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.
Yes there are, because after the (pick an ape species) lineage and the human lineage(s) split and went their separate ways, the apes would continue to accumulate mutations which the human wouldn't have, and vice versa.
What's interesting is that the number and type of mutations which ape species have is consistent with what one would expect if a) we did share a common ancestor with them, and b) the time of the split was around the time indicated by the fossil record.
What's even more to the point though, is the number and type of mutations that we *share*. Those are extremely hard, if not impossible, to explain via "separate creation" scenarios, but very perfectly explained by common descent.
By your reasoning this would argue for uncommon decent.
Then I may not have explained my reasoning well enough. No, it would not.
By my reasoning, the similarities that man and apes have genetically would cause me to think that similar mutations would affect both groups. A creature with very different genetics would be affected by the same mutating function in a different way.
The problem with that idea is that the various "mutating functions" have been studied at great length, and they don't act the way you suggest they might.
We can find some mutations that we share, which would go to our genetic similarities, and some mutations we don't share, which would go to our genetic differences.
The degree to which different species share the same mutation is far, far greater (and of a kind) than could possibly be explained by "similarly susceptible to mutations".
A plague that sweeps the globe like the Bubonic would possibly hammer the ape population in the same way as it hammered the human population, precisely because of our shared genetic designs.
Let's take that example as a case study of what I said above.
Background: Retroviruses reproduce by entering a cell of a host (like, say, a human), then embedding their own viral DNA into the cell's own DNA, which has the effect of adding a "recipe" for manufacturing more viruses to the cell's "instruction book". The cell then follows those instructions because it has no reason (or way) to "mistrust" the DNA instructions it contains. So the virus has converted the cell into a virus factory, and the new viruses leave the cell, and go find more cells to infect, etc.
However, every once in a while a virus's invasion plans don't function exactly as they should, and the virus's DNA (or portions of it) gets embedded into the cell's DNA in a "broken" manner. It's stuck into there, becoming part of the cell's DNA, but it's unable to produce new viruses. So there it remains, causing no harm. If this happens in a regular body cell, it just remains there for life as a "fossil" of the past infection and goes to the grave with the individual it's stuck in. All of us almost certainly contain countless such relics of the past viral infections we've fought off.
However... By chance this sometimes happens to a special cell in the body, a gametocyte cell that's one of the ones responsible for making sperm in males and egg cells in females, and if so subsequent sperm/eggs produced by that cell will contain copies of the "fossil" virus, since now it's just a portion of the entire DNA package of the cell. And once in a blue moon such a sperm or egg is lucky enough to be one of the few which participate in fertilization and are used to produce a child -- who will now inherit copies of the "fossilized" viral DNA in every cell of his/her body, since all are copied from the DNA of the original modified sperm/egg.
So now the "fossilized" viral DNA sequence will be passed on to *their* children, and their children's children, and so on. Through a process called neutral genetic drift, given enough time (it happens faster in smaller populations than large) the "fossil" viral DNA will either be flushed out of the population eventually, *or* by luck of the draw end up in every member of the population X generations down the road. It all depends on a roll of the genetic dice.
Due to the hurdles, "fossil" retroviral DNA strings (known by the technical name of "endogenous retroviruses") don't end up ubiquitous in a species very often, but it provably *does* happen. In fact, the Human DNA project has identified literally *thousands* of such fossilized "relics" of long-ago ancestral infections in the human DNA.
And several features of these DNA relics can be used to demonstrate common descent, including their *location*. The reason is that retroviruses aren't picky about where their DNA gets inserted into the host DNA. Even in an infection in a *single* individual, each infected cell has the retroviral DNA inserted into different locations than any other cell. Because the host DNA is so enormous (billions of basepairs in humans, for example), the odds of any retroviral insertion event matching the insertion location of any other insertion event are astronomically low. The only plausible mechanism by which two individuals could have retroviral DNA inserted into exactly the same location in their respective DNAs is if they inherited copies of that DNA from the same source -- a common ancestor.
Thus, shared endogenous retroviruses between, say, ape and man is almost irrefutable evidence that they descended from a common ancestor. *Unless* you want to suggest that they were created separately, and then a virus they were both susceptible to infected both a man and an ape in EXACTLY the same location in their DNAs (the odds of such a match by luck are literally on the order of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 to 1...), *and* that the infections both happened in their gametocyte cells (combined odds on the order of 1,000,000 to 1) *and* that the one particular affected gametocyte is the one which produces the egg or sperm which is destined to produce an offspring (*HUGE* odds against), and *then* the resulting modified genome of the offspring becomes "fixed" in each respective population (1 out of population_size^squared)...
