What is important. What is real. What you need to know to survive the 21st Century. How to live a million years and want more.
Lessons in Synergy
Published on July 8, 2010 By Phil Osborn In Biology

I kept forgetting to write this blog - for years, in fact.  I came up with the basic theory in the early '80's and assumed that some paleontologist or evolutionary theorist would derive it independently, or someone would shoot it down.  So far as I know, neither has happened and more evidence in its favor is accumulating, while I, in turn, have become incrementally more knowledgeable, as well.  So, before I lose it to Alzheimer's or a stroke, etc., I figured I better get this in print.

So, here it is, folks, the REAL reason why the dinosaurs died out...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycas_revoluta

The "Sago palm" is not really a palm at all but a rogue leftover from the days of dinosaurs, a cycad.  The cycads were palm-like plants that were contemporaneous with the dinosaurs and constituted a large portion of the herbivorous dinosaurs' diet.  Notable among the Sago Palm's traits is an EXTREME toxicity that results in many pet deaths every year, as the flesh and seeds - especially the seed, which are the most toxic - are somehow attractive to them, in spite of being generally fatal within a day after ingestion.  So, three interesting anomalies among plants:  extreme toxicity, attractive seeds and pulp, extremely ancient heritage.

My theory started by examining another anomaly.  How was it that NONE of the dinosaurs survived?  Not one species, unless one includes the birds, the surviving species of which now are thought to have branched off from the non-flying dinosaurs fairly early on, and well before the Great Extinction.  There were big dinosaurs, and tiny dinosaurs, carnivorous, herbivorous, omnivorous.  They were all probably as warm-blooded as you or I.  They were well adapted to their environment, which they dominated for tens of millions of years.

Also, why the huge size of many of the dinosaurs?  Size by itself is inherently counterevolutionary.  I.e., your size is related to how much you consume, and there is a finite limit to that, set by the incoming solar radiation being converted into edible biomass.  The same energy flux that could feed a million rat-sized dinosaurs can only feed a hundred or so brontosauri.  The DNA turnover is related to the numbers of animals being born and passing on their genes, irrespective of size (the amount of DNA of species of various masses is generally not related to their mass as individuals).  Thus, size becomes a relative impediment to evolutionary selection.  Those rat-sized dinos will evolve a ten-thousand times as fast as that bronto, because there will be ten-thousand times as many selections in the same time period.

However, enormous size DID evolve and prosper for a LONG time, so there must have been some clear evolutionary advantage. 

The artists' conception of dinosaurs usually has them surrounded in a forest of cycads, which typically have long trunks and very tough palm-like leaves way up at the top.  How many small dinosaurs - or mammals - could therefore eat those leaves?  They would have to climb the trunks, exposing themselves to predators all the way.  Not likely.  

The bigger issue, however, which is at the heart of the matter, is what advantage did the cycads gain in being eaten?  After all, if the only creatures that can even reach your leaves and seeds are characterized by having necks thirty feet long, just how many of your precious seeds will survive that gargantuan intestine?  And, on the same note, if you ARE going to eat Cycads, with the toughest imaginable fibers and every toxic compound that could possibly be selected for, then you had better not only have long necks, but also a devil's brew of intestinal enzymes and juices and that enormous gut to handle all that mess.

Now note that the corresponding picture for our own ancestors, the mammals, is completely different.  Being small and living in burrows underground, our folks could not eat the cycads anyway.  So, they scavenged on dino carcasses, where other plants grew up in the underbrush, plants that improved their propagation when one of these scavenging rat-like mammals happened to carry a seed or two in their gut or fur into that burrow, nicely safe from predatory birds and perfectly positioned to germinate.

While the dinosaurs developed huge, powerful guts, which required - along with the neck length - enormous overall mass, and thus a very slow rate of evolution - the cycads developed ever more tough and toxic flesh and seeds in response.  I.e., it was total war.

Simultaneously, however, the little mammals benefited from benefitting the plants at their level, and those plants, receiving that benefit, began to evolve methods for protecting and nurturing those helpful little mammals.  Instead of war, there was mutuality and synergy.

The dinosaurs were doomed.  As were the cycads.  Both species had reached an impasse.  There is a limit to how big you can be and still walk and defend yourself.  There is a limit to how tall you can grow and not be blown over in the first storm.  Both sides were pushing that limit and an ever larger proportion of their energy was being spent in the struggle.

Meanwhile, we mammals were getting into a cozier and cozier rapport with our plant buddies.

