What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

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Adam H
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What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby Adam H » Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:21 pm UTC

Soda Planet
How much of the Earth's currently-existing water has ever been turned into a soft drink at some point in its history?

Image

In 2013 in the US, the average consumption of soft drinks is about 16 oz per person per day. And world wide, the average consumption of total watery liquids is 33 oz per day...

Shit got real when he brought in the dinosaurs. :)
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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby Diadem » Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:49 pm UTC

Humans drink 7% of all water ever consumed by all humans as carbonated beverages each year? That can not be right. I mean yes, population growth is exponential, and a significant fraction of all humans who ever lived are alive right now. About 7% in fact. But that would still require carbonated beverages to be nearly 100% of total liquid consumption.

Also, claiming that birds are dinosaurs is a fun joke, and a good way to make people think, but it's starting to become a serious myth by now, and I hope that XKCD is not seriously going to propagate it. We already have enough misinformation going on in science without adding more.
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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby Vertices » Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:21 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:Also, claiming that birds are dinosaurs is a fun joke, and a good way to make people think, but it's starting to become a serious myth by now, and I hope that XKCD is not seriously going to propagate it. We already have enough misinformation going on in science without adding more.


Here's some more for ya:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_birds

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby xorsyst » Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:26 pm UTC

In the beverage industry, "soft drink" technically refers to any non-alcoholic packaged beverage, but it's commonly used to mean carbonated beverages.


I think that may be quite regional too. In my experience, people refer to squash as a soft drink in the UK. In fact, I've even heard of people asking if you wanted "fizzy or soft", indicating that soft excludes carbonated.

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby Cos » Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:34 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:Humans drink 7% of all water ever consumed by all humans as carbonated beverages each year? That can not be right.

I had the same reaction...

Actually, 110 billion humans x 40 years x 1 liter/day/human = about 1,600 trillion liters of water. So, not so little compared to the volume of all rivers after all. :)

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby Cos » Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:43 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:Humans drink 7% of all water ever consumed by all humans as carbonated beverages each year? That can not be right.

Well no, actually the post suggests that 7% of all water ever consumed by all humans was carbonated beverages.

Still, that felt outright enormous to me, hence my previous message.

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby rhomboidal » Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:07 pm UTC

The "Genocide by Straw-Wielding Hominids Theory" of the Cretaceous dinosaur extinction is, needless to say, highly controversial.

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby mfb » Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:18 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:Humans drink 7% of all water ever consumed by all humans as carbonated beverages each year? That can not be right. I mean yes, population growth is exponential, and a significant fraction of all humans who ever lived are alive right now. About 7% in fact. But that would still require carbonated beverages to be nearly 100% of total liquid consumption.
The total amount of water for humanity is certainly wrong:
110 billion * 1liter/day * 40 years = 1.6 quadrillion liters or 1600 km3.

.4% sounds much more reasonable, given that ~6% of all humans that have ever lived are alive today, and 70ml/day is 7% of 1 liter.

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby Vortex153 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:33 pm UTC

I think the real question here is: How much dino urine does an average person drink per year?

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby Rezer » Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:59 pm UTC

mfb wrote:
Diadem wrote:Humans drink 7% of all water ever consumed by all humans as carbonated beverages each year? That can not be right. I mean yes, population growth is exponential, and a significant fraction of all humans who ever lived are alive right now. About 7% in fact. But that would still require carbonated beverages to be nearly 100% of total liquid consumption.
The total amount of water for humanity is certainly wrong:
110 billion * 1liter/day * 40 years = 1.6 quadrillion liters or 1600 km3.

.4% sounds much more reasonable, given that ~6% of all humans that have ever lived are alive today, and 70ml/day is 7% of 1 liter.


Came to say this...but what's an order of magnitude between friends?

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby Diadem » Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:29 pm UTC

Vertices wrote:
Diadem wrote:Also, claiming that birds are dinosaurs is a fun joke, and a good way to make people think, but it's starting to become a serious myth by now, and I hope that XKCD is not seriously going to propagate it. We already have enough misinformation going on in science without adding more.


