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T-Rex soft tissue and the science of deceptive headlines 
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 T-Rex soft tissue and the science of deceptive headlines
Controversial T. Rex Soft Tissue Find Finally Explained

This headline, like many such headlines, leaves the impression THE solution has been found. You must read the article to discover that 'explanation' really means speculation. The speculation relates to the reason soft tissue did not decay significantly over two years. There is no SCIENTIFIC basis to justify the tissue lasting 100 million times that period. The gyrations necessary to accept this rank as illegitimate. It is the scientific equivalent of, "God of the gaps."


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ant
Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:13 pm
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Post Re: T-Rex soft tissue and the science of deceptive headlines
OK so you don't like the headline. But to claim the article describes speculation is not accurate either. The scientists use chemistry and testing to back up their claim. They obviously think more study is needed and this is not the final answer as indicated below and elsewhere in the article.
Quote:
Dinosaurs' iron-rich blood, combined with a good environment for fossilization, may explain the amazing existence of soft tissue from the Cretaceous (a period that lasted from about 65.5 million to 145.5 million years ago) and even earlier.

..."Once we can get the chemistry behind some of these soft tissues, there's all sorts of questions we can ask of ancient organisms," Schweitzer said.

(Obviously the problem of explaining how soft tissue survives so long is much less significant for those who believe the earth is only 6K - 8K years old.)

I like this technical jargon. :wink:
Quote:
"I'd like to find a honking big T. rex that's completely articulated that's still in the ground, or something similar," she said.



Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:00 pm
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Post Re: T-Rex soft tissue and the science of deceptive headlines
It is science because they tested their speculation through an experiment with ostrich blood. But you're right, that it's "explained" doesn't mean the explanation is the right one. But if it's the only explanation we currently have, other scientists should take the findings and run with them, to see if they have merit.

The false pretense seems to be a part of journalism in general though. People won't read the article unless the headline lures them. I hate that this happens. I hate clicking on misleading articles to find the actual contents ambiguous. I can empathize with your point, even if I disagree with some of your comments:

Stahrwe wrote:
It is the scientific equivalent of, "God of the gaps."


Can you explain the logic behind this claim? I don't see how they are equivalent, you'll have to make the case.


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Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:03 pm
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Post Re: T-Rex soft tissue and the science of deceptive headlines
Extrapolating from 2 years to 200 million years is bogus and everyone involved knows it. That type of headline would make P.T. Barnum proud. "There's one born every minute."


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Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:31 am
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Post Re: T-Rex soft tissue and the science of deceptive headlines
Quote:
Extrapolating from 2 years to 200 million years is bogus and everyone involved knows it.


Why? Large extrapolations are done all the time Stahrwe, where science intersects with mathematics. From a couple of years of observation, we extrapolate star positions a billion years into the future. You seem to have an argument from incredulity here, without actually thinking it through. Is there a reason the preservation technique they explored wouldn't preserve the flesh long enough for fossilization to occur? Or did you not realize that was part of the explanation?


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Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:55 am
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Post Re: T-Rex soft tissue and the science of deceptive headlines
Going from 2 years to 200 million year, IN THIS INSTANCE, is desperation, it is not an extrapolation like one could do with celestial mechanics. It should be dismissed from serious consideration.


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Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:45 pm
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Post Re: T-Rex soft tissue and the science of deceptive headlines
Quote:
Going from 2 years to 200 million year, IN THIS INSTANCE, is desperation, it is not an extrapolation like one could do with celestial mechanics. It should be dismissed from serious consideration.


Why call it extrapolation if it isn't extrapolation? :lol:

The preservation of flesh only needs to last until fossilization occurs, as is clearly mentioned in the article. Fossilization can occur in as little as 5 to 10 years. You missed this point in my last post.

Another failed Gotchya!


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Post Re: T-Rex soft tissue and the science of deceptive headlines
Rachita wrote:
Large extrapolations are done all the time Stahrwe, where science intersects with mathematics. From a couple of years of observation, we extrapolate star positions a billion years into the future. You seem to have an argument from incredulity here, without actually thinking it through. Is there a reason the preservation technique they explored wouldn't preserve the flesh long enough for fossilization to occur? Or did you not realize that was part of the explanation


You haven't touched on the actual differences regarding extrapolations of star positions vs fossils of once living tissue.
Just what are they and how important might the differences be?



