Talk:Dinosaur/Archive 3

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Archive 2 | Archive 3 | Archive 4

Overall structure as visible from the (Table of Contents)

what it looks like right now, after a non-consensus modification

   * 1 What is a dinosaur?
         o 1.1 Definition
         o 1.2 Size
         o 1.3 Behaviour
   * 2 Study of dinosaurs
         o 2.1 Fields of study
         o 2.2 Classification
               + 2.2.1 Saurischians
               + 2.2.2 Ornithischians
         o 2.3 Evolution
   * 3 Areas of debate
         o 3.1 Warm-blooded?
         o 3.2 Feathered dinosaurs and the bird connection
               + 3.2.1 Feathers
               + 3.2.2 Skeleton
               + 3.2.3 Reproduction biology
               + 3.2.4 Lungs
               + 3.2.5 Heart
               + 3.2.6 Care of young
               + 3.2.7 Gizzard
               + 3.2.8 Other
         o 3.3 Evidence for Cenozoic non-avian dinosaurs
         o 3.4 Bringing dinosaurs back to life
         o 3.5 Discovery of probable soft tissue from dinosaur fossils
   * 4 Extinction theories
         o 4.1 Asteroid collision
         o 4.2 The Oort cloud
         o 4.3 Poisonous plants
         o 4.4 Environment changes
   * 5 History of discovery
   * 6 In popular culture
   * 7 See also
   * 8 References
   * 9 External links and sources

Comments on what the overall structure should be

I think a lot of thought should go into this. The structure is in need of a major overhaul. WAS 4.250 01:43, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

  • I don't know if I'm the "non-consensus modification" or not, but I just want to say that I didn't change the actually hierarchical arrangement when I reformatted the headings, I just nested them appropriately. Basically they were all one setting too "high", so I nested them all down one peg. But it didn't change the arrangement. I agree that the headings are a bit congested, though. Personally I'd try to summarize the dino-bird thing in one section, and leave the details and different body parts for the page specifically designed for that information, but that's just me. --Fastfission 02:35, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Also, personally I'd put "Extinction" before debated areas (I think it is more relevant and necessary a subject than all of the little debates about them), and I would move the "discovery" section up to being underneath the "definition" section, so that it would go: Definition; Discovery; Study; Extinction; Debates. But that's just one of many possible proposals. --Fastfission 02:36, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

Exactly. I have a few things I would change.

  1. Get rid of the category Areas of Debate (everything is debatable in all sections of all articles)and let each of its subsections become sections.
  2. Change some short section titles (designated with equal signs) to bolded (designated with three ').
  3. Either use or delete the talk header that says how to structure this article.
  4. Either source or delete the poisonous plants as an extinction theory.
  5. The main extinction theory is that one(Asteroid collision) or more(The Oort cloud) space objects hit the Earth causing changes(Environment changes), especially in the area of the India-Asia collision, that over less than a million years or so caused the non-avian dinosaurs to die out. The current structure makes the theories look like competing theories rather than the mutually consistent theories that they are. WAS 4.250 04:30, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

This reshuffling work was mine. I only did this because it was absolutely needed. The previous format was atrocious. I simply made it easy for people to then upgrade the article from a solid base, rather than have it riddled with errors. I tried to keep everything the same, only shuffled around, so as to not get criticisms for it. I agree totally, it still needs alotta work. I only kept the "AREAS OF DEBATE" section title as it is because I didn't feel confident just deleting it without full permission. I would request also that this title get deleted. I think that the bolded titles under the dino-bird connection should be deleted also, their information merged into one title. The only reason they are actually there anyway is because at the end of all of them is an external link.

On the asteroid collision title, they are actually competing theories. One states that only one asteroid hit earth, while the other states several did at the same time.It can't be both ways. My only suggestion would be putting new titles over them:

+Extinction Theories;

+Asteroid Collision;
+Alvarez's theory.
+Oort's theory.

I would like to try & get more depth to the "IN POPULAR CULTURE" section as well, since it's so small. Well there's my 2 cents worth. Spawn Man 07:55, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

"Extinction by Poisonous plants"

"A less likely theory is that the evolution of flowering plants led to the dinosaur's extinction. The theory claims that towards the late Cretaceous period, after co-evolving with flowering plants and grasses, new flowering trees and plants carrying deadly toxins evolved. This would have killed the herbivores who ate them, & in turn would have killed the carnivores also from the shortage of substantial prey." —A brief report on this "theory", if it has been published anywhere, would be worth noting in the article. As it is, it's just a dream, though an original one, to be sure. --Wetman 07:09, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Huh? What you talking about Willis? This is an extinction theory thought by many paleontologists, & could very well have been the downfall of the dinosaurs.... Spawn Man 01:41, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Erm... As far as I know this hypotheses wasn't given much credit even when it was proposed (though I'm not particularly sure on that) mainly because of constraints in evolutionary change that usually give rise to co-evolution of herbivores and plants. What this means is that if there were poisonous plants, which there probably were, the individuals of some species would avoid them, by way of either learned behaviour ("culture") or of hardwired neuronal paths, and populations of other species, by way of mutation and natural selection, would develop resistances to the deadly substances found in leaves. That dinosaurs would die because plants suddenly became poisonous simply doesn't make sense in my view. Unless of course there was lateral gene transmission, though that's untestable. Dracontes 15:18, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Volcanic Extinction

There is also another theory of volcanoes causing extinction. Supposedly, a massive volcano (not too sure where) erupted and triggered more volcanoes to erupt. This blanketed the Earth with clouds of ash and sulphur, killing the dinosaurs with extreme cold due to the fact that sunlight could not penetrate it- Flamingice007sg, 18:33, 2nd January 2006

A succession of eruptions in India. There are some articles on it at newscientist among other places, this theory seems to be gaining support and it was recently proved the eruptions were indeed in fairly rapid succession. It should be included in the article Discordance 00:56, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

You are right. Please add what needs to be added. Please include relevant and relable sources in whatever form you chose. Providing sources is the key. Their format is not. WAS 4.250 03:07, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Wrong, unless you want to lose featured article status. One of the main complaints peer reviews had about this article is the mixed sourcing styles. Please use only footnotes.Dinoguy2 16:12, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Tyrannosaurus rex

This article is a FAC! Drop by and let us know how to improve it. Banana04131 19:41, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

Dino-bird link theory & Improvement

The whole Dinosaur avian connection section is a shamble! This section was obviously created by a single person wanting to showcase the site which every sentence ends in a link to. Either it should all be compacted, or deleted. I'm for compacting it into a paragraph or two with the links showcased at the end under the external links section.

Also, the quote from "Dino buzz" at the top is unneeded, & does not further any information in the paragraph. Based from the comments on the failed FA submission, people disliked this too, along with the dozens of unneeded links dotting the article. Although deleting the external links only available in German was easily done by myself, I fear I'll need approval for doing what I've stated above. Post your comments below. If no one has any objection in a couple of days, I'll carry on with the changes. Thanks, Spawn Man 01:50, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Further more, someone keeps adding completely unneeded links at the end of every damn paragraph!! Stop it!! This article is about Dinosaurs, not just the link between them & birds!! Every paragraph either has a link for the bird connection or the words feathers, birds, avian or bird connection! Create a page on the Avian Dino connection if you will, just stop adding nonsense here!!! Migosh..... some people... Spawn Man 02:57, 5 December 2005 (UTC) P.S. Further more, I will be deleting the stupid stuff now as I'm sick & tired of seeing it there all the time...

Birds ARE dinosaurs. WAS 4.250 04:18, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Actually, that is a matter of debate, both scientifically and semantically. Saying "birds are dinosaurs" is like saying "chimpanzees are human." You are re-defining the word to achieve the result wanted. I note that some have said that pterodactyls are not dinosaurs. There are disputes about the "sea serpents." What is or is not a dinosaur is a matter of debate. Also, everyone knows what a BIRD is, and everyone knows that "dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago." So, to come out and say that "birds are dinosaurs" is like "preaching to the choir". Brainwashing does not make it right.→ R Young {yakłtalk} 19:36, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

...What? I just noticed this post, odd that it's marked 2006, in the middle of an old conversation. You make no sense. What is or is not a dinosaur is not subject to debae. A dinosaur is defined as either a) the common ancestor of Iguanodon and Megalosaurus plus all its decendants (cladistic), or b) all archosaurs with a hole in the hip socket and therefore an upright leg posture (traditional). Given all available evidence, this means that birds are dinosaurs, sauropods are dinosaurs, "sea serpents" as you put it are not dinosaurs, and pterosaurs are not dinosaurs. Your analogy is bogus too--saying "chimps are humans" is like saying "ankylosaurs are stegosaurs", that is, completely wrong. "Birds are dinosaurs" is more like "mammals are synapsids", technially correct, just not involving commonly known terms.Dinoguy2 19:21, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
We know birds ARE dinosaurs, as I said, I never disputed that! I said however, that there are too many links, too many quotes & to many references to it, considering that Dinosaurs have many interesting things other than that one topic... Spawn Man 01:26, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
No dispute against getting rid of the links? Very well, I'll proceed.... Muahahaaaa Spawn Man 01:28, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

I have come up with a solution!!! On close inspection of other articles, I noticed something, FOOT NOTES!! This solves our problem! No need to delete links, just foot note them! This will keep everyone happy, don't you agree? Spawn Man 02:14, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Foot notes created after only 4 hours work, (the page history will confirm this!). I deserve a medal........ Everyone happy? Good.... I've probably got deep vein thrombosis now cause of all your links WAS 4.250!! Goodnight... Spawn Man 04:29, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
That's why I like perl :) Would have been much faster! Maybe there should be some standard footnoting tool for wikipedia? - JustinWick 06:00, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Revising footnotes

I don't have experience setting up footnotes and I don't want to mess this up, so I'll wait a while and see if anyone wants to take the lead here. Anyway, I hadn't noticed this, but somebody at the featured article nomination page pointed it out - almost all the footnotes point to magazine or news articles. It's bad enouhg that these are secondary or tertial sources (finding primaries should be easy, especially using the DML archives [1]), but I read a lot of news reports on science and, particularly when dinosaurs are involved, the reporters invariably get about 80% of the information flat-out wrong, not to mention the fact that the links change often for online articles. This is not good for an encyclopedia guys! Dinoguy2 15:00, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

