Skip to comments.New Dinosaur Species Found in India
Posted on 08/13/2003 9:02:05 PM PDT by nwrep
2 hours, 55 minutes ago
By RAMOLA TALWAR BADAM, Associated Press Writer
BOMBAY, India - U.S. and Indian scientists said Wednesday they have discovered a new carnivorous dinosaur species in India after finding bones in the western part of the country.
The new dinosaur species was named Rajasaurus narmadensis, or "Regal reptile from the Narmada," after the Narmada River region where the bones were found.
The dinosaurs were between 25-30 feet long, had a horn above their skulls, were relatively heavy and walked on two legs, scientists said. They preyed on long-necked herbivorous dinosaurs on the Indian subcontinent during the Cretaceous Period at the end of the dinosaur age, 65 million years ago.
"It's fabulous to be able to see this dinosaur which lived as the age of dinosaurs came to a close," said Paul Sereno, a paleontologist at the University of Chicago. "It was a significant predator that was related to species on continental Africa, Madagascar and South America."
Working with Indian scientists, Sereno and paleontologist Jeff Wilson of the University of Michigan reconstructed the dinosaur skull in a project funded partly by the National Geographic (news - web sites) Society.
A model of the assembled skull was presented Wednesday by the American scientists to their counterparts from Punjab University in northern India and the Geological Survey of India during a Bombay news conference.
Scientists said they hope the discovery will help explain the extinction of the dinosaurs and the shifting of the continents how India separated from Africa, Madagascar, Australia and Antarctica and collided with Asia.
The dinosaur bones were discovered during the past 18 years by Indian scientists Suresh Srivastava of the Geological Survey of India and Ashok Sahni, a paleontologist at Punjab University.
When the bones were examined, "we realized we had a partial skeleton of an undiscovered species," Sereno said.
The scientists said they believe the Rajasaurus roamed the Southern Hemisphere land masses of present-day Madagascar, Africa and South America.
"People don't realize dinosaurs are the only large-bodied animal that lived, evolved and died at a time when all continents were united," Sereno said.
The cause of the dinosaurs' extinction is still debated by scientists. The Rajasaurus discovery may provide crucial clues, Sereno said.
India has seen quite a few paleontological discoveries recently.
In 1997, villagers discovered about 300 fossilized dinosaur eggs in Pisdura, 440 miles northeast of Bombay, that Indian scientists said were laid by four-legged, long-necked vegetarian creatures.
Indian scientists said the dinosaur embryos in the eggs may have suffocated during volcanic eruptions.
The problem is, I think that's exactly what this is about. This is not a matter of inharmonious political views or someone being routinely criticized for his personal tastes or preferences. The science threads are, for better or worse, a *debate*.
They are specifically adversarial: people explain why they think their position is correct and others are wrong, and vice versa. AndrewC knows what he's getting into when he participates in them, and he has never been shy about vigorously defending his position and attacking opposing ones.
With his latest maneuver, the result would specifically be that he can make claims (including attacks on positions I hold) and I can't rebut them. It's a "you can't hit me back because I said you can't" situation.
Like Junior said, this wouldn't even hint at calling the old ages of the oldest dinosaur fossils into doubt.
There's nothing in the Theory of Evolution that says "once a species has spawned a new species, the original species cannot live for long." Just like when a new tree branch grows off an existing branch, neither the old nor the new branch must stop getting longer.
As I said earlier, post your responses. We all want to see them. Just mention what it is you're rebutting, and address the post to "All."
Yes, that's the usual creationist mantra. The trouble is, radioactive dating is based on some extremely simple physics. We can measure the decay of 14C, or 238U, or 40K in a laboratory, and we know it in every case obeys exact first order kinetics, with a half-life we can measure to high accuracy. If we take 40K, for example, we can measure the quantity of that isotope in a rock, compared to stable 39K. And we can measure the amount of 40Ar trapped in the rock. We know that rock doesn't normally contain a lot of inert gas, and even if it does, we can measure the amount of stable 39Ar and correct for it. So, by looking at the decrease in 40K and the increase in 40Ar, and using simple decay kinetics, we can get an age.
Occasionally, it is true, we run into problems. The most usual problem is if some or the 40Ar has escaped from the rock (if the rock has been heated at some point this often happens.). However, as dating methods have become more sophisticated, we run into such problems less and less. And in any case, if there is a problem with the sample, it means we get an age of 60 million years rather than 120 million years; we don't get an age of 4000 years!
In an interview a couple of years back, Damadian was quoted as saying something to the effect that if he'd had enough time, he'd have come up with Lauterbur's experiment. In science, a conviction you could have beaten the inventor to it, if given enough time, does not establish your priority.
Radiometric dating, mostly. But I see you're being engaged on that very subject already...
As I'm sure you've noticed by now, these "crevo" discussions tend to fly all over the place, hitting on dozens of topics without really resolving any because not enough time is spent on any one thing.
So I've got a proposal for you: How about if we spend some time focusing specifically on the "young earth evidences" you've just presented? We'll all examine them in depth, and see if we can come to some agreements about whether they really hold up or not when scrutinized, and why. During the process I hope you may learn some things about how scientists validate or invalidate certain arguments, and how evidence is evaluated.
Also, would you be willing to accept the idea that if (repeat, if) all or most of your evidences can be shown to be based on misconceptions or invalid reasoning, then perhaps creationist sources might not be as reliable or as good at science as you currently believe? In other words, may these be used as a "quality check" for creationist (or at least AiG) arguments, in the same way that if you randomly sample products off an assembly line and they all test successfully, it gives confidence that the rest of the production run are likely to be good too, whereas if the random samples fail the quality checks, it implies that something's probably wrong with most or all of the rest of the batch?
That cuts both ways...
No measurement scheme is perfect. But unfortunately for you, "flawed" isn't good enough to rescue creationist dogma. You need to be able to say something like, "radioactive dating methods are totally non-functional", but you can't. Radioactive dating methods consistently give very ancient ages for rock layers all over the Earth. Occasionally an answer is demonstrated to be substantially off, and when it is it creates a big problem, as in the famous KBS tuff controversy. In that case, a 1.9 million-year-old layer was dated to be 2.4 million years old. The discrepancy turned out to be caused by an inadequate sample collection method. It was eventually corrected--such is the nature of science--but in as precise a science as paleontology, an error of 25% can be a very big problem. In this case, it led to inconsistencies in the fossil record that were spotted in very short order.
This example should give everyone an idea of just how sensitive a scientific probe the fossil record can be. Even inconsistencies of a fraction of a million years can be detected. Such is the level to which evolution can be tested observationally.
That would depend, of course: "not correct" in what way?
Also, they are not "assumptions", they are the results of may independent kinds of tests and analysis. You keep describing these findings as if they were merely unfounded presumptions. They most certainly are not.
No it wouldn't. It would in no way change the evidence for known dinosaur fossils being old, nor would it in any way add evidence that they might be younger than they are.