[ExI] How to Build a Dinosaur

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 13 18:52:22 UTC 2009

--- On Mon, 4/13/09, Tomasz Rola <rtomek at ceti.pl> wrote:
> On Sat, 11 Apr 2009, spike wrote:
>> > On Behalf Of John Grigg
> >     Subject: Re: [ExI] How to Build a
> Dinosaur
> >     
> >     
> >     I remember a discussion started
> here by Robert Bradbury about
> > building a fire-breathing dragon.  Spike, do you
> remember that?  Those were
> > the days...
> Guys,
> If you please, build Laura Dern instead. Dinos stink and
> they look ugly, 
> no matter if they smile or not.

Have you actually sniffed and seen one?  If so, quick!  Please relate your experiences to the nearest paleontologist...  :)
> If only scientists were less disconnected. What kind of fun
> it is, anyway, 
> to have dino at home? Sounds like some perverted SM stuff.
> Or, in best 
> case, stupidity, like in the urban legend of man and little
> tiger living 
> together in a flat (until tiger grew up, of course, and
> poor bastard had 
> to throw him meat from behind the door once a day).

Actually, the book is about evo-devo and the experiment, were it tried, would tell us more about gene expression in development than dinosaurs.  At best, assuming that turning on earlier traits (and turning off later traits) is possible, it would just cook up a bird ancestor -- or, more precisely, some bird ancestor traits.  (I put "some" here because, from listening to the book, he's focusing on specific traits.  And it's likely that the full suite of things that make up a bird ancestor are lost at this time.  He seems to discount dino-DNA finds as not being as helpful as doing evo-devo.  My view is you could do both.  There'd still be limits and it's arguable that you're not really making a dinosaur -- even a bird ancestor -- but merely, at best, turning on some ancestor traits and making some sort of weird hybrid.)

Anyhow, I do agree with the author: the experiment would stir up more talk about evolution.  My guess, though, is that Biblical literalists and other anti-evolutionists would merely say this is evidence that dinosaurs were not ancient extinct animals, but merely birds (or other extant animals) whose development got messed up.




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