I'll look into it... Spawn Man 22:11, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Detailed classification

This is listed under pending tasks. Now, about a year ago I and a bunch of other dinophiles added a very in-depth classification to the main entry, which was subsequently erased after we stopped keeping tabs on it. We're now trying to replicate this effort on List of dinosaur classifications. Should some or all of this material be moved to the main entry? Personally I think it might make the whole thing a little cluttered, but what do you guys think? Dinoguy2 22:43, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

I think it's a great idea, just not too detailed & long.... Spawn Man 23:52, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Seconday refs

All the notes in the article are secondary discussions of primary research. For example in note 1 it tells you that the article which reported the discovery: Italian paleontologists published in the March 26, 1998, edition of the journal Nature the discovery of an extraordinarily well preserved dinosaur. Go to the nature site (this also works for science and new scientist), do a keyword search for the organism or author and it will give you this information:

Exceptional soft-tissue preservation in a theropod dinosaur from Italy
Cristiano Dal Sasso, Marco Signore
SUMMARY: The Lower Cretaceous Pietraroia Plattenkalk (Benevento Province, southern Italy) has been known since the eighteenth century for its beautifully preserved fossil fishes. During Albian
Nature 392, 383-387 (26 Mar 1998) Letters to Editor

To reference the paper you can do it manually or use a template. The reference would look like this

  • Dal Sasso, C. and Singnore, M. (1998). Exceptional soft-tissue preservation in a theropod dinosaur from Italy. Nature 292:383-387

Include the reference with the note.

Now there are a mixture of references in Harvard style and those using footnotes, this is a Harvard reference: The end result would again be an unnatural winter, ultimately freezing the dinosaurs (Koeberl et al., 2002) - this should be converted to a note and the reference listed with the note so that a consistent style is applied throughout the article.--nixie 05:23, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

References vs notes

I haven't looked into the history of the article, but the dichotomy of both a notes section and a reference section is rather absurd. I assume that the notes are actually references, but are only separated because of a later introduction of a footnote system. These should be merged as a single Reference section. Some refs as noted above use the Harvard style of referencing while others use a superscripted number link. I am aware that there is some debate about the use of the footnote system partially employed here. I ask before delving into the history, was this discussed or did someone simply start using the footnote system with no discussion or consensus? Whichever way it goes - consistency please - and get rid of that small print Notes section, those are references and as such should be alphabetized. I haven't paid any attention to FAC guidlines lately, are they pushing footnotes there? Vsmith 02:25, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Actually, Vsmith, it was discussed if you read the FAC for Dinosaur. The harvard style is being converted into foot notes. As you may have already noticed.... Spawn Man 23:37, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Say what?

Can anybody include pronouciations of these critters? (Also Bob Bakker...) Trekphiler 14:39, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

That would be stupid! Look on the dinosaur's article & usually they have it there... Spawn Man 02:19, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
And if I want to read generally about dinos without jumping back & forth to know how it's pronounced, that's stupid? BTW, I've seen those pages, & they don't all include pronounciation... Trekphiler 08:25, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Contact the Dinosaur wikiproject if entering the pronounciations of the dinosaur names is in their manual of style. If it is, I'll get right on it. Spawn Man 00:41, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Finding references

I'm having trouble finding any references for some of this material, most notably the stuff on the Cenozoic dinosaurs and the Environment changes. I don't know who added this material, but whoever did, please state where you got the information. Shortly I will be adding a few references to extinction theories and history. --Spangineeres (háblame) 16:43, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

The enviromental changes source:

earthwatch nov 2000 p 6- 13

You can find it in any American library in the online SIRS or EBSCO (Academic) database. 00:04, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Ongoing concerns

  • The section on climate changes in the Cretaceous reads like a specific hypothesis, and should be sourced.
  • The evolution section could use some expansion- are there any phylogenetic reconstructions of the dinosaurs that could be discussed?--nixie 05:42, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Another issue: the persistence of dinos after the impact. I only know what little I've heard in TV docs (& the rare Discover article), but there's suggestion disease killed 'em, & many continued (perhaps even more than were killed). Comment/include? Trekphiler 08:29, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Post Cretaceous

I have just looked for evidence (or references) to support the articles comments that the El Ojo fossils are contaminents of the Paleocene strata. I have found none (nothing on old archived talk pages either). Can anyone supply references? If not, I propose a rewrite of this article - especially this section - more along the lines of the published evidence seen here [] RossNixon 09:56, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

The VERY FIRST sentence at [] says: "Evolutionary scientists have proclaimed for years that the dinosaurs died out at the end of the Cretaceous, exactly 65 million years ago." which is incorrect in limiting who is talking (its scientists, not evolutionary scientists), wrong in tone (they don't proclaim, they find data and make conclutions from the data), wrong about lengh of time ("years" is too short, about centuries would be better), wrong about dinosaurs dying out (they did not die out - birds are dinosaurs), and wrong about "exactly". But then what do you expect from a site that proudly proclaims that its mission is to uphold the AUTHORITY of the BIBLE from the first verse. Science and this article uphold the authority of evidence and logic. The same evidence and logic Bible thumpers PROCLAIM exists to test our FAITH. WAS 4.250 20:14, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
OK, I've since found more neutral sites that cover this (by searching on "Ojo" not "El Ojo". I'm actually more interested in a source/reference that mentions the conclusion of contamination of the site. RossNixon 09:58, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
AFAIK, there hasn't been a paper demonstrating re-deposition, just speculation on the DML. The Ojo hadrosaur is only known from a single bone dated to 64.5 million years ago, so even the placement of this after the K/T assumes that the K/T event happened exactly 65 mya and not 64, etc. A more complete skeleton from, say, 62 mya would seal the deal, but until one is found, interpreting this one lsightly anamolous bone is difficult and not definitive. But, since it was the last paper published on the subject, it should be noted without anyone claiming that it has been refuted or something. The presence of early Cenozoic hadrosaurs also in no way, shape, or form has anything to do with creationism or the Bible--it's STILL 64 my old, not 6 thousand!Dinoguy2 14:41, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
I fear the whole discussion of this issue is influenced by the false premise that the find of a dinosaur bone after 65 mya somehow falsifies the hypothesis that they went extinct at that date. It doesn't. Finding some reworked remains is precisely what that hypothesis predicts. This again makes the hypothesis that found remains are indeed reworked the most parsimonious, till the moment strong evidence has been represented the remains were first deposited in situ. Like finding an reasonably articulated skeleton. Which has never happened.--MWAK 09:35, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

More DFH!

For those who aren't fans (& you should be ashamed! =]), I'll pass on, Lorenzo was a member of the "Bernard Goetz Fan Club". Trekphiler 08:32, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

What the heck? What's DFH & what does it have to do with Dinosaurs? Spawn Man 00:42, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Dinosaurs are vs. Dinosaurs were

Dinosaurs are sounds absolutely ridiculous! I'm willing to accept unconventional ideas, but only if they are true. Is there really a consensus among zoologists that dinosaurs still exist today? If not, this really needs to be changed back to Dinosaurs were, asap. Rearden Metal 22:09, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

Birds are a sub-group of dinosaurs (just like sauropods or ceratopsians), so any statement that applies to birds could be "dinosaurs are". We're trying to cut down on the use of "non-avian dinosaurs" apparently, so if you mean "non-avian dinosaurs were...", I think "dinosaurs were..." is appropriate, if the statement doesn't apply to birds. Depends on how broadly you're speaking. Dinoguy2 22:16, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

While it may be technically correct, The word dinosaur is not generally used to describe modern birds. I've yet to see a pet store advertise a "half price sale on all dinosaurs in stock". In order to avoid confusion, a happy heterosexual male shouldn't be called a gay man, and the opening sentence of a Wikipedia article on dinosaurs should not imply that dinosaurs are not extinct. I generally avoid involvement in rv wars, so I'll just post my opinion here, rather than making unilateral changes to an entry on a topic I know little about. Rearden Metal 23:53, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

It is, however, used that way among the scientists that work in this field. I think it is not such a bad thing to follow the primary literature on this point. Not doing so is not reflecting the scientific consensus. -- John.Conway 12:04, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
Shouldn't an encyclopedia be technically correct first of all?--MWAK 09:35, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

I know I know. I've been trying to bargain with WAS 4250, but to no point. Let him keep his are. We shouldn't really care. Spawn Man 05:54, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Although I am aware that birds are dinosaurs phylogenetically speaking, it is uncommon use to include birds within the dinosaur-concept, except for certain scientific circles. But even the authoritative Michael Benton puts birds and dinosaurs in different classes. Having said that, the current definition is neutral enough in this respect. No matter what, dinosaurs ARE vertebrates that ranged etc. To my knowledge it is not obligatory to always describe extinct groups in past tense. Fedor 08:28, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Indeed. The suggestion to replace are with were is perhaps showing both a poor knowledge of English and a poor knowledge of science. The first sentence should imply dinosaurs are not extinct for the simple fact that they aren't. Sadly it doesn't. BTW, Benton isn't authoritative in that he still uses Linnean ranking. His ill-founded critique of cladism shows a regrettable modular obtuseness in an otherwise intelligent paleontologist ;o).--MWAK 09:35, 29 December 2005 (UTC)


  • Orders
  • Saurischia
  • Sauropodomorpha
  • Theropoda
  • Ornithischia

This makes no sense. Why are Sauropodomorpha and Theropoda in there? - unsigned

Please take the question to List of dinosaur classifications. Thank you. WAS 4.250 22:55, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Sauropodomorpha and Theropoda are supposed to be suborders. Originally they were indented, but the page needed to be changed when a template was altered, and this was accidentally dropped. I've fixed it. Josh

Fossil and Non-Fossil records

As far as I can tell, all the records listed in the intro are fossil records. Something doesn't have to be mineralized bone to be a fossil; traces of impressions of feathers and organs are still a type of fossil, as are the examples of preserved soft tissue in the citations. What are the non-fossil records referred to? If there are some, at least one should be listed. If there aren't, "non-fossil" should be removed. --ragesoss 05:04, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

You are right: a fossil doesn't need to be "fossilised" to be one. However there is of course a non-fossil record: both the DNA and its phenotypic expression of extant dinosaurs (i.e. birds) form a record of their evolution and can be compared to that of extant crocodilians for "phylogenetic bracketing".--MWAK 07:50, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Then those should be mentioned in that sentence, right?--ragesoss 11:05, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Fossil records

I'm wondering why eggs are not mentioned among records. 12:12, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

The — already overloaded — sentence uses the word "including", probably meaning: "The following list is not exclusive".--MWAK 14:21, 1 January 2006 (UTC)


The dagger (†) is used to indicate taxa with no living members.

aren't all taxa other than aves extinct? Also, why is aves listed where it is?

