Exploring abrupt climate change induced by comets and asteroids during human history

boslough uterus screenshot


As a rule, the Tusk is scrupulously clean of politics. There is a reference in my own blog bio to being a former conservative policy staffer in the US Senate, but that is background and not polemics. I am old fashioned and believe politics is generally if not inherently destructive of sound inquiry. The more political a scientist appears to me, the less likely I am to take him or her seriously.

Thus, Mark “Uterus” Boslough. I simply cannot help myself from posting the sad and ridiculous news that The Bos – tormentor of the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis and frequent subject of this blog – has renamed himself on social media.

If you are wondering, Boslough assumed the “Uterus” appellation out of sympathy for a senator’s failing 2014 campaign. Readers are forgiven for forgetting the election trivia that departing senator Mark Udall (D-CO) was dubbed Mark “Uterus” Udall by his state. Udall’s shameless consultant-driven flogging of an imaginary “War on Women” became a joke — and he got clobbered.

Boslough maintains the silly name online today, nearly two months following Udall’s rejection by voters.

If you doubt a federally funded media scientist would be so foolish, overt and hyper political, take a look at the Bos’ public Facebook page, or his regular contributions to the Huffington Post. It is pure polemics. No cat pics, hiking in the mountains, or birthday parties for The Bos’ Facebook. Just snarky, condescending, frequently vile and universally left-wing political red meat. And his HuffPo work, which at best could provide informed commentary on threats to all of us, instead proselytizes science as a political tool to damage some of us.

For The Bos, politics is not the contest of ideas — It is the justification to silence opposing thoughts.

But why should it matter that Mark Boslough is a polemicist with two left feet? It matters because his politics have had a significant negative influence on our favorite topic here at the Tusk, the Younger Dryas Boundary Hypothesis.

First, it is well rumored that he was directly responsible for a PBS NOVA episode sympathetic to the ice age impact, “Mammoth Mystery,” being removed without explanation by WGBH Boston and PBS’ on-line streaming service. If true, this was a despicable act of intellectual suppression and digital book burning. I’d welcome hearing The Bos was uninvolved and the decision was inspired by the producers. But I doubt it.

Second, his fetish to alarm the public regarding climate change overcomes his assessment of relative threat with regard to cosmic impact – his own field! [Don’t miss the only comment at the link]  Boslough is like the smoking oncologist who tells you not to worry about your habit. Death is near: but it is not his problem.

The Bos actually makes a living downplaying the seriousness of his own damn subject — while stoking a fever pitch of worry for another! He is cynical 21st century media politics at its best…and science at its worst.

30 Responses

  1. The Manhattan Project is often seen as the great triumph of good over evil, with altruistic scientists at the head of the pack. But the result of its success has been the adulteration of science, distorted by the money that government funding brings – massively increased dollars because of the idea that if science could beat the Nazis with lots of money, then lots of money should be able to do just about anything. Witness NASA, for one.

    While this was a well-intentioned good idea, in the real world what has happened is that some people got in on the good thing and want that good thing to keep on going, at least until they retire. It has tilted the playing field, ni a very real way, with those close to the money givers being at the bottom of the slope and with the money sliding into their pockets. But not just the money, it has allowed for one side of science – THAT side – to claim that it is at the center of science. And even more so, it means that those have found it easy to think of those not so close to the money center as outsiders.

    Where once scientific and technological progress came from individuals like the early Einstein, Tesla, Goodyear, Newton, Faraday, Leewenhoek, Watt, Franklin, etc., now individuals with new ideas are labeled cranks or worse by those in the hierarchy. It is not without some truth that the individuals look at insider science as a priesthood, following the forms of science but having lost the independence of thought and the open-mindedness that was the history of science for 300 years.

    Insider science is where Bos finds himself. Of course , the minute he hired on at Sandia he was part of that, but until he got noticed by the popularizers of the insider science/big science that he really got an idea of the true monetary benefits of the hierarchy.

    Just as those Catholic priests who were well connected had the inside track on bishop positions and eventually maybe higher titles, and all the plush living that accrued from all of that, scientists who toe the priesthood line today accrue to themselves the same sorts of (more modernized) benefits.

    Once having had a taste of those bennies, a scientist is probably forever corrupted by them – barring some slip-up. I read recently an account of how Carl Sagan latched onto the idea of “nuclear winter”, which – it was asserted – was a very bogus concept with no grounding in real world science, and how Sagan’s star status was withdrawn because of it. If true, this would be a nice example of being thrown under the bus for bringing science into disgrace. And as such it would be an object lesson in how the scientists need to never step across a line and never to take a chance on any new idea. In other words, it is safer to attack new ideas thatn to support them.

