March 15, 2007 | David F. Coppedge

An Extinction’s Long Fuse

Some scientists are claiming that when the Isthmus of Panama was formed, an extinction event occurred two million years later.  The story is reported on EurekAlert

“We may be way off-track when we search for the causes of extinctions by looking only at the time the extinctions occur in the fossil record, which is what paleontologists normally do,” said Aaron O’Dea, postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and Scripps Institution of Oceanography.  “In our case, we see that most coral and snail species died off a good 2 million years after the environmental change that caused their demise.

Yet the next sentence says they don’t know why the extinction was delayed for such a long time.  Another finds this puzzling:

”We don’t start seeing extinction rates really increasing for another 1 million years,” [Ken] Jackson [London Natural History Museum] said.  “What is most remarkable is that most of the organisms that went extinct were those that liked high productivity environments, which had already disappeared for some time.  Why did it take so long for them to perish?  What tipped the scales?”

The lesson preached from this press release is that our actions today may have consequences millions of years into the future.  But then, how would we ever know, and who would care?

You mean, they actually believe this?  They separate a cause from an effect by two million years?  Yes, they do believe it.  The dating method is never to be questioned, even when it leads to absurdities.  The reason is that it provides an opportunity for them to get on their environmental soap box and make humans feel guilty for something.  Then, why not be thankful for the Panama Canal, which re-joined the oceans?  Won’t that help undo the damage two million years from now?
    It’s amazing what you can claim given unlimited time.  I’m going to clap my hands, and predict that two million years from now, there will be a tsunami.  Prove me wrong.

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Categories: Dumb Ideas

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