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Download Night Comes to the Cretaceous: Comets, Craters, Controversy, and the Last Days of the Dinosaurs epub

by James Lawrence Powell

What killed the dinosaurs? For more than a century, this question has been one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in science. But, in 1980, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Luis Alvarez and his son, Walter, proposed a radical answer: 65 million years ago an asteroid or comet as big as Mt. Everest slammed into the earth, raising a dust cloud vast enough to cause mass extinction. A revolutionary idea that challenged the ice-age extinction theory, the asteroid-impact theory was scorned and derided by the science community. But after years of bitter debate and intense research, an astonishing discovery was made-an immense impact crater in the Yucatán Peninsula that was identified as Ground Zero. The Alvarezes had their proof. A dramatic scientific detective story, Night Comes to the Cretaceous is a brilliant example of science at work-in the trenches, complete with passionate struggles and occasional victories.
Download Night Comes to the Cretaceous: Comets, Craters, Controversy, and the Last Days of the Dinosaurs epub
ISBN: 0156007037
ISBN13: 978-0156007030
Category: Science
Subcategory: Biological Sciences
Author: James Lawrence Powell
Language: English
Publisher: Harvest Books (September 23, 1999)
Pages: 272 pages
ePUB size: 1583 kb
FB2 size: 1178 kb
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 292
Other Formats: mbr azw lrf lit

What caused the great terminal Cretaceous extinction of both land and sea species, including the dinosaurs? Does the huge crater buried under half a mile of sedimentary rock on the Yucatán Peninsula have anything to do with the demise of Tyrannosaurus Rex, along with seventy percent of all species that were alive during the last days of its reign?
“Night Comes to the Cretaceous” answers both questions, the latter with an emphatic ‘yes!’ The Chicxulub (which means either ‘red devil’ or ‘place of the cuckold’ in Mayan) impact crater, first reported (and ignored for a decade) at the 1981 annual meeting of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, appears to exactly the right age and the right size to have terminated most of the life on Earth, sixty-five million years ago.
This fascinating book by geologist James Lawrence Powell is the first I’d read on the subject of mass extinctions since “Extinction” by Steven M. Stanley, published in 1987. What a difference two decades of discoveries made! Stanley, although aware of the discovery of the iridium concentrations at the K-T (Cretaceous-Tertiary) boundary, concluded that global climatic change rather than extraterrestrial catastrophe caused mass extinctions. Chicxulub was not on his event horizon, so he produced a very detailed and convincing argument for what was then the orthodox theory of extinction.
Unfortunately for orthodoxy, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Luis Alvarez and his son, geologist Walter Alvarez had already discovered the asteroid-impact iridium layer in 1980, and predicted the discovery of Chicxulub as the death-knell of the dinosaurs.
Powell in “Night Comes to the Cretaceous” details many more discoveries that supported the Alvarez theory of extinction, and changed the way scientists (and the rest of us) look at the night sky. His book provides a comprehensive overview of all the bits and pieces of the dinosaur extinction puzzle that I had been reading about in two decades of science magazines. It is really exciting to see the whole picture and the new orthodoxy as of 1998.
Furthermore, in the last few chapters of his book, Powell asks whether all mass extinctions on Earth were caused by asteroid/comet impacts. He lists the seven known mass extinctions and presents the impact evidence for each. Finally he discusses the theory that cratering and extinctions may be regularly spaced through time.
‘Night’ is pretty scary reading if you had planned to go out with a whimper, not a bang.
The value of this book is that it explains how science really works. It's not guys in white smocks boiling stuff in beaker, which many people don't realize. The book presents the reality of science in very understandable and readable way. It should be required reading for every high school student. ...and, it does a great job of explaining the impact theory of extinction episodes.
One of the great scientific revolutions of our times has been the recognition that the biological evolution of Earth is influenced random impacts by comets and asteroids. When this concept was put forward in 1980, it was radical; today it is the accepted wisdom in paleontology, geology, and evolutionary biology. Jim Powell tells a fascinating story of the evidence for this transformation and of the scientists who have been protgonists in the struggle to understand this evidence and integrate it into our broader undestanding of our planet. This is one of the best books ever written to trace the history of a scientific controversy and of the people involved, warts and all.
ᵀᴴᴱ ᴼᴿᴵᴳᴵᴻᴬᴸ
It was a good book. The author provided several views on the controversies condensed among a number of Scientists and Geologist. The only drawback I found is, the book repeats itself throughout.
Must read for anyone interested in the problematics of asteroids, impacts and K-Pg extinction.
An excelent book written by a graduate of Berea College. I recently had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Powell speak on the subject of the extintion of the dinosaurs. The book was as good as the leacture.
Had to buy in conjunction with a college course (which actually turned out to be pretty interesting). Not a bad read.
I was hoping for a balanced analysis supporting the dinosaur extinctions via an asteroid doing a number on mother earth. Instead I got a steady dose of denunciations towards anyone who disagreed with the asteroid theory. The tone is palatable at first but after a while repeating the same canard over and over does tend to get tiresome. Around page 170 or so I realized that I was reading an apologist for the asteroid theory.

I was very disappointed that other theories were given short shrift and at times almost mocked. This is a so so book about dinosaur extinctions but I am waiting for a truly meaty and balanced book.