Vance Holliday and Todd Surovell published a paper in PLOS One this week. It is unsurprising but again disappointing that these hacks continue their jihad on the YDB hypothesis based on negligent analysis.
Particular galling is their wanton substitution of an optical microscope for an electron microscope. I say “wanton” because the publication history regarding magnetic spherules resulting from impacts clearly calls for the more sensitive instrument to document a spherule as a melt product – not, for instance, rounded sand.
It is impossible to characterize a spherule (of cosmic or terrestrial material) as being of impact origin using a tool that is orders of magnitude less sensitive than what is called for and used to produce the previously published data.
It is as if someone double-checked Holliday and Surovell’s own archeological work by bulldozing an adjacent square, rummaging about, and tossing manhandled contrary items onto the balk.
From LeCompte (2012):
Because those authors did not perform SEM imaging and EDS analyses, it is impossible for them to reach reliable conclusions about what they found. Surovell et al. did not perform SEM imaging or geochemical analyses, and yet, like Pigati et al., asserted that all magnetic spherules are cosmic in origin. Pinter et al. and Haynes et al. did not report the results of their spherule SEM analyses and likewise concluded spherules were of cosmic origin without supporting data. Lacking SEM imaging and/or EDS analyses, the accuracy of their spherule counts and speculations about origin are highly suspect. As an example of this, Pinter et al. reported observing large numbers of framboids and detrital magnetite well outside the YDB and then speculated that most YDB spherules are simply these other particles. Our results and images indicate their claim to be unfounded. There are fundamental and easily observed differences between quench-melted spherules, unmelted detrital magnetite, and authigenic framboids.