Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Origin Of Life On Earth (Dinosaur Home Post # 2)

Aside from Cryptozoology, most members focus on credible and relevant topics to Paleontology like the one I will be discussing right now: The Origin Of Life On Earth. No introduction should be needed as how this relates to the field of Paleontology and, thus, make it onto my blog and Dinosaur Home, for that matter. The only differences is that I will not recite the first chapter of Genesis from the Bible as that would be pointless and does nothing more than tell the myth and give no scientific explanation. That's not what I'm about. I want to explain how life came to be on this once inhospitable world, talking about what we DO know versus what we don't. Let's take a look some 2-3 billion years where the Earth was chaotic giant rock in orbit in a very young Solar System.

According to the Bible, God created the heavens and the Earth, then He separated the sky from the waters, and created light. Then He created all the marine life at the same time and the birds in the sky and then on land created all land fauna of the Quaternary period with Adam and Eve as the first humans. Now, we know this to be incorrect on many accounts. First of all the Earth is about 4.6 billion years old and the fossil record is proof of the fact of Natural Selection in stone. Need I go on? Now, not to deprive God of His credit and glory as He is reading over my shoulder as I type this, He did create the Universe and life on Earth, just not in the way described in the Bible and Torah (the Jewish/Hebrew's Sacred Text that shares the same Old Testament with the Christians) .

Now here's the Scientific story! We know that the fossil record has a great deal of gaps as to the fact that because of the composition of organisms during the Pre-Cambrian, they don't fossilize particuarly well so our knowledge of life that far back is a bit hazy, but it becomes clearer as more paleontological finds and biochemical experiments are done to see exactly the sort of processes God used to create the first molecules of life and even the first cells. We may even figure out how much of that first evolution and creation was God or independent of him. That's what we don't know. As well as exactly how those bio-molecules arranged themselves to form the basic polymers, sugars, lipids, carbohydrates, etc.

Despite our lack of knowledge of the beginning of life during the Pre-Cambrian, there have been many theories suggested as to those molecules even came about on the Earth. Some believe (as well as several members of that site, Dinosaur Home, which ironically isn't just about Dinosaurs) that the molecules and "ingredients" were "delivered" during the many asteroid impacts as Earth's atmosphere was very thin. Other theories include the bio-molecules being "stirred" up by an active "proto-atmosphere" into a primordial "soup" which is supposed to somehow fit together and make up the first prokaryotic cells. But how are the molecules supposed to fit together? My answer, again, is God. God is behind most of the seemingly coincidental events in life. Sure, sometimes those "coincidents" are just that, coincidents (sp?) . So, the only explanation for the seemingly impossible aspects as the bio-molecules "randomly" into the polymers that make up the basics of life. And, recently, there have been findings of primitive organisms beneath the Earth's surface (specifically Archae-Bacteria) , leading to the possibility that Life actually began beneath the Earth's surface and worked it's way to the surface where it remained for the last 3 billion years.

Now you, readers, know what we DO know about the Origin of Life versus what we Don't. This is, perhaps, one of the greatest mysteries of the Universe. However, the anwser is up to you, readers, I ask you: What do you think the answer is? Is it God or something else, you tell me.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Why Cryptozoology Isn't A Valid Or Credible Science

As promised I will begin to post about common topics on Dinosaur Home and give you a kind of taste of the site in case any of you are interested in which you all can just click the link. Ok...first on my mental "to-do" list of topics is on Cryptozoology because, whether one believes it or not, it makes up the majority of the fantasies of these young and old Paleo Enthusiasts on the site. Sure, they have plenty of fantasies about Prehistoric Life (Dinosaurs, mainly. Hey! Who Doesn't?), but I have found whole conversations of it on the site (Okay, I just exagerrated big time there, but there are at least a few people who truly accept Cryptozoology as a valid field of Science. There are several problems with Cryptozoology that I'll explain in a moment, but it is not something that one can believe and still be found credible. I'm a afraid that any respectable person, no matter how brilliant and smart they are and trustworthy, can be found to be insane. This is a sad fact, yet thankfully it's not just one-out-of-every-five hundred-or-so situations. Most are in certain groups who truly believe they are correct, though they may very well be. However, the general public will find you in need of the institution, while others may, to put it mildly, disagree with you. Sadly, the public is where your money comes from if your a scientist in the major fields (Especially, if your a Paleontologist through Museums and Universities, others taxes.) , so credibility is very important in the world of Science, and in today's world in general. Anywho, enough rambling, let's now look at Cryptozoology a little more closely and it's role on this site.