Good questions! Plausible answers are:
  1. Indeed and therefore they all have a little dagger in front of them. A little formal but that can't hurt in an encyclopedia. Of course those higher taxa to which birds belong are therefore still extant, such as Theropoda, Tetanurae etc.
  2. Why, would you rather have it listed where it is not? ;o) The classification is used of Michael Benton, who still uses traditional ranking. As Aves traditionally has the rank of class, Benton keeps it that way although it now has the same position as a superfamily and is a class within class Sauropsida. Utterly incoherent but that's evolutionary systematics for you. If you don't like it, I may welcome you to cladism. The exact location of Aves is still incertain, but by definition somewhere within Maniraptora.--MWAK 14:21, 1 January 2006 (UTC)


I don't really want to be the one to do it, but this article needs to discuss creationist views on dinosaurs for NPOV. Creationists often specifically treat the topic of dinosaurs (e.g. [2]), and are sufficiently numerous to comprise a non-fringe viewpoint. Above, one user argued that this was not necessary because "this page is about dinosaur science". Actually, this page is about just dinosaurs, and we have an obligation to record the major human views of them. — Matt Crypto 13:49, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Outside of the US Creationism has only a very small following. I therefore doubt that it represents a "major human view" and needs mention.Cyberevil 13:51, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
It's a large enough view to require a mention, in my opinion. — Matt Crypto 13:58, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
I think it's telling that although it may not have followers outside the US, it's still well known. The fact is, it's a big debate in large parts of the US and subsequently garners attention. As a result, I agree that a mention is both appropriate and needed.--jfg284 you were saying? 14:03, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
It might certainly be interesting to have an article Creationist views on dinosaurs (if only for its amusement value) but as those views have little if anything to do with the actual creatures themselves, the article dinosaur should only give the link and not include an entire section discussing this fringe-"science" (which will always be fringe and never true science, whatever the number of creationists: science is not a democratic process).--MWAK 14:31, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
We need to document it here, too, to some extent. The NPOV policy is that we must cover all views on a topic. Creationism may be considered fringe science, but it's not a fringe worldview. — Matt Crypto 14:40, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
The policy is to give all relevant views on a subject. The creationist view is not relevant enough for a full discussion; not because it's not true but because its relation to the real dinosaurs is very slight: creationists only have views on them because they happen to be well-known to the public. They basically claim nothing specific about them that might not also be said of any prehistoric group of animals.--MWAK 14:51, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
The creationist POV does specifically address dinosaurs, and how or why this came about does not make much difference. There's no avoiding it, I'm afraid. For NPOV, we must describe what creationists say about dinosaurs. — Matt Crypto 15:20, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Specificity is not enough, I fear: their contribution to the concept of dinosaur must be substantial enough to constitute a minimal relevancy. Has this been shown? And is the relevancy enough to make it notable given the general level of description of the concept? It won't do to give too much attention to a marginal phenomenon. But why not first write a separate article so that we all can get a clearer view of this matter?--MWAK 17:03, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
The creationist views on dinosaurs are so profoundly shallow and so heavily politicized that it is in fact breaking NPOV policy to include them in the main article. As said, creationists have views on many subjects, especially those widely known and publically appealing as 'dinosaurs', solely in order to push through their point-of-view. It would be comparable to writing about nazi views on jews in the article on the jewish people. Of course, nazis are much nastier than creationists, that is not the point. The point is that such inclusions would be highly inappropriate and it would not contribute anything substantial. Fedor 18:56, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Godwin's law triumphs again, it seems. GeeJo (t) (c) 19:03, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
No, Godwin's law has nothing to do with this. I clearly do not equate creationists with nazis, I just point to the inappropriateness. Have you also got some substantial comments, instead of attempting to sidestep the issue? Fedor 19:07, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Calm down, I just thought it was funny, I wasn't trying to poke you. If there's any topic deserving of a laugh, it's Creationism. As an aside, Godwin's law just states that a comparison be made, not between any two particular groups. GeeJo (t) (c) 19:14, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Okay, I am sorry for being so jumpish. Fedor 10:44, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
A view being "shallow" or "politicised" does not disqualify it from inclusion in the article under NPOV. A comparison with Nazi views on Jews is so different as to be of little use here. — Matt Crypto 19:59, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Actually, yes it does. Creationist contribution to the understanding of the dinosaurs are so minimal, it lacks mentioning. To do so would be POV. Please review Wikipedia's Neutral Point of View policy (WP:NPOV). The sections of the WP:NPOV that apply directly to this article are NPOV: Pseudoscience, NPOV: Undue weight, and NPOV: Giving "equal validity". --JPotter 20:11, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
At the moment, there was no reference to creationist views at all. I added a footnote, in accordance with the policy you refer to (which says that fringe or nonscientific views should be referred to, although not endorsed).JudahH 23:12, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
I think Matt Crypto needs to state explicitaly what specific view of dinosaurs Creationists have that is not covered on the main entry for Creationism. If it is only to the extent of "some think dinosaurs did not live 65 mya but 6,000", then show me where such statements have been made on the main entry for any other group of animals, living or exinct. AFAIK, the "creationist views" of dinosaurs do not include naything that can't be included on Mammal. For instance, Mammal includes a section on Mammals in the Mesozoic, with no caveat that Young Earth Creationists don't believe in the Mesozoic. Why should Dinosaur be changed and not Mammal?Dinoguy2 23:31, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Creationists have specific and notable opinions about dinosaurs; a quick Google search will provide you with some. For NPOV, we must document them in some way. — Matt Crypto 00:02, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
And you have yet to name even one here. Can you name one or can't you?Dinoguy2 03:17, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
Did you Google? I don't mind being challenged, but it's not hard to find this stuff on the Web. [3] e.g. contains lots of stuff, and links to creationist POV articles, books, DVDs etc on dinosaurs. I'm not an expert on the creationist view, but the above (young Earth creationist) website asserts that dinosaurs first existed around 6,000 years ago, that they lived at the same time as people, that there are historical records of encounters of dinosaurs, that dinosaurs were on board went Noah’s Ark, that dinosaur fossils come from the animals who died in the Flood, that dinosaurs died out after the Flood because of "climatic change, lack of food, disease, and man’s activities", dinosaurs were originally vegetarian, etc [4]. — Matt Crypto 09:08, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
Those claims apply to any group of (tetrapod) animals!!! I fail to see why it is especially relevant for dinosaurs, except because of a PR stunt by the creationists. A PR stunt that should not be reflected on wikipedia. We are not here to do lip-service for creationist spin-doctors! Fedor 11:20, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
Creationists make specific and notable arguments against dinosaurs, in a way that they don't for mammals. Why they do so is irrelevant; we have to document them all the same. — Matt Crypto 17:16, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
No, it is important why they do so, because we have to be careful not to give in to POV-pressure. Mentioning creationist views on every high-profile topic, because they want to attract attention is serving their POV intentions! Fedor 22:13, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
You could equally argue that completely omitting creationist POV is serving an anti-creationist POV. The NPOV policy is simply to document different views on a subject. — Matt Crypto 11:36, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Solar system, according to your standards, is in serious breach of the NPOV rules, because I can find no reference to creationist views there. Why don't you go try to change that page for a while? I think creationists have far more to say of specific relevence to the article on the Solar system than they do on dinosaurs.Dinoguy2 14:20, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
If you think there's a need to represent a creationist POV on solar system, then by all means go ahead and do so. Meanwhile, I'm interested in this article, and the need to note the creationist POV on dinosaurs. — Matt Crypto 14:30, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Here's a quote from the WP:NPOV article JPotter mentioned: "It is difficult to draw up general principles on which to rule in specific cases, but the following might help: there is probably not a good reason to discuss some assumption on a given page, if an assumption is best discussed in depth on some other page. Some brief, unobtrusive pointer might be apropos, however. E.g., in an article about the evolutionary development of horses, we might have one brief sentence to the effect that some creationists do not believe that horses (or any other animals) underwent any evolution, and point the reader to the relevant article." So according to that, a footnote, at least, is in order (as it would be in Mammal as well. (Obviously, Dinosaurs being featured, it attracts more notice.)JudahH 23:59, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
JPotter, thanks, but I am quite familiar with the NPOV policy. However, we currently do not mention the creationist view on dinosaurs at all. I'm saying that we must mention it. I'm not saying we need to give it undue weight or equal validity, or present it as an accepted scientific theory, or anything like that. — Matt Crypto 00:02, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
Mentioning it in this article is giving it undue weight & equal validity, and may to some even suggest it is an acceptable theory. That is the whole point! I think it is OK to briefly mention creationistic views in the article about evolution, but it is violating NPOV-policy to mention creationistic views here or in any article discussing extinct groups or groups with a deep history (like Mammals). It will result in creationistic views being mentioned in all articles dealing with biology, geology, kosmology and what have you. If that is not 'giving it undue weight & equal validity' I don't know what is... Fedor 11:14, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
Giving it undue weight or validity would be to fill half the article with the creationist POV, or to present it as a accepted scientific view. I'm not proposing either. I'm proposing a short paragraph on the creationist POV. We need to do this because, as I mention above, creationists make specific and notable arguments against dinosaurs, in a way that they don't for mammals. — Matt Crypto 17:16, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
No, read JPotter's explanation again. Creationists views on dinosaurs do not amount to enough to justify special mentioning here. Creationists do not use 'specific' arguments about dinosaurs, because these arguments apply to any other group of (land) animal! Broad applicability of arguments is not what I would term 'specific'. Nazi arguments about jews are also notable, but they do not deserve mentioning in the article on Jews. (Yes, Godwin's law rules again...) Fedor 22:13, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I've read JPotter's argument — it's not convincing. Creationists specifically argue about dinosaurs; the fact that their arguments could be used about other animals is irrelevant. The relevant fact is that creationists put up a lot of arguments about dinosaurs; they write books, websites, DVDs etc, specifically about dinosaurs. Therefore, by NPOV, we must document their POV, to some degree. I propose a short paragraph. (Nazi arguments about Jews aren't sufficiently notable, as there are so few Nazis that their views are fringe.) — Matt Crypto 11:41, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

