I just saw a video of Ken Ham indoctrinating the young in an attempt to ensure a life of ignorance and isolation from reality.  A thought struck me as I watched him prattle on about dinosaurs.  Many different fossils of extinct creatures have been found over the last century.  If all of these creatures were supposed to co-habitate (according to the young-earthers), wouldnt they completely swamp their ecology?  How could any environment possibly contain the breath-taking array of creatures which were supposed to exist in the same place at the same time?

Has anyone heard of any statements, facts, or figures relating to the staggering diversity of life in the fossil record?

 

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Umh, the only estimates I can think of are those referring to the number of species currently in existence on the planet. The figures I've read go from 5-7 to a whopping 100 million species, only 2 million of which are currently known - and I must admit that the huge gap has always left me baffled. What can really account for a 93-million difference? Anyway, if we accept the 100 million figure and the estimate that 99,9% of species that have ever lived are now extinct, that should leave us with...what, nearly 200 million different species - I'm really not good with maths, so tell me if I'm wrong in any way - sharing the global ecosystem. I can't even begin to imagine what number of individual organisms that would amount to, but I'm pretty certain the planet would not be able to support such a biological weight.
I've just realised my proportion there was awfully off. I'll let you run the numbers from now on :P
How can I run numbers when I cant even keep track of my planets? ;)
It could average at something like 100,000,000,000 species sharing the same environment at the same time, but seen as my first attempt at running the numbers was a pitiful one, I might very well be just as wrong this time around. Still, I'm pretty certain the correct number is a huge one :P
Sooooooo, all of the little critters have to be riding on the backs of bigger critters? Or inside them like russian nesting dolls?
Not sure most of the bigger critters would like that...
While I have no solid reason to doubt the number of 99.9% of species being extinct, I wonder how they arrived at this number? Is it projected on the amount of estimated divergences leading to the modern species or just a safe assumption based on the sheer volume of time?
I think it's a projection based on the average divergence rate we see today and in the fossil record and the estimate that most species seem to go extinct within 10 million years of their first appearance in the record, I think.
I don't think there has been a large discrepancy of the number of species on the planet (during geological calm periods) at any one time although the periods of the dinosaur's tenure probably had a greater biomass due to the warm climate, and high O2 and CO2 content of the atmosphere.
However, to think all the critters could exist at the same time is ludicrous in the extreme. The stink of all that dinosaur shit alone would probable kill most species.
Well, from my perspective, the stink of the half-baked idea that all these critters were hanging around at the same time puts most shit to shame. :)
You also have to take into account the number of species that have specific temperatures that they can survive in. The surface temperature of the planet has changed drastically over periods of time and not all of them can adapt as well as others. But the temperatures will change with the change on O2 an CO2 levels as well as many others.
Great call!
Wooly mammoths and hadrosaurs (sp?) would hardly make good room mates.

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