‘Conspiracy theory’

Steve Kern (Letters, “The Rev. Steve Kern disputes dino diets,” Aug. 17, Gazette) is a case in point. The “scientists” Kern listens to start with a conclusion — their dogma — and force the evidence to “fit” it. That some dinosaurs are obvious meat eaters makes some creationists go through mental gymnastics. They think of ludicrous ways to make adaptations for meat-eating fit plant-eating.

Kern also uses another common crank strategy: “How do we know much of anything about dinosaurs and what their true eating habits were …?” We really don’t know, therefore he is right. Here are some of the ways that we do know:

—Dinosaur-aged coprolites, fossilized feces, often have bones in them including one with a 1.52-meter (5-foot) main mass. Something huge was eating somebody.

—Dinosaurs with bite marks on their skeletons.

—Herbivorous dinosaurs often have teeth of theropod dinosaurs found with their remains, including cases where theropod teeth are jammed into bones. So did a theropod mistake a Hypacrosaurus for a melon?

—There are dinosaur fossils with bones of various other animals inside them.

—Tooth wear patterns can give clues to how its owner ate. All this brings up another characteristic of pseudoscience: the ignoring of contrary evidence.

None of the facts I have mentioned are obscure. I am not even remotely an expert on dinosaurs, but was easily able to find references in short order. Kern and his apparent source, Tom Sharp, are without excuse.

—Michael Hopkins
Norman

Oklahoma
Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of view
in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the right to
edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed, faxed,
emailed to
rcollins@okgazette.com or sent online at okgazette.com, but
include a city of residence and contact number for verification.

Michael Hopkins

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