Here's some more for ya:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_birds

They evolved from dinosaurs, quite obviously. And Randall also makes a good point when he says that T. Rex is more closely related to birds than to a stegosaurus. But that still doesn't make birds dinosaurs. This current fad in biology to insist that every single term used for groups of species needs to be cladic is a bit silly. It's useful for taxonomy, but taxonomy is not the only sport around.

If you bought a book about dinosaurs, would you feel cheated if it turned out to be about birds? I certainly would, and I bet most people would (not that birds aren't awesome, or worth buying books about, but that's another story).
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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby davidstarlingm » Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:31 pm UTC

Birds aren't dinosaurs!! They're a different baramin, a different created kind. Birds were created on day 5; dinosaurs were created on day 6 alongside humans. Birds aren't dinosaurs because evolution can't happen.

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby sonar1313 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:38 pm UTC

mfb wrote:
Diadem wrote:Humans drink 7% of all water ever consumed by all humans as carbonated beverages each year? That can not be right. I mean yes, population growth is exponential, and a significant fraction of all humans who ever lived are alive right now. About 7% in fact. But that would still require carbonated beverages to be nearly 100% of total liquid consumption.
The total amount of water for humanity is certainly wrong:
110 billion * 1liter/day * 40 years = 1.6 quadrillion liters or 1600 km3.

.4% sounds much more reasonable, given that ~6% of all humans that have ever lived are alive today, and 70ml/day is 7% of 1 liter.

I suspect some cultural bias in the numbers though. The source for 1 liter/day is an EPA document, which is to say, Americans drink that much. We get it from a tap with no effort at all (or we fritter away money for bottled water) and there's very little need to ration. Most of human history has been spent in what we'd consider third-world conditions, with a constant need to fetch water from somewhere. Humans that had to make an effort to go get more, or had to be constantly on the move to find it, or lived somewhere where drinking the water meant you got the shits and died, probably drank less. Maybe half that total seems like a more likely bet.

It's possible the document somewhere does give a figure for people in general, and I didn't dig through to find out. (The damn thing is huge.) But basing human water consumption off of modern American water consumption probably results in overshooting the mark.

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby ps.02 » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:33 am UTC

almost all of it has been drunk by at least one dinosaur.

I'm skeptical. While Randall doesn't say it explicitly, he seems to assume that a water molecule is effectively indestructible. But we know that's not true, and 65 million years is a long time. I mean, there's all sorts of chemical reactions that use H2O as either as input or an output. If you convert some H and some O into other chemicals and later break those down and produce more water, as I'm given to understand many of us do all day long, I don't think you can count this "Molecule of Theseus" as the same one the dino drank.

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby skeptical scientist » Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:58 am UTC

ps.02 wrote:
almost all of it has been drunk by at least one dinosaur.

I'm skeptical. While Randall doesn't say it explicitly, he seems to assume that a water molecule is effectively indestructible. But we know that's not true, and 65 million years is a long time. I mean, there's all sorts of chemical reactions that use H2O as either as input or an output. If you convert some H and some O into other chemicals and later break those down and produce more water, as I'm given to understand many of us do all day long, I don't think you can count this "Molecule of Theseus" as the same one the dino drank.

Indeed. Plants are constantly turning water into sugar and other important organic molecules (converting carbon dioxide to oxygen in the process), and animals are constantly converting those organic molecules into other organic molecules and oxidizing them back into carbon dioxide & water. Furthermore, in liquid water the molecules themselves are constantly ionizing and deionizing via the reaction 2H2O <=> OH- + H3O+. I suspect, but do not know, that these two kinds of reactions represent the majority of chemical reactions that water molecules participate in on Earth.

I have no idea how to estimate the rate of water-water ionization reactions, but global warming research provides a good window on the rate at which water is converted into carbohydrate, because that is the same as the rate at which carbon dioxide is converted into carbohydrate. According to the IPCC Third Assessment report, "The amount [of carbon dioxide] that is 'fixed' from the atmosphere, i.e., converted from CO2 to carbohydrate during photosynthesis, is known as gross primary production (GPP). Terrestrial GPP has been estimated as about 120 PgC/yr [PgC = petagram carbon]." This means about 180 petagrams of water are consumed (since H2O molecules react one-to-one with CO2 molecules in plant respiration, and an H2O molecule weighs 50% more than a carbon atom). This is 180,000 km3, about 1/8000 of the total volume of water on the planet. Even if only one water molecule in 8000 reacts in a given year, then each water molecule has a roughly 1 in 107600 chance of surviving for 140 million years.* As there are fewer than 1050 molecules of water on the planet, none of them have been around since the Jurassic.