    That sounds like a real way for science to take itself out of the game in the future. We might begin to see science as being less and less an important part of future developments.

    In his book “The Problem with Physics: The Rise of String Theory and the Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next“, Lee Smolin points out that physics had gone from the late 1700s to about 1970 without more than 40 years without a fantastic new development – but that after 1970 nothing of significance at all has been added to the pantheon of physics. After Relativity and Quantum Theory, and the work of Freeman Dyson and Richard Feynman, physics basically has fallen on its face and gone out into la-la land (my term, not his). Smolin points to string theory in particular as a very unsubstantiated (i.e., empirically supportable or testable) pie-in-the-sky idea that may not prove to be true at all. Nothing in it is even remotely able to be tested against reality, so the question has to remain if it is not some dead end that people have been wasting their time on for decades.

    Physics, it so happens, is the field of the Bos. While he is getting his face powdered for the next Hollywood-like production, his field is “falling” in the words of his fellow physicist Smolin (who himself is not at all outside the mainstream).

    And what is Bos’ claim to fame? A model – itself not tested against reality. And a claim to one of the hypotheses about the Libyan desert glass. Neither one of these would have put Bos in the upper echelon of physics in any period in the last 250 years, and there is no reason why those should put him near the top now. It says nothing about physics if someone of such little accomplishment should suddenly become a poster boy.

    So, rather than being because of his preeminence, for him it was more or less a stroke of luck – a combination of factors outside his control. And as such, he is not going to look a gift horse in the mouth; he is going to ride that horse as long as he can and do everything he can to stay in the saddle.

    And with the mentality of popular science shows being “Let’s put out more pap for the masses and tell them that science is one big happy family”, that is the message that Bos has to sign on to. IOW, Bos has to pretend to be one of that big happy family – and on the side to take pot shots at people doing new and exciting science that might break through the artificial barrier known as “the frontiers of science”.

    Those frontiers used to be there for crossing, and glory be to those who crossed one of them and found new things. Now the frontiers of science is a Berlin Wall, a Clovis Barrier – artificial barricades for keeping the faithful within. And a line across which no one shall pass without offending the mainstream thinking that hinders science at the present.

    “Hindered?” you might ask? Yeah, when physics – the most dynamic of all fields – has not done anything worth pissing on for nearly 50 years, it is clear that something is hindering progress, isn’t it?

    And when a large group of scientists provide paper after paper of forensic-type evidence – carefully sampled from four continents and then lab tested and measured – all of which points in one direction, it is quite pathetic that the only rebuttals are “You can’t think that! We’ve got it all figured out already, so you are not allowed to point out that we might be wrong!” No, not rebuttal by counter science of their own, but just un-empirical volumes of words, kibitzing, and desk-jockey science. No skeptic is coming out and saying that they havfe it even PART WAY RIGHT. No, the entire hypothesis is thrown out, in their minds, when they find one small part or date that they interpret differently. No middle ground allowed – it is just, “You can’t be right, by our previous thinking, so you MUST be wrong.” No reassessment is allowed of previous thinking. By them the skeptics or them the hypothesizers. It is just argued with words, that it can’t be.

    And since the bastion of conservatism sides with the skeptics in this case, guess which side Bos chose to team up with? The new idea? The cross-the-frontiers-of-science side? Or the “catholic” side? The side with the most money.

    And in global warming, which side has the money? In that controversy it sure isn’t the skeptical side.

  2. Mind fart…

    I have to correct myself on the Smolin book. In it he did not say FORTY years without a big physics development. It was 25 years, not 40.

    That even makes it worse, because physics is now coming up on TWO 25-year periods in a row without anything of significance.

    (That makes me feel good, btw, because physics was going to be my field of endeavor when I came out of high school in the late 1960s. It makes me sad for physics but happy for myself that I was not part of that nosedive.

    Would it have done better WITH me than without me? Hahaha – Sorry, I am so much enough of an egotist to think that I would have been able to keep physics from falling into uselessness. No, it would have gone down with me, and my career would have been for nothing.

    During those years, I kept watching developments and wondering how they could be getting so far off track.

    With Bos – a member of that very same fraternity that I did not join – becoming a celebrity scientist with his meager accomplishments, I really feel sad for physics that one of its stars is someone who does graphics, essentially, and whose other claim to fame is 1 out of the 5 different hypotheses trying to explain the LDG.)

