Monday, March 8, 2010

Science, of the Proven Kind

Scientists reaffirm theory that giant asteroid killed dinosaurs

(CNN) -- A team of scientists has agreed that a giant asteroid killed off dinosaurs and a majority of other species on Earth more than 65 million years ago.

The researchers analyzed evidence and agreed it supports a single-impact theory first proposed 30 years ago on the cause of the mass extinction.

The science is settled, people. I do not know why people continue to deny that the dinosaurs were actually killed by the carnivorous aliens from Alpha Zebulon. Crackpot schemes involving meteors, ice ages, or changes in food source cannot replace the rock-hard science involved behind the prevailing fact that "Space Aliens Ate My Triceratops".

Who needs the scientific method when the science is so conveniently settled?

That is all.


Atom Smasher said...

pfft. Dino and friends were already long on the way out when Alvarez's iceball came a-calling, and there're other ways of getting Iridium layered around the globe.

bluesun said...

I am just going to say that however you look at it, it was too long ago to say anything with certainty. I mean, "those who forget history are doomed to repeat it" only goes so far back before you loose any sort of practicality.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was Arlen Specter who came up with the "single impact" theory. Perhaps I'm thinking of a different conspiracy.

Atom Smasher said...

bluesun- you can actually get pretty specific about *some* things with paleontology and geology. There was definitely a mighty big impact 65mya, for instance.

Borepatch said...

I'm with Atom Smasher. The rate of speciation among the Dinosaurs was in decline for millions of years before the impact.

Something was clearly amiss, and saying "everything was fine until the asteroid hit" is just like saying that "climate was incredibly stable until mankind started burning coal." The more you look, the more you find that doesn't fit with that explanation.

Veeshir said...

Well, that theory is settled.

Until they come up with another one.

I'll laugh my butt off if it really turns out to have been an alien migration that stopped for a nosh.

I hope they had a crapload of blue cheese dressing for the hot pteradactyl wings.

Think of the understated beginning to the recipe for T-Rex
"First, skin the T-Rex".

Borepatch said...

Sorry, I used the wrong word. The number of dinosaurian genera (groups of related species, e.g. primates) was in decline at the end of the Cretaceous. There was actually a rapid increase in new species within the remaining genera.

Also, you need to take much of the record with a big grain of salt. A wag once said that if you want to find new dinosaur species, add more paleontologists; if you want to add more valid dinosaur species, add new fossil beds. ;-)

Actually, that last is sort of a different way to discus species vs. Genus that I said in the first paragraph.

Borepatch said...

Last comment, I promise. This is the article that started the whole brouhaha over "sudden" vs. "gradual" extinction, at least as far as I recall.

Atom Smasher probably has better references.

PISSED said...

Borepatch... thanks for the link... Ive been here 47years and have never heard, let alone seen the word Ungulate... :)

Gradual Dinosaur Extinction and Simultaneous Ungulate Radiation in the Hell Creek Formation

Guess I gotta go goole it now....

SpeakerTweaker said...

WTF do you know?

Dinosaurs were, without a doubt, killed by Global Warming.


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Atom Smasher said...

"Atom Smasher probably has better references."

Geez, not anymore. My attempts to sack the halls of academia were pretty much over by '92 (although I didn't know it then) and then a roomie's cat ended up using my box of paleo texts and papers for a litter box. Bummer, that - had a few pretty good sketches of trilobites I did in there.

But in your post over at your place you hit all the highlights: resolution, Genera radiation, survival of large animals and certain plants, other impacts, survival of *dinosaurs* beyond the event, and good old Mister Nuclear Winter himself, Carl Effing Sagan.