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Re: extinction

Dewey McLean (dmclean@vt.edu) wrote:

<For you to state that Vail does not understand how to do stratigraphy is
a disgusting insult to a forefront creative, accomplished, revered, and
honored, scientist who has done much for the science of geology.

  Your "stratigraphers didn't have ANY experience...prior to Alvarez..."
exposes a shocking ignorance of reality on your part.>

  Whoa ...  from what I just read in Phil Bigelow's posting, this is not
at all what he said, as the statement quoted ignores two important
qualifications, including the argument on "world-wide chron layers," and
the nature and reality of the K/T Ir layer, aspects that alter the meaning
of the quoted section. He did not state Vail was incompetant, and no need
to rise to one's defense on the matter, this is not a matter of one's
personal integrity being attacked (nor should even that warrant a
response). The idea of bio and geochrons is a relatively new one, and many
people have either been integral to understanding them, identifying them,
and utilizing them. Everyone stands on someone else's shoulders, just as
we paleontologists stand on Cuvier's, Owen's, Cope's, etc..

<Phil, a simplistic recitation on your part that you _believe_ that the
K-T has only one "real" spike that has been reworked is not good enough.
You must back up your contention with hard data from the K-T transition
geobiological record. Until you do that, your _belief_ cannot be seriously
considered as a meaningful contribution to K-T science.>

  And this is what he was arguing about, and myself in an earlier post.
We're are working off some basic assumptions that we choose not to discard
because it benefits us. Has _anyone_ disproved at each site the multiple
spikes are reworked? That they are not reworked? Localities prone to
inundation would be initially suspect, in my mind's eye; And instead of
trumping up arguments (this statement "honors" NO one) to favor an
experience, rather attempt to disprove it by scientific means. To not
stand on any biases is a scientific goal, one not always easiest, such as
arguing that a particular scientist is the next best thing to being
worshipped. Why we should not worship Owen, Alvarez, Vail, Gould, etc.,
for whatever contributions they have made or authority figures in whose
lives they were or could have been, but instead be just as critical or
them as our peers --- and extend that peer-criticism to ourselves a TAD
bit more wisely.

Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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