So write the separate article and link to it :o)--MWAK 08:30, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't think I know enough (or care enough) to write an entire article. I'm away for the next couple of days, but when I get back, I'll do some research and try to put together a short paragraph on creationist views on dinosaurs. — Matt Crypto 09:41, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
No, write an article. If it is substantial enough, maybe we can refer to it from here... Fedor 11:14, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
It'd be a good idea to have such an article, but I neither have the inclination or ability to write an entire entry on the topic. Regardless, this article should discuss creationist POV, to a suitably small extent. — Matt Crypto 17:16, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
If you do not care much or know much about creationism why on earth are you insisting on forcing this issue!? In your limited understanding and knowledge of creationism, could it not be that you are misjudging the need of this topic? Why don't you leave this issue to the people who know and care about it more than you do? Fedor 22:13, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
I know enough about creationism to be able to research and write a paragraph about creationist views on dinosaurs. Moreover, I suspect that the opposition here to any discussion of the creationist POV is motivated not from a desire to adhere to NPOV, but to oppose creationism. That's one reason why I'm pressing this issue. — Matt Crypto 11:36, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Do not write anything about creationism on this artixcle. It has a small mention, but that should be it unless the general mood of the people sways. There has been a tremendous outcry not to include creationism theories in this article, & I suggest we keep it that way. Write an article on Creationism and dinosaurs or something. Further adding to the creationism argument, there was a recent decision by a judge in America to outlaw the teachings of creationism in schools, & instead solely teach Evolution theories, or Darwinism. I feel we should follow the same footsteps for this article. Spawn Man 01:02, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedians writing encyclopedia articles are under no complusion to follow American legal practice about the teaching of creationism in schools. — Matt Crypto 17:16, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
I think not including more information about creationism (there's only one mention of it) makes the article POV. From the creation page, it shows some Creationism views are shared by many people in America. There was a reference to young earth creationism in the See also section, what happened to that? I do think that ideally a new page should be created for Dinosaurs and creationism, in fact, I've started an related topic Man track controversy, albeit rudimentary. Regardless of the fact that creationism is shunned by most scientists, it is relevant. Gflores Talk 17:30, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Creationism is (marginally) relevant in the article about evolution. We are not going to include creationist views in every topic they have pondered about, because that would be giving their views undue weight and thus be POV. Fedor 22:13, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't know about other articles, but I think this may be of interest to the reader to know there are a large amount of people who believe dinosaurs still exist today. I think an entry to young earth creationism in the See also section is sufficient. Gflores Talk 22:49, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Creationists have notable and specific views about dinosaurs (in a way that they don't, it seems, have for, say, mammals). Hence we must, for NPOV, include a short paragraph. — Matt Crypto 11:36, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
It seems to me that no matter how you look at it, the creationistic angle needs attention. Forceful argument to eliminate any mention of creationism, especially by rolling out Jews/Nazi rhetoric strikes me as reactive, ridiculous, and conspicuously paranoid. The best Wikipedia articles anticipate and address questions and thoughts people might have. A sizeable number of readers believe in a God-created world. Said readers will naturally wonder how to reconcile 200 MYO old creatures with Biblical accounts. The answer should not be "change your belief system, or go elsewhere to learn, because we squelch non-mainstream ideas". I mean, if we can mention the 'Hoax Theory' on the Moon Landing page, there is room to discuss how how creationists try to reconcile dinosaurs.

Common Misconceptions

I really think that there should be a section in this article explaining about misconceptions of plesionsaurs and pterosaurs being part of the dinosaur family. They are actually just flying and marine reptiles that were also big and lived at the same time. Many people see pterosaurs and think they are "flying dinosaurs". This mistake should be explained in the article.

WordWhiz 22:28, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

There should and there is (well, at least a mention)--MWAK 08:30, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
It is.... Spawn Man 00:54, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Size of dinos

I require some clarifications in regards to the passage on the average size of a dinosaur. First, I am interested in acquiring some references for this fact. Also, I am curious about what exactly is meant about the average size of a dinosaur. Does the passage claim that one would expect, if one were to extract a large enough sample of dinosaurs, that the average size of the sample would be that of a sheep? Lastly, if we were to include such statistics as the mean size of dinosaurs, why aren't the standard deviation, the median, and the mode included? The reason I ask is that I have found such an argument in "Answers in Genesis," in an article about how all the dinosaurs could have fit in Noah's ark, as well as in Gish's book "Creation Scientist Answer Their Critics." As a result I am sceptical about this entry. Thank you! 05:18, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

See: The mode seems to be well above one ton. The sheep estimate is apparently from Jurassic Park :o). I personally doubt that two specimens of Amphicoelias would have fitted easily in the ark. If I were Noah I would use just the DNA and a decent regenerator ;o)--MWAK 08:30, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! Although I'm still not convinced this is true, I can now see how it is conceivable. Anyway, I'll elect this as the place to say I agree with Fedor and Dinoguy that creationism doesn't deserve a mention in this article. Anyway, I'm not going to change anything with respect to that unless consensus is that it's necessary. 21:08, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
I actually got the "size of a sheep" information from a museum tour/workshop thingy. I thought putting down a note on this fact would be both stupid looking & questionable. Spawn Man 00:56, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
I like the way the average size section is presented now. A lot more informative! Good work! 18:15, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Does the First Picture Fit?

I'm just wondering whether it's appropriate to have a statue rather than a fossilized skeleton right at the top of the page, especially when the statue in question looks to be based on some of the older ideas about how a T-Rex would look (Mainly because it's so bulky and heavy looking). Not that it's a bad image to have in the article, but a photo of a skeleton might be more appropriate for the very first image anyone sees. Weebs 11:05, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps it would be more suitable if the caption read "artist representation of a T. Rex"? I can see how a fossilized skeleton picture might work better, though. What does everyone else think? 21:17, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
The reason we put the t rex model there is because people complained that there shouldn't be a skeleton picture there! I think it should stay there as it is, but I still feel that the "artist's impression..." bit could be debated on. Spawn Man 00:53, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, obviously it is an artist's impression :o). Strangely I find the statue too emaciated. The skull musculature e.g. is much too weak.--MWAK 11:49, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

That is crazy

The only source in the net where you can read that "dinosaurs still exist today" is a wikipedia. No, they are not. Even given that dinosaurs were ancestors of modern bids, bids are not dinosaurs. Read bird article, here, in Britannica, read Britannica Dinosaur article, Google internet or whatever. Problem is that one user, WAS 4.250, keep reverting article back all the time to misleading version. That is crazy. TestPilot 02:47, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Read the discussions, we've been over htis ad nauseum. Or, read literally any overview of dinosaur science published since 1995. Saying dinosaurs do not exist today is exactly the same as saying mammals don't exist because wooly mammoths are extinct. Dinosaurs, as a group, do still exist. Most varieties of them happen to be extinct. Birds are seperated into their own arbitrary class only for the sake of convinience. More importantly, stop forcing an edit war on a featured article!Dinoguy2 02:54, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
You stop first! Not to mention that I never did. And, keep in mind that you are not in position to give any commands. And FYI, there are user talk pages for personal attacks, not a article discussion page. TestPilot 04:23, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Seeing as I'm the main person who got this article to the main page, I think that I might be able to hold some swing in the matter. Although I absolutely loathe some of Was 4.250's edits on here, & although I hate the idea of putting dinosaurs are alive & well today, I do not presume to know more than scientists & technical papers. The fact of the matter is, is that a line of the dinosaurs are alive today. Although birds are not considered by many as full fledged dinosaurs, they still are a line of it. Just as neanderthals were a line of humans, (& a prosperous one at that!), they died out & made their way for us, homo sapiens. There was probable another line that did the same for neanderthals too! The fact of the matter is that this is actually a featured article, one which was put on the main page. The banner at top says that this article can be added to as long as it doesn't comprimise the FA status. I, & most others, would consider deleting & resorting large chunks of the opening & important paragraphs a comprimise of the article's status. We are already at war with creationists about putting creationism into the article, we don't need anyone else on our backs imposing their ideals on a pretty damn good article, (although I think it's still pretty rubbish), but this is as good as it's going to get. So lets not send this article back into the primal sludge it took so long crawling out of, lets think of what's best for it & for gosh sake, before you make any large rash edits, please ask for a show of favour on this talk page. Your intentions are good, but you really need to remember the article's facts. Thanks, Spawn Man 04:41, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
I also "hate the idea of putting dinosaurs are alive & well today", but since I realized that the fact commonly agree upon, I got no problem with it. What about making bulk edit, thouse ones were made by me only after I carefully revised differenses between articles, and made my own jujment. And I tried to bring some of good things I saw from every revision together. Thanks anyway. TestPilot 04:57, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Please read the somewhat lengthy post I left especially for you on the dinosaur talk page. but since you wanted personal attacks & the likes on your talk page, I will post the rest here. Although this isn't a personal attack, I do have some stuff to say. You're a fairly new editor, with under 500 edits. Although it may sound a bit harsh, no one makes friends by rubbing them the wrong way. Try to get the jist of Wikipedia by getting involved in a harmless discussion on an article's talk page. I got involved in a discussion on the Aluminium article. Of course I know nothing of aluminium, so what ever happened to it didn't concern me. But it did develope my conversational & reasoning skills on wikipedia with me getting emotionally involved with the article. Although I would never do it, some people take these things way too seriously, usually ending up in a RFC page, (request for comment), or worse, if an admin gets involved, someone usually gets blocked for a day. So as I said on the dinosaur talk page, think before you edit high profile articles. The reason I deleted your latest edit, (which you reverted again!), was not because I disagree with your paragraph, but rather the wording was quite informal. The words, "even if it was possible...." does not sound encyclopedic & does not fit in with the rest of the article's tone. Rewrite it so that it does, cite the paragraph so that everyone knows that it isn't just your personal opinion & we'll let you keep it. I'll give you a day. After that, I'm reverting it unless you really have a good reason. It'll also be great editing skills too. Thanks, Spawn Man 04:55, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

