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Yummy Impact Pie



Time for a quicky... Not that I'm calling the pursuit frivolous, but you 
know... I find it really interesting how much blind faith is put into 
determining what an impact variable's (pick one) nature has to be in order to 
produce a world-wide mass extinction. We like to phrase things as if we are 
pontificating known facts, and that irritates me. For example, pick size and 
the subsequent energies involved... If I remember right from my error and 
measurements classes, after you get to roughly a factor of eight in your 
extrapolations, your results are regarded as being seriously untrustworthy and 
as such, should be taken with a grain of salt. Apparently, asteroid/comet 
impact models and the theories they support are somehow exempt from this. 
Everything that is done with the impact hypothesis tosses energy numbers around 
in the awe inspiring 100 million times range in relation to a surface atmoic 
blast. It doesn't matter what type of computer you are using... Sandia or 
not... You!
  a!
re still molding your models around things that are not only many many many 
many many orders of magnitude smaller than your subject... but your subject has 
actually never been seen in action to begin with, and as such, you haven't a 
clue as to if you are producing results anywhere near correct. (You can't base 
an earth impact off of a gas giant impact for obvious reasons.) Tis an acute 
case of Model Parrotosis. Even the direct evidence we have in our possession 
mimics a Rorschach inkblot test. Get yourself a big bowl, mix together those 
variables you find appealing (as of today that is), add just a dash of iridium 
and a pinch of shocked quartz, and you're well on your way to baking a yummy 
impact pie.

(Of course, such things can be said about other scientific endeavors as well.)

Kris