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← Dismiss dinosaurs as failures...and pave a path to a bleak future

Dismiss dinosaurs as failures...and pave a path to a bleak future - Comments

Mbee's Avatar Comment 1 by Mbee

Nothing new here. Mankind must get to grips with overpopulation, over harvesting of natural food supplies, usage of Earth's resources if there is going to be a long future for our species. However there is currently no significant move it trying to do any of this - it will get left to the next generation.

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 14:44:00 UTC | #451119

pussellrarker's Avatar Comment 2 by pussellrarker

I think the dinosaurs were somewhat more than 'decimated' by said event, pretty sure less than 90% survived

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 15:22:00 UTC | #451128

Friend Giskard's Avatar Comment 3 by Friend Giskard

The saying is, actually, 'Dead as a dodo'.

And I dispute that dinosaurs are frequently cited as the ultimate exemplars of failure.

Who thumbs their nose at dinosaurs, and laughs derisively at their present-day absence? Nobody. That never happens.

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 15:36:00 UTC | #451131

sundiver's Avatar Comment 4 by sundiver

Comment 471229. I've seen that a lot over the years. Even worse, to me, is the way the word fulsome is misused. Anyway, back OT. Mbee, if the next generation is as shortsighted as ours, we may go the the route of the Easter Islanders on a planetary scale. Only without the weirdly cool statuary.

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 15:49:00 UTC | #451138

colluvial's Avatar Comment 5 by colluvial

A portion of the human population is conscious of the fact that they need to exist within a diverse and healthy ecosystem. But many others seems to think that the only other species they need are the ones they eat. And it's quite likely that a substantial percentage of the latter group thinks that food originates in the supermarket.

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 16:43:00 UTC | #451154

Bueller_007's Avatar Comment 6 by Bueller_007

"Who thumbs their nose at dinosaurs, and laughs derisively at their present-day absence? Nobody. That never happens. "

Dinosaur
1. A member of an extinct race of Mesozoic Saurian reptiles...

2. fig. Someone or something that has not adapted to changing circumstances...


Their "failure" is part of the vernacular, although this author certainly takes it over the top. And I do have to wonder about the author when he says "dead as a dinosaur"... I mean, dodos WERE dinosaurs, but still.

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 17:27:00 UTC | #451163

bamafreethinker's Avatar Comment 7 by bamafreethinker

The vast majority of the people I know believe that the earth was put here for the use of mankind and that includes the destruction of said world if it suits us.

These same folks also claim that we should not store up treasures here on earth (the next life is what matters) while they build excessive, energy-wasting homes, drive 12 MPG SUV's, don't recycle, etc. - all while spewing "money is the root of all evil" out of the other side of their mouths.

This world in not their home, it's just temporary, and the Lord is coming back any day now... so don't worry about the planet - Jesus will destroy it soon anyway! A twisted form on nihilism I guess... everything will die in "the end" - except those of us who believe...

As long as this worldview dominates, there's little hope for quick, sweeping change. It will be slow and delayed - just like any change for the good that goes against their beliefs.

Of course the belief that the more "stuff" you own and the bigger the house you live in somehow proves that you are better than your fellow human is not restricted to those who believe in sky-daddies.

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 17:30:00 UTC | #451164

Billy Sands's Avatar Comment 8 by Billy Sands

This article is pants!

Birds are dinosaurs!

Without extinction, there would be insufficient ecological space for evolution to explore alternative solutions and diversify into new life forms. When initially faced with some change to their native environments, species don’t grimly stay put and evolve into new forms better suited to the transformed conditions. They move, tracking the old habitat. In general, it’s only when the old habitat disappears that species are forced to adapt or die.


He has totally ignored competition.
Someone also forgot to tell the colonising cichlids of lake malawi and heavy metal resistant grasses, antibiotic resistant organisms etc. They often gain mutations that allow them to exploit new environments

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 20:54:00 UTC | #451227

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 9 by Steve Zara

Comment #471333 by BillySands

Birds are dinosaurs!


Indeed. The dinosaurs did not go extinct. For long periods after the K/T extinction the largest and most significant predators in certain ecosystems were flightless birds - dinosaurs - that it may have been hard to distinguish from some of the "dinosaur" predators millions of years earlier.

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 20:59:00 UTC | #451228

Crazycharlie's Avatar Comment 10 by Crazycharlie

Maybe millions of years from now extraterrestrial archaeologists will dig up what remains of human civilisation and be amused by our conceits.

A paltry 200,000 years!

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 21:26:00 UTC | #451239

prettygoodformonkeys's Avatar Comment 11 by prettygoodformonkeys

3. Comment #471232 by Friend Giskard

I dispute that dinosaurs are frequently cited as the ultimate exemplars of failure. Who thumbs their nose at dinosaurs, and laughs derisively at their present-day absence? Nobody. That never happens
I beg to differ. Any huge behemoth of a gas-guzzler, especially Edsels, are frequently called dinosaurs. A simple thesaurus search gave me:
"anachronistic, ancient, antediluvian, antiquated, antique, archaic, bygone, dated, dead, dead and gone, discarded, disused, done for, dusty, extinct, fossil, gone, had it, has-been, horse and buggy, kaput, moldy, moth-eaten, old, old-fashioned, old-hat, old-school, out*, out-of-date, out-of-fashion, outmoded, outworn, passé, stale, superannuated, superseded, timeworn, unfashionable"
Of course, invoking the metaphor of dinosaurs to deride something else is not, strictly speaking, laughing right at a dinosaur, but then, isn't that a bit too literal for the context being discussed here?

