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Mass-extinction controversy flares again (Chicxulub crater kills dinosaurs, or not?)
Nature ^ | 10 April 2003 | Rex Dalton

Posted on 04/11/2003 2:34:46 PM PDT by SteveH

EGS-AGU-EUG Joint Assembly, Nice, April 2003

Mass-extinction controversy flares again

Core from asteroid crater fuels debate on what wiped out the dinosaurs.

10 April 2003



The dinosaurs were wiped out 65 million years ago. ©

A claim that the asteroid that struck Mexico 65 million years ago did not cause the mass extinction that wiped out dinosaurs triggered heated debate at a meeting this week.

The announcement is based on preliminary analysis of the first core drilled into the 185-kilometre Chicxulub asteroid crater near the Yucatan Peninsula. Gerta Keller of Princeton University in New Jersey says that she has found microfossils there hinting that abundant plankton survived for at least 300,000 years after the impact.

Many believe that the impact shrouded the Earth in dust and debris, shutting down plant photosynthesis and leading to the rapid demise of most creatures, from marine microorganisms to dinosaurs.

But Keller reckons that the signs of life in the crater core are "the smoking gun" that the asteroid didn't cause the widespread die-out, properly called the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary. What's more, a lack of evidence of compaction in the core hints that the impact crater was much smaller than was thought, says Keller's colleague Wolfgang Stinnesbeck at the University of Karlsruhe, Germany.

So the group subscribes instead to the idea that a series of asteroid impacts brought about the K-T boundary.

Jan Smit, a geologist at Vrije University in Amsterdam who is also studying the crater's sediments, disagrees. He counters that what Keller's team labels 'fossils' are simply spheres of crystal. Plus he cites seismology studies that support a major asteroid having created the Chicxulub crater.

These divergent views were aired at a joint conference of the European Geophysical Society, the American Geophysical Union and the European Union of Geosciences in Nice, France. Listeners were shocked and stunned that two groups could disagree so much.

But the story of the K-T boundary has been long been controversial. It was first suggested about 25 years ago that a life-obliterating asteroid plunged into the Earth to trigger the extinction.

Now dozens of scientists around the world are analysing the results of the first drill of the crater, completed in February 2002, to glean new data on the events of 65 million years ago. Other drills are planned, including one closer to the centre of the impact point, to provide further fuel for debate.

Rex Dalton is the West Coast Correspondent of the journal Nature

© Nature News Service / Macmillan Magazines Ltd 2003

TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: archaeology; asteroid; catastrophism; craters; crevolist; deccantraps; dinosaurs; geophysics; gertakeller; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; ktboundary; massextinction; microfossils; paleontology; yucutan
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1 posted on 04/11/2003 2:34:46 PM PDT by SteveH
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To: SteveH

But the question is; How is this information going to piss-off the Creationists?
2 posted on 04/11/2003 2:42:07 PM PDT by The Lake City Gar
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To: All
She wants to look her best for her subjects.

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3 posted on 04/11/2003 2:44:04 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: SteveH

upper portion is the impact area,...........also a picture of chunk from meteorite

hope we don`t get something that size in our lifetime!

4 posted on 04/11/2003 2:45:22 PM PDT by green team 1999
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To: SteveH
Female and minority dinosaurs suffered the brunt of that disaster.

And the babies.
5 posted on 04/11/2003 2:49:48 PM PDT by headsonpikes (Help me decide: Is the Left morally corrupt and intellectually bankrupt, or vice versa?)
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To: SteveH
I've read that there is good fossil evidence that the dinosaurs were already headed out the door when the rock hit. Lack of deversity/over specialization and other enviromental factor were slowly moving them out. The impact event just hastened the end.
6 posted on 04/11/2003 2:52:04 PM PDT by cavtrooper21 ("..he's not heavy, sir. He's my brother...")
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To: Aric2000; balrog666; Condorman; *crevo_list; donh; general_re; Godel; Gumlegs; Ichneumon; jennyp; ..
7 posted on 04/11/2003 2:53:20 PM PDT by Junior (Computers make very fast, very accurate mistakes.)
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To: Junior
I don't remember this happening. Someone should have woken me.
8 posted on 04/11/2003 2:57:19 PM PDT by philetus (Keep doing what you always do and you'll keep getting what you always get)
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To: SteveH
I am not part of the fundraiser here. Just an ordinary American, who believes in individual Liberty, and Freedom.

I guess I've been around here for about 5 years or so now. Time sure flies!

When Jim Robinson started this site, it was because he was fed up with the liberal media, and how they would not let people worldwide know about the corruption of the Clinton Administration. A few of us, equally concerned, (with great luck) found it fast.

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Look at it now. We all get our best information from this site. It is huge, with thousands of posters, and millions of readers. Yet Jim still keeps it alive because of his conviction, and he is absolutely NOT making a profit on it. He just believes. As do we.

BTW, did you know that the founder of this site is in a wheelchair (sorry Jim; I know you think it doesn't make a r*ts a$$ difference. Hey, some folks out there need to come down a peg, like I have.).

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9 posted on 04/11/2003 2:58:59 PM PDT by MonroeDNA (Communists & Socialists: They only survive through lies.)
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To: The Lake City Gar
It won't

Why should it?
10 posted on 04/11/2003 3:01:11 PM PDT by Leatherneck_MT (Another Marine Reporting Sir, I've served my time in Hell)
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To: Junior
Esoteric science ... the long march to oblivion --- esotinction !
11 posted on 04/11/2003 3:01:36 PM PDT by f.Christian (( who you gonna call ... 1 800 orc // evo bstr ))
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To: The Lake City Gar
They'll find a way.
12 posted on 04/11/2003 3:05:42 PM PDT by balrog666 (When in doubt, tell the truth. - Mark Twain)
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To: headsonpikes
You may or may not be correct, but the real cause of the demise of the female dinasours was caused by not being allowed to join the Augusta National Golf Club. My proof of this is that the last surviving member of that group, whose name just happens to be Martha Burke is still bitching about it.
13 posted on 04/11/2003 3:09:17 PM PDT by U S Army EOD (Served in Korea, Vietnam and still fighting America's enemies on Home Front)
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To: balrog666
Don't you know? Any disagreement between any scientists on any matter is proof that evolution is a crumbling edifice that masks disarray behind the scenes.

De evolutionists are stuck in a quagmire. Dey are holed up in de VIP lounge in de airport. Dun believe dem!

14 posted on 04/11/2003 3:28:20 PM PDT by jennyp (
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To: Junior
This controversial, discordant, and unpopular opinion about the Chicxulub asteroid crater is known as the Dixie Chicxulub theory.
15 posted on 04/11/2003 4:32:11 PM PDT by PatrickHenry (Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.)
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To: MonroeDNA
Great post. I won't lower my monthly support to that small of a level, though!
16 posted on 04/11/2003 4:36:50 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Dog Gone
dogone, I know you are one of the best!

And I love your posts, too, BTW. :)
17 posted on 04/11/2003 4:54:17 PM PDT by MonroeDNA (Communists & Socialists: They only survive through lies.)
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To: jennyp

Click on me

18 posted on 04/11/2003 6:21:18 PM PDT by AndrewC
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To: SteveH
YEC skeptical bump for later
19 posted on 04/11/2003 8:44:11 PM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: headsonpikes
Extinction would never have happened if the dinosaurs came togehter to form a global village and invested time in the children.
20 posted on 04/11/2003 9:21:54 PM PDT by Kuksool
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