In the millions or so years immediately prior to their extinction, the dinosaurs had been reduced to a few hundred species, even though they still dominated in total biomass.  Evolution depends upon a library of genetic information that contains the possibility of diversity, which the dinosaurs had largely lost in their lock-step battle with toxic plants. 

After all, each mutation has to be selected for by giving an advantage to some individual animal.  Simultaneous election for multiple new traits doesn't work out very well.  Most of the room for selection was going to dealing with the evolving toxicity of the plants, leaving little adaptive diversity in the gene pool for other challenges. 

Something would have happened, and it did.  The great asteroid did hit and did trigger the great die-off.  However, the reason that not one dino survived begs the issue.  They died because they were already poised to die.  Synergy defeats predation.

That's the essense.  More to follow.

 

 

 


Comments
on Jul 09, 2010

I figured I better get this in print. So, here it is, folks, the REAL reason why the dinosaurs died out...

Very interesting ideas and article articulating them ...I'm glad you finally got it in print!

There were big dinosaurs, and tiny dinosaurs, carnivorous, herbivorous, omnivorous. They were all probably as warm-blooded as you or I. They were well adapted to their environment, which they dominated for tens of millions of years.

The suggestion that dinosaurs lived for tens of millions of years (of time) indicates the presupposition that evolution theory is, in fact, true.

There are many others who suggest that dinosaur-kinds were contemperories with the humankind.  Evidently, there is evidence both from rock carvings and dragon legends that dinosaurs lived at the same time people lived.

Besides rock carvings and dragon legends, the Bible describes what many people believe to be a dinosaur.

on Jul 09, 2010

How was it that NONE of the dinosaurs survived?

Who says none of the dinosaurs survived? I look at the dinosaurs as just big lizards and we certainly have all kinds of lizard types today. Back in the 70s, didn't a Japanese fishing vessel catch a 4,000 pound, 30 feet long creature that a qualified zoologist photographed and confirmed was a plesiosaur? Also, in 1939, a fisherman caught a live Coelacanth, a fish that was presumed to have become exninct 150 million years ago!

 

on Jul 09, 2010

You know what lula, people like you, unwilling to accept any scientific advance that opposes a literal interpretation of the bible or whatever book of worship is used for their particular religion, are why I cannot wait for organized religion to collapse. Maybe some real advances in humanity can happen then.

on Jul 09, 2010

A very interesting read. i actually got thru the whole thing without getting bored. From the first paragraph I had this feeling that you're theory was very similar to the theory as to why the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park survived to make part 2 and 3 (I know the movie is fake but stay with me here, i have a point). The dinosaurs in the movie were created with a lysine deficiency that gave the scientist control over the animals in case chaos broke, at least they thought they had control. the reason they survived was because the plants on the island had the lysine the dinosaurs needed to survive so the herbivore would eat the plants and the omni and  carnivore would eat the herbivore basically eating the lysine in them.

This is kinda like your theory that the tall herbivores at the toxic plants that were at their hight and in turn fed the toxin to the carnivores and omnivores as they ate their remains.

Did I get this right? It does sound like an interesting theory but I had to agree with Lula that who is to say they all died?

on Jul 09, 2010

You know what lula, people like you, unwilling to accept any scientific advance that opposes a literal interpretation of the bible

See that's just it, DoomBringer90, the very findings of the rock carvings, dragon legends, the Plesiosaur creature and the Coelancanth confirm and support a literal translation of the Bible.

on Jul 10, 2010

DoomBringer90


You know what lula, people like you, unwilling to accept any scientific advance that opposes a literal interpretation of the bible or whatever book of worship is used for their particular religion, are why I cannot wait for organized religion to collapse. Maybe some real advances in humanity can happen then.

Its people like you who feel that science can explain everything and have an elitist attitude as if we today are more 'superior'/intelligent' than people of the past.

First, I'll begin with that science can not explain everything.  I'll touch on the supposed expansion of the universe.  A fair amount of Scientist use the hubble law for large scale redshift of galaxies as evidence for the expanding universe.   They measure the redshift proportional to distance which is used in the context of the big bang.  The issue is that recessional velocities have not been actually/accurately measured, so the assumption of the Doppler effect being responsible for the shift was only reached as a conclusion due to the lack of other known physical explanations.  Some big bang theorist state that redshifts alone would not yield the observed time dilation of supernova light cures. 

