The asteroid theory craters

So much for the asteroid theory of dinosaur extinction:

Supporters of the Chicxulub impact theory suggest the impact crater and the mass extinction event only appear far apart in the sedimentary record because of earthquake or tsunami disturbance that resulted from the impact of the asteroid. But Professor Keller said: ‘The problem with the tsunami interpretation is that this sandstone complex was not deposited over hours or days by a tsunami. Deposition occurred over a very long time period.’

The scientists also found evidence that the Chicxulub impact didn’t have the dramatic impact on species diversity that has been suggested. At one site at El Penon, the researchers found 52 species present in sediments below the impact spherule layer, and counted all 52 still present in layers above the molten droplets or spherules.

‘We found that not a single species went extinct as a result of the Chicxulub impact,’ said Professor Keller.

I always thought that the asteroid extinction event was a rather dumb idea. And I particularly enjoy the attempted explanation which involves nonexistent earthquakes and tsunamis to explain away the problem of the sedimentary record. Even more amusing will be the typical reaction of scientists, who always rush to remind everyone that it is scientists who have dismantled the previous scientific consensus… even when that’s not actually the case.

The problem is that even when it is true, such a reaction completely misses the point. The relevant point is that what scientists were previously telling us that we were stupid and ignorant to doubt was, in fact, false.

Now, I understand it can be troubling to have to rethink your basic assumptions. For the first time in twenty-five years, I find myself forced to seriously question the basic assumptions of the Smith-Ricardian free trade theory, and I increasingly suspect that national protectionists, such as Pat Buchanan, are correct in certain circumstances. But whether one has doubts about a particular theory or not, there’s simply no cause or excuse for the attempted intellectual bullying to which so many scientists and science fetishists are prone, and such behavior does nothing but increase the rational observer’s doubts about the theories they are advocating.

UPDATE: Mendoscot points out that part of the reason for the hissy fits may be that scientists really don’t want anyone looking too closely at their, ah, very strict peer-reviewed “science“:

“Experts in the field contacted by Nature have been taken aback by the extent of the methodological errors getting through the supposedly strict peer-review systems of the journals in question.”

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