(Note, the above comment was posted on TestPilot's talk page, but was deleted without reply several times. Posted here to continue discussion.) Spawn Man 02:49, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Several = two times. Just for a record;) TestPilot 03:11, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
And you deleted my posts on me putting the posts here... Spawn Man 03:37, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, man. I did deleted it, thought that was not a big deal. About reply - I did replyed here, see my reply immediately above(04:57, 3 Jan). Actually I thought I had nothing to add, to what I already said here. Also, you were kind enophe to cross out your treat of removing "bringing dinos to life" paragraph and said something like that the paragraph look not perfect, but ok in it current state(I did modified it to make more actual, and less speculative). You did not copied that part here, but this is not important. What is more important, I could not possibly help with rewriting it further, because mine grammar is far from perfect. My English skill is very poor and I'm reluctant to write/modify anything, unless it is very simple edits. It worth to mention that original paragraph was written not by me, but by someone else, who modified "alternative" dino version article at the time it was on top. Hope that clarify what happened, and sorry if I did something wrong. Nothing personal. TestPilot 04:56, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

The content that Spawn Man "loathed"

Over a hundred distinct anatomical features are shared by birds and theropod dinosaurs. A recent case in point: "Archaeopteryx, therefore, is closely related to the theropods. This in turn means that theropod dinosaurs are the ancestors of the modern birds that followed Archaeopteryx. The find, according to Mayr, 'not only provides further evidence for the theropod ancestry of birds, but it blurs the distinction between basal [the earliest] birds and basal deinonychosaurs,' their fearsome-clawed ancestors. 'I do think that the question of a theropod ancestry of birds can now be considered settled once and forever,' Mayr said." [5]


The first good specimen of a "feathered dinosaur" was the 1861 discovery of the Archaeopteryx in Germany, in the Solnhofen limestone, which is a lagerstätte; one of the rare and remarkable geological formations known for their superbly detailed fossils. Coming just two years after Darwin's seminal The Origin of Species, the evidence of a transitional fossil between reptiles and birds spurred the debates between evolutionary biology and creationism. This early bird is so dinosaur-like that, without a clear impression of feathers in the surrounding rock, the specimens are commonly mistaken for Compsognathus.

Since the 1990s, a number of feathered dinosaurs have been found, providing clear evidence of the close relationship between dinosaurs and birds. Most of these specimens were local to Liaoning province in northeastern China, which was part of an island continent in the Cretaceous. However, the feathers were only preserved by the lagerstätte of the Yixian Formation; it is therefore possible that dinosaurs elsewhere in the world may have been feathered too, even though the feathers have not been preserved.

The feathered dinosaurs discovered so far include Beipiaosaurus, Caudipteryx, Dilong, Microraptor, Protarchaeopteryx, Shuvuuia, Sinornithosaurus, and Sinosauropteryx, and potentially Adasaurus; and dinosaur-like birds like Confuciusornis; all of which come from the same area and formation in northern China. The dromaeosauridae family in particular seems to have been heavily feathered, and at least one dromaeosaurid, Cryptovolans, may have been capable of flight.


Because feathers are often associated with birds, feathered dinosaurs are often touted as the missing link between birds and dinosaurs. However, the association of multiple skeletal features also shared by the two groups is the more important link for paleontologists. Furthermore, it is increasingly clear that the relationship between birds, dinosaurs and the evolution of flight is more complex than has been previously realized. For example, while it was once believed that birds simply evolved from dinosaurs and went their separate way, some scientists now believe that some dinosaurs, such as the dromaeosaurs, may have actually evolved from birds, losing the power of flight while keeping the feathers in a manner similar to the Ostrich and other ratites.

Comparisons of bird and dinosaur skeletons, as well as cladistic analysis, strengthens the case for the link, particularly for a branch of theropods called maniraptors. Skeletal similarities include: the neck, pubis, wrists (semi-lunate carpal), arm and pectoral girdle, shoulder blade, clavicle and breast bone.

Reproduction biology

A recent discovery in a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton provided more evidence that dinosaurs and birds evolved from a common ancestor and for the first time allowed palentologists to sex a dinosaur. When laying eggs, female birds have a special type of bone, called a medullary bone, that grows in their limbs, forming a layer inside the hard outer bone. It is rich in calcium and used for making eggshells. The presence of endosteally derived bone tissues lining the interior marrow cavities of portions of the Tyrannosaurus rex specimen's hindlimb elements suggested similar reproductive strategies, and revealed the specimen to be female (Schweitzer et al., 2005).


Big meat-eating dinosaurs had a complex system of air sacs similar to the setup in today's birds, according to an investigation led by Patrick O'Connor of Ohio University. The lungs of theropod dinosaurs, carnivores that walked on two legs and had birdlike feet, likely pumped air into hollow sacs in their skeletons, as is the case in birds. "What was once formally considered unique to birds was present in some form in the ancestors of birds", O'Connor said. The study, funded in part by the National Science Foundation, is detailed in the July 14 issue of the journal Nature [6].


Modern computerized tomography (CT) scans of dinosaur chest cavities five years ago found the apparent remnants of complex four-chambered hearts more like mammals and birds [7].

Care of young

The embryo had no teeth, which suggests some parental care was required to feed the young dinosaur, possibly the adult dinosaur regurgitated nutrion into the young dinosaur's mouth. This behaviour is seen in numerous bird species; the parent birds regurgitated food into the hatchling's mouth [8].


Both birds and dinosaurs have used gizzard stones. When found in association with fossils, they are called gastroliths.


A recently discovered troodont fossil demonstrates that the animals slept like birds, with their heads tucked under their arms [9].

Nobody rational and informed doubts the factual correctness of the dinosaur-bird link. But precisely because the overwhelming evidence is so abundant it has its best place in a separate article. Can't help noting though that even in the text you put our attention to, birds are still not consistently described as simply being dinosaurs or theropods. Birds and dinosaurs do not simply share a common ancestor (all living creatures probably do that): the latter group includes the former.--MWAK 11:49, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
"consistently described" Ha! This is wikipedia. I can't even get people to stop changing stuff inside of a sourced quote. WAS 4.250 13:40, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
It's nice to see my words are so carefully monitored (smothered with sarcasm). I have no wish to change the content, just that I do not fully agree with everything.... Spawn Man 02:24, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Distinguish between common and scientific usage

I think we must distinguish between a purely scientific usage of the concepts "dinosaur" and "bird", and a more common usage. In strictly cladistic, non-Linnean classifications, which are pretty dominant in science, "birds" are "dinosaurs". In a more common usage, and following less strict, Linnean classifications, "birds" are distinguished from "dinosaurs", the latter corresponding to "non-avian dinosaurs" in the strict classification. The article has been written mostly for common people and should not imho force the strictness-issue too hard. In other words, it should be OK to say things like "birds descended from dinosaurs". I think the current content of the article strikes the balance quite nicely, really, without obfuscating the fact that, strictly speaking, birds are dinosaurs. This is something TestPilot is going to have to get over. Encyclopedia Britannica (besides being proven to be more flawed than wikipedia) is simply behind on the facts, or is afraid to confuse their readers. Fedor 09:56, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

I fully agree. And indeed we are in many ways superior to the Britannica which contains many mistakes that haven't been corrected in well over a century! But then Wikipedia volunteers perhaps contribute the equivalent of about half a billion dollars in work hours each year. Who can compete with such brute force, even when it is at times a bit undirected?--MWAK 13:06, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree that commen usage should be reflected. However, in common usage a bird is an animal with feathers and wings. Therefore things like Velociraptor and Oviraptor (maybe even T.rex) are really birds, not dinosaurs. Should this be changed as well?Dinoguy2 17:12, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Fedor says "I think the current content of the article strikes the balance quite nicely, really, without obfuscating the fact that, strictly speaking, birds are dinosaurs." I agree. But part of how we got there was my adding a sourced quote saying what is now this paragraph:

There is an almost universal consensus among paleontologists that birds are the descendants of theropod dinosaurs. Using the strict cladistical definition that all descendants of a single common ancestor are related, modern birds are dinosaurs and dinosaurs are, therefore, not extinct. Modern birds are classified by most paleontologists as belonging to the subgroup Maniraptora, which are coelurosaurs, which are theropods, which are saurischians, which are dinosaurs.

And other adding and insisting on a paragraph that now reads:

However, birds are morphologically distinct from their reptilian ancestors, and referring to birds as "avian dinosaurs" and to all other dinosaurs as "non-avian dinosaurs" is clumsy. Birds are still birds, at least in popular usage and among ornithologists. It is also technically correct to refer to birds as a distinct group under the older Linnaean classification system, which accepts taxa that exclude some descendants of a single common ancestor (paraphyletic taxa). Paleontologists mostly use cladistics, which classifies birds as dinosaurs, to construct their taxonomies, but many other scientists do not. As a result, this article will use "dinosaur" as a synonym for "non-avian dinosaur", and "bird" as a synonym for "avian dinosaur".

