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March 6, 2004
Elementary, My Dear Watson

The LA Times reports today that the current popular theory for the extinction of the dinosaurs may not hold water after all:

Scientists investigating a vast crater off Mexico's Yucatan peninsula are questioning a popular theory about dinosaurs, saying the collision that formed the crater happened too far back in time to have caused their extinction by itself. ... "Since the early 1990s the Chicxulub crater on Yucatan, Mexico, has been hailed as the smoking gun that proves the hypothesis that an asteroid killed the dinosaurs and caused the mass extinction of many other organisms at the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary 65 million years ago," the researchers write in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

But they said a core drilled out of the middle of the crater suggests it dates back more than 300,000 years before the K-T boundary and "thus did not cause the end-Cretaceous mass extinction as commonly believed."

To put that in perspective, current scientific research indicates that Homo sapiens doesn't go back 300,000 years. In other words, that's a very long time for a cause-and-effect hypothesis. It's too bad, too, because this theory had rapidly been absored into mainstream thinking, producing such great entertainment as Deep Impact and the unintentionally hilarious Armageddon, featuring Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck as heroic interplanetary oil riggers who save the world. And Affleck manages to hook up with Liv Tyler while her dad sings background, definitely one of the ickier moments in celluloid history.

While I was thinking about this, I managed to solve the entire mystery of the dinosaurs' disappearance. What happened to the dinosaurs and the vegetation of that age? It all turned to oil, didn't it? Who had the motive? Who benefitted?

It's all Halliburton's fault.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 6, 2004 8:40 AM

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