Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Impact Hypothesis Loses It's Sparkle



"He [God] directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the earth." -- Job 37:3

"Cast forth lightning, and scatter them: shoot out thine arrows, and destroy them." -- Psalm 144:6

New evidence supports cosmic thunderbolts.

Science Daily: Impact Hypothesis Loses Its Sparkle: Shock-Synthesized Diamonds Said to Prove Catastrophic Impact Killed Off N. American Megafauna Can't Be Found.

ScienceDaily (Aug. 31, 2010) — About 12,900 years ago, a sudden cold snap interrupted the gradual warming that had followed the last Ice Age. The cold lasted for the 1,300-year interval known as the Younger Dryas (YD) before the climate began to warm again.

In North America, large animals known as megafauna, such as mammoths, mastodons, saber-tooth tigers and giant short-faced bears, became extinct. The Paleo-Indian culture known as the Clovis culture for distinctively shaped fluted stone spear points abruptly vanished, eventually replaced by more localized regional cultures.
What had happened?

One theory is that either a comet airburst or a meteor impact somewhere in North America set off massive environmental changes that killed animals and disrupted human communities.

In sedimentary deposits dating to the beginning of the YD, impact proponents have reported finding carbon spherules containing tiny nano-scale diamonds, which they thought to be created by shock metamorphism or chemical vapor deposition when the impactor struck.

The nanodiamonds included lonsdaleite, an unusal form of diamond that has a hexagonal lattice rather than the usual cubic crystal lattice. Lonsdaleite is particularly interesting because it has been found inside meteorites and at known impact sites.
In the August 30 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of scientists led by Tyrone Daulton, PhD, a research scientist in the physics department at Washington University in St. Louis, reported that they could find no diamonds in YD boundary layer material.

Daulton and his colleagues, including Nicholas Pinter, PhD, professor of geology at Southern Illinois University In Carbondale and Andrew C. Scott, PhD, professor of applied paleobotany of Royal Holloway University of London, show that the material reported as diamond is instead forms of carbon related to commonplace graphite, the material used for pencils.

"Of all the evidence reported for a YD impact event, the presence of hexagonal diamond in YD boundary sediments represented the strongest evidence suggesting shock processing," Daulton, who is also a member of WUSTL's Center for Materials Innovation, says.

However, a close examination of carbon spherules from the YD boundary using transmission electron microscopy by the Daulton team found no nanodiamonds. Instead, graphene- and graphene/graphane-oxide aggregates were found in all the specimens examined (including carbon spherules dated from before the YD to the present). Importantly, the researchers demonstrated that previous YD studies misidentified graphene/graphane-oxides as hexagonal diamond and likely misidentified graphene as cubic diamond.

The YD impact hypothesis was in trouble already before this latest finding. Many other lines of evidence -- including: fullerenes, extraterrestrial forms of helium, purported spikes in radioactivity and iridium, and claims of unique spikes in magnetic meteorite particles -- had already been discredited. According to Pinter, "nanodiamonds were the last man standing."

"We should always have a skeptical attitude to new theories and test them thoroughly," Scott says, "and if the evidence goes against them they should be abandoned."

6 comments:

Jeffery Keown said...

New evidence supports cosmic thunderbolts.

Really?

Short Answer: No.

Long Answer: Ever heard of a false dichotomy? Negative evidence against one postulate is not positive evidence for another.

You act as if there are only 2 possibilities or choices. Aren't you supposed to be opposed to dogmatic thinking?

Oh... wait... this is you we're talking about.

Let me break it down for you.

Oils: Impact or Thunderbolts

Science Daily: No Impact.

Oils: Thunderbolts!

Everyone Else: There could be other possibilities...

Oils: THUNDERBOLTS!

Everyone Else: There could be other possibilities...

Oils: THUNDERBOLTS!

Everyone Else: ...

Oils: THUNDERBOLTS!

OilIsMastery said...

Your own words contradict you.

"If long filaments of foamy fulgurites are found, then you've got Oils' (very unlikely) thunderbolts of the gods, and if not, then you have to look for shocked quartz. If you find that, then it's an impact crater."

Jeffery Keown said...

I don't see how, unless I've misused a technical term. Fulgurites in this sense are like those found in terrestrial lightning strikes. If we found them on a scale that supported your thunderbolts, we'd have to give that notion some credence, yes? There are several known craters on Earth that could conceivably yield "planet-scale" fulgurites, and none are known to me.

My use of shocked quartz is to imply high-pressure transformation of materials normally identified with meteor impacts.

I do not know what you are complaining about, I gave you an easy path to physical evidence of your thunderbolts. You should look it up...see what's out there.

Louis Hissink said...

Jeffery Keown,

Your understanding of geology is lamentable - fulgarites are the size they are because they are formed by earthly lightning strikes - it is a matter of size and scale.

I've just peer reviewed a paper by a Russian scientist for a journal in which the idea that impact craters on the Earth and elsewhere in the solar system might have the structure of a "mantle plume" underneath them.

A prolonged electrical impact of a planetary sized electric discharge on the earth would not produce a fulgarite, which is a shallow surface effect, but a far deeper structure commensurate with the scalibility of plasma phenomena.

The Russian work suggests that mantle plume structures are the equivalent of shallow near surface fulgarites. After all a lightning strike takes milliseconds, but a cosmic discharge scaled up could take hours or days, even.

Jeffery Keown said...

Louis,
Got a link?

I've just peer reviewed a paper by a Russian scientist for a journal in which the idea that impact craters on the Earth and elsewhere in the solar system might have the structure of a "mantle plume" underneath them.

The word might implies some evidence.

Alexander Maccabee said...

Off topic, mostly, but it involves tiny diamonds as well.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7725815.stm

One can make nano-diamonds out of tequila by heating it to 800 degrees! Tequila is truly a ballin' drink!