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 22:28:00 UTC | #451252

Billy Sands's Avatar Comment 12 by Billy Sands

For long periods after the K/T extinction the largest and most significant predators in certain ecosystems were flightless birds - dinosaurs - that it may have been hard to distinguish from some of the "dinosaur" predators millions of years earlier.


Even in the age of the dinosaurs, it would have been hard to distinguish some species. Some folk would even classify the dromeosaurs as Birds.

I particularly like cassowaries. Their toe spike reminds me of raptors

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 23:43:00 UTC | #451265

louis14's Avatar Comment 13 by louis14

The article has many a flaw, but is essentially right. We need to understand and overcome our myopia and hubris if we're not going to do huge and long-lasting harm to this planet. (I know, we arguably already have).

But that aside, I'm trying to imagine a mass extinction event brought on by, and including us. Let's imagine in say fifteen million years a new intelligent species arising that can examine and explain the world it finds. What would be the remaining clues that would lead them to suspect that we existed and caused this mass extinction event?

I'm wondering whether the clues might be limited to such things as a strange distribution of minerals in one geologic layer.

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 23:44:00 UTC | #451266

Carl Sai Baba's Avatar Comment 14 by Carl Sai Baba

I share Friend Giskard's disbelief in the claim that dinosaurs are "frequently" used as examples of failure. While some do see their extreme size as being an ironic flaw which hindered adaptation to fast environmental changes, the common idea of death-via-meteor doesn't imply much comparative negligence on the part of the thunder lizards.

The rest of the article has valid points, but using the Dodo as the lead-in certainly would have made more sense. On the other hand, I sure do like to see dinosaurs included in popular literature.

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 00:39:00 UTC | #451283

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 15 by Border Collie

My question at this point is ... When do trolls go extinct?

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 01:32:00 UTC | #451297

Crazy_Steve's Avatar Comment 16 by Crazy_Steve

it is sad that I kind of wan to follow michelnostra's links to see how pathetic they are? Would that be "laughing at a dinosaur?"

On Topic: the author's main point, that humans need to radically adjust the main paradigm from "humans and the other ecosystems" to "the ecosystems of which humans are a part" may not be new, but it isn't repeated often enough. As bamafreethinker pointed out though, it is totally contrary to the religious worldview that defines humans as special.

Religion will kill us all, through pollution if not man-made armageddon.

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 03:00:00 UTC | #451308

Michael91's Avatar Comment 17 by Michael91

Are we (currently) capable of eliminating life on Earth? No. Although this claim is commonly made, life has persisted without hiatus for almost four billion years, and it will be here long after the last human.t

Actually that's not true. If we continue burning oil and coal and start burning tar sands, according to climate scientist James Hansen, we could trigger a runaway greenhouse effect turning our planet into another Venus.

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 05:30:00 UTC | #451327

mmurray's Avatar Comment 18 by mmurray

Let's imagine in say fifteen million years a new intelligent species arising that can examine and explain the world it finds. What would be the remaining clues that would lead them to suspect that we existed and caused this mass extinction event?


I guess they might dig up a thin layer of plastic in the earth's crust. The PVC boundary.

Does anyone know how long the LEMs and rovers and stuff on the moon are supposed to last ? I always figured they will be the last trace we leave if you ignore the deep space probes which are going to be a long way away.



Michael

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 06:45:00 UTC | #451330

infinitus's Avatar Comment 19 by infinitus

Never heard 'dead as a dinosaur'... it's 'dead as a doornail' in Australia for whatever reason!

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 07:40:00 UTC | #451334

Joel Jacobson's Avatar Comment 20 by Joel Jacobson

Sorry about sidetracking the discussion -

"...it's 'dead as a doornail' in Australia for whatever reason! "

When nails were hand forged, they often were driven completely through the boards and the penetrating end was bent over and driven back into the wood. Clinching this way was called "deadening" the nail. Vide- Eric Sloane (I forget which book)

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 12:34:00 UTC | #451384

bharmount's Avatar Comment 21 by bharmount

Why are we so blind to the fact that it is our out of control breeding that is causing the human population explosion that is causing these extinctions????

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 13:22:00 UTC | #451395

bluebird's Avatar Comment 22 by bluebird

Good article, except I've never heard anyone dis the dinos.

Re climate change, the fourth annual Earth Hour is this Saturday!
https://www.myearthhour.org/about

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 14:51:00 UTC | #451414

Sciros's Avatar Comment 23 by Sciros

Dinosaurs fucking suck, biggest losers ever. They were huge but they still all died because of a big rock. Shameful. If I were a T-Rex the worst thing about being one would be that my arms would be too short to commit seppuku and die honorably.

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 14:56:00 UTC | #451415

louis14's Avatar Comment 24 by louis14

Well Sciros, I believe that when T.Rexes got depressed they got together and helped bite a big tooth out of each other's mouths. Then they'd fall on the upturned extracted tooth. Yes. That's how it was.

I believe this very much, so it must be true.

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 22:17:00 UTC | #451628

William T. Dawkins's Avatar Comment 25 by William T. Dawkins

As a child, I Loved Dinosaurs!

My childhood logic said: "If the biggest beast that ever roamed the earth was my friend, I would not be hurt anymore."

Go Big T.!

Wed, 24 Mar 2010 01:05:00 UTC | #451684