It has always bothered me that the problem of the inbetween category (missing link category) of so-called "feathered dinosours" [sic] (meaning feathered non-avian dinosaurs) is inadequately addresed.

Dinoguy2 says:

in common usage a bird is an animal with feathers and wings. Therefore things like Velociraptor and Oviraptor (maybe even T.rex) are really birds, not dinosaurs.

Maybe something along those lines would be a useful addition to the dinosaur article. Anyone care to either make suggestions or be bold and make additions? WAS 4.250 22:34, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Another issue I didn't mention on my talk page--I think we shuold get sme kind of consensus on which usage to use on individual dinosaur pages. Should, say, Velociraptor have all references to the word "dinosaur" changed to "bird"? For all intents and purposes, it is a bird, and the only thing keeping it listed as a dinosaur is the arbitrary, technical definition of "bird" to mean "Archaeopteryx + all modern birds". It's very likely that Velociraptor will turn out to be a bird under that definiton anyway... So what do you all think?Dinoguy2 20:35, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
For issues related to the set of dinosaur articles OTHER than this one article, I suggest you ask these people: Wikipedia:WikiProject Dinosaurs. WAS 4.250 23:20, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Creationism paragraph

I propose we request comment from the community (RfC) on this issue. It's entirely obvious that NPOV necessitates a mention of the creationist POV here, and a serious violation of NPOV to exclude it utterly. — Matt Crypto 15:13, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree, however, that exact paragraph could be duplicated on the main page for any prehistoric land vertebrate or insect (or plant!). If the admins deem it necessery for the dinosaur page, I nominate Matt Crypto to be bold and place the same paragraph with the same phrrasing on any non-stub page for a group of prehistoric animals, including but not limited to Terror Birds, Ground sloth, Dimetrodon, Multituberculata, and Australopithecus.Dinoguy2 15:31, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Creationists do not seem to advocate specific views on these prehistoric animals that you mentioned. They do for dinosaurs. Logically, according to their argument, they could, yes, but the fact is that they do not, or at least, in no way the same extent as for dinosaurs. — Matt Crypto 15:43, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
If this doesn't make clear to you that we're paying lip service to a publicity stunt, don't know what will... But that's beside the point, I guess.Dinoguy2 18:02, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, the way I see it, it's quite natural that creationists argue specifically for their doctrines in the context of dinosaurs — as I'm sure we're all aware, dinosaurs present a popularly-understood and serious scientific challenge to their position. I don't see why creationists defending their doctrine in this way must be seen as some sort of sinister and cynical publicity stunt. — Matt Crypto 18:15, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

I believe this is a minority viewpoint (primarily held by evangelical Christians in the United States) that does not merit inclusion in the article. That said, if it's going to be in the article at all I'm at least glad it's in the popular culture section, and not given pride of place. Killdevil 15:29, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree that it's a minor POV, but it's not a fringe viewpoint in terms of world thought (it is fringe in terms of science). Something like 47% of people in the US have some sort of creationist view (although it's unclear how many would follow these views on dinosaurs). It's not exclusive to the US, either. I'm arguing that it's sufficiently large a movement to merit a short paragraph in such a lengthy article, particularly if we're mentioning things like Dino-films etc, as long as we don't mislead the readers into thinking it's accepted as science. I think the paragraph goes out of its way to make that clear. — Matt Crypto 15:43, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
I think I'm on record as being against the pop culture section all togeher... dinosaurs are so prevelent in pop culture that it really warrents a seperate article. IMHO, Dinosaur should be for dinosaurs in science only.Dinoguy2 18:02, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia isn't an exclusive science encyclopedia, though. We're interested in all human knowledge, including religious and popular culture aspects. I can understand your objections to creationism if this was a "Dinosaurs in science" article, but I don't think that's a desireable approach. — Matt Crypto 18:15, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Also, I suggest we archive or otherwise remove the older section on Creationism from this talk page, to focus discussion here. I think there will be a lot of uninformed vitriol spewed here, though, just like there was in the older section above. Killdevil 15:31, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Finally, Matt Crypto, after reading the earlier discussion about adding Creationism language to the article, I appreciate that you decided to put something together. However, the preponderance of opinion in that earlier discussion seems to have been unsupportive of your point of view. We're just rehashing the same discussion here. Killdevil 15:39, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

The discussion seems to have moved down here so as i posted above: Then how about a mention also as to how old-earth creationists do reconcile dinosaurs and a 4 billion year old earth? There are plenty of religious points of view that accept what is written in this article we could list off how they feel about dinosaurs and creation theory. It is not fair to just include the YEC POV without the many old-earth creationist counterpoints to them. But I do not think this article is the place to discuss such things. There are plenty of discussions about this in the creation articles of wiki. a sentence and a link to YEC should be enough. Discordance 23:22, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Reading over NPOV just now; in my opinion it in fact must be mentioned that many other creationists do reconcile dinosaurs, but these should be kept to brief sentences as should YEC with appropiate links Discordance 01:30, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Creationism: a decision of sorts.

There are competing theories even about creationism try researching the Gap theory which has no conflict with the existence of dinosaurs. Until you have scientific proof which one is right science, Gap theory, or yours, and since this debate has been raging over a month, I am removing this material.

You may not like this decision however, one has to be made. Since you are free to fork articles and since this article deals with primarily with the science of dinosaurs. This is how it needs to be.

I come to this as a neutral party who came here solely to clarify a article not one with a vested interest either way. I am a Christian and I am a believer. I believe that god in his or her wisdom had enough foresight to make science, the bible, and religion able to peacefully co-exist. This is not a statement against your beliefs only a statement of what is proper for this article.

I have added 3 religious links to the See also section and specifically said for a religious view point see....

You are of course free to add the removed material it to the creationism article or start a divergent dinos article. However be aware that re-addition of this material to this article may be considered vandalism. SusanLarson (User Talk, New talk, Contribs) 06:53, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Thank you Susan for your bold edits and the explanation above. Good work. Vsmith 12:36, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm afraid that removing that paragraph makes this article quite biased. Your use of the word "vandalism" is inappropriate above, but, certainly, removing any reference to young-Earth creationist views on dinosaurs is, in my view, POV pushing. I am not a young-Earth creationist, but I expect Wikipedia to provide me with information on notable human views on topics, no matter wacky or unscientific they might be.

It is unacceptable to decide that religious views about dinosaurs, views which likely have millions of adherents, should not be described in any way on this page. Note that we have plenty of space to describe dinosaurs in comic books, dinosaurs in computer and console games (including naming specific computer games as examples), dinosaurs in film and TV etc.

For reference, this is the paragraph that was removed. It was originally placed at the end of the article, in the "Dinosaurs in popular culture" section. It could in no way be construed as promoting or presenting creationist views as science.

Advocates of young Earth creationism, a popular position in the United States, have views on dinosaurs which differ from mainstream science. Based on Biblical accounts and the belief that the Earth is only 6,000 to 10,000 years old, creationists argue that the scientific dating of dinosaur fossils must flawed, that the fossils date from the Great Flood of Noah, and that humans and dinosaurs must have at one time coexisted. Some contend that dinosaurs were present on board Noah's Ark, but became extinct after the Flood [10]. Virtually no life scientists support these views on dinosaurs [11].

— Matt Crypto 13:12, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

I think it might be cleaner and more straightforward to create a separate article for this information. I linked to an as-yet non-existent article -- "Religious perspectives on dinosaurs". There'd be enough room in this proposed article to discuss the views of young earth creationists, old-earth creationists, and other groups as well, and it could be linked from the pop-culture section in some fashion. Killdevil 13:57, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

I think such an article is a good idea, and I appreciate your suggestion, but it's not clear why we should not also include a brief discussion about it in this article. Normally, "subtopic" pages are used when the subtopic is so large that it can't be treated within the main page, and, instead, a summary section is written, accompanied by a link to the full subtopic page. Alternatively, when dealing with extremist fringe viewpoints, like holocaust denial, it is not appropriate to include such a minority view into the article.
However, I would argue that the young earth dinosaur view is, while a minority POV, not a fringe POV (it's fringe science, of course, but that's a different matter), therefore we cannot competely farm it out to a sub page. By NPOV, we should include some mention of a view held by millions of people, particularly since we discuss other popular understandings of dinosaurs (computer games etc). A paragraph as suggested above is neither disproportionate nor misleading, and I'm at a loss to find a good faith explanation as to why it is opposed so strongly. — Matt Crypto 14:17, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

