[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: _Night Comes to the Cretaceous_

On Sun, 9 Aug 1998 Dinogeorge@aol.com wrote:

> In reply to the above--paleontologists "may never know" about the cause of the
> K-T extinction, but pretty much the rest of the scientific world does! 

Are you saying that workers closest to the data can have the least
informed opinions?  Are there any other scientific disciplines for which
this is true or is it just a failing of paleontology?  

> I'd like to see Dave Archibald (or anyone else) demonstrate that any so-called
> pseudo extinctions as described herein actually took place. He'll have every
> cladist down his throat in no time. Where's Wagner when you need him?

I could use some illumination on this issue also.  But from a strictly
amateur's point of view it seems reasonable to say, as Archibald does,
that the creation of new species necessitates the extinction of old.
After all, there is only so much room on the planet!
By the way, I am _not_ saying that non-avian dinosaurs extinctions were
pseudo.  They were real enough.  I am saying that such things as p.
extinctions, the Lazarus effect, and the Signor/Lipps effect make the true
timing and nature of extinctions difficult at best to ascertain.

> There is presently >no way< to distinguish between Signor-Lipps effect and so-
> called "stepped extinction." And, how convenient that all these "stepped"
> extinctions come to a climax >at exactly the time when the asteroid hits<.

It's allowed to smell fishy.  But you don't come off like you are
presenting a mere hunch.

Bois said: If birds exhibited mass-survival
over the K/T, wouldn't this falsify the bolide-as-sufficient idea?

Dinogeorge replied: Even if lots of birds survived the asteroid impact,
which I doubt, it wouldn't matter at all.

But then said: The important thing is that there
aren't any enantiornithans known above the K-T boundary...

This is a double standard.  If neornithines below the boundary don't
falsify the bolide idea, but no enantiornithines above the boundary
supports it, then it seems the the bolide-is-sufficient idea is much
easier to accept than to falsify.

> What you're trying to tell me goes something like this: A gunman opens fire at
> a group of ten bystanders. Say three persons survive. Nobody sees the actual
> shooting, and the three survivors are badly wounded and too incoherent to
> serve as witnesses. The other seven bystanders have their bodies riddled with
> bullets.

This is an inappropriate analogy.  A better one would be: A bomb goes off
in one part of town.  All over town people by the name of O'Grady suffer
complete elimination.  But people living next door to the O'Grady's, the
O'chelonians, O'crocs, and the O'champosaurs are completely unharmed.  If
I were a cop I would say: "Yes, I know a bomb went off.  But I'm going to
look for a gunman anyway, thank you very much."  For, whether you like it
or not, some targetting was going on at the K/T.

> If you feel like
> searching for why one or another group managed to survive the impact, be my
> guest, but you'll just end up going around in circles, waving your hands at
> one untestable hypothesis after another.

Rather this than support an untenable one.