Science and Technology
Running Hot and Cold: The Dinosaur Debate Heats Up
by Sean Meek, Director of Project CREATION
Since the earliest days of the discovery of dinosaur fossils, it has
been assumed that dinosaurs were cold-blooded. This
assumption has been shaken by recent discoveries to the point of
collapse. Several years ago Jack Horner of the Rocky Mountain Natural
History Museum stunned and angered the paleontoligical world by
proposing that dinosaurs weren't the slow moving, dimwitted,
cold-blooded brutes that they had been presented as for over a hundred
years. Based on his study of bone density, footprints, brain size and
other evidence he had come to believe that dinosaurs were, by and
large, warm blooded, quick-witted creatures.
At the time his opinions were summarily rejected by most paleontologists and he became a renegade in the dinosaur community. For years he was a lone voice promoting warm-blooded dinosaurs, but the tide began to turn as more scientists studied the evidence. Then last year the final piece of the puzzle was found. A dinosaur heart was discovered and it appeared to have four chambers, a warm-blooded heart, and not a two chambered cold-blooded heart.
There are diehards who are still holding to the cold-blooded model, but most paleontologists have come around to Horner's view. This of course does create another problem, how to classify dinosaurs? You really can't have a warm-blooded reptile. So far this problem hasn't received a lot of attention, though I'm sure it will lead to some very interesting discussions. This whole controversy though is another of those cases where what everybody knew to be true, wasn't. Next time you read or hear that all scientists know evolution to be true, tell it to the dinosaurs.