Speculation raged across the internet yesterday after an article in the journal Science told of diamonds drizzling to the earth by the ton, supposedly caused by a comet exploding in mid-air.
Science writer Robert W. Felix disagrees with the comet scenario.
3 Jan 09 – “Forget comets,” says Felix. “The evidence points to the Gothenburg magnetic reversal. Geomagnetic reversals cause extinctions, and geomagnetic reversals trigger evolutionary leaps.” says Felix, author of Magnetic Reversals and Evolutionary Leaps.
Here’s what all the hullabaloo is about.
A thin layer of microscopic diamonds spread across North America about 12,900 years ago tells a story of fire, flood and devastation that killed millions of woolly mammoths and dealt a blow to early civilization, scientists reported yesterday.
Most of the largest animals: mammoths, mastodons, saber-toothed cats, giant ground sloths, the short-faced bear, the great dire wolf, went extinct, and a thriving culture of Paleo-Americans – the Clovis people – vanished seemingly overnight.
And they all disappeared under a drizzling rain of microscopic diamonds.
These diamonds, called nanodiamonds, are measured in nanometers — mere billionths of a meter – and are visible only with the aid of electron microscopes.
The diamonds had to have been formed by a high-temperature, high-pressure event such as a cometary impact, said Douglas J. Kennett, an archaeologist at the University of Oregon and lead author of the Science paper.
The wide distribution of the nanodiamonds could be a sign that the comet broke into pieces in space and that the fragments burned up explosively over a broad area of North America, raining thick clouds of fire, carbon and diamonds onto the earth, igniting the plains and forests.
The nanodiamonds, found from Arizona to Oklahoma to South Carolina and north to Manitoba and Alberta, lie beneath a black mat of biomass, and coincide with the start of the Younger Dryas, a millennium-long period of cooling that began 12,900 years ago. They’re not found above or below that layer.
The base of the layer contains charcoal and soot, thought to be associated with impact fires, said Kennett. In addition to charred remains from forests and other flora, the black mat contains iridium, carbon spherules and fullerenes containing helium-3, all characteristic of an extraterrestrial impact.
No mega-fauna skeleton or Clovis artifact has been found above the impact layer or the black mat, said Dr. Kennett. “The black mat covers them like a blanket.”
1,000 to 10,000 atomic bombs detonating within a few minutes
“Imagine these fireballs exploding in the air. A Clovis hunter standing and looking at these things would have seen a canopy of fire as these things came in and exploded,” said Allen West, a geophysicist and one of the paper’s co-authors. “There would have been no sound. There would have been massive explosions. Brilliant light, brighter than the sun. There would have been radiant heat — it would have been capable, at the very least, of giving him serious burns and, at the maximum, of incinerating him.”
“People still like to think of geological processes happening slowly over time,” said Dr. West. “Imagine 1,000 to 10,000 atomic bombs detonating within a few minutes over two continents.”
“It’s unsettling that something happening in a few minutes could flip our climate and cause widespread extinctions,” West added.
A better explanation?
“I think there’s a better explanation,” says Felix, “and it has to do with geomagnetic reversals.”
“The Gothenburg magnetic reversal has been dated to approximately the same time as the layer of diamonds,” says Felix.
“I don’t think that’s a coincidence.”
“I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that radioactivity levels in 12,900-year-old soil measure up to 2,000 times normal,” Felix adds. “During magnetic reversals, the earth’s magnetic shielding drops precipitously, allowing mutation-causing radioactivity onto our planet.”
Let’s look at the dates, says Felix.
According to Nils-Axel Mörner and Johan Lanser, the Gothenburg magnetic excursion occurred about 12,000 years ago. It doesn’t take a huge stretch of the imagination to see that there might be a link between that excursion and the huge amounts of carbon, iridium, nanodiamonds and radioactivity that suddenly appeared on our planet.
Especially when we remember the Lake Mungo magnetic excursion of 32,500 years ago with its increased levels of radioactivity, and the Laschamp magnetic excursion of around 43,000 years ago with its increased levels of radioactivity, and the Mono Lake magnetic excursion of 23,000 years ago and the catastrophic descent into an ice age.
Do we really believe that a comet just happened to come along in sync with each of those magnetic excursions? Do we really believe that a comet just happened to come along every 11,500 years in sync with equinoctial precession?
A more logical explanation, says Felix, is that each of those magnetic excursions triggered millions of explosions above the mammoths’ heads.
That’s what causes extinctions, says Felix, and that’s what causes evolutionary leaps.
How fitting that this startling new book should be published just 150 years after publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.
See entire internet articles:
Thanks to John Tregidga, Peter Pesola, acewoman, Steven Woodcock, Jimmy Walter and John Zielinski for these links