  3. Steve G,

    Funny you should mention this —

    >>I read recently an account of how Carl Sagan latched onto the idea of “nuclear winter”,
    >>which – it was asserted – was a very bogus concept with no grounding in real world
    >>science, and how Sagan’s star status was withdrawn because of it. If true, this would
    >>be a nice example of being thrown under the bus for bringing science into disgrace.
    >>And as such it would be an object lesson in how the scientists need to never step
    >>across a line and never to take a chance on any new idea. In other words, it is safer
    >>to attack new ideas thatn to support them.

    Because a friend of mine gave the goods on Sagan’s unprofessional behavior with his fellow Nuclear winter researcher articles to S. Fred Singer, the man who did the proper professional denouncement.

  4. Trent –

    I could not recall who commented this recently. I think now that maybe it was you. Maybe?

    I was never a fan of Sagan’s, and when I learned that he did his apple-for-the-teacher crap on Velikovsky, I liked him even less. I had not known that he got his OWN comeuppance until that recent comment (whoever did it), and I think the dung hole deserved his downfall. His “Cosmos” show – an hour of him droning on in his super boring voice and sleep-inducing monotone – Geez, I hated that. The guy seemed a complete zero upstairs. No WONDER that he fell for the nuclear winter thing.

    He was ALSO wrong in taking the idea of runaway greenhouse effect that they THOUGHT happened to Venus and applied it to the Earth. Venus has 99% CO2 and the Earth had 0.033% in his time. Those are two VERY different circumstances, climatologically and chemically. But no one has called him out on that, even posthumously. Some day someone with standing will. What a patently stupid idea.

    (Ah, come on, Steve! Tell us what you REALLY think of the guy!)

  5. I’d say that Sagan was a pompous ass – like Harlow Shapley, the office politician who was at the center of the Velikovsky Affair – except pompous asses actually have personalities.

    Sagan got his standing mostly simply because he worked at NASA and someone on TV thought he didn’t look so much like a slide rule guy. Bos? As I see it, it is pretty much the same thing.

  6. Listen up folks: We’re the first generation to feel the impacts of climate disruption, and the last generation that can do something about it. A steep learning curve and it appears like many are not even trying.

    Western “Socially Enabled Capitalism” that privatizes profits and socializes loses is a failed paradigm. it is nothing less than the self inflicted mutually assured destruction of Planetary life support systems that we all depend upon.

    The GOP do not fund abortion. Fine, a precedent. Why must “We the People” be forced to subsidize pollution profits, climatic disruption and the resultant Planetary ecocide? Tax revolt anyone?

  7. Gosh Leif,

    WTF do things like “socially enabled capitalism“, or “tax re olt“, have to with the subject of this blog, or even this post?

    And since this is a science blog, why must we, the people who frequent this blog, be required to respond to the off-topic propaganda of a political troll?

  8. Glad you asked Dennis. Tax funded pollution of the commons is a large portion of the fossil industries profits and that is more than enough to fund the bought GOP enablers
    that perpetuate the environmental carnage the fossil industry exploits. In essence your tax dollars are paying for the planets pollution plus profits to the few at the top. “Socially enabled capitalism” is nothing more than a monetary policy that privatized profits and socializes loses. The Nation has a long history of tax revolt as the original “Tea Bag Revolt” was against taxes levied to support exploitive policies. If you are cool with paying extremely wealthy folks to pollute your air land and waters that is your call. I just point out to others that there are options.

    I apologize for not realizing that this was supposed to be a “science” blog. It had me fooled. Feel free to ban me.

  9. Note the line at the top of this blog where it says “Abrupt climate change induced by comets and asteroids during human history”. An on-topic comment would be something along those lines. Some of us actually try to keep it on topic, complete with links to peer reviewed literature. Although it’s clear that like most trolls, you’re more interested tabloid propaganda.

    Left or right, I don’t give a rip for anyone’s political propaganda. There is no shortage of it from both Dems, and the GOP on the web. And I have never heard a political opinion that did not stink, including yours.

  10. Leif; No need to ban you, just stay with the program. Pro or con if you have an opinion with factual backing on the subject matter or a related item you’re always welcome.

  11. Steve; I’ve been trying to use GE to track the trajectory of the possible impactor that hit at 34mya and am having no good results. The program keeps routing me over the poles like I’m a commercial carrier instead of continuing the lines in a trajectory form. I know I’m doing something wrong but just can’t put my finger on it. Any ideas??

  12. Steve; I’m still trying to figure the “trajectory” or am I chasing an orbit on my impactor path? I’m beginning to think that orbit is the way to go because to make these points even come close to fitting it will take 1-1/2 orbits to come up to Siberia from Drake Passage. My head hurts from all this figuring!! But I like IT!!

  13. Jim –

    I assume that you want the flight path that does not hug the Earth’s surface.

