Friday, May 21, 2004

Bishop Usher:

I am sitting in a review panel that is considering all kinds of proposals in the area of dinosaurs and fossils.

I'm no expert on paleontology, but this is fascinating. Mosasaur tracks (but are they crocodilians, dragging their tails underwater?). Fossil stomata on primitive leaves. Viable 800 Ma bacteria spores trapped in halite. How did the evolution of roots control erosional history?

It occurred to me that basing so much of our sciences of ontogeny and phylogeny on current genetic material is like throwing out 3 billion years of history. It excludes the fossil record entirely. I used to think that gene sequencing was the answer to all the tree of life questions, but I now realize I was way off the mark.

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