The Hardest to Kill is the First to Die: The Singularity of Paleontology

Have any of you ever noticed how absolutely implausible it is that the Dinsosaurs actually became extinct? Now, please note this: I am not saying that they did not become extinct. I cannot after all prove a negative – it would require searching all four corners of the Earth and below the Earth (we’ve already got above the Earth covered!). But consider the following:

Go outside. Find a bug and step on it. If you succeed, then you can be fairly certain that, barring extraordinary numbers, that particular species of bug could plausibly become extinct. Now go into a forest and find a large adult bear. Try and step on it.

If you succeed, you will have demonstrated at least the logical possibility of the C-T Extinction Event. However, you will likely fail. By the transitive property, if you can’t extinctify bears, and dinosaurs are harder to extinctify than bears, then you likewise can’t extinctify dinosaurs. QUED, my friends. … Or is it?

Clearly that conclusion is also hopelessly implausible! What, then, are we to do? According to influential logician L. Gamut, two implausible propositions, call them p and q, cannot stand each other for very long. Some kind of reflective equilibrium must be reached, al carte both R. Dahl and G. Habermas. Now I have no idea what to do about this. It could be that the implausible simply happened. But we are compounding implausibilities! The extinction of dinosaurs requires the negation of the force of all kinds of apriori evidence to the contrary.

Discussion: Which theory of Dinosaur Extinction do you favor? Post in the comments! If you’re not familiar with