the species living at
that time, one is objectively larger than the other, sure, but is
larger objectively more important?  Bringing it down a notch: is the
extinction of Amargasaurus more important than the extinction of
Psittacosaurus?  Only in the subjective interests of the beholder.

The history of extinction events seem to be showing us, time and time
again, that the survivors are always the ones that can adjust to
change.  *if* we should manage to adapt by virtue of our technology
then great... *If* cat fleas should find a means of adapting so that
we can be their host species, thus surviving the extinction of cats by
piggy-backing off us (Chinese new year analogies all over this one),
then great... Which of them should be considered "higher"?

On Wednesday, December 8, 2010, Dan Chure <danchure@easilink.com> wrote:
> According to some calculations, well before the sun expands the heat 
> generated by radioactive minerals inside the earth will fall to a level  low 
> enough that plate tectonics will cease.  If such is the case, hydrothermal 
> vents and similar features will also stop.
> Have a nice day!
> Dan
> On 12/7/2010 10:24 PM, Tim Williams wrote:
> Sim Koning<simkoning@msn.com>  wrote:
> The only form of life that could possibly have a chance of surviving the 
> death of our sun in 5 billion years would be a technologically
> advanced civilization.
> Actually, there are ecosystems on the sea floor that exist entirely
> independently of the Sun.  Heat (geothermal) and nutrients (such as
> sulfur compounds and methane) are provided by hydrothermal vents, and
> chemosynthetic (rather than photosynthetic) microbes provide the base
> of the food chain.  These ecosystems include not just chemosynthetic
> microbes, but a diverse array of invertebrates (clams, shrimp, and
> various types of worms).  If the Sun died out, these organisms would
> presumably go on living.
> It's even possible that life at the hydrothermal systems on the
> Earth's surface would outlive the death of the Sun - including those
> at Yellowstone.  The humans and buffaloes would kick the bucket, but
> hydrothermal microbes might very well be untouched.
> Cheers
> Tim