Tyrrell educational displays


These are almost the first things in the Tyrrell once you have made it past the opening tyrannosaurs, and it’s a great set-up for the main exhibitions. Obviously kids will want to run through and see the skeletons, but from the educator’s point of view, you do want to maximise their enjoyment and appreciation of the material, and well, if you can get them to learn something too that’s obviously a bonus. In this case these two stands are pretty simple in design, but obviously do their jobs well – they are clear and stark and use very obvious examples which should be easy to understand for young kids, and of course lean heavily on things featured in the galleries (tyrannosaurs and hadrosaurs are plentiful to say the least), but without resorting to huge numbers of primary colours and cartoon-like illustrations which I think can be rather unnecessary. In short, great stuff!


22 Responses to “Tyrrell educational displays”

  1. 1 David 02/06/2013 at 9:43 pm

    “Species change through time and give rise to new species. As the earth
    changes, so must the organisms that live on it. The plants and animals
    that adapt to their changing environments pass along these successful
    traits to their descendants over millions of years. This is the theory of


    Phillip Johnson writes: “If somebody asks, ‘Do you believe in evolution?’
    the right reply is not ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ It is: ‘Precisely what do you mean
    by evolution?’ My experience has been that the first definition I get will
    be so broad as to be indisputable–like ‘There has been change in the
    course of life’s history.’ Later on a much more precise and controversial
    definition will be substituted without notice. That one word evolution can
    mean something so tiny it hardly matters, or so big it explains the whole
    history of the universe. Keep your baloney detector trained on that word.
    If it moves, zap it!” (“Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds”, 1997)

    • 2 David Hone 02/06/2013 at 9:49 pm

      I *think* you are trying to argue against evolutionary theory, though all you have actually done is just post two quotes next to each other. This doesn’t really constitute any kind of comment or engagement. If you want to ask a question or make a point, then fine, but this is neither.

      If you do want to argue about evolutionary theory, please go elsewhere. That lower quote is pure fluff and written by someone who cannot have spoken to many (any?) biologists if he that is a genuinely happening to him.

  2. 3 David 03/06/2013 at 10:42 pm

    OK, a question….Is it possible to document from the fossil record the series of transitional forms that led up to ANY dinosaur species? If not, why do you think that is?

    • 4 David Hone 04/06/2013 at 8:10 am

      Yes, lots of them. The transition through to birds being the most obvious, but you can see transitions of all kinds across various lineages (like the reduction of hands and increase in skull size in tyrannosauroids, the modificaiton of the wrist in paravians as feather size increases, etc.). Any decent delve into the scientific literature should trun up a fe and i’ve covered some of them on here from time to time and in fact posted a piece about feather evolution this morning:http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/lost-worlds/2013/jun/04/dinosaurs-fossils

      • 6 David Hone 04/06/2013 at 9:37 pm

        Ah, and now the links to the creationist materials come out, well it took longer than I expected.

        You do realise I spent years working in China, have seen almost every feathered dinosaur fossil and basal bird going and have written papers on this stuff. When I made the comments above about changing feather shapes and wrist shapes this is work I’ve done in peer-reviewed journals. You clearly don’t know the material or the science, so if you think posting a link to bunch of other stuff somehow engages with me or the evidence is somewhere between ignorant, patronising and outrageous and is the weakest non-argument I think I’ve ever seen.

  3. 7 David 03/06/2013 at 11:07 pm

    I don’t want to argue against evolutionary theory, I just want to know if the Tyrrell educational displays have ANY examples of macroevolution? Where? What specifically?

    Four well-known technical books are Levinton’s “Macroevolution” (2001), Gould’s “Structure of Evolutionary Theory” (2002), Valentine’s “On the Origin of Phyla” (2004), and Futuyma’s “Evolution,” (2009).

    How many examples of macroevolution are mentioned in these books?


    • 8 David Hone 04/06/2013 at 8:14 am

      “I don’t want to argue against evolutionary theory, ” Well frankly it seems that you do – your first comment was simply to post two quotes, one of which rather obviously is suggesting evolution can’t be described or defined properly. As for those books, I can’t comment on them as I haven’t read them, but your appear to be desperate to show that there are not any or can’t be shown any macroevolutionary trends or transitions and that suggests you either have really not looked very hard at all, or are convinced the ones that have been described don’t count.

      Anyhow, there is specifically a display about the shift in horn structure and frill shape in the ceratopsians in the Tyrrell.

  4. 9 David 04/06/2013 at 9:09 pm

    But shift in horn structure and frill shape in the ceratopsians aren’t examples of macroevolution. The group is highly diverse with many families, and its possible the ceratopsians represent just a single kind of dinosaur, but with a significant amount of variety.

    Now, if the fossil record documented the series of transitional forms that LED UP to the ceratopsians, then you’d have something!

    • 10 David Hone 04/06/2013 at 9:42 pm

      Really? Sorry but this simply demonstrates that you do not understand evolutionary theory or palaeontological data. And given your above quotes and now links, there is simply only one way you are going to go on this. I’m simply not interested in having this ‘discussion’, so please don’t both me with this stuff.

    • 11 Mike Taylor 04/06/2013 at 11:10 pm

      Dear other David (not Hone),

      I have been a Christian since the age 16 (which is now nearly 30 years ago), and I’m active in my local church — leading worship, occasionally preaching.

      I’m also a palaeontologist, with a Ph.D from a UK university and handful of reasonably well cited peer-reviewed publications which you are welcome to read, if you wish, at http://www.miketaylor.org.uk/dino/pubs/

      Please believe me, if not Dave Hone, when I tell you that the evolutionary sequence leading up to the ceratopsians is indeed well documented, running through (among many others) basal dinosauromorphs, early ornithischians, Cerapoda, Marginocephalia, and early ceratopsians that you would probably not recognise as such, as they are small bipeds.

