Dinosaur asteroid

18 Apr 2016

There is a good article on the K/T boundary event asteroid that brought an end to the dinosaurs - see http://phys.org/print379845498.html ... what the initial response to the hypothesis was and how mainstream geologists were upset at the idea of a catastrophic event. It took years for the evidence to become so overwhelming the mainstream had to concede - yet even nowadays some geologists argue against it as the idea of 'an event' laying down sedimentary layers quickly is anathema to them. The article was originally at The Conservation and Phys Org afterwards.

However, it seems some deep sea sediments were able to survive the worldwide conflagration the asteroid set in motion - see http://phys.org/print379840588.html ... as a team from the University of Cardiff in Wales have published a paper in the journal Geology to that effect (April 2016). They accept that plankton was disrupted but say that some forms of algae and bacteria survived in the oceans and this provided food for some marine life which appear to have survived. This slow trickle of food provided the necessities of survival over 1.7 million years (until life at large began to re-emerge from the catastrophe). Note the use of the 1.7 million years as presumably this is based on sediments and the mainstream dating of them. Is it possible that for 1.7 million years all that lived on earth was some algae, bacteria and some bottom feeders? Not only that the authors claim to have reduced the timescale - as the geology was dated much higher prior to this new research.The K/T boundary event is a prime example of the problems inherent in geology when sedimentary layers are assumed to always be laid down on a uniformitarian timescale. We have a catastrophe and yet sediments are still being dated at geochronological gradualist timescales when common sense would demand some of these layers were laid very rapidly. Of course, geologists are in a quandary, as admitting sediments 63 million years ago were laid down quickly would bring a certain amount of doubt upon some of their other sedimentary layers - and possibly some of the assumptions basic to geological theory. This attitude appears to be a relic of the 19th century debate between geologists and powerful cultural attachments to the Genesis account. As the latter is probably completely misinterpreted the survival of this kind of mind set is remarkable, as if they are clinging to a life belt in fear of being left isolated - all or nothing. An overhaul of geological theory might be in order - but that is not going to happen as in the West we appear to have dug ourselves into a hole. We can only hope the Chinese are able to bring some common sense into geology.