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12 October 2009

Palaeontology is Hard!

Especially for palaeontologists, it would seem,

Many dinosaurs may be facing a new kind of extinction—a controversial theory suggests as many as a third of all known dinosaur species never existed in the first place.

That’s because young dinosaurs didn’t look like Mini-Me versions of their parents, according to new analyses by paleontologists Mark Goodwin, University of California, Berkeley, and Jack Horner, of Montana State University.

Instead, like birds and some other living animals, the juveniles went through dramatic physical changes during adulthood.

This means many fossils of young dinosaurs, including T. rex relatives, have been misidentified as unique species, the researchers argue.

How T. Rex Became a Terror

The lean and graceful Nanotyrannus is one strong example. Thought to be a smaller relative of T. rex, the supposed species is now considered by many experts to be based on a misidentified fossil of a juvenile T. rex.

The purported Nanotyrannus fossils have the look of a teenage T. rex, Horner said in the new documentary. That’s because T. rex’s skull changed dramatically as it grew, he said.

The skull morphed from an elongated shape to the more familiar, short snout and jaw, which could take in large quantities of food.

But the smoking gun, Horner said, was the discovery of a dinosaur between the size of an adult T. rex and Nanotyrannus.

As I’ve said before on numerous occasions, palaeontology isn’t necessarily an exact science. Just ask Java Man.

It’ll be interesting to see how evolutionists spin this. The one science that they really, truly were pinning their hopes on to save evolution’s bacon – and it turns out the primary “scientists” involved can’t even distinguish juvenile and adult dinosaurs of the same species. This – along with the long procession of “proto-human hominid ancestors” whose skeletons are reconstructed based on the testimony of a couple of jawbones, or wristbones from an extinct species of peccary – calls into question the competence of the whole structure of the palaeontological pseudoscience. It really does. We all the time hear about “missing links” and whatnot that are discovered, only to later turn out to be deformed members of already-known species, and so forth. That’s what happens when the obsession to validate a philosophical presupposition takes the place of careful, empirical study.

I find it ironic that the discovery of a missing link is what calls the science of missing links into question.

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