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H&W EXPLAINING MESOZOIC FOSSILS
> Further, you must remember that (as I recall) H&W felt a need to "explain
> away" Archaeopteryx because it didn't fit in with their theory that life on
> earth was "seeded" frpm outer space without evolution.
> Ronald I. Orenstein
I guess it's worth mentioning because it's so hilarious.. Here I go then.
For those of you that don't know, astronomer Fred Hoyle is well known for his
advocation of 'panspermia' - basically the idea that organic evolution on Earth
is affected by invading microorganisms that come in on meteors and such. Not
only does he apply this to the appearance of Life itself, he also believes that
all major (end Period or end Era) shifts in biological diversity come about
through the genetic transmogrification and extinction caused by alien genes from
these microorganisms, which somehow combine with those of terrestrial lifeforms
and - presto - create brand new ones. Honest! As put forward in their book, H
& W therefore see the K-T event as such an invasion, and believe that it
explains, not only the disappearance of Mesozoic reptiles including dinosaurs,
but also the appearance at the start of the Tertiary of mammals and birds. The
dinosaurs were literally changed into mammals and birds!! Honest!!!
I hope you see that no further comment is necessary.
One of the least significant flaws in this otherwise airtight hypothesis is that
the authors were mysteriously unaware of all Mesozoic birds and mammals, bar
_Archaeopteryx_, _Ichthyornis_ and _Hesperornis_. _A_ therefore found itself
explained away as a fake. At the time of their research for the affect 'their'
K-T event might have, they saw _A_ very much at odds with their theory. By
extraordinary fortune (for them), an individual that had developed a theory of
fraud to explain the existence of _A_ got in touch via correspondence..
obviously H & W got very excited by this idea, and the result is called
'Archaeopteryx: The Primordial Bird'. With _A_ as a fake, the Mesozoic is
joyfully devoid of avians, bar those awkward marine forms from the Late
Cretaceous. No problem! _Hesperornis_ is obviously - hey - *not* a bird at all
but just a swimming dinosaur with reduced forelimbs and, as for that daft little
_Ichthyornis_, why.. why.. it could be anything! Least of all a critter with
feathers! So that's that.
"It's a good job sponges live in the ocean or else there'd be much more water!"
DARREN 'suitably caustic'/'yikes - I'm a fat bastard' NAISH