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Re: From Science New, and more (long... I did it again...)

On Sun, 10 Nov 2002, David Marjanovic wrote:

> If, of course, a) all 
> the math were correct, b) all the datings were correct (and the crater didn't 
> correspond to another big catastrophic mass extinction!), c) we hadn't 
> overlooked some factors that somehow dampened the effects of the impact, so 
> while the math were correct as such, it wouldn't describe reality. I can't 
> think of another possibility.
> Those who think impacts are not alone to blame for the K-T mass 
> should IMNSHO concentrate on c). I can't recall any ideas that address c). 

Lots of things
survived despite mathematical models.  Indeed, I can think of _no_
mathematical models that describe the extinction of wingless dinosaurs
while allowing the survival of volant species.

> Most of ecology, certainly not all of it, is expected to go up in poisonous 
> smoke after such a big impact... which makes it IMHO rather easy to give the 
> physicists some credence.

Again, what kind of "poisonous smoke" was it that allowed some "of
ecology" to prosper?  You must accept this burden.  I'm not saying you
have to have the answer.  But without accepting the burden of
demonstrating/making testable hypotheses, etc., etc., why should this
idea be taken seriously?  This is what is so odious to me: I know of no
other hypothesis that has such broad acceptance without necessity of
examination via scientific method.  

> And when paleontologists in general then find evidence for a catastrophic 
> mass extinction...

As far as I know this is still an open question.  Terrestrially speaking,
_no_ vertebrates are known to have suffered a
"catastrophic" extinction.  Even dinosaurs are still in question, no?

> I really don't think the answer to why most of 
> dinosaur diversity was eliminated will come from studying dinosaurs.

This should be on a plaque somewhere.  I know, written in graffiti on
Dr. Carpenter's headstone!