Even though the hypothesis of the big bang/expansion of the universe is not true many teach it as if it is.  Most high school and some college physics books do this and it is a great mistake, for there are many problems with a general conceptual nature if one assumes the universe is expanding.  A note, even Hubble himself was unsure of the interpretation of the redshifts. The red shift may be due to electric microfields from plasma.   Making resdshift be distance related but not velocity related.

Second, with your attitude that somehow we are superior than people from the past is at most a dangerous attitude and at least mostly laughable.  I'll begin this section with the Katana.   Even with all of our superior technology we can not make a Katana, which is a samurai sword, as sharp as they did in ancient Japan, where it was commonly used.  Most people would say the sharpness of the katana used in many Japanese stories were myths just due to the fact that we couldn't make them as sharp.  There were several historical discoveries that revealed that katanas were as sharp as many of the Japanese stories had alluded to them as being.  Yet, we still can not make a katana as sharp as they were once able to.

Third, I will be using the tower of babel to further show that the attitude that we are superior than people of the past is not true, nor am I saying that they were superior.  Most people will use what the bible says about the tower of babel as being false and that it was absurdly blown out of proportion.  The recounting can be found in Genesis 11:3-4 'And each one said to his neighbor, 'Come, let us make brick, and burning burn them. And they had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar.' And they said, 'Come, let us build a city and a tower with its head in the heavens.'

There are some clues in verse 3.  The ancients used 'burnt/baked bricks' and the fact that they knew generally how asphalt worked in the building process.  By burning bricks of clay this makes them many times stronger than if they weren't burnt.  The fact that they applied some type of asphalt product during the building process also shows they had advance knowledge of this.  One can just look at the Pyramids for further evidence.  With this knowledge they could have probably made a structure that was either just as high as our current highest (the tower of Dubai) or maybe even higher.

In conclusion, we are not superior than people of the past.  Most scientific advancements were made thanks to previous advancements.  By people constantly thumbing their noses at how stupid people of the past most have been just makes themselves look like leptons.

 

 

on Jul 10, 2010

Right on PP.   Well said. 

and DB just because we're not buying into the whole evolutionary theory that changes constantly doesn't mean we're not accepting of scientific advancements.   We just look at the evidences differently according to our biases.   There hasn't been one proven scientific advancement that has contradicted the literal interpretation of scripture yet. 

I still get a kick out of the whole cloning idea.  We read in scripture of the very first clone when God fashioned Eve from Adam's rib.  Now we herald this "new" idea as a scientific discovery?  Com'on give credit where credit is due.  The earth being circular was proven by Columbus?  Really?  Did you know scripture speaks of the "circle of the earth" written way before Columbus?  Or that "the earth hangs on nothing" way before any astronomer figured that out? 

 So quite often we see things in scripture  laid out first (as PP pointed out with the bricks) and everything else is just an advancement from there. 

Also Stephen Hawking (one of the most brilliant scientists ever) on the Discovery Channel not too long ago came as close as he could admitting there was a God without saying so.  He does admit to an outside force or supreme being that is out in space somewhere that got this whole ball of wax rolling.  My Pastor almost fell out of his chair waiting for Hawking to admit there was a God because he came so close but stopped at the door. 

One thing this brilliant Scientist realizes that many ordinary folks forget is that it's a scientific fact that  something can't come from nothing. 

It's as simple as that. 

My theory is the dinos died sometime after the flood era.  The whole atmosphere and geological makeup changed after the flood. 

 

 

on Jul 10, 2010

I don't feel we are smarter or more advanced than the ancient people, and have never said that, hell, we're only just now reacquiring knowledge of the human brain that the greeks knew 2000+ years ago. But unless you can prove that organized religion had a benificial effect on the advancement of society, I will continue to oppose organized religion, which is nothing more than a set of cleverly disguised cults.

Now addressing your katana point, if the katana of yesteryear were so much sharper and stronger, why were there never any directions on how to make them that sharp and strong passed down? If directions were passed down, why are they still not as sharp? Why are there no surviving katana of that quality? Would they not be passed down through the samurai's family if they were of such quality that after it was forged none could match it?

About the tower of babel, for starters, get the quote correct "And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."

