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Re:Norman MacLeod's opinion of Alvarez' dispassion




On Wed, 30 Sep 1998, King, Norm wrote:

> ...other factors 
> being equal, I would place more credence in the opinions of someone who 
> has actually seen the data in question than those of someone who has only 
> read about the data.  So, we don't need to be impressed by the opinion of 
> a reviewer in the Times Literary Supplement.  Once the reviewer got 
> beyond checking grammar, organization, and sentence construction, he was 
> out of his league.

It depends on what we are arguing about.  Surely paleoecology is the
discipline which should have the right-of-way here--I mean whether or not
a bolide was significantly implicated in the extinction of the dinosaurs.
In this respect, the iridium signature and its global distribution--i.e.,
Dr. Alvarez' area of expertise--may be totally irrelevant.  Indeed, there
_is_ no data relating this event to dinosaur extinction.  So, depending on
his or her ecological training, the Times reviewer may have more informed
opinions than an astrophysisist.