October 6, 2010 | David F. Coppedge

Kinder, Gentler Dinosaurs Envisioned

See if this statement by Tim Rowe [U of Texas at Austin] meets your mental picture of dinosaurs after a lifetime of movies: “We used to think of dinosaurs as fierce creatures that outcompeted everyone else,” he said.  “Now we’re starting to see that’s not really the case.  They were humbler, more opportunistic creatures.  They didn’t invade the neighborhood.  They waited for the residents to leave and when no one was watching, they moved in.”
    This quote from an article in PhysOrg may not make for a very dramatic sequel to Jurassic Park, but it’s based on his team’s analysis of migration patterns of a new species of dinosaur from Arizona gently named Sarahsaurus.  “And so it’s starting to look like some of our ideas about how size and evolution work are probably in need of revision,” Rowe said, “and that some of the features we thought were tied to gigantism and the physics and mechanics of the bones may not be right.”

Does Rowe know that dinosaurs were humbler, more opportunistic creatures?  No, because he wasn’t there.  Neither does Steven Spielberg know that they were terrors.  Who knows; maybe they were like large cows and sheep, and the predators were like large coyotes.  Maybe Alley Oop had to beat off Sue with a stick.  Make up your own scenario.  It’s as good as anyone else’s, because all such opinions about behavior are inferred from indirect evidence and are inherently subjective.  For best chance at fame, come up with a scenario that lends itself to a screenplay and keeps the animators employed.
    The one thing that you can be sure of is that the opinions of evolutionists will continue to change, so that any of their claims today “are probably in need of revision” tomorrow.

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Categories: Dinosaurs, Fossils

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