Then repeat that for *each* shared endogenous retrovirus (there are many) you'd like to claim was acquired independently and *not* from a shared ancestor...
Finally, you'd have to explain why, for say species A, B, and C, the pattern of shared same-location retroviruses is always *nested*, never *overlapped*. For example, all three will share some retroviruses, then A and B will both share several more, but if so then B *never* shares one with C that A doesn't also have (or at least remnants of).
In your "shared infection due to genetic similarities" suggestion, even leaving aside the near statistical impossibility of the infections leaving genetic "scars" in *exactly* the same locations in independent infections, one would expect to find cases of three species X, Y, and Z, where the degree of similarity was such that Y was "between" X and Z on some similarity scale, causing the same disease to befall X and Y but not Z, and another disease to affect Y and Z but not X. And yet, we don't find this in genetic markers. The markers are found in nested sequence, which is precisely what we would expect to see in cases of inheritance from common ancestry.
Here, for example, is an ancestry tree showing the pattern of shared same-location endogenous retroviruses of type HERV-K among primates:
This is just a partial list for illustration purposes -- there are many more.
Each labeled arrow on the chart shows an ERV shared in common by all the branches to the right, and *not* the branches that are "left-and-down". This is the pattern that common descent would make. And common descent is the *only* plausible explanation for it. Furthermore, similar findings tie together larger mammal groups into successively larger "superfamilies" of creatures all descended from a common ancestor.
Any presumption of independent acquisition is literally astronomically unlikely. And "God chose to put broken relics of viral infections that never actually happened into our DNA and line them up only in patterns that would provide incredibly strong evidence of common descent which hadn't actually happened" just strains credulity (not to mention would raise troubling questions about God's motives for such a misleading act).
Once again, the evidence for common descent -- as opposed to any other conceivable alternative explanation -- is clear and overwhelming.
Wait, want more? Endogenous retroviruses are just *one* type of genetic "tag" that makes perfect sense evolutionary and *no* sense under any other scenario. In addition to ERV's, there are also similar arguments for the patterns across species of Protein functional redundancies, DNA coding redundancies, shared Processed pseudogenes, shared Transposons (including *several* independent varieties, such as SINEs and LINEs), shared redundant pseudogenes, etc. etc. Here, for example, is a small map of shared SINE events among various mammal groups:
Like ERV's, any scenario which suggests that these shared DNA features were acquired separately strains the laws of probability beyond the breaking point, but they make perfect sense from an evolutionary common-descent scenario. In the above data, it is clear that the only logical conclusion is that, for example, the cetaceans, hippos, and ruminants shared a common ancestor, in which SINE events B and C entered its DNA and then was passed on to its descendants, yet this occurred after the point in time where an earlier common ancestor had given rise both to that species, and to the lineage which later became pigs.
And this pattern (giving the *same* results) is repeated over and over and over again when various kinds of molecular evidence from DNA is examined in detail.
The molecular evidence for evolution and common descent is overwhelming. The only alternative is for creationists to deny the obvious and say, "well maybe God decided to set up all DNA in *only* ways that were consistent with an evolutionary result even though He'd have a lot more options open to him, even including parts which by every measure are useless and exactly mimic copy errors, ancient infections, stutters, and other garbage inherited from nonexistent shared ancestors"...
Behemoth was clearly the hippo (then as now a very formidable animal, hippos in Africa kill more people annually than any other animal).
Leviathan was a local version of the age-old dragon myth, which dates back to at least 5000 BC with the Sumerians of Mesopotamia, the right time and place for the writers of the Bible to have heard and believed it and incorporated it into their writings.
These may be the remains of a biblical monster:
Argh, yes it does. Thanks for the correction. Yet again, my old eyes were having trouble spotting a difference between a "C" and a "G". Either I start posting with my bifocals on, or I bump up my monitor's font size.
Plus unless the macaque is a kissin cousin to the rat and mouse there is another 3 mutation spot.
Good point, I hadn't noticed that. But then that only pops up during second-order analysis from presumed phylogenies, and I was really trying to keep away from that as much as possible, because that opens up a whole new level of having to explain how we know what and why. It was better to stick with the less controversial relationships, and just lump the primates together, and the ungulates, and the rodents, and then expound on what those can teach us. Cladograms can wait for another day.
