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View Diary: Who can own the future? (262 comments)

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  •  But there's the issue of surviving evidence (1+ / 0-)
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    cotterperson

    IIRC, paleontologists are only able to date finds from the Mesozoic within ten million years. And finds of specific species are a lot less common than we non-experts believe. (For example, just how many T. Rex fossils have been recovered? A dozen? Twenty? More than 100?) And over the previous million years, a sizable share of Earth's land surface has subducted beneath the crust, destroying all evidence preserved on or in it.

    And stones shaped into tools might be hard to identify after 66 million years underground. Some paleolithic stone tools look very much like stones naturally fractured. And then there is the issue of out-of-place artifacts, although most of them are either dubious or explainable by other causes.

    All this means is that many species can come into existence & go extinct without leaving a trace in the fossil record. Sentient dinosaurs -- or amphibians -- could have come into existence then gone extinct without leaving any traces scientists might identify, let alone accept as undeniable proof of their existence.

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