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Thread: 'Ghost' DNA In West Africans Complicates Story Of Human Origins

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance435 View Post
    I think dinosaurs are a good analogue - as much attention as they've received in the last 30 years, there's a good chance that most of the "complete" or semi-complete fossilized specimens are at least partly, if not totally wrong. We simply don't know enough about them to be able to classify them with any degree of accuracy, which will happen when your evidence is millions of years old and fossilized. A lot of dinosaur "knowledge" today can still be traced back to completely erroneous assumptions from the 1800's and 1900's. The same could be said for study of human anthropology. Technology is great, but the output is only as good as the input.
    Much of paleontology is in a differential "more like X than Y" classification systm, hamstrung by only having bones to work with. If all you knew of them was bones, you'd never class both St. Bernard and Chihuahua (both Canis lupus familiaris) as the same subspecies, nor either as related to the wolf (parent species Canis lupus), and yet there's more difference between them than there is between larger North American Tyrannosaurus rex and smaller Asian Tarbosaurus bataar. (A distinction largely because of Soviet politics, Maleev initially and IMO correctly assigned his find to Tyrannosaurus in 1955 before Moscow made him change it.)
    Last edited by Diamondback; 02-20-20 at 23:24.
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  2. #12
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    Without too much of a thread hijack, I totally agree with Diamondback. The assumptions we make based on the incomplete, and disparate, evidence we have is amazing. I am always amazed they can get a toe, or some other bone, and believe they can now make a computer rendition of what this creature looked like, itís diet, and behavioral characteristics.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Happy1 View Post
    Without too much of a thread hijack, I totally agree with Diamondback. The assumptions we make based on the incomplete, and disparate, evidence we have is amazing. I am always amazed they can get a toe, or some other bone, and believe they can now make a computer rendition of what this creature looked like, it’s diet, and behavioral characteristics.
    Doesn't get as many clicks as "previously unknown toe found in desert."

    Same thing with all those exoplanets. There is so much assumption going on it isn't funny. By merely interpreting wobbles on a star people who know better are stating how many planets have been detected, how close they are to the sun and are they in a habitable zone that might support life. Simply add four moons to any one of those planets and all your assumptions are wrong. And how many planets do we now know orbit Saturn and Jupiter that we had no knowledge of in the 80s? And we could directly observe those planets.

    There should be a separate classification for "pop science" and it should be one step down from theoretical science. It should be treated like the Menudo of the science world and everyone involved should be just a little embarrassed for the completely unsupported ideas they are presenting as proven knowns.
    It's hard to be a ACLU hating, philosophically Libertarian, socially liberal, fiscally conservative, scientifically grounded, agnostic, porn admiring gun owner who believes in self determination.

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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Happy1 View Post
    Without too much of a thread hijack, I totally agree with Diamondback. The assumptions we make based on the incomplete, and disparate, evidence we have is amazing. I am always amazed they can get a toe, or some other bone, and believe they can now make a computer rendition of what this creature looked like, it’s diet, and behavioral characteristics.
    Depends how much of the toe you get. If you get the distal phalange and claw core, you can draw a few conclusions about what the limb attached to that toe was used for... then again, at first when Walker discovered the claw that Baryonyx was named for everybody thought it was gonna be a sickle-claw from the first European dromaeosaurid (aka raptor, post-JP) find, when it turned out to be the thumb of Spinosaurus's baby brother. And then there's Therizinosaurus... for a long time known only from arms that had everybody thinking it was the Freddy Krueger or Edward Scissorhands of the dinosaur world, turned out to be an herbivore descended from carnivores. Sorry, bit of a geek here... after having not seen hide or hair of me for 25 years and seeing little Junior in my av, an aunt--my last living relative on the paternal side--had to crack wise about "we all knew even when you were tiny that someday you were gonna have a T-rex for a kid." (Bit of a family inside joke.)
    You really have to ask why Conservatives have guns? Because Liberals block freeways, burn cities, throw Molotov cocktails, loot, turn over cop cars, and think this behavior is Socially Acceptable.
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