    What I do to get a rough approximation of those flight paths is to:

    1. Start a LINE Path from assumed the impact point
    2. Read the azimuth from the pop-up box.
    3. I write that down.
    4. Then I leave the box open and zoom way the hell out.
    5. Drag the second point/end of the path a good distance (maybe 2-4ooo miles)
    6. Pick the [SAVE] check box in the pop-up box
    7. Change the color and width of the line. I usually change the width to 4.
    8. Give the line a name
    9. Save it. It will go into your “PLACES” list.
    10. Go to that item and right-click>Properties, you will see that the azimuth is not shown. That is why you wrote it down. ENTER THAT VALUE into the Properties text box. Pick [OK} to SAVE the path.
    11. Now make sure the item (in the list) has the check box with a check mark in it.
    12. Zoom and rotate the GE main view so that the impact point is as close to the top of the globe as possible, and with the path extending toward you and straight down.
    13. Your line of sight will now be the view as if you were riding the impactor down to the surface. You ARE the impactor, in other words.

    CAVEAT: As an impactor is approaching Earth it does some degree of wrap-around (called the “Q” angle, I think). The Q angle might in some cases conceivably be over 90° of wrap-around, so your path isn’t really true. Gravity is making it not a straight shot, but a spiral down to the surface (if it gets that far, and we are assuming as a true impactor that it DOES make ti to the ground).

    To save the view down the fudged impactor path, use the [Print Screen] button on your keyboard. Then paste it (Ctrl-V) into a photo/image software and give it a name and save it.

    That is the only view I’ve been able to save. You can’t do a side view or skewed view of the incoming object’s path, not that I’ve found.

  14. LK –

    I don’t know what you are doing here. This is not a climate change website.

    The only link to climate change is 13,000 years in the past. Comments about the current climate change issue/present CO2 emissions are inappropriate here and completely off topic, as Dennis points out.

    You are quite welcome to stay and post about the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis if you’d like.

    Don’t expect any reaction to your political point of view about global warming, other than for others to inform you each time that your comments are off-topic.

    If you post comments for TOO long, you will show yourself as a troll – someone who is trying to hijack the discussion – and THAT will need to be dealt with at some point.

    We will give you a wide berth, but please do not abuse the latitude we are allowing you.

    But don’t expect anyone to bite.

    It boggles the mind to imagine why you might think your comments about global warming are welcome here.

  15. In case you need a guideline of what is appropriate here:

    We do VERY MUCH welcome comments about anything at all to do with ANY comet or meteor impacts – whether they are at the time of the Younger Dryas or not – and whether they are in the record or are being hypothesized or possibly in the future. This includes discussion of comets in general and meteors/asteroids in general. It also includes discussion of potential future impact mitigation strategies.

    Also welcome are skeptical comments about any of those just listed, including comments arguing that the Younger Dryas stadial was caused by un-augmented climate change.

    Also welcome are comments about the associated peopling of he Americas (because of the tie-in of the Clovis people with the onset of the Younger Dryas). This is given a wide berth, too, to include ANY arguments pro or con about other early peoples, their artifacts, their remains, their sites, their accounts that may in some way connect with impacts.

    Basically, if you can tie your comments to either the TIME (very wide berth) of the Younger Dryas or the discussion of impacts or the solar system’s bodies, then say what you want to say.

    We are very unlikely to ever ban you, but we would expect you to consider simply going away (banning yourself, in effect) instead of posting comments about completely off-topic subjects.

    …If you were commenting on (e.g.) baseball or impressionist art or Belgian politics, I think you would see why those have no place in the discussion here. Global warming is in the same “doesn’t apply here” status.

  16. Jim –

    In Step 5 of my guidelines about that object path, I think I hould have said this:

    5. Drag the second point/end of the path a good distance (maybe 2-4ooo miles) – make SURE you watch the azimuth reading and KEEP IT THE SAME. Make the path long enough that you can see it when zoomed out far enough in space that you will be able to see the entire line from deep space.

  17. Thanks Steve. I’ll give it a try. Not to much hair left for pulling out, but I know you understand the problem. In researching possible orbital tracts for my impactor I came across a polar route for a satellite that almost makes all 4 impact sites but it would entail about 3 or 4 orbits to do it so I don’t think it feasible. also with Drake Passage being my initial site with the trenching running generally west to east I feel the path would be running Southwest to Northeast, Drake Passage, Mt Ashmore, Chesepeake Bay and Popigai. If I can continue the line around the globe some more there may be some more sites to investigate that haven’t been considered yet.

  18. Jim –

    The path on GE from Drake to Chesapeake is almost due north (~337°). I am confused how you can get a SW>NE path from Drake to there. That is more than 90° from the alignment of the Drake Passage.