Then you run into the issue of how you hide the bricks needed to make it, which, assuming there wasn't a half mile tall guy around to stack 11357 bricks (I'm assuming bricks of the dimensions used by south africa) on top of each other, and that they built in a square pyramid fasion, would require a 1.375 square kilometer area and 221,100,962,490 bricks, and thats just for the bare minimum of 829 meters tall. It gets slightly more ludicrous if you assume the dimensions listed in the Book of Jubilees, what with bricks 13.384 meters long and 4.461 meters tall stacked 638 tall 203 wide and 468 long, for a tower measuring 2.874 Km tall covering an area of just over 17 square kilometers. Unless you can explain how a structure of that magnitude dissapears without a trace without invoking the big brick disintegrator in the sky, you will never convince me that using the materials available at the time they could even hope to have built anything close to the skyscrapers of today when they had better things to do, like farm, and wage war for the good farmland.

KFC, is this the flood that flooded the entire world with an extra 3.2-5.5 miles of water that was later disintegrated by the big brick disintegrator in the sky when he decided all the "bad" non cultists weren't worth having around any more or is it some other era?

on Jul 10, 2010

lulapilgrim

Back in the 70s, didn't a Japanese fishing vessel catch a 4,000 pound, 30 feet long creature that a qualified zoologist photographed and confirmed was a plesiosaur? Also, in 1939, a fisherman caught a live Coelacanth, a fish that was presumed to have become exninct 150 million years ago!

As I understand it, the"plesiosaur" was dead, and the samples taken determined that it was more likely that it was a basking shark. Additionally, the oceans have changed as well as the flora in them since 65 million years ago, making it unlikely that a lung breathing creature such as the plesiosaur survived long enough to be captured by humans and that it is elusive enough to only be mentioned alive in myth. The coelacanth is not any particular species of fish, but rather an order of fish that encompases 25 extinct species of fish, and one living species and 2 sub-species. But of course that requires you to buy into Evolution theory, which thus far you seem to have shown that you are incapable of doing.

on Jul 11, 2010

As I understand it, the"plesiosaur" was dead, and the samples taken determined that it was more likely that it was a basking shark. Additionally, the oceans have changed as well as the flora in them since 65 million years ago, making it unlikely that a lung breathing creature such as the plesiosaur survived long enough to be captured by humans and that it is elusive enough to only be mentioned alive in myth.

Several scientists believed it was a Plesiosaur creature to the point that Japan printed a postage stamp in honor of the find, while others thought it to be a large basking shark. Nevertheless, paintings from Australian tribespeople suggest plesiosaur creatures have been living in modern times. So the debate goes on.

The coelacanth is not any particular species of fish, but rather an order of fish that encompases 25 extinct species of fish, and one living species and 2 sub-species.

That may be true but my point is this. The Coelacanth was once an index fossil used to date sedimentary strata as at least 70 million years old. In other words, they too supposedly disappeared with the dinosaurs. Yet, coelacanths are still here looking much like the ones found in the fossils.   If the strata theory was correct no living specimens could occur.

My daughter's 10th grade biology book claims "coelacanths represent a fascinating piece of evolutionary history...that they are the closest thing we know of the ancestors of all land vertebrates." They supposedly "evolved" that is, crawled out of the sea, their lungs filled with air, and they became the first 4 legged land animals. Were these coelacanths (fish) the ancestor of all amphibians, reptiles, and mammals, incuding people as millions of students have been taught?

But of course that requires you to buy into Evolution theory, which thus far you seem to have shown that you are incapable of doing.

I have no problem whatsoever understanding and accepting small change over time within kind. It's this fish to reptiles to birds to animals to human evolutionary nonsense that's being taught as fact that rings up as a no sale.

It's well known that dating methods associated with fossils tend to involve circular reasoning. Fossils are dated by the supposed age of the strata, and strata is dated by the supposed age of the fossil.

Anyway, dinosaurs are only a mytery if one accepts the evolutionary story of their history. While there is no mystery surrounding dinosaurs if you accept the Bible's totally different account.

 

on Jul 11, 2010

KFC, is this the flood that flooded the entire world with an extra 3.2-5.5 miles of water that was later disintegrated by the big brick disintegrator in the sky when he decided all the "bad" non cultists weren't worth having around any more or is it some other era?

ya, that would be it...although you have quite the cynical way of looking at it.  I'm not sure what you mean  by the "extra 3.2-5.5 miles of water." That's news to me.

 

 

on Jul 12, 2010

DoomBringer90


Now addressing your katana point, if the katana of yesteryear were so much sharper and stronger, why were there never any directions on how to make them that sharp and strong passed down? If directions were passed down, why are they still not as sharp? Why are there no surviving katana of that quality? Would they not be passed down through the samurai's family if they were of such quality that after it was forged none could match it?