*Assuming events are independent. This is not true, because some water, e.g. water frozen in glaciers, may remain stable for millions of years. So there may be a little water remaining that has been water since the time of the dinosaurs, but likely only a very small amount.
Last edited by skeptical scientist on Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:03 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby pitareio » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:04 am UTC

Diadem wrote:If you bought a book about dinosaurs, would you feel cheated if it turned out to be about birds? I certainly would, and I bet most people would (not that birds aren't awesome, or worth buying books about, but that's another story).


If you bought a book about animals, would you feel cheated if it turned out to be (only) about humans? I certainly would.

Does that mean humans are not animals?

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby Philbert » Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:38 am UTC

I think it means that it is more about language and culture than science.

Another grey example: the shared ancestor of chimpanzees and humans would by most people be considered an ape. Does that make us an ape too? I personally don't have a problem with that, but many people will. So the answer is more about culture than science.

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby pduthie » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:08 am UTC

davidstarlingm wrote:Birds aren't dinosaurs!! They're a different baramin, a different created kind. Birds were created on day 5; dinosaurs were created on day 6 alongside humans. Birds aren't dinosaurs because evolution can't happen.


How we can we be expected to trust your quasidarwinianornithoreligious rhetoric when your username reveals such obvious avian bias!
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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby davidstarlingm » Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:47 pm UTC

pduthie wrote:
davidstarlingm wrote:Birds aren't dinosaurs!! They're a different baramin, a different created kind. Birds were created on day 5; dinosaurs were created on day 6 alongside humans. Birds aren't dinosaurs because evolution can't happen.


How we can we be expected to trust your quasidarwinianornithoreligious rhetoric when your username reveals such obvious avian bias!

Bahahaha!! Okay, you win.

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby omgryebread » Wed Dec 04, 2013 3:50 pm UTC

Philbert wrote:I think it means that it is more about language and culture than science.

Another grey example: the shared ancestor of chimpanzees and humans would by most people be considered an ape. Does that make us an ape too? I personally don't have a problem with that, but many people will. So the answer is more about culture than science.
That's not really the same as dinosaurs and birds. Humans are apes. We haven't diverged much from our ape ancestor, we're still in the same morphological class.

A more fitting analogy for Diadem's point is that the ancestor of chimpanzees and humans was likely an Ardipithecus. That doesn't mean humans, or chimps, are Ardipithecus as well. Birds are dinosaurs in a cladistic sense, but it doesn't make sense to use cladistics as a categorization scheme. You could, if you wished, just call them all Eukaryote and go around telling everyone that animals are really just protists.
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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby armandoalvarez » Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:24 pm UTC

Total soft drink consumption in 2013 was about 188 billion liters. That's 26 liters per person annually, or 70 mL/day. (In the US, the average was 170 liters, or about one 16-oz drink per person per day. And each soda is a couple of Cadbury eggs.

And this is why you're fat, America. Drastically reduce the corn subsidies and the obesity epidemic will become much less of a problem. (Well, we also have the problem of our car-dependent society, but that's a lot harder to fix).

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby thevicente » Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:24 pm UTC

I paused reading at aprox 1/3 of the page.

How much is 16 oz. in ml?

thanks.

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby Klear » Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:46 pm UTC

thevicente wrote:I paused reading at aprox 1/3 of the page.

How much is 16 oz. in ml?

thanks.


That gave me a pause too. Seems to be just over 450 grams.

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby armandoalvarez » Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:56 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
thevicente wrote:I paused reading at aprox 1/3 of the page.

How much is 16 oz. in ml?

thanks.


That gave me a pause too. Seems to be just over 450 grams.