    I didn’t know where Mt Ashmore is so I googled it. No Wiki article. I found this blog article: “Mount Ashmore dome created by a giant asteroid which collided with the Earth 35 million years ago” at http://tiny.cc/383yrx

    There is a linkg in that to “Dome implies old bombardment
    AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY – 20 MAY 2010” at http://www.sciencealert.com/news/20102105-20980.html

    In that ScienceAlert article, the first image has this caption (reiterated in the text):

    The geologists have found a dome, rather than a crater, because the Earth’s crust rebounded like elastic around the impact.

    In the text of that article is this:

    Dr Glikson, who is a specialist in the study of extraterrestrial impacts, from the Planetary Science Institute and the School of Archaeology and Anthropology at ANU, was asked to study cuttings from the Mount Ashmore-1B well.

    Dr Glikson said “The minimum size of the Mount Ashmore dome, which represents elastic rebound doming of the Earth crust triggered by the impact, is 50 kilometres at the base, but the full size of the impact crater – not yet defined – may be significantly larger”.

    Does anyone else here have a problem with the concept of “impact rebound”? Jim? This is the first I’ve heard of that concept, and it seems to me like a completely untenable idea. I will look around and see what else is out there on nit, and then I will get back to you all. Maybe this is a real idea and I get to learn something new.

    …Supporting your thinking, Jim, the article goes on to say this:

    “Round the same time as the Mount Ashmore impact, a 100 kilometre wide asteroid impact structure formed in Siberia, and another measuring 85 km in diameter in Chesapeake Bay, off Virginia, in the United States. Likewise a large field of tektites – molten rock fragments splashed by impact – fell over northeast America. This defined a major impact cluster across the planet,” he said.

    “This impact cluster hit Earth about one million years before the Drake Passage, the ocean gap between Antarctica and South America, opened up. The opening of the Drake Passage allowed continuous circulation of the circum-Antarctic ocean current, isolating the Antarctic continent and allowing the onset of its large ice sheet, which acts as a ‘thermostat’ for the Earth’s climate.”

    Dr Andrew Glikson said that the increase in geophysical surveys and drilling associated with oil exploration over the last few decades has allowed the identification of a number of large impact structures onshore and off the coast of Western Australia.

    That last is quite interesting. Large impact structures off the WESTERN coast of Australia…

    Hmmm – If the bold passage is correct, that would put those impacts right in the middle of the tektite fields of 780kya. No indication about dates on them, in such a short blurb. 35Mya doesn’t work, but with a slew of them, perhaps one or more of them is associated with the tektites.

    Why do I say, “If correct”? The article’s journalist/author refers to Dr Glikson several times, but did not give his first name until the last mention of the professor. That is weird.

    Okay… I got to the 2010 paper behid this article (at least the Abstract. That ends with
    No volcanic material or evaporites were encountered in the drillcore, militating against interpretations of the structure in terms of magmatic intrusion or salt diapirism. Such models are also inconsistent with the strong gravity and magnetic anomalies, which signify a basement high below the dome. An interpretation of the dome in terms of a central rebound uplift of an impact structure can not be proven due to the lack of shock metamorphic effects such as planar deformation features, impact melt or coesite. However, an impact model is consistent with the chaotic structure of the domal core, centripetal sense of deformation, microbrecciation, comminution and fluidisation of the Triassic to Eocene rocks. In this respect, an analogy can be drawn between the Mt Ashmore structural dome and likely but unproven impact structures formed in volatile (H2O, CO2)-rich sediments where shock is attenuated by high volatile pressure, such as Upheaval Dome, Utah. In terms of an impact hypothesis the Mt Ashmore dome is contemporaneous with a Late Eocene impact cluster (Popigai: D = 100 km, 35.7 ± 0.2 Ma; Chesapeake Bay: D = 85 km, 35.3 ± 0.1 Ma).

    So, basically (without paying $40.00 US for the whole article), what we have is a qualitative dissimilarity to volcanoes and some “kind of” qualitative (gross) similarities to impacts, without any forensic, quantitative evidence (admittedly so). The materials, as detected, are nothing like impact materials – which it seems they tried to look for and failed to find.

