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Study Suggests Weather and Not Hunting Killed Off Wooly Mammoths 150

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the mother-nature-wants-you-to-die dept.
Big Hairy Ian writes, quoting the BBC: "A DNA analysis shows that the number of creatures began to decrease much earlier than previously thought as the world's climate changed. It also shows that there was a distinct population of mammoth in Europe that died out around 30,000 years ago. ... Dr Dalen worked with researchers in London to analyse DNA samples from 300 specimens from woolly mammoths collected by themselves and other groups in earlier studies ... [The researchers] speculate that it was so cold that the grass on which they fed became scarce. The decline was spurred on as the Ice Age ended, possibly because the grassland on which the creatures thrived was replaced by forests in the south and tundra in the north."
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Study Suggests Weather and Not Hunting Killed Off Wooly Mammoths

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  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @12:58PM (#44820629)

    #1 thing to keep in mind: laws and theories refer to the same thing. Laws are just a historical anachronism when people used to call things laws of nature any time they found out a rule that seemed to be invariable in nature. Buoyancy, F=ma, etc.

    #2 thing to keep in mind: theories are not just guesses. They are statements about how some things supposedly work, based on our current understanding of related things. They are fully independent of scientific facts, which are data. Sometimes though, theories and facts have the same name, but refer to different things. Example: the theory of evolution, and Evolution. The theory of evolution lays out how we think creatures evolve. Evolution is the fact (the data collected) that creatures evolve.

    #3 thing to keep in mind: linguistically, a hypothesis and a theory is the same thing. In scientific vernacular, a hypothesis is what you have before you have data. A theory is what you have once you have collected some data and have the ability to support your theory with more than "cuz I say so."

    #4 thing to keep in mind: laws, theories, hypotheses - all of these can and will be changed once data shows that they're not correct anymore. That is the hallmark of science. We've just gotten so used to things having been nailed down so well that they haven't been updated in a long time. That doesn't mean that they can't be in the future.

"The medium is the message." -- Marshall McLuhan

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