Re: Limits of Kinds (was Fall of evolved man)

Glenn Morton (
Fri, 07 Nov 1997 19:53:59 -0600

At 09:02 AM 11/7/97, Moorad Alexanian wrote of my list of mammalian species:

>Is it fair to say that the analysis you are using is like taking a few
>points, the experimental data, and connecting them according to a hypothesis
>that you are assuming. Of course, this is done every day in experimental
>science but there additional points can be provided by further experiments.
>However, in studying the history of the earth, the number of experimental
>points are very limited and thus the weakness of the conclusions one can
>derive from such data. It seems that the points may not be connected at all.
>Is that fair to say?

Considering I typed into an Excel spreadsheet all 9000+ species in the book,
Donald E. Savage and Donald E. Russell, Mammalian Paleofaunas of the World
and the approximately 4500 living species, I don't think it is a few
datapoints. When you consider duplicate names for successive periods, I
typed in nearly 14,000 names. It may have been a stupid task, but it is a
considerable database of mammalian fauna. The database is nearly complete
for North America, Africa and Europe.

I really don't know where you get the idea that the number of experimental
data points is limited in earth science. I think you should delve a little
into the anthropological, paleontological and geological literature. The
problem is not that there is too little data, but that there is too much. No
human can even begin to encompass it all.


Foundation, Fall and Flood