    The only other dome structure they refer to (in the abstract, anyway) is Upheaval Dome in Utah. That is findable by that name on GE. But Upheaval “Dome” isn’t even a dome. It is a circular depression surrounded by a ring 330 meters higher than the bottom of what might be taken for a “caldera”. 330 meters is ~1100 feet. As I see it on GE (including photos there), there is nothing dome-like about it at all. Mt Ashmore, on the other hand, has no hollowed center and it is essentially flat on top, just below the surface, for about 15 miles x 5 miles. (It isn’t even circular by any stretch of the imagination.) It looks like a slightly subsurface atoll (-1m to -5m) but without the crater inside. I will allow that it might be possible that coral have re-shaped it over 35 million years until the center is filled in with coral. (Just a a wild guess…) Barring that seemingly unlikely scenario, Mt Ashmore and Upheaval Dome don’t seem to me to have anything in common.

    At the moment, about the only thing Mt Ashmore seems to have in common with Chesapeake, Popigai and the Drake Passage is its age.

    Jim, I assume you have some details. Would you care to share?

  19. Something cool.

    It seems we may have a bit of an academic ally in Australia, the Andrew Glikson mentioned in that article (which called him and expert on impacts).

    In the Preface to his book, “The Asteroid Impact Connection of Planetary Evolution” (on Amazon, even in Kindle), Glikson has this to say:

    A paradigm shift according to Thomas Kuhn (1962) constitutes a change in the basic assumptions within the ruling theory of science. It is not a term to be used lightly, except in relation to major breakthroughs in the understanding of nature. In the field of Earth Science this term can be used in connection with the conception of gradualism in terrestrial evolution by James Hutton (1788) and Charles Lyell’s (1830), sea floor spreading and plate tectonics by Harry Hess, Bruce Heezen, Robert Dietz, and Sam Carey, and the identification of meteorite craters and astroblemes (“star scars”) by Eugene Shoemaker and Robert Dietz, both having been my mentors. My introduction to extraterrestrial impacts in 1968 was related to the study of Gosses Bluff Structure, Central Australia, where the United States Astrogeology Branch, led by Eugene Shoemaker, was planning a study of Moon-like landscapes in preparation for the Apollo program. (Fig. Q ). At the time few geologists realized the role of asteroid impacts. In subsequent years, the sea-change discovery by Walter and Louis Alvarez of the KT asteroid impact boundary and associated mass extinction of species has changed this attitude. This was followed by the identification of the relations between the 580-Ma-old Acraman impact structure, the Bunyeroo ejecta, and radiation of Acritarchs by George Williams, Victor Gostin, and Kath Grey. Based on geological studies of Archaean terrains during the 19S0s and 1990s I raised doubts whether many Precambrian Earth features were triggered exclusively by internal mantle and crust processes. A breakthrough came in 1986 and following years when Don Lowe, Gary Byerly, Bruce Simonson, and Scott Hassler and their students began to discover millimeter scale impact spherules (microkrystites) in Archaean sediments overlain by tsunami deposits, initiating a paradigm shift in the study of early crustal evolution. Given the difficulty in identifying spherule units in the field, impact frequencies documented to date inherently represent only a minimum flux, namely the “tip of the iceberg” yielding support to an extension of the Late Heavy Boınbardınent. This monograph, focusing on impacts craters larger than 20 1-cm in diameter, is based on research of Archaean and younger terrains during 1964 – 2012, including studies of impact ejecta units and large buried impact structures on the Australian continent. Notably detailed research in the Pilbara Craton, with the support of Arthur Hickman of the Western Australian Geological Survey and my field mate John Vickers, enabled follow-up of discoveries by Lowe, Byerly, Simonson and their students. Suggestions that Archaean extra-terrestrial impacts acted as triggers of internal mantle-crust events will be met with resistance by proponents of uniformitarian schools of thought. Traditionally, geology – the study of Earth – focuses on internal crust, mantle, and core process, taking little account of the effects of large asteroid impacts. However, the two are not mutually exclusive. Whereas purely endogenic mantle-crust dynamics and plate tectonic cycles are manifest, the intermittent triggering of thermodynamic events by large extra-terrestrial impact clusters constitutes a combination of Cuvier’s catastrophism and Lyell and Hutton’s gradualism throughout Earth history.

    Kuhn TS (1962) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago

    That reference is to the VERY famous book by Thomas Kuhn on paradigms, which is pretty much the Bible on paradigms.

    Glikson having had Gene Shoemaker as a mentor, we should not be surprised that he would follow in Shoemaker’s steps.

    He may be a good ally to have. I wonder if any of the YDIH team have had any contact with him.