First, let's look at the definition of Cryptozoology. Cryptozoology is, by public definition, the study of creatures and things that most likely don't exist. Ok. Things that likely don't exist. does that make a credible person? That depends. Some people literally go insane with passion and determination to prove the public wrong and that he/she's a brillian man/woman. Most cases like that mean they're headed to the asylum. Now, I'm NOT saying that everyone who believes Cryptozoology is crazy! I'm merely saying that these people vary. Those who believes in Extra-terrestrials and UFOs is a popular one, but the most likely plausible than a Haunted Hotel or something or Nessie. Big-foot is another phenomonae that's plausible. The North American Western Rockies are a suitable environment to support animals like Sasquatch, this primate/hominid ( If it is real, then it maybe a another surviving species of hominid, which will explain the human like silhouette....or...that they're just random men in costumes). So far, it's not looking good for this "Science" and it's credibility.

I would, now, like to talk about the characteristics of a credible science. Most credible sciences are usually relevant to public life nowadays and concern subjects that can be studied by the basic Scientific method learned in the Elementary school science classroom. These are, of course, the fundamentals of Scientific reasoning And as such the subjects has to be at least capable of being observed as observation plays a big role in scientific thinking and exploration. On the other hand, in Cryptozoology, you can't really do that nor can any experiments or observation be performed. Since Cryptozoology does not fit the basic criteria for an actual field of science, it is NOT a science, yet it is the culmination of the Human imagination stemming from the root of some studies in a field of Science (i.e. Ghosts, Extra-Terrestrials, UFOs, Nessie, and even Sasquatch, just to name a few.

And, yet, I found a couple of people talking about whether even Mesozoic Marine Reptiles still live at the depths of today's Oceans and I had to tell him that is not possible because of a number of reasons, including Climate, different diet, etc. Just because the Coelocanth survived doesn't mean a Tylosaur or Liopleurodon could survive as the prey is just too small and the only prey that would come even close are the Whale Sharks and the Whales themselves which I doubt Liopleurodon would even consider taking down a mammal around the same size. It'd be too much of a hassle. Anyway, here's my answer to the member's comment.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I'm Back And Better Than Ever!!

As the title says, readers, I'm back and better than ever!! First of all, I would like to apologize for my sudden absence from the Paleo Blogosphere! I find it wasn't fair of me to leave you all hanging like that. You guys are loyal readers and you all mean a lot to me. Heck, I don't need to tell you that! If you've read a few of my Previous posts, you'll find me a bit..."paranoid" if you will. This is my first and only blog! I also want to apologize to those people (and dinosaurs, yes you, Traumador!) whose blogs I follow! Apparently, School had me in it's enormous grip and I really was too tired at the end of the day to do full posts. So, I hung out on the web and just surfed, doing whatever I felt like. However, I missed this blog and you all. So, as a treat this blog will cover my return as Raptor Lewis, Paleo Teacher and well as what I've been up to.

Here's a quick summary of what's been happening with my life:

  • The Dinosaur forum that Traumador was the first of us Paleo bloggers on Blogger to do a blog post, has picked me to go from ''Fresh Boarder" to Moderator in less than a day! (Actually, though i had an account there, I still manily posted here adn didn't get into the forum until a few weeks later.) So, that's where the majority of my time has been spent. I am ONE rank below the Three Administrators, one of which picked me of all the members to be Moderator. So, of course I was flattered and I accepted. Thus leads me to my next topic. Starting now, the only posts are going to be the Discussions me and the other forum members had. It should be quite interesting.
  • At this point, School! To be more precise, the Second and Final Semester of Sophomore year. The Good news is that the majority of my Grades were As and Bs with the ONLY C being in P.E. I aced Advanced Biology, and World Civilization (Both of which are Core Classes), and Bs in Advanced English 2, Spanish 1, Geometry, Probability and Statistics (Yes, that's One class, usually abbreivated as Prob. and Stats.).
  • So, right now, I'm on my way to a Wedding, my Step-Brother's Wedding to be exact (though we're so close we consider each other to be Just Brothers.) So, it should be fun! Then, it's 6-weeks down in Louisiana at my Mom's house with a week in Houston, TX at my Grandma's to see my Great Grandma and head to the Houston Museum of Natural Science (Which you can get a gist of it and a link to their site here.) Here, I can see "Leo," the Mummy Brachylophosaur ( A reletively new genus of Hadrosaur found in in the Formation by which it's named in Montana.)

Well, that's a taste of what I've been up to. But, don't worry. I'll still do the "Artwork of the Day" posts as well as the Fossil Facts...maybe (That's a maybe on the Fossil Facts.)