Why didn't dinosaurs evolve again after the Big Bang?

While going through my logs last month I came across a rather interesting search query that somebody used to find my blog.

why didn't dinosaurs evolve again after the big bang

After a little chuckle I carried on, however I did jot it down for future use.

I suppose fundamentally it represents the terrible truth that ignorance dominates in our society. Nothing demonstrates this more than Sherri Shephard:

We knew the shape and size of the Earth 2200 years ago, it is disappointing to see not everyone is aware of it today.

I suppose I could just ridicule this person, but the fact they ask a question at least show they're interested in learning. Unlike Shephard, who during her whole life apparently never wondered what the shape of the world was, or was ever shown a map or globe of the Earth.

The fundamental answer for why dinosaurs didn't evolve *again* after the Big Bang was because the Big Bang predates the dinosaurs by about 13.6 billion years. There was no Big Bang after when the dinosaurs were about.

The question I suspect he or she was meaning was why didn't dinosaurs evolve again after going extinct?

There are a few reasons why this hasn't happened yet and why it probably won't happen again in the future.

Firstly the conditions present today are not like those of the Triassic, Jurassic or Cretaceous periods, the Earth is much cooler now, and because of this reptiles are small, the only large land animals are mammals because they are warm blooded. Because of this, it would be difficult for reptiles to compete with mammals as we're "dug-in" and would be difficult to be ousted. Like how mammals were small while reptiles dominated the Earth. You need an extinction event to shake things up. The impact that ended the Cretaceous period lowered global temperatures, this hurt reptiles badly but gave mammals are head start in the new environment. Today global warming could give reptiles a boost at the expense of many mammal species.

But even assuming the Earth of the future closely resembled that of a hundred million years ago, the probability of species resembling dinosaur species is extremely slim, we're talking trillions to one in probability this is because of how complicated the genetic code is. The change of the same mutations and then the same selections happening to create a species of dinosaur is incredibly remote. We may well end up with large reptiles again on the Earth. But realistically they will never be the same as species of dinosaur that have gone extinct. That genetic code is lost, and the chance of it arising again is too unlikely for it to happen.

5 comments

Comment from: Mikotondria [Visitor]
Mikotondria
5 stars

Both the Sherri Shepherd incident and the query string you found highlight something that is far more widespread than either you or I fully appreciate (or are prepared to accept :).. That there are millions of apparently rational, educated people out in the world, voting, driving large vehicles on public roads, raising children, having 'opinions', that have not the most basic knowledge of science, scientific history or scientific process whatsoever.
They honestly 'believe' (suspect is probably true), that the Theory Of Evolution is 'just' a theory, similar to a 'theory' they have about who said what to whom about that 'thing at work', a postulation, an untested and unverifiable hypothesis for which there is no real evidence.
They do not have an inkling of the relative timings of the events that brought them to be, from the 14bn yo Big Bang, star and galaxy formation, nucleosynthesis, amino acid production, self-replication of chemical species, the eons of unicellular early life, basic geological knowledge of the evolution of life forms from fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals and the timescales involved..
This IS the most fundamental layer of knowledge one needs to be able to take part in discussions of evolution vs. creation, of (literal) 'flat earth' repudiations.
Unfortunately people without this knowledge are perfectly allowed to express their 'opinions' on these topics and demand that they have equal validity, and even privilege to uphold and have legislation drawn up based upon them, and demand that the rest of us treat them and their 'beliefs' with respect (which translates to not telling them they are wrong).
It makes me very angry, which I can only assume is a manifestation of Thor's wrath. In fact, I 'believe' this, so move out of the way, I've got some particle physics to debunk.

6th November 2009 @ 16:06
Comment from: Lucy [Visitor]
Lucy
5 stars

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Lucy

8th January 2010 @ 12:45
Comment from: BR!@N [Visitor]  
BR!@N
5 stars

i think it is very good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

21st May 2010 @ 00:19
Comment from: Kren [Visitor]
Kren
3 stars

theory: a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena; "theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses"; "true in fact and theory"
hypothesis: a tentative insight into the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena; "a scientific hypothesis that survives experimental testing becomes a scientific theory"; "he proposed a fresh theory of alkalis that later was ...
You seem to think the word theory is a synonym for hypothesis, and it isn't. Evolution works, and it's been proven.

12th October 2010 @ 00:03
Comment from: Dan Simpson [Visitor]
Dan Simpson
1 stars

I was interested to know why dinosaurs didn't evolved again after the meteor strike and found this article after a Google search. While it did answer my question I was amazed at the condescending arrogance of the author.

He's an astronomer and obviously the person he is referring to isn't. They mistook the term "big bang" for the meteor strike, big deal. Would I expect to be ridiculed by a mechanic if I used the wrong term to describe a part of my car's engine?

And the first comment by Mikotondria suggesting that this person shouldn't be allowed to vote or raise children!

The attitudes of Paul Smith and Mikotondria illustrate a far bigger problem with our society - there are too many arseholes.

26th October 2011 @ 14:39


Form is loading...