  20. Steve; I contacted Dr Glikson about my idea on Drake Passage and he did not seem to think there was anything to it but also that he had not look at it as an impact site. Mt Ashmore is off the northwest coast of Australia almost to the java coast in a string of coastal reefs. When I saw the location I immediately thought if this is in the same time frame these might all be connected. and pulled up a flat globe map and drew connecting lines and it came up with 2 lines running parallel and ending in locations that would be contiguous if the map was circular so hence my tying them all together in one long distance event. Dr Glikson did say in the dome article that the site aged out at 35mya. I know that doesn’t help with the tektites unless they are misdated. Now the 4 impact sites left quite large craters at each location so the original piece must been monsterous. The other thing you asked about was the central rebound–dome–. The way Dr glikson explained it was when the impact occurs the crust gets compressed and depending on the composition of the basement rock it can have central rebound cone or a dome structure in the basement rock. Mt Ashmore is considered a domed impact site. I think he would definitely be credible ally for the YDB team. He might know of other research that has been done on ice impacts.

  21. Steve; I have the complete 21 page report on Mt Ashmore in my email file as an attachment but there is some kind of security on it and I can’t send it any place. I can print it but nothing else.

  22. Jim –
    Thanks for all the feedback on all that. As to dating of impacts (and other things, too), I always wonder about how they do it (have not run across the hows and whys yet). I recently saw mention that they set the “ages” (Pleistocene, etc) back in the 1890s. Given how little was known then vs now, I am skeptical that they got the clock right back then, only 40 years or so after the adoption of uniformitarianism. As to 35 Mya vs 780kya – especially for a submerged feature – I suspect very large uncertainties for each. I never take dates at face value, especially very old ones. The asserted dates sometimes are given decimal points, even. Granted that is what the lab results give, so it is legit to present them that way. I question the underlying assumptions that go into the dating – until I ever find elucidation of he principles.

    As to printing or emailing, I use a pdf printer for all my printing – software that acts like a printer but prints to a pdf file. It even is listed as a printer in my printer choices. PDF995 is its name. I set it as my default printer years ago. I paid 30 bucks for it 7 years ago and it’s a lifetime thing. If I need hard copies (rarely), I put the pdf on a flash stick and go to Kinko’s (or here, an internet cafe). Pdfs are great for emailing. There are other pdf printers.

    Try it. You will find it useful. There are other pdf printing software out the, too.

  23. Barry –

    In looking over that info, it seems that what they are talking about is the central uplift in craters, but calling them domes.

    That is what the Vredefort Dome is in S Africa.

    Is that what they are saying the Mt Ashmore? That it is a central uplift? If so, where is the crater rim? Vredefort Dome has one.

  24. Steve G,

    Upon Request, I can forward you the entire letter that gave Sanger the ammo to destroy Carl Sagan’s career as a practicing scientist, as opposed to a media talking head.

    Short form:

    The “Nuclear Winter” or TTAPS study published in J.Geophys.Rev. claimed the following:

    1) A 5,000+ megaton nuclear war would put sufficient dust into the stratosphere from ground burst detonations to decrease continental interior surface temperatures by 14EC.

    2) A 1,000+ megaton nuclear war would put sufficient soot into the stratosphere from urban firestorms to decrease continental interior temperatures by about 23EC.

    3) The dust and soot in the stratosphere would remain there for about a year.

    4) A 5,000+ megaton nuclear war would put enough soot into the troposphere to reduce continental interior temperatures by approximately 3EC. This condition would last for 2_3 months.

    5) The usual mechanisms of heat transfer from the ocean to continental interiors would not operate and nothing would replace them.

    6) Radiation exposures from fallout would be much higher than expected due to middle duration “tropospheric” fallout.

    Pretty much every point was wrong, and the letter and sources (which I don’t have) go into great detail about how.

    This passage is the most relevant piece of the letter in destroying Sagan as a practicing scientist as it shows he publically misrepresented what the TTAPS authors said in point six above in Sagan’s PARADE article on “Nuclear Winter.”–

    “TTAPS assumes that radiation exposures from fallout would be much higher than expected due to middle duration “tropospheric” fallout.

    Carl Sagan alleged in his Parade article, page 7, upper left (copy enclosed) that:

    “We found for the baseline case that roughly 30 percent of the land at northern midlatitudes could receive a radioactive dose greater than 250 rads, and that about 50 percent of northern midlatitudes could receive a radioactive does greater than 100 rads.”

    This statement is not supported in the Science article or in the draft J.Geophys.Rev. article. In fact, those specifically reject it. I am unaware of any statement by Mr. Sagan correcting this allegation. This raises major questions concerning his veracity and sincerity. I am unaware of any statements by any of the other TTAPS authors disputing Mr. Sagan’s representation concerning their findings on this point, which raises similar questions about them.

