Solved! How the Dinosaurs died!

Dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago when a meteorite slammed into the Earth.

Solved. Once and for all, the great debate that I thought was still a matter for intense speculation amongst scientist has been resolved beyond any doubt by that bastion of scientific achievement, the NZ Press Association, and reported in that most learned of peer-reviewed scientific journals, the NZ Herald.

EDIT:

After contacting the NZPA, they actually informed me that the quote was given to them by GNS Science, a Crown Research Institute. Apologies to journalists at NZPA, and the NZ Herald, who reproduced the press release verbatim.

EDIT 2:

After contacting GNS Science, they inform me that actually the problem has been solved, and there is now little doubt that a Meteorite killed off the dinosaurs. They state “The evidence for an asteroid impact causing the
mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous is now as convincing as you
can get. It’s much more than a popular theory. We can now say with
confidence that the last dinosaurs went extinct at the time of the impact
– as is stated in the press release. There may well have been contributing
factors leading to their demise – such as long term climatic cooling,
flood basalts, etc., but the effects of these factors on dinosaur or
general biological diversity is much less clear than what happened
precisely at the end of the Cretaceous. ”

Well, there you go!

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Solved! How the Dinosaurs died!

3 thoughts on “Solved! How the Dinosaurs died!

  1. I don’t have a problem with this quote from the newspaper. It’s clearly the most widely accepted and well supported explanation of what happened. Sure, there are other theories, and the reporter could have softened their language to at least hit at this… however, even if most of the general public reads this and thinks that a meteorite caused it 65 million years ago end-of-story, most people will still be more informed than before they read the article. Some people will think “hey, that’s cool” and go to wikipedia or the library and discover all the if’s, but’s and maybes involved.

    Perhaps I’m aiming low here, but I’d be happy if 95% for the population even believed that the earth EXISTED 65 million years ago. I’m sure the NZ numbers are better, but in 2007 a Gallup poll in the US found that around 65% of the population agreed with a statement saying that the world and humans in their present form were created by God less than 10,000 years ago.

    The NZ Herald looks like a hard core research journal compared to one of the most popular TV talk shows in the US (the first half is bad… but the second half is jaw dropping):

  2. I think as a news organisation that, as one of the primary bridges between the general public and science, you have a responsibility to get it right. At least from an “this is what I do, i’m going to do the best I can”, point of view. I think we accept things like this, because… it could be so much worse, and thats not a great reason.

    We shouldnt lower the bar just because a journalist couldnt be bothered, otherwise we head faster to Carl Sagans “demon haunted world” and the rapidly widening gap between science and the general public.

    Maybe we shouldnt care. Maybe I’m just grumpy!

  3. It’s not that I don’t care. Rather, I think you need to educate people based on where they are currently at.

    Do you even know anybody your age who finished their education at high school? I don’t. If I recall correctly, that’s a sizeable majority of the population.

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