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Re: Extinction



Those that claim that the impact/Yucatan crater/dino extinction is a "done 
dealtheory with conclusive proof, seem to have short memories.
  When Ponds and Fleischman came out with their "cold fusion" paper/media event
in the 1980's, there were hords of supporters that espoused much the same
opinion that Van has been contributing on this thread:  That there is so much
evidence that supports cold fusion that, instead of detractors sticking their
ugly heads into the discussion, that we should move forward and scale up the
funding and experiments, and find out what *kind* of fusion is occurring in
those glasses of water.  To the blind supporters, the cold-fusion conclusion
was so obvious that the detractors were simply in a state of personal denial.
  Experiments by the detractors revealed that unusual caloric output was 
indeed being produced in the reaction cells, but this output could be
explained by conventional thermodynamics.  There is still conflicting discussion
on this subject (as there should be), but the general consensus is that cold-
fusion probably only occurred in Ponds and Fleischman's grant proposals, 
not in their test tubes.  In short, a lot of NSF money (our tax dollars)
was saved because of those "self-denying, not-able-to-accept-reality"
detractors.
   I happen to believe that the impact in the Yucatan may be responsible for
the iridium layer at Hell Creek, but I remain unconvinced that the iridium
layer at Hell Creek (or in the San Juan basin for that matter) has anything
to do with the extinction of the dinosaurs.  There are too many other factors
to consider.  A thin clay layer a few meters above the last dinosaur bone
does not imply a "done deal" in my opinion.  However, it would be neat if
the impact/extinction relationship turns out to be true.
  The critics make science work.  Consensus in cutting-edge science is a
scary concept to me.