Apparently it's yet another creationist ad hoc'ism for how the footprints might have been possible in otherwise impossible circumstances -- giant whirlpools which held back the oceans and left portions of the seafloor unflooded even during a worldwide flood, just to "reconcile" a) fossil footprints that sure looked like they were made on land, and b) their desire to claim the flood was involved...
At some point, isn't it just simpler to throw up your hands and declare, "and then a miracle occurred because we sure can't invent a natural explanation that makes things work like we want it to"?
(114) Simon Peter said to them: Let Mary go forth from among us, for women are not worthy of the life. Jesus said: Behold, I shall lead her, that I may make her male, in order that she also may become a living spirit like you males. For every woman who makes herself male shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.
X. 38 opened and both of the young men entered in. When therefore those soldiers saw that, they waked up the centurion and the elders (for they also were there keeping 39 watch); and while they were yet telling them the things which they had seen, they saw again three men come out of the sepulchre, and two of them sustaining the other (lit. the 40 one), and a cross following, after them. And of the two they saw that their heads reached unto heaven, but of him that 41 was led by them that it overpassed the heavens. And they 42 heard a voice out of the heavens saying: Hast thou (or Thou hast) preached unto them that sleep? And an answer was heard from the cross, saying: Yea.Just a tiny summary. I remember my Bible professor reading the Gospel of Peter aloud in class and acting out the cross's part. Quite hilarious. :-) Still, these extracanonical Gospels are an entertaining read and a photograph into ancient thought.
This is a libelous statement. I think you should produce your long list or shut up. Your charges against Darwin sound exactly like those made by another former freeper.
Indeed, that last part of the Gospel of Thomas was over-the-top. I hadn't gotten to the Gospel of Peter yet, but the excerpt about the talking cross puts it on the top of today's reading list!
Nor does it try to do so. You are still arguing against your own strawman.
We are just seen as more highly evolved forms from an original source that happened by chance.
Not "highly" - highly is a meaningless adjective in this context. However, we are more specialized than other hominids towards a larger brain, unimpeded voice box, and bipedal stance.
There is no foundation, other than human opinion, for any kind of moral judgment and that opinion could vary from place to place and we legitimately would have no foundatin for stating it is wrong.
Like gravity or quantum mechanics, the theory evolution makes no moral judgements. Same strawman.
In the Darwinist world, one can NOT say with a rational basis that Bin Laden was evil. One can say I don't like what he did, but his majority rule may say it was perfectly okay.
On the contrary, as Junior has pointed out several times, both the individual instinct and the cultural basis for survival, reproduction, and the protection of one's children, impose such judgements. And for clearly rational and easily understandable reasons.
Saying that murderers like John Wayne Gacy let "demons" control their actions absolves them of direct personal responsibility for their actions. And, personally speaking, how is it different than saying "the Norms controlled their fates" or "the Elf-Queen made them do it", or even "evil space aliens from Zarg contolled them like sock-puppets".
It's a conceptual model of the operation of a subset of the universe - it doesn't judge people. Try to overcome the bias of your own belief system and view the world through someone else's eyes - you'll never understand them without trying.
There are implications to when you tell people they are no better than animals, and repercussions to a system of belief without moral foundation.
I didn't say that - that's your strawman based on a poor understanding of what science is.
Again, I sure hope you aren't pro-life. Because having someone who is a Darwinist stand up and say why life is valuable would not e very persuasive.
Total non-sequitur. I would not base such an argument on the "value" of life - that's your strawman based on your belief system.
Me: However, we are more specialized than other hominids towards a larger brain, unimpeded voice box, and bipedal stance.
You: Okay, a "Favored" race. How's that? That is how Darwin worded it. It also shows that you do not understand Darwin.
Where did I say that we weren't? You sure like to jump to unwarranted conclusions. Try to stop and think before you post next time.
No strawman. You can not have it to where it makes no moral judgments.
Really? Show me an example. What moral judgements does the Theory of Gravity make?
Me: On the contrary, as Junior has pointed out several times, both the individual instinct and the cultural basis for survival, reproduction, and the protection of one's children, impose such judgements. And for clearly rational and easily understandable reasons.
Allow me to rephrase that. Most 5th graders would understand that.
Saying they are less than human, which is what I was referring to, absolves them of responsibility more than allowing demons to control them.
Simple enough. Define "human" then. Explain why they are "less than human" (there's that high/low strawman again).