Are you serious? Write them down? You most be a swift lepton.  Paper was not always accessible in time periods through out history. Many experts consider Shakespeare’s work to be the best in all of theater, and performances of his plays are well-known staples of the live theater community. Shakespeare began writing at about 1585.  Yet experts believe the canon of Shakespeare is incomplete, with at least two texts not surviving past Shakespeare’s day. Even during while Shakespeare was still alive his writings/plays were very popular yet there are some said to be lost. Couldn't some of those idiots remember his plays!  WHY DIDN'T those morons just write it down!

Passing things down verbatim specifically isn't always good either especially in the context of how to make something.  Its called lost technology.  What you've stated here clearly shows that you don't believe that some how something that those 'ancient' people did was better than what us 'modern' people can do.  But I'll continue and play along.

DoomBringer90


About the tower of babel, for starters, get the quote correct "And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."


Get the quote right, wait wait.  Let me see here, I actually gave you a quick translation from the Hebrew.  Yes, it may be hard to believe that there is at least a few people who can read Biblical Hebrew.  But, wait, I need to get the quote right? Ha.................caugh

DoomBringer90


It gets slightly more ludicrous if you assume the dimensions listed in the Book of Jubilees, what with bricks 13.384 meters long and 4.461 meters tall stacked 638 tall 203 wide and 468 long, for a tower measuring 2.874 Km tall covering an area of just over 17 square kilometers.

I'm not assuming here because first when you assume it makes an ass out of u me.  Second, no where does it say anything about what the Book Jubilees is stating in the original text.

In the fertile Mesopotamian plain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, in what is now modern Iraq, is a mound, or tell, of broken mud-brick buildings and debris. This is all that remains of the ancient famed city of Babylon.

Archaeologists examining the remains of the city of Babylon have found what appears to be the foundation of the tower: a square of earthen embankments some three-hundred feet on each side. The tower's most splendid incarnation was probably under King Nebuchadnezzar II who lived from 605-562 BC. The King rebuilt the tower to stand 295 feet high. According to an inscription made by the king the tower was constructed of "baked brick enameled in brilliant blue." The terraces of the tower may have also been planted with flowers and trees.

If you read the text in Genesis, it never says they finished it.  On the Discovery Channel, I don't know if they get that in South Africa, they stated the tower of babel could have been just as high or higher.  I know, how could those 'ancient' people have done it.

 

DoomBringer90


I don't feel we are smarter or more advanced than the ancient people, and have never said that.....

.....you will never convince me that using the materials available at the time they could even hope to have built anything close to the skyscrapers of today when they had better things to do, like farm, and wage war for the good farmland.

These two sentences are conflicting because  you state that we aren't smarter or more advance than you state that it would be impossible for them to do this. 

I don't have to prove anything to you.  For you must be a swift lepton.

on Jul 14, 2010

So, now, ironically, we have the ongoing debate between the luddite believers in the young earth and the defenders of evolution, right here on my blog.  The young earthers have plenty of sites of their own, but they are determined to prevent anyone from saying anything serious about evolution, using what is, in effect, a denial of service attack.  They no doubt feel that they are well-intentioned and are spreading the truth among the heathen non-believers, but the effect is simply to make serious discussion impossible, as the reader has to wade through this garbage.

How about this, young earthers?  Since I appreciate that you probably actually believe your nonsense, and you are probably not really stupid (just seriously brainwashed), I will do a separate blog dedicated purely and simply to demonstrating the incontrovertible logical impossibility of there NOT being evolution, a trivial matter.  Are you drooling yet in anticipation?  Then we will both be happy, as perhaps then someone will discuss the meat of my blog instead of hijacking the thread or attacking the hijackers, while you will get to rave on about Genesis or the Inca stones or whatever.  Fair enough? 

on Jul 15, 2010

What?  Sudden deafening silence from the other side?  What are you guys, anyway, a bunch of wusses?  You're letting the Big Guy down, you know.  And He doesn't forget.  Suppose someone reads this and their faith suffers because of YOU!!  Perhaps they really screw up and go to HELL!!!  And YOU could have saved them.  Too bad.  An eternity of apologizing won't bring them back.  Or do you really believe in any of this stuff to begin with?  Is this just a game called "God?"  I have to assume so at this point...

Meta
Views
» 576
Comments
» 12
Category
Sponsored Links