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Did we re-evolve after the comet that killed all the dinosaurs?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by stipe View Post
    Anyway - my challenge is:
    How did natural events work together in order to wipe out all the dinosaurs, but not wipe out everything?
    The impact itself is not what caused most of the extinctions- the long periods of cold weather and no sunlight caused by the large amountes of debris hurled into the atmosphere did. The breakdown of which species survived and which weren't so fortunate seems to be broken down in two ways- size and how well they could survive in water. No sunlight=little plant growth. Little plant growth=starvation for large herbivores that depend on a lot of food constantly to survive. The death of large herbivores=the death of large predators leaving the land open to the expansion of previously marginalized groups like the small mammals. The ocean is less transient than the land so aquatic species got off a little lighter but they lost some of the larger specimens as well.
    "Those who have crossed
    With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
    Remember us--if at all--not as lost
    Violent souls, but only
    As the hollow men
    The stuffed men." ... T.S. Eliot

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Knight
      IF.... a flardblatoid hit the earth and caused ALL animals larger than insects or microscopic creatures to become extinct, (as theorized) THEN... evolution would need to essentially restart at some point after that event. Any progress towards the evolution of humans (and all that we see today) that had been made up to that point would have been lost in such a catastrophic event.
      You're thinking backwards (i.e. now to then, rather than then to now). By definition no progress towards humans or any modern species was lost, because our lineages extend back through organisms which survived the various extinctions on the planet. So it doesn't really make sense to talk about "lost progress" in that respect because our lineages were never lost (or we wouldn't be here).

      Also keep in mind that by the time we even get to any mass extinctions, most of the hard work of evolution is done. By the time of the K/T extinction, mammals had already evolved. The branches that the K/T extinction trimmed were already the highest and outermost branches on the evolutionary tree.

      The biodiversity had already started to decline at around the time of the K/T. So the idea that an asteroid was completely and totally responsible for the extinction is a bit outdated.

      Originally posted by stipe View Post
      Anyway - my challenge is:
      How did natural events work together in order to wipe out all the dinosaurs, but not wipe out everything?
      There's a ton of research on the extinction pattern of the K/T event. See here for a brief overview.
      “There's nothing I like less than bad arguments for a view that I hold dear.” - Daniel Dennett

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Johnny View Post
        Also keep in mind that by the time we even get to any mass extinctions, most of the hard work of evolution is done. By the time of the K/T extinction, mammals had already evolved. The branches that the K/T extinction trimmed were already the highest and outermost branches on the evolutionary tree.

        The biodiversity had already started to decline at around the time of the K/T. So the idea that an asteroid was completely and totally responsible for the extinction is a bit outdated.
        That's my point!

        I realize the show I watched may have overstated their case but they said that such an event would kill off ALL animals larger than a bug (actually they suggested microorganism).

        Therefore according to them at that point in history the only thing remaining on earth would have been microorganisms. Which of course would mean that evolution would have to get us from microorganisms to man in the recent past.
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        • #34
          Originally posted by Frank Ernest View Post
          That would imply that someone or something somewhere decided that dinosaurs must make way for mammals and that the comet hit was not a random occurrence, but a deliberate action.
          Just to clear this point up... No it wouldn't
          Originally posted by Frank Ernest View Post
          In which case, there was no reason, then, to extinguish the dinosaurs and we're back to random acts of a natural universe.
          I have no idea what you are basing this on
          Originally posted by Frank Ernest View Post
          Prosaic, but doesn't make sense in view of what you stated previously.
          ... to you.
          Originally posted by Frank Ernest View Post
          How could the dinosaurs show us anything since they became extinct? I would think our mammalian ancestors would be more likely avoiding comet hits.
          it shows us because we have learned about how big dinosaurs were, we learn from the past.

          Reptiles had a good free range to develop unhindered from small mammals because they evolved to be bigger first... small mammals then had free range to develop once the big lizzards had gone. Think about it rather than trying to rubbish my post for no reason other than your own personal beliefs about a non existant god among many other non existant gods.

          What if I rubbished your daft ideas on God just based on the Prohpet Mohammed... oh yeah the muslims have already done that.

          Originally posted by Frank Ernest View Post
          Raises more questions than it answers.
          For you that's not a bad thing.
          Stay Sharp
          Doogie Talons
          ----------------------------------------

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          • #35
            Originally posted by DoogieTalons View Post
            Reptiles had a good free range to develop unhindered from small mammals because they evolved to be bigger first... small mammals then had free range to develop once the big lizzards had gone.
            I thought the latest was that dinosaurs were descendants of birds?
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            • #36
              Originally posted by Knight View Post
              I thought the latest was that dinosaurs were descendants of birds?
              Yeah...

              I remember when I was a kid, I had one of those Golden Books with dinosaurs all over the front. It described the T-rex as slow...lumbering...cumbersome...upright, and dragging its tale behind it.

              Now, 35 years later, we're supposed to believe they were quick and moving upright, more like a bird.

