Archive for February 13, 2019

Skeptical and Rational Look at Story of Loch Ness Monster on YouTube

February 13, 2019 1 comment

Over a year ago, I came across a YouTube channel which, among other things, has a decent two-part dissection of story behind the Loch Ness monster. FYI- the guy behind this YT channel is a rationalist (who, by his own admission, was once a creationist nutter) and likely has a tendency to go too far in whichever direction he is going. In any case, given my belief that everybody has some good ideas and insight- I will post links to both his channel and the two relevant clips.

So why am I not endorsing him unequivocally ? Well.. he has often let his enthusiasm for certain beliefs such as all dinosaurs- both Ornithischia and Saurischia having feathers or proto-feathers. To be clear, there is evidence that feathers (or more likely proto-feathers) were widely distributed among dinosaurs. However, it is also true that not all dinosaurs had them- especially the really large ones. Think of it as somewhat similar to situation with hair in mammals.

While most mammals, even large ones such as bears, have tons of body hair and fur- more than a few (elephants, hippos, rhinos, dolphins, whales, humans etc) have very little to no body hair. To make matters more complicated, animals (dinosaur and others) who lived hundreds of millions years ago do not neatly fit in our taxonomy which was originally devised to classify existent ones.

For example, animals such as the four existing species of Echidna do not neatly fit into current classification system, since they have many features that are mammalian but also more than a few that are not- such as laying eggs rather than giving birth to live young. Also, their brains, eyes, digestive systems etc are rather different from mammals (both placental and marsupial). But why and how do such animals exist, anyway?

The thing is.. existent mammals, reptiles and archosaurs did not start out on independent paths from day one of their divergence from parent species. Instead, there was once a whole spread of species with amazing mixtures of features. Those which became extinct left gaps which were usually not refilled. Think of it as luck pruning the tree of life to create distinct main branches by removing intermediate branches. But let us get back to the topic of this post.

Link to his channel- TREY the Explainer

Here is part I of the series.

and here is part II..

What do you think? Comments?