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Re: As the kids say, *facepalm*... [Scanned]

I've been reading round on this, and what fascinates me isn't the
fundamental misunderstanding of biology and palaeontology but what it
says from a sociological point of view. It's very interesting to see the
methods of supporting these kind of ideas and how, in many ways, they
are more marketable to the layman.


Michael O'Sullivan

Palaeobiology Research Group
Postgraduate Student
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences
Burnaby Building
Burnaby Road

>>> "Habib, Michael"  03/04/12 4:13 PM >>>

That would be preferable, and seems plausible. Unfortunately, I happen
to know that there is another individual (by the name of David Esker)
with a similar sort of odd, looney background that has made similar
suggestions on the web (in his case, that the air was super dense like
water).  That makes me think that they have rubbed off on one another
and that this is not a hoax (Esker has previously done the web rounds
heckling Mark Witton and myself, among others).

Trying to pull some kind of useful information out of this travesty, we
might take note that the knee-jerk "X animal must be too big to Y" has
plagued paleontological inquiry for over a century.  It has been
particularly applied to Mesozoic vertebrates (dinosaurs and pterosaurs,
especially), and while this bit of facepalm worthy thinking is
thankfully more or less gone from the professional paleontological
community, it does crop up from time to time among those without
specialized training.  In short the "general public" is very bad at
understanding the biological consequences of size, which is something I
suspect most of us in the professional and advanced amateur community

--Mike H.

On Apr 3, 2012, at 8:57 AM, Mike Taylor wrote:

> It is possible that the Aquatic Dino story start out that way, then
> blew up out of control?
> -- Mike.

Michael Habib
Assistant Professor of Biology
Chatham University
Woodland Road, Pittsburgh PA  15232
Buhl Hall, Room 226A
(443) 280-0181