      The fossil record is far from perfect, but nevertheless contains numerous very nice evolutionary sequences. As a scientific proposition, biological evolution is a done deal. It just isn’t up for debate among serious scientists who look at the evidence. And as C. S. Lewis among others noted, it’s also not something that orthodox Christian theology need have any quarrel with.

      Please, for sake of all of us, don’t persist with this.

  5. 14 Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. 05/06/2013 at 2:38 am

    “Macroevolution” is simply the term for any set of changes that occur above the level of the species. Hence, changes in horn size and orientation in ceratopsians, forelimb reduction in tyrannosauroids, etc., are perfectly good examples of macroevolution as that term is used by evolutionary biologists.

    • 15 David 05/06/2013 at 6:11 pm

      Microevolution is merely microvariation, while macroevolution is vertical
      evolution or information-building evolution — a supposed gain of genetic

      Evolutionists have never observed one organism producing
      offspring with a novel body part. Renowned evolutionary biologist, the
      late Lynn Margulis, repeatedly criticized the “mutations create new kinds
      of organisms” hypothesis. We also have over 100 years of fruit fly
      mutation experiments. Conclusion? Fruit flies reproduce fruit flies
      (albeit with harmful mutations). No evolution has occurred.

      • 16 David Hone 05/06/2013 at 6:32 pm

        Stating something as if it were true doe not make it true. These things are a nonsense and have been dealt with since time immemorial when it comes to creationist nonsense. Taking a leaf from your book, allow me to dump this link here: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/ feel free to read all of it and see how it deals with all of this. You seem to think just leaving a link compels people to read and absorb and accept everything in that link, so I’m going to assume you’ll do us the courtesy of doing what you expect of us. Either way, please don’t waste our time with this rubbish.

  6. 17 David 05/06/2013 at 6:34 pm

    Thomas: Do you believe its possible the ceratopsians represent just a single kind of dinosaur, but with a significant amount of variety?

  7. 18 David 05/06/2013 at 6:46 pm

    A chap I know who has a DDS degree (Doctor of Dental Surgery) wants to see at least a dozen examples of an intermediate enamel microstructure.

    He says if you mutate the amelogenin gene you get imperfections in the enamel microstructure. These would be preserved in the fossils. There are none. The problem is that there are hundreds of different types of enamel microstructure with no evidence of any mutational action in the amelogenin gene. The decussation of prisms provides another problem for intermediate forms. The fossils demonstrate complete functioning enamel in all animals. The same problem occurs with eruption sequences. Where do you see evolution providing intermediate forms of nonfunctional enamel?

  8. 19 Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. 05/06/2013 at 7:46 pm

    I am going to take a page from Dave Hone, and say that until you get on the same page in terms of definitions and understanding of the concepts there is no point in further discussion. Your bizarre use of “macroevolution” is utterly at odds with the decades of use of term in the evolutionary biology literature (where it has exactly the definition I used: evolutionary change above the level of the species).

    But I will answer your question: Ceratopsia is simultaneously one kind of dinosaur with many kinds within it, just the same as Mammalia is one kind of vertebrate with many kinds within it. If you cannot understand this single simple concept, than there really is no way we can proceed any further.

  9. 20 AbrashTX 05/06/2013 at 8:58 pm

    Oh yes, “transitional forms,” a meaningless phrase I remember from my fundamentalist childhood in the ’70s. I also recognize a quote from the latest icon of the creationist intelligent design movement, Philip Johnson. ID has been soundly defeated in the court system for years, most notably in the Kitzmiller v. Dover case, which even the Discovery Institute wouldn’t touch with a 10-ft pole. David–you are embarrassing yourself. Lots of people have figured out how to be Christians without trying to turn Genesis into a science textbook. I suggest you do the same.

  10. 21 David 05/06/2013 at 9:57 pm

    Campbell’s Biology (4th Ed.) states: “macroevolution: Evolutionary change on a grand scale, encompassing the origin of novel designs, evolutionary trends, adaptive radiation, and mass extinction.” Futuyma’s Evolutionary Biology states: “In Chapters 23 through 25, we will analyze the principles of MACROEVOLUTION, that is, the origin and diversification of higher taxa.” (pg. 447).

    Typically there are three common meanings for evolution:

    Evolution #1: Microevolution: Small-scale changes in a population of organisms.

    Macroevolution can be divided into two parts:

    Evolution #2: Universal Common Descent: The view that all organisms are related and are descended from a single common ancestor.

    Evolution #3: Natural Selection: The view that an unguided process of natural selection acting upon random mutation has been the primary mechanism driving the evolution of life.

    It’s not uncommon for an evolutionist to take evidence for microevolution (evolution #1), and claim it supports common descent (evolution #2) or development solely through unguided mechanisms (evolution #3).

    But in 2000 Douglas Erwin wrote a paper in Evolution and Development (Vol. 2(2):78-84, 2000) entitled “Macroevolution is more than repeated rounds of microevolution” where he explained the historical controversy over whether microevolutionary processes can explain macroevolutionary change.

    As I said previously, four well-known technical books are Levinton’s “Macroevolution” (2001), Gould’s “Structure of Evolutionary Theory” (2002), Valentine’s “On the Origin of Phyla” (2004), and Futuyma’s “Evolution,” (2009).

    How many examples of macroevolution are mentioned in these books?


    So please enlighten me. Cite a biology text or some papers from the scientific literature which gives one or more examples of macroevolution regarding dinosaurs, or any other animal.

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