    Sagan’s allegation about radiation exposures is based on an unpublished article by Joseph Knox of Lawrence Livermore Labs, a copy of which is enclosed with his permission. It states, on page 4 (note 4) and pages 14_15 that exposures of 100 _ 250 rads could occur if all nuclear power plants, stored fuel and reprocessing facilities in the world are vaporized. Knox admits on pp. 13_14 that this is only hypothetical. It is as preposterous as TTAPS’ deliberate targeting of vegetation.

    TTAPS Science specifically rejects targeting the nuclear fuel cycle in its reference 69, which states: “We also neglect additional potential sources of radioactive fallout from salted “dirty” weapons and explosions over nuclear reactors and fuel reprocessing plants.” TTAPS Geophys. also rejects it on page 23.

    TTAPS Geophys. is a year old. TTAPS Science was submitted to Science in October of 1983, the same month that the Parade article was published. Carl Sagan knew that the other TTAPS authors did not support him in this and said it anyway. He alleged something to the general public that was rejected in an article to a more technically sophisticated audience. This means that he, at least, is promoting propaganda rather than science.”

    Sagan and the Nuclear Winter “Doomies” then shared the same standard operating procedure the human-caused global warming crowd currently uses.

    Singer’s attack with the letter killed Sagan’s career as a practicing scientist and caused the TTAPS authors to drop “Nuclear Winter” like a hot rock as a threat to their careers as well for reasons the leter goes into at length.

  25. Thanks tons, Trent.

    Yeah, send it. [email protected] . Not wanting to get off-topic here, but briefly, I agree with you about the propaganda-first approach of the global warming people. They aren’t worth talking about here. There are other blogs for that.

    It WAS karmic justice that Sagan got the same treatment he dealt out to Velikovsky. Like Bos is now, Sagan was a total insider with all the contacts to keep himself in the limelight, even when he has nothing to contribute.

    Honestly, what did the man do (Sagan)? He is known for his runaway greenhouse effect, but he got that from Venus, as I said, and equated the two atmospheres as if there was any possibility that 0.035% CO2 could have the same effect as 99%. Other than that, what?

  26. “those that gain their reputation by the destruction of others, are still in the same place they started from…..”

    Otherwise known as “what’s fair for the goose is fair……”

    ya, I know its Thursday and Friday is “ONE” day away……

  27. Steve,
    Wow, what’s with the all the hate for Carl Sagan,
    “Honestly, what did the man do (Sagan)? ‘
    What he did was publish over six hundred papers ,
    He was a member of the team that first synthesized organic compounds from hydrocarbons and radiation.
    He was the first to postulate that the color changes observed on mars were from dust storms and not changes in vegetation, which has been shown to be correct.
    Even though he was awarded the National Academy of Sciences highest awatd, he was never accepted into the academy because he swam against the current of the older members beliefs.
    If Dr. Sagan was still alive I’d bet he would be a supporter of the YD event theory, at least he would have pushed for a cohesive and vigorous study into all of the evidence and not just cherry picking the stuff he didn’t like, as the current detractors have a habit Od doing.
    Why the hate Steve, it’s just a waste of energy.

  28. Cevin Q,

    First and foremost Sagan was a tool/useful fool of the KGB.

    Most of the unpublished background science for the TTAPS study was sourced from a earlt 1980’s KGB disinformation campaign related to the deployment of intermediate range nuclear armed Pershing II ballistics and Tomahawk GLCM cruise missiles.

    From the Letter I forwarded to Bruce —

    I find it difficult to understand how the NAS study [1975 National Academy of
    Sciences study (Long_Term Worldwide Effects of Multiple_Nuclear_Weapons Detonations)],
    which assumed 4000+ megatons of fission yield, can produce less residual
    radioactivity than the 2000 megatons assumed by Knox. It appears from
    TTAPS that this result is achieved by assuming ingestion of
    radionuclides, as postulated in the UNSCEAR report. Mr. Knox informed
    me that it was too lengthy for him to photocopy for me. TTAPS is
    misleading if its increase in radiation exposures over the NAS study
    is based on radionuclide ingestion rather than “mid_term tropospheric”
    fallout as they allege.

    I have found that most of the obviously exaggerated claims made for
    nuclear weapons effects by American nuclear protest groups in the past
    2_3 years are based on reports in non_American journals, or by
    non_American authors. This is suspicious to me because of the known
    KGB disinformation campaign on the subject starting in about 1978,
    which has been especially noticeable since 1981. This applies to the
    United Nations as well, where anti_American and pro_Russian bias has
    been clear.

    The UNSCEAR report assumed that there would be a deliberate military targeting and _Complete_Vaporazation_ of all the worlds nuclear power plant cores.

    The US Military never planned this, and it was technically impossible for Soviet missiles to do so through the huge concrete containment structures built around Western Nuclear Power facilities.

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