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Dinosaurs Asteroid Extinction: ‘Crotch Science’

Posted by feww on March 7, 2010

Submitted by a reader:

Keep Freudian Politics Out of Science!

Dinosaur Extinction Highly Improbable as a Result of a Single Event

Barringer Crater from space. [The crater is also known as ‘Meteor Crater’ and ‘Canyon Diablo Crater.’] Barringer Crater,  is a 1,300-meter (0.8 mile) diameter, 174-meter (570-feet) deep hole in the flat-lying desert sandstones 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) west of Winslow, Arizona. Since the 1890s geologic studies here played a leading role in developing an understanding of impact processes on the Earth, the moon and elsewhere in the solar system. This view was acquired by the Landsat 4 satellite on December 14, 1982. Diablo Canyon arroyo is to the west (left). The ghost town of Diablo Canyon is on the canyon to the north and out of the picture. The bulk of the meteorite is believed to be embedded in the south side of the crater under the rim. Credit: NASA Visible Earth.

The following excerpts are from a news report by Cambridge University,  England:

Asteroid killed off the dinosaurs

“Our work lets us visualise the astonishing events of the few minutes after impact. The front of the asteroid hit the Earth while the far side was still out in the upper atmosphere [sic,] punching a hole though the Earth’s atmosphere.

[Note: Readers would recall that the asteroid is believed to have been about 10km long.]

“As the asteroid vapourised explosively, it created a crater 30 km deep and 100 km across, with sides as high as the Himalayas. However within only two minutes the sides collapsed inwards and the deepest parts of the crater rebounded upwards to leave a wide, shallow hollow.

“These terrifying events led to darkness and a global winter, resulting in the extinction of more than 70% of known species. The tiny shrew-like mammals which were around at that time proved better adapted to survival than the cumbersome dinosaurs, and the removal of these dominant animals paved the way for the radiation of the mammals and eventual emergence of humans on Earth.” — Dr Penny Barton, who led the seismic survey and a co-author of the review

Just about every single paragraph of the review, the ones available on the internet that this author has read, features a glaring improbability.

Animation showing the Chicxulub Crater impact. Credit: University of Arizona, Space Imagery Center. Click image to enlarge and animate.

Science Fiction, or Crotch Science?

The Chicxulub asteroid impact and mass extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary
Summary or Review

The Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary approximately 65.5 million years ago marks one of the three largest mass extinctions in the past 500 million years. The extinction event coincided with a large asteroid impact at Chicxulub, Mexico, and occurred within the time of Deccan flood basalt volcanism in India. Here, we synthesize records of the global stratigraphy across this boundary to assess the proposed causes of the mass extinction. Notably, a single ejecta-rich deposit compositionally linked to the Chicxulub impact is globally distributed at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. The temporal match between the ejecta layer and the onset of the extinctions and the agreement of ecological patterns in the fossil record with modeled environmental perturbations (for example, darkness and cooling) lead us to conclude that the Chicxulub impact triggered the mass extinction. AAAS Review

Was the impact of 10-km bolide that formed the Chicxulub crater so catastrophic that it drove 70 percent of the world species to extinction in a short period?

The Chicxulub Paradox:

  1. The adverse environmental impact of the Chicxulub Asteroid, which lasted for a relatively short period [years,] drove dinosaurs, 70 percent of all species to extinction.
  2. Dinosaurs eventually became extinct over a relatively long period [millions of years.]

If the K-T extinction occurred as a direct result of the Chicxulub impact that led to “environmental perturbations (for example, darkness and cooling),” it must have necessarily led to a global ‘famine’ also, necessitating a rapid [and total] occurrence.

The comprehensive mechanisms needed for large-scale species extinction cannot be driven by a single event, albeit of a catastrophic magnitude, whose consequences  could have only lasted for a relatively short period.

A single catastrophic event capable of wiping off large percentage of all species, could only occur if it occurs in totality, for example, by vaporizing the ocean water, consuming the entire range of flora, extracting the air from the atmosphere, or flooding the entire planet. In that case, the remaining 50, 40, or even 30 percent of fauna, whose survival depended on the same shared resources, natural services and environmental factors, could not have survived.


The environmental damage caused by the Chicxulub impact was not total, and could not have had lasting consequences, either. The planet would have recovered from the effects of the impact in a few seasons.

A plethora of evidence suggests that dinosaurs and the other 70 or so percent of the species that allegedly became extinct, did not all die off in a few short seasons.

[You cannot blame the extinction of dinosaurs on an asteroid impact, if the extinction  occurred over a period of couple of million years after the impact!]

Another View of Barringer Crater. Source: USGS

Note: Fire-Earth moderators may comment on the above at a later date.

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Last Edited: April 21 at 02:35UTC

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