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Re: Crater may reveal how dinosaurs became extinct



I'm really fed up with "public consumption" articles on dinosaur
extinction! This has little to do on my personal feelings on the impact
theory. I just think "science" magazines really dumb up the articles too
much.  

Is it me, or does this make little sense (excuse my haphazard editing
[Note the excerpts are from Terry Colvin's post, and that the original
 words were apparently penned by Nigel Hawkes of the (Fortean?) Times
 -- MR]):

> They will measure a *crater* in the Yucataan Peninsula in Mexico 
> that is believed to have been created by the impact of the meteorite or 
> comet that killed the dinosaurs.
> 
> The *crater*, the largest known on Earth, ...
> 
> If the *crater* lies at the low end of the range, ...

> Gravity surveys have shown the existence of a ring-shaped feature 
> underground, but the 
> seismic results should confirm that it is an impact crater.
                  ------------------------------------------

Okay, so the way this article has read so far, the jury is out on the
fact that it is a crater. Now scientists are going to go and prove it is a
crater? Why bother doing the experiment if they know allready? Does this
mean that some scientists (gasp!) may actually disagree?

> But proving that the Yucataan was the point of impact of an object big
> enough to account for the global changes that killed the dinosaurs
> would be a big step forward. If it was, the debris of the impact would
> have been enough to block out sunlight for tens of years.
> 
> Dr Snyder said that limestone sediment in the waters of the Caribbean 
> would have been vaporised and, mixed with the moisture in the air, 
> would have caused acid rain, killing off the plankton in the seas. 
> Death would have spread up the food chain.

Of course, we know that an impact would cause these actions FOR SURE. 
What happened to words like "hypothesis" and "maybe"? The pro-impact folks
can't even decide the exact mechanisms of the impact. But this magazine
has it all figured out!

Maybe I'd like to see a bit more honest reporting and less fireball in the
sky drama! Something that explains that Dr. Snyder is going to try to
collect data on a proposed impact site, that may or may not have anything
to do on dinosaur exinctions, that may or may not have caused enviromental
changes, etc. 

What is going on here? Does this bother anyone else but me?

-Sherry Michael