              How did they decide this about a bunch of animals the "experts" have never actually seen? All they have are some bones...but we're supposed to take as fact this new line of "conclusions."

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Knight View Post
                That's my point!

                I realize the show I watched may have overstated their case but they said that such an event would kill off ALL animals larger than a bug (actually they suggested microorganism).

                Therefore according to them at that point in history the only thing remaining on earth would have been microorganisms. Which of course would mean that evolution would have to get us from microorganisms to man in the recent past.
                They must have (far) overstated their case then, as you suggest. I don't think the hypothesized K/T asteroid is purported to be that devastating.
                “There's nothing I like less than bad arguments for a view that I hold dear.” - Daniel Dennett

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by cattyfan
                  How did they decide this about a bunch of animals the "experts" have never actually seen? All they have are some bones...but we're supposed to take as fact this new line of "conclusions."
                  It appears you were a kid some 30 years ago. I don't find it too hard to imagine the advances made in the respective fields since that time. They have advanced just like every other science. Advances in our understanding of biomechanics, biophysics, physiology, structural mechanics, fossil imaging techniques, the use computers to help us simulate various models, as well as new evidence coming to light -- all of these likely had something to do with it.
                  “There's nothing I like less than bad arguments for a view that I hold dear.” - Daniel Dennett

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Johnny View Post
                    They must have (far) overstated their case then, as you suggest. I don't think the hypothesized K/T asteroid is purported to be that devastating.
                    But what this show was saying is that their scientific evidence suggests that it would indeed be that devastating.

                    Yet there is no doubt that one side or the other is overstating their case.
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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by stipe View Post
                      Knight.

                      er.. I'm not an evolutionist, but ....

                      Trying to pin down an atheist on the topic of extinction is near impossible. The problem is that there are so many options open for them to assume. I read a textbook to a couple of kids today that mentioned no less than four different means by which the dinosaurs may have died out:
                      • Asteroid(s).
                      • Global cooling.
                      • Volcanoes
                      • Evolution into birds and reptiles
                      The article's conclusion was that nobody really understood exactly why. So I naturally added the real reason to the text and insisted that the kids either believe that or were silly.

                      I think most atheists tend to support the asteroid idea more than anything else. I don't know if it's worth delving any deeper than your initial challenge, but if it is then the question might be how did a meteorite manage to wipe out every and all dino type, but not manage to wipe out everything else.

                      Such questions usually lead to atheists adding the factors together and insisting that if all the theories work together they might produce what we see today.

                      Anyway - my challenge is:
                      How did natural events work together in order to wipe out all the dinosaurs, but not wipe out everything?
                      When presented with multiple choice, I answer yes. I personally support the idea that the prehistoric reptiles died/disapeared of multiple causes. I can't really say whether or not a meteor hit the Earth and caused a big dust cloud that changed the climate all over the world thus causing less adaptable species to die out. However, I do believe that climate change, desease, competition, and evolution where all responsible for the end of that era.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Knight View Post
                        I thought the latest was that dinosaurs were descendants of birds?
                        Stegosaraus could not have evolved into a bird. It would have been the smaller, lighter dinosaurs that likely evolved into modern birds.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Real Sorceror View Post
                          I can't really say whether or not a meteor hit the Earth and caused a big dust cloud that changed the climate all over the world thus causing less adaptable species to die out. However, I do believe that climate change, desease, competition, and evolution where all responsible for the end of that era.
                          So...does that mean that those types of atmospheric changes are just part of evolution, and therefore should be embraced? If yes, why fight "global warming?"

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by cattyfan View Post
                            So...does that mean that those types of atmospheric changes are just part of evolution, and therefore should be embraced? If yes, why fight "global warming?"
                            The idea behind global warming is that we are causing it. If so, then its not all that natural. If it is indeed a natural climate change (and if its even happening at all), then I don't see any reason to try and fight global warming, unless of course it causes global floods/droughts and whatnot. That would be bad (for us).

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by cattyfan View Post
                              So...does that mean that those types of atmospheric changes are just part of evolution, and therefore should be embraced? If yes, why fight "global warming?"
                              For the same reason we fight viruses, bacteria, tigers, earthquakes, hurricanes etc from killing us off. Just because something is "natural", doesn't mean we have to submissively accept it and let it hurt us.
                              "What if the Hokie Pokie is really what it's all about?"

                              "The best things in life aren't things"

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by cattyfan View Post
                                So...does that mean that those types of atmospheric changes are just part of evolution, and therefore should be embraced? If yes, why fight "global warming?"
                                On a purely evolutionary stance, I'd say if global warming threatens us and we have the power to stop it threatening us, and we do that, then we are the fittest.

                                If we can't do anything about it, then it sucks for us. Evolution isn't some kind of moral stance. It's not like what happens is either right or wrong, just or injust, laudable or disgraceful. It proposes that things just are.

                                I think you're creating a hybrid with your thought that 'everything must happen for a reason' + 'evolution'. No?

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