Last edited by ant on Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:00 am
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Post Re: T-Rex soft tissue and the science of deceptive headlines
I think this is the usual case of shoddy science reporting. The article doesn't provide much detail. There's probably a good chance the reporter is insinuating more certainty than is warranted.


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Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:32 pm
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Post Re: T-Rex soft tissue and the science of deceptive headlines
ant wrote:
You haven't touched on the actual differences regarding extrapolations of star positions vs fossils of once living tissue.
Just what are they and how important might the differences be?


The text you were replying to was actually mine. Rachita simply copy/pasted it without quotes. Extrapolation is taking what you know and extending it forward. There may be a more precise definition within mathematics, but I meant it in more simple terms. If living flesh has been preserved for 2 years in an experiment, and flesh is known to fossilize in as little as 10 years under the best of conditions, then the preservation technique is a possible explanation. Stahrwe's point is still correct, the headlines are misleading. That we have a possible explanation doesn't mean it 'has been explained.'


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Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:10 am
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Post Re: T-Rex soft tissue and the science of deceptive headlines
Interbane wrote:
ant wrote:
You haven't touched on the actual differences regarding extrapolations of star positions vs fossils of once living tissue.
Just what are they and how important might the differences be?


The text you were replying to was actually mine. Rachita simply copy/pasted it without quotes. Extrapolation is taking what you know and extending it forward. There may be a more precise definition within mathematics, but I meant it in more simple terms. If living flesh has been preserved for 2 years in an experiment, and flesh is known to fossilize in as little as 10 years under the best of conditions, then the preservation technique is a possible explanation. Stahrwe's point is still correct, the headlines are misleading. That we have a possible explanation doesn't mean it 'has been explained.'



How is a controlled isolated experiment duplicative of real-world environmental conditions?

But you're right, it's a possible explanation (emphasis mine).



Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:07 am
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Post Re: T-Rex soft tissue and the science of deceptive headlines
Quote:
How is a controlled isolated experiment duplicative of real-world environmental conditions?


If an experiment is intended to duplicate real world conditions, what would prevent it from doing so?

:bananadance:


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Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:48 am
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Post Re: T-Rex soft tissue and the science of deceptive headlines
Interbane wrote:
Quote:
How is a controlled isolated experiment duplicative of real-world environmental conditions?


If an experiment is intended to duplicate real world conditions, what would prevent it from doing so?

:bananadance:


Weak.


A scientific model NEVER duplicates a natural environment.
Any difference or exclusion of unknowable variables has a direct impact on the conclusions drawn from an artificial model.
There would naturally be a difference (sometimes not known to us) between what our models produce and what Nature produces.


If this is incorrect, prove me wrong here.

:bananen_smilies008:



Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:21 am
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Post Re: T-Rex soft tissue and the science of deceptive headlines
Quote:
A scientific model NEVER duplicates a natural environment.


For duplication, you'd need to model each and every atom/quark/molecule on the entire planet, including photons coming in from the sun. That currently isn't possible, you're right.

The test of our models is how well the predictions do in the natural environment. Many models have a ton of potential predictions that can be made. Others take a while for the "stars to align" so that a prediction can be seen as true or false. Others model a phenomenon so rare that we may never have the opportunity to see a fulfilled(or failed) prediction. That will forever be a weakness in our acquisition of knowledge.

For the article in this thread, the experiments could be supported if scientists found road kill where all the critical conditions matched the experiment(as a silly example). Excess iron in the flesh, and whatever else makes it work. It seems to be a rare enough phenomenon that I doubt we'll "confirm" it easily or anytime soon.


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Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:01 pm
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Post Re: T-Rex soft tissue and the science of deceptive headlines
Quote:
ou'd need to model each and every atom/quark/molecule on the entire planet, including photons coming in from the sun.


you're being ridiculous. that's not what I meant.



Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:19 pm
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