Guys, Google is your friend (it works as a unit converter if you type "16 oz = ml". Similar to using Google as a calculator).
16 oz of soda = 473 ml of soda
The Imperial System has both fluid ounces and ounces as a unit of weight. An ounce is 1/16 of a pound or 28 g. A fluid ounce is 1/8 of a cup or 30 ml. A shot glass is 2 ounces; an American beer glass is 12 ounces (if you order a pint in the US, that's what you tend to get even though a pint is 16 ounces); a British beer glass is 16 ounces (a "true pint"). The pictures Randall posted of the two quantities of soda consumed give you an idea.
Oddly, 8 ounces of butter weighs 8 ounces and takes up 8 fluid ounces of volume in the US. I guess they figured that since butter naturally whips to approximately 1 fluid ounce being equal to one weight ounce they might as well avoid confusion by whipping it to exactly that density.

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby . . » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:03 pm UTC

All birds are dinosaurs... as long as you are willing to accept that all dinosaurs (and humans) are fish. =)

Also, 16 oz = 1 pint = 50cl :D (European beer drinker logic!)

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby mathmannix » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:29 pm UTC

davidstarlingm wrote:Birds aren't dinosaurs!! They're a different baramin, a different created kind. Birds were created on day 5; dinosaurs were created on day 6 ...


There is much that is known to be unknown, but is it not unreasonable to think that perhaps all dinosaurs (or, at least, the "birdlike" theropods) were actually birds? Perhaps they all had feathers, and were flightless birds like the ostrich or moa, and thus created on day 5. The other dinosaurs, sauropods and ornithischians, were more likely giant lizards, and thus were created on day 6.

Diadem wrote:They evolved from dinosaurs, quite obviously. And Randall also makes a good point when he says that T. Rex is more closely related to birds than to a stegosaurus. But that still doesn't make birds dinosaurs. This current fad in biology to insist that every single term used for groups of species needs to be cladic is a bit silly. It's useful for taxonomy, but taxonomy is not the only sport around.

If you bought a book about dinosaurs, would you feel cheated if it turned out to be about birds? I certainly would, and I bet most people would (not that birds aren't awesome, or worth buying books about, but that's another story).


Even if we stipulate that birds evolved from dinosaurs, doesn't that mean that, cladistically, both humans and birds are amphibians? and fish? It ceases to mean anything if we refuse to call birds "birds" and insist on calling them "fish", doesn't it?

EDIT: wow, got sniped on that one! Although by near to a half hour, so I really have no excuse for typing slowly, but most of that time I was researching Genesis 1, and trying to understand why birds' ancestors were apparently "lizard-hipped" and not "bird-hipped" dinosaurs. Oh, and doing work too!
Last edited by mathmannix on Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:33 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby davidstarlingm » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:03 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:
davidstarlingm wrote:Birds aren't dinosaurs!! They're a different baramin, a different created kind. Birds were created on day 5; dinosaurs were created on day 6 ...


There is much that is known to be unknown, but is it not unreasonable to think that perhaps all dinosaurs (or, at least, the "birdlike" theropods) were actually birds? Perhaps they all had feathers, and were flightless birds like the ostrich or moa, and thus created on day 5. The other dinosaurs, sauropods and ornithischians, were more likely giant lizards, and thus were created on day 6.

And again. Fantastic. You guys are great with Poes.

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby thanksbastards » Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:44 am UTC

guys guys guys, an apatasauras can't bend its neck like that! randal is getting absurd and sloppy with the facts! How can he expect people to take him seriously with such shoddy illusrtations of what are clearly physical impossibilities?

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby mathmannix » Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:33 pm UTC

thanksbastards wrote:an Apatosaurus can't bend its neck like that!


Maybe not, but a Brontosaurus can!
I hear velociraptor tastes like chicken.

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby ducksan » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:11 pm UTC

skeptical scientist wrote:Plants are constantly turning water into sugar and other important organic molecules...and animals are constantly converting those organic molecules into other organic molecules and oxidizing them back into carbon dioxide & water. Furthermore, in liquid water the molecules themselves are constantly ionizing and deionizing via the reaction 2H2O <=> OH- + H3O+.


