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Re: Hell Creek (long)

On Fri, 31 May 2002, David Marjanovic wrote:

> I will be completely shocked if we do. Because then we get a huge
problem to explain where the Lazarus ammonites, big foraminifera,
zalambdalestids, even stagodontids and mosasaurs are -- and why they died
out then. :-)

The fossil record is filled with "huge problems".  It is by discovering
"problems" that we progress.  When we think we know all the answers we may
even _avoid_ searching for evidence for alternate hypotheses. And we could
bundle in irrelevant species: for example, zalambdalestids are survived by
a host of similar eutherians, right?  If so, why would one ven bother
looking for Lazarus z...?  I think you've done this before--excuse
repeats--where on Earth one would look for early Cenozoic mosasaurs,
ammonites, pterosaurs, enantiornithines, ichtyosaurs, plesiosaurs?

>"And why they died out then?"
This is always a huge problem.  Fear of addressing it shouldn't limit
research.  We almost never know why things become extinct.  The very worst
thing about the bolide hypothesis is the complacency it fosters in
otherwise curious minds.  From a layman's perspective, the alternate
killing mechanisms proposed over the last 15 years stretch credulity.  It
resembles creationism in its ability to leap from one failed hypothesis
to another.  So, it might have happened, but it isn't easy to say how it
happened.  Therefore, thias hypothesis has a similar burden of proof to
other mechanisms.  Point I'm trying to make is--don't shirk from
explaining chickens before they hatch.