Monday, January 07, 2008

First it was asteroids ...

... now it's bugs: Scientists: Biting Insects May Have Killed Off Dinosaurs.

Think there's any possibility we haven't the faintist idea?


  1. Anonymous9:46 AM

    That would be heresy. No, the situation is that every paleontologist in the world has carefully considered the objective evidence, tested it against the full range of possible hypotheses, dismissed those that are not consistent with the evidence and rationally deduced differing and completely inconsistent conclusions.

  2. Peter,

    I think Frank was tweaking people's curiosity and stirring up a bit of lively controversy--always a good thing in my view. He just published my review of the Poinars' book in the Philadelphia Inquirer. So he knows that the Poinars' view is more nuanced.

    The review states in part:
    "While acknowledging that an asteroid impact brought a catastrophic end to the Cretaceous and the dinosaurs (at least the non-avian ones), the Poinars question whether the great reptiles may have already been in serious decline.

    "Had disease, parasitic infestation, and competition with insects already set them on a path toward extinction? That is not a new question, but it remains an important one in paleontology. It is the kind of question that continues to inspire scientists and readers alike.

    "The Poinars' answer to that question is yes, but they make sure their readers know that the conclusion is less important than the open issues that remain."