Pretty much came here to mention this; thank you for the estimates of how much water is created or destroyed. A 10-7600 chance of exactly preserving a water molecule is ridiculously small; even 10-76 pragmatically rounds to zero. Water is going to act as an acid or base towards pretty much anything, very much including itself, over the timespan of millions of years; in addition to this and photosynthesis/metabolism/combustion, simple hydrolysis and condensation reactions (with no redox involved) shuffle protons around like no tomorrow.

At any time, there's about 1 OH- and 1 H3O+ for every ~half a billion H2O molecules in pure water. The ionized species are very good at becoming pure water again, and I wonder if the same H2O could persist for a even week or month.
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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby Mousepup » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:17 am UTC

My first thought is to wonder how much soda pop our ocean acidification is worth. I'm growing doubtful that I'll easily find a solid estimate for our total contribution to ocean pH so far, since there are so many unknowns, but at least from poking around the NOAA website, estimates of daily absorption about now are clustering around 20 million tons of CO2. Taking the huge assumption that we're currently settled into a state where this is approximately how much extra we're pushing into the seas with our actions...

Asking Google how much Carbon Dioxide goes into soda pop, one of the first results gives 6 grams Carbon Dioxide per litre of soda- an estimate of what it has, which is what I'm looking for, as opposed to how much is required to make it. Dividing 20 Tg by 6 g/l gives us 10/3 x 1012 litres of ocean soda.

We're making three and a third teralitres of sea pop per day.
(qualifier: semantically debatable since it's not made in such concentration that it's actually acidic, thus never exists as soda pop)

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby sonar1313 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:35 am UTC

skeptical scientist wrote:
ps.02 wrote:
almost all of it has been drunk by at least one dinosaur.

I'm skeptical. While Randall doesn't say it explicitly, he seems to assume that a water molecule is effectively indestructible. But we know that's not true, and 65 million years is a long time. I mean, there's all sorts of chemical reactions that use H2O as either as input or an output. If you convert some H and some O into other chemicals and later break those down and produce more water, as I'm given to understand many of us do all day long, I don't think you can count this "Molecule of Theseus" as the same one the dino drank.

Indeed. Plants are constantly turning water into sugar and other important organic molecules (converting carbon dioxide to oxygen in the process), and animals are constantly converting those organic molecules into other organic molecules and oxidizing them back into carbon dioxide & water. Furthermore, in liquid water the molecules themselves are constantly ionizing and deionizing via the reaction 2H2O <=> OH- + H3O+. I suspect, but do not know, that these two kinds of reactions represent the majority of chemical reactions that water molecules participate in on Earth.

Perhaps making these molecules a sort of chemical Grandfather's Axe. Sure, we've replaced the hydrogen atoms a couple million times, but it's the same molecule....right?

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby lgw » Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:05 pm UTC

As one paleontologist said at a Ted talk "Birds are dinosaurs. You might not like to hear it, but we're the ones who get to decide, and we've decided that birds are dinosaurs."

Plus, as Randal pointed out, there's no reasonable way to claim that a T-Rex is closer to a stegosaurus than a sparrow.
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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby Klear » Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:37 pm UTC

lgw wrote:As one paleontologist said at a Ted talk "Birds are dinosaurs. You might not like to hear it, but we're the ones who get to decide, and we've decided that birds are dinosaurs."

Plus, as Randal pointed out, there's no reasonable way to claim that a T-Rex is closer to a stegosaurus than a sparrow.


Shouldn't ornithologists be the ones to decide? "Birds are dinosaurs" is a claim about birds, not dinosaurs, and doesn't work the other way. After all, stegosaurus is a dinosaur and is pretty far from a sparrow =P

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:14 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
lgw wrote:As one paleontologist said at a Ted talk "Birds are dinosaurs. You might not like to hear it, but we're the ones who get to decide, and we've decided that birds are dinosaurs."

Plus, as Randal pointed out, there's no reasonable way to claim that a T-Rex is closer to a stegosaurus than a sparrow.


Shouldn't ornithologists be the ones to decide? "Birds are dinosaurs" is a claim about birds, not dinosaurs, and doesn't work the other way. After all, stegosaurus is a dinosaur and is pretty far from a sparrow =P


Ornithologists get to say whether a given creature is a bird or not; they don't get to say whether a given creature is a dinosaur or not.