I believe the reason it is opposed so strongly here is that the young earth creationist viewpoint is completely antithetical to the rest of the knowledge presented. It's the yang to the yin of most dinosaur epistemology. It's similar to presenting a holocaust-denier paragraph in a holocaust article, in that it has a nullifying effect on the rest of the dinosaur article's information. This is, of course, not to say that the young earth viewpoint is an evil extremist viewpoint, just that it stands in total opposition to all other facts in the article. By contrast, the popular culture information presented dovetails reasonably well with the scientific knowledge presented. I think it's particularly useful to show how more recent depictions in pop culture have tended to reflect some aspects of the changing scientific understanding of dinosaurs. Killdevil 14:45, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree that the young earth viewpoint stands in "total opposition", but the point of NPOV is, surely, that opposing viewpoints are represented? And we're not talking about a disproportional representation, either. The paragraph in question fits into the context of the bulk of the article. For example, it starts by saying that this particular view "differs from mainstream science", and ends by saying that "virtually no life scientists support these views on dinosaurs". While the POV is obviously in opposition, the proposed paragraph would be quite well integrated with the rest of the article. You argue that it's particularly useful to "show how more recent depictions in pop culture have tended to reflect some aspects of the changing scientific understanding of dinosaurs". True, but to some extent, the scientific understanding of dinosaurs, coupled with the fact that they get much popular attention, have had a large impact on popular belief about creationism, too. This is largely the reason why young Earth creationists spend so much time on the topic. — Matt Crypto 14:54, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
The placement of an NPOV banner on the top of the page is unfortunate, to say the least. I don't know if SusanLarson's authority is sufficiant to unilaterally keep the previously agreed upon paragraph out of this article, and I don't know if a single dissenter (Matt Crypto) is enough to warrent flagging the entire entry. This is really getting way out of hand.Dinoguy2 18:32, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Admins do not have any more authority than regular users about the content of articles, but I hope we would reach consensus. I'm sorry to push this, but I believe NPOV is important. — Matt Crypto 18:48, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
After reviewing the three current talk sections devoted to this discussion, I conclude that _only_ Matt Crypto has supported inclusion of a full paragraph devoted to Creationism and Dinosaurs. One or two other users have supported including a link to a separate "Dinosaurs and Creationism" article, which I have provided. In fact, there's ample opportunity to learn about Creationist views via the new See Also links to religious viewpoints. I'm sorry, Matt -- you are really a lone dissenting voice here. In view of this lack of support by the community, I'd ask you to remove your NPOV banner from the top of the article. Why not re-add your Young Earth paragraph to the new Religious Perspectives on Dinosaurs article, to create a stub we can add to?Killdevil 18:58, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
I do not believe that any significant point of view should ever be excluded which is why in my grounds for making the decision I recommended that a fork be created for those who believe as some of the Young earth people do that dinosaurs either did not exist or were simply artistic decorations created by god to give his/her creations something to do with their time in the living world. I felt the religious points of view section was a valid compromise and is one which allows these alternative religious viewpoints significant exposure via this article while at the same time not ignoring the massive evidence that science has gathered in the field of paleontology. I am eager to read the Religious perspectives on dinosaurs article when it is ready, you can be assured that there religion takes the front seat. -- SusanLarson (User Talk, New talk, Contribs) 22:07, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
With respect, it would be helpful if you didn't style your "decision" as a binding decree, as it is not. Wikipedia is about discussion, compromise and working towards consensus. I have yet to see a convincing argument as to why the unusual measure of relegating religious views to a completely different article is at all necessary. To me, it seems very POV indeed. Arguments presented so far include the assertion that this article is about dinosaur science, which it is not exclusively, and that creationist views on dinosaurs are "political", which is hardly a reason for omitting a point of view held by a large number of people. In your paragraph above, you seem to reason that since creationist views have no "scientific proof", they should be removed. However, Wikipedia does not adopt a scientific point of view. We document human beliefs and understanding of topics, and we document opposing views. — Matt Crypto 23:26, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
I completely agree that the Wikipedia is about discussion, compromise and working towards consensus. That being said at some point someone has to step in, hopefully a independent party with no vested interest in the matter, someone who will listen to what both sides have stated and make a decision on the matter in question. Once the decision is made it must also be enforced. That is a role I saw needed to be fulfilled in this article. I stepped forward to do so, I hope in the end you find my solution in this dispute to be one that works for all parties as that was my sole intention in this matter.
Before my edits the religious viewpoints on this subject were buried in the text of the popular culture section. Now it stands on it's own and it is listed in the table of contents of the article for those looking for material of that nature to find. This of course increases it's visibility, and in my opinion fulfills the need for presenting alternative points of view about this article. This lets the various religiously oriented articles expound on the matter at a length that would in the end not be acceptable to the regular editors in this article. -- SusanLarson (User Talk, New talk, Contribs) 01:50, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Who appointed you to decide the argument for us? I'm afraid I found your comments to be remarkably presumptuous. "Consensus" does not mean that the decision is taken by "an independent party with no vested interest in the matter"; moreover, I don't wish to call you a liar, but you do have a point of view on this, and you should realise that it will inevitably colour your judgement. Matt Crypto 21:53, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

As an intersted bystander I completely agree with Susans decision to remove the YEC text from this article.--nixie 23:35, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

As an interested bystander I completely disagree with Susans decision to remove the YEC text from this article. This is not a science textbook. RossNixon 00:44, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Agreed it is not a science text book, however the material in question is still capable of being presented in the article about YEC which is directly linked under the religous points of view section of the See Also. Thank you for expressing your opinion on this matter. Your input is valued. -- SusanLarson (User Talk, New talk, Contribs) 01:50, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
You're being patronising, please don't. You're not making an argument here; you're proclaiming, and it's quite irritating. Yes, the material is capable of being presented in a seperate article. That doesn't, however, mean it is the best way to write about dinosaurs from the NPOV. A view held by millions deserves a paragraph in the article about that topic, period. Matt Crypto 21:53, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
I am not being patronizing. As for proclaiming in this instance you are correct. You made the argument. I simply listened to both sides as recorded in the talk page here over the course of a month and weighed what both sides said and attempted to find a mutually agreeable solution. You get your exposure for your YEC group and the other religious perspectives on Dinosaurs. The other side really doesn't get anything except things as they were before the addition of the YEC material with the exception of the addition religious point of view section. No one side lost and no one side had a clear win. Before the article had a paragraph on religious points of view which was buried in the mass of the pop culture section. Now there are links to 4 full articles of information on the religious perspectives including one specifically on the religious perspectives on dinosaurs.
Religious points of view
  • Religious perspectives on dinosaurs
  • Creationism
  • Old Earth creationism
  • Young Earth creationism
In the end this is a win for your side, their side, and the wikipedia community as a whole. I hope you can come to see this with time. That in the end is the goal of all mediations. -- SusanLarson (User Talk, New talk, Contribs) 07:09, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
Again, who appointed you to be mediator, and gave you authority to decide the outcome of this debate? Nobody. You have to engage in discussion like everyone else, I'm afraid. I don't agree that the current state is a "win" for Wikipedia, because it does not satisfy NPOV. Religious points of view should be discussed in this article, because Wikipedia is a human encyclopedia, not a science encyclopedia, and some religions have strong and notable viewpoints on dinosaurs. I'm not saying the article should be transformed into a great creationist billboard, but a paragraph or so discussing religious viewpoints of dinosaurs is not inappropriate. To say that it must be excluded is POV, surely? What does the article lose by including a paragraph or so on religious aspects of dinosaurs? (By the way, I don't appreciate you casting this in terms of "my side" and "their side" -- hopefully, we're Wikipedians trying to improve an encyclopedia, not factions pushing our ideologies. And, if you hadn't noticed, I don't adhere to YEC creationism, so, talking about "my YEC group" is not accurate). Matt Crypto 10:44, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
I appointed myself, I was a neutral party with no irons in the fire. I came here doing a random article cleanup and saw a debate which had continued far too long. Why? Because certain parties are unwilling and are still unwilling to compromise. I keep an eye on this article solely to defend the mediation other than that I have no interest in the matter. You stated the article needs to show the counter arguments to dinosaurs. The religious points of view section satisfies that argument. You are free to make what ever arguments against dinosaurs in the Religious perspectives on dinosaurs article. It is prominantly displayed in the Dinosaurs article, listed in the table of contents, and clearly presents multiple other points of view in the article. Please clearly list exactly what this solution does not provide you? -- SusanLarson (User Talk, New talk, Contribs) 23:16, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I agree with SusanLarson's evaluations. We have offered Matt Crypto several times that he could write about this issue in a separate article, if he really felt it was so necessary to document it. He refused the offer, and not only insisted on his and only his proposal of a whole paragraph in this article, but also proceeded to insert it in the article while the discusssion was still going on, with dozens of users against it. Way to go, Matt! Real consensus-minded! Now with your self-proclaimed knowledge of the subject, you better start contributing to the new article, otherwise I will conclude it was just a lot of warm air from your side. Fedor 10:38, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't appreciate your unhelpful, hostile and sarcastic response, particularly when your comments are untrue. There were in no way "dozens" of users who had expressed opposition to the paragraph when I first inserted it. You'll note that I readily engaged in discussion after that point, and removed an "NPOV" tag myself when requested by a user who argued that there was no consensus for it. If you took the time to read above, you'll notice that I explicitly did not self-proclaim to be an expert in this topic. I said above that, "I neither have the inclination or ability to write an entire entry on the topic", but that "I know enough about creationism to be able to research and write a paragraph about creationist views on dinosaurs." My argument is that moving the material to a different page does not satisfy the NPOV policy. — Matt Crypto 11:01, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Susan, the reason the solution does not satisfy me is that the usual procedure on Wikipedia is to include material on the main page, unless it's either A) so volumous that most of it needs to be split off to a different page; or B) it is so fringe and insignificant a view that it does not merit a mention. The onus is on you to argue why religious viewpoints on dinosaurs should be sub-paged. My theory is that it's simple anti-creationist bias manifesting itself. — Matt Crypto 11:01, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
And, for what it's worth, it's one paragraph! The article's got a long article warning, and we're splitting hairs that five sentences gives undue weight to a topic? And, what's more, it gives this "undue weight" directly after paragraphs detatiling jurrasic park and video games? I don't understand what the problem is, that's the main reason I haven't been contributing to this discussion in the past. I just don't understand the otehr side of the argument, which makes it difficult for me to imagine myself coming to a compromise. However, realizing that it seems to be Crypto v. The World on this issue, and knowing that my two cents wont aid in his fight that much either, I feel like this is fight that just has to be given up.--jfg284 you were saying? 11:39, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I suspect it's simply anti-creationism, and there's not much you can do bar file an RfC. Personally, I don't care enough to put any more effort into this debate (I'm not a Young-Earth creationist advocate), but it seems pretty darn clear that there's an NPOV problem here. The arguments about "this page is about dinosaur science", and "the creationist POV is propaganda" and "to be consistent, you'd add a paragraph about creationist POV into every prehistorical animal" have all been quite clearly answered above. — Matt Crypto 11:49, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
I am no friend of creationism, but it seems to me that all aspects of dinosaurs deserve at least a paragraph in the main article. Then, if there is more to say, create a separate article and a link. Matt's paragraph looked 90% okay to me. –Shoaler (talk) 16:26, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Exactly what I was trying to say, but much better articulated. I get the impression that people are dismissing creationism as a theory (which is totally understandable, because its clearly bs), and are thus opposed to it being on the article. I can't see one good reason to leave it out.--jfg284 you were saying? 18:35, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
I have nothing against creationism, nor young earth or old. So your argument is that because it isn't in the article you are not getting the exposure you feel the matter deserves? Is there something keeping people from finding it in the religious viewpoints section, or is it because the material is located on the sub page that reading it is now optional based on the desires of the individual person reading the article? The objection I see from the other side is that once you have the information here then what stops endless expansion of the 5 lines and the argument that the material should be also allowed on every single individual dinosaur article since it's on the main subject article. I see one more problem the information you wish to include is for a small branch of christanity only and it is not about religion in general. Do all christians or all religions feel identically as the YEC'ers? I seem to recall something from the catholic church on evolution and religion. [12] I believe it was fine with it. In conclusion, nothing stops you from using the prominently linked religion and dinosaurs article to state your viewpoints in as much depth as you wish. The Wikipedia is not a soapbox or a place to evangelize. God gave mankind free will, it seems prideful that some want to prevent people from being able to choose to use it. So here's a compromise give me a piece of text on religon in general concerning dinosaurs covering not just the YEC, Creationism, and/or christianity and I will consider it's addition to the article as a neutral party. -- SusanLarson (User Talk, New talk, Contribs) 00:45, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Again, you use the phrase "your viewpoints", which suggests you haven't followed this debate as closely as you should. Neither I, nor Shoaler, nor Jfg284 actually hold to Young-Earth creationism, and have expressed such on this page. We are not trying to make this article into a soapbox. We are trying to make it NPOV. NPOV means documenting all significant views to their appropriate extent. Currently, I believe that removing any discussion of the material to another article is biased. Why should we do this? I haven't seen anyone argue that the material would be expanded beyond 5 lines, but that's not an argument against the current proposal -- that's an argument against something else that's not being proposed. You can always revert if it starts being enlarged beyond what's warranted. Similarly, I'm not arguing that every specific dinosaur article should include such a paragraph, because I don't believe that creationists make specific arguments about individual species. But, again, that's not an argument that affects this article.
And, once again, I urge you to drop your attitude that you have some special authority concerning this article ("I will consider its addition to the article"). The article is not yours, and you are no more neutral a party than I. This is not how Wikipedia works. Please stop presenting yourself as the arbiter of this article's content. You are not. — Matt Crypto 10:22, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
In this case I am the arbiter. I was not annointed, I appointed myself because I am neutral contrary to your claims otherwise. I didn't come here to espouse one side or the other. I was uninvolved in the debate over the additions and was am not a regular editor to the article. I only listened to what both sides said and made a decision. As a neutral party I am of course willing to be flexible to an extent and have listened to your arguments. See below -- SusanLarson (User Talk, New talk, Contribs) 19:34, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Since you have declined to present a NPOV text on religion in general where it relates to dinosaurs I have added one. It is neutral and represents the religious point of view without representing any one group or sect. This paragraph should not be expanded or significantly edited without first discussing it here. I will keep an eye on the article it now lives in my watch list. I review every edit to it. If I feel someone is attempting to insert bias or a specific groups views I will remove it.