Unless ornithologists are prepared to say that the dinosaurs commonly known as sparrows aren't in fact birds (and similarly for related species), it is indeed up to the paleontologists to decide whether their definition of dinosaur includes them or not.

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:56 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:
Diadem wrote:They evolved from dinosaurs, quite obviously. And Randall also makes a good point when he says that T. Rex is more closely related to birds than to a stegosaurus. But that still doesn't make birds dinosaurs. This current fad in biology to insist that every single term used for groups of species needs to be cladic is a bit silly. It's useful for taxonomy, but taxonomy is not the only sport around.

If you bought a book about dinosaurs, would you feel cheated if it turned out to be about birds? I certainly would, and I bet most people would (not that birds aren't awesome, or worth buying books about, but that's another story).


Even if we stipulate that birds evolved from dinosaurs, doesn't that mean that, cladistically, both humans and birds are amphibians? and fish? It ceases to mean anything if we refuse to call birds "birds" and insist on calling them "fish", doesn't it?

Amphibians is easier to fix by excluding Labyrinthodontia (as is commonly done, especially as extinct species are often not considered in daily speech), but if you take it literally to mean: "any creature capable of accessing both land and water" instead of taking it as a meaningful category, sure, it would include humans. Fish is different, it often means anything edible that moved itself through the water (including several bivalves), but is also used to refer to Chondrichthyes, Acanthodii, Actinopterygii, Actinistia and Dipnomorpha but not tetrapoda. I would say the latter definition is obsolete due to new insights but the former definition can be used to denote where the food came from.

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:38 am UTC

mathmannix wrote:Even if we stipulate that birds evolved from dinosaurs, doesn't that mean that, cladistically, both humans and birds are amphibians? and fish? It ceases to mean anything if we refuse to call birds "birds" and insist on calling them "fish", doesn't it?

True, but that's not what people are suggesting - anymore than people are suggesting that we should refuse to call natives of Liverpool "Scousers" and insist on calling them "British" or refuse to call them "British" and insist on calling them "human".

But there's also a problem going the other way - if you refuse to call them Scousers, let alone British, and insist on calling them The Beatles, or even insist on calling them John, Paul, George and Ringo. This is something people are actually doing when they say that birds aren't dinosaurs - sure, The Beatles grew up in Liverpool, spoke with Scouse accents, and so forth, but they weren't Scousers (or weren't British depending on where you want to put the analogy) - or at least that's what people are effectively arguing about the bird/dinosaur question.

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby Mousepup » Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:18 am UTC

I don't have a great investment in the label issue, but for what it's worth, I think the most sensible criterion for whether birds are still dinosaurs is how difficult or easy, and how intuitive or forced, the biological distinction is. If separating [the rest of the] dinosaurs from birds requires a gerrymanderous distinction, then the latter class extends the former. If putting them both into one group while excluding all their neighbors looks more awkward, then birds shouldn't be dinosaurs.

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby Kaiman » Wed Dec 25, 2013 9:28 am UTC

Isn't the whole thing assuming that 100% of the volume of a soda / soft drink is water?

You could, if you wished, just call them all Eukaryote and go around telling everyone that animals are really just protists.


Exactly.

As one paleontologist said at a Ted talk "Birds are dinosaurs. You might not like to hear it, but we're the ones who get to decide, and we've decided that birds are dinosaurs."


There is a group of creatures that includes Tyrannosaurs, Stegosaurs, Brachiosaurs, Pachycephalosaurs, etc, and that does not include today's current flying creatures. If that group is not called "dinosaurs", what is it called?

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Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Postby skeptical scientist » Thu Dec 26, 2013 1:46 am UTC

Kaiman wrote:Isn't the whole thing assuming that 100% of the volume of a soda / soft drink is water?

Yes, but given the margins for error in all of the other estimates, the difference between 96% and 100% is negligible.

Kaiman wrote:There is a group of creatures that includes Tyrannosaurs, Stegosaurs, Brachiosaurs, Pachycephalosaurs, etc, and that does not include today's current flying creatures. If that group is not called "dinosaurs", what is it called?

"Non-avian dinosaurs."
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