The official NPOV policy deals with this section nicely. It seems applicable to this situation.

What about the case where, in order to write any of a long series of articles on some general subject, we must make some controversial assumptions? That's the case, e.g., in writing about evolution. Surely we won't have to hash out the evolution-vs.-creationism debate on every such page?
No, surely not. There are virtually no topics that could proceed without making some assumptions that someone would find controversial. This is true not only in evolutionary biology, but also philosophy, history, physics, etc.
It is difficult to draw up general principles on which to rule in specific cases, but the following might help: there is probably not a good reason to discuss some assumption on a given page, if an assumption is best discussed in depth on some other page. Some brief, unobtrusive pointer might be apropos, however. E.g., in an article about the evolutionary development of horses, we might have one brief sentence to the effect that some creationists do not believe that horses (or any other animals) underwent any evolution, and point the reader to the relevant article. If there is much specific argument over some particular point, it might be placed on a special page of its own.

This is my resolution of the religious matter in relation to this article. Once again I will defend this decision as needed. I hope it won't be necessary. -- SusanLarson (User Talk, New talk, Contribs) 19:34, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm afraid I am the final arbiter of this article, not you, and I will defend my decision, which is binding and final. Any edits to the contrary will be considered vandalism...etc, etc. (that is, this is not how Wikipedia works, because as soon as two people decide that they both are self-appointed arbiters, then the system breaks, no? Just because you have been previously uninvolved in the debates does not make you a neutral party; that's faulty reasoning. Being involved in a debate or otherwise has nothing to do with neutrality.) — Matt Crypto 20:44, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
To respond to your quoting of NPOV, it's helpful to understand the reasoning behind this advice. On first glance, by NPOV, Creationism could, in theory, touch on every article that mentions evolution: horses, whales, frogs, toads etc. This is obviously undesireable for a couple of reasons: it would be very cumbersome, and in actual fact creationists don't really have any specific arguments about these animals, other than the general principle that they disagree with evolution. Mentioning creationist arguments in these cases would be off-topic. However, when it comes to dinosaurs, it turns out that creationists make a big deal about addressing these animals specifically. Above, I provided links to DVDs, books, websites, exhibits in "museums", etc. So, yes, most of the time, creationist arguments aren't notable enough apply to specific animal articles, but in the case of dinosaurs, we must mention them, because they are specifically and ardently addressed. — Matt Crypto 20:52, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

It works that way in this instance because you have been unwilling to compromise at all. Religous issues are mentioned in the article.

Religions views

Various religions may have other views on prehistoric life which differ from scientifically accepted fact. These beliefs can not be proved using scientific methods and thus believers accept them on the basis of personal faith. See the following articles for specific examples:
  • Religious perspectives on dinosaurs
  • Creationism
  • Old Earth creationism
  • Young Earth creationism

It's NPOV, it covers the issue, and it gives a nod to the religious disagreement on the subject this fullfilling the requirements of npov. The prior text was not NPOV as it stated the view was popular, it stated a specific view held by a subsect of a single religion. This covers it from all angles. If you still have issues I invite you to request a formal arbitration on the matter. -- SusanLarson (User Talk, New talk, Contribs) 22:17, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Looking at your talk page, it seems you've only been here a little over a month, which I guess means you haven't had time to see how disputes typically play out on Wikipedia. For one user to self-appoint themselves as an arbiter of a dispute is very much against Wikipedia culture. Even the "official" Wikipedia Arbitration Committee do not have content disputes in their remit (just behaviour disputes). Honestly, I suggest you avoid approaching things in this way in future. The fact is, you do not have the authority, and at best, you'll be ignored; at worst, you'll provoke people.
You assert that I've been unwilling to compromise at all. Well, the paragraph I suggested we include was a compromise on what I felt should be included: I worded it so as to stress that the creationist POV was non-mainstream science (perhaps even to the point of POV itself). The alternative — not to treat religious views on dinosaurs at all — doesn't seem acceptable to me under NPOV, so I haven't been able to compromise about that.
I've modified your addition. If you have issues with it, I invite you to request formal arbitration on the matter. No, actually, scratch that; I invite you to discuss it as collegial Wikipedians. — Matt Crypto 23:21, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
P.S. I'm not sure you can be considered a "neutral party" any more,'ve been part of this discussion for quite some time now, and seemed to have formed your own opinion of how this matter should be treated. You may have been at one point a neutral party, but now by all arguments are as much an opinioned party as anyone here..--jfg284 you were saying? 23:34, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps you are right. I came here to do cleanup on a random article and instead got drawn into a childish and pointless argument about a matter instigated by 2 or 3 people who came here with the specific intention for forcing their POV on this article under the guise of making the article more NPOV. The Wikipedia could benefit without those type of individuals, they should think seriously about that. It is clear that some people here believe that the Wikipedia is a soapbox for their beliefs, publicly stated or not. Oh well in the end "true" NPOV was satisfied, not the pretend kind that they came here to spread. That is all that matters. -- SusanLarson (User Talk, New talk, Contribs) 02:30, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Yuck. Again, you make the same mistake, perhaps deliberately. As I've told you before, these views on dinosaurs aren't shared by myself or the other two users who supported the inclusion of a note about religious views -- so we're not "forcing" our POV or using this as a "soapbox" for our "beliefs". At least have the honesty to call me a liar, if you don't believe me, rather than ignoring things that don't fit with your preconceived ideas about motives. Moreover, "Wikipedia could benefit without those type of individuals"? Go read Wikipedia:Civility and Wikipedia:NPOV. — Matt Crypto 09:00, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Hey there, suzy, lets try and keep it civil (and dont forget to assume good faith rather than accusing us of being some shady operatives of a creationist conspiracy hell bent on a 5 sentence paragraph in an article of 60 kb). The point is, there are at least 4 users who have supported some variation of a paragraph, so the discussion is certainly not over. And as for the "we put it here, we'll have to put it on every single page in wikipedia", that's nothing but a slippery slope. Focus on this article, that's what this article's talk page is for. The point is, this isnt about the evolutionary development of horses, which is rarely (if ever) directly addressed by creationists. Dinosaurs, however, are often directly addressed due to the fact that their very well known creatures who died out completely before the earth even existed (according to their dogma). As a result, it's a direct threat to the concept of creationism, and as a result of that, its often directly addressed. Rarely is the Tricerotops or T Rex or what have you directly addressed; therefore there's no need to get that specific in those articles. --jfg284 you were saying? 13:00, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

I did not name any names. That was intentional. If you apply that to yourself that is not my fault. As for assuming good faith that got worn away during the course of this farce. The people involved know it, I know it, and anyone else reading this talk know certain people did not come here to push NPOV they came here to push a specific pov. Nothing personal just the facts. Oh wait facts is a bad word so I guess I better use theory. -- SusanLarson (User Talk, New talk, Contribs) 22:44, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Religious Perspectives on Dinosaurs

I have created a stub article based on our discussions here: Religious perspectives on dinosaurs. Please help me to expand this. I will try to do some research over the next few days... We need to try to capture not just Christian creationist views but those of other religious groups with specific understandings of dinosaurs that differ from the interpretation favored by mainstream science. Killdevil 00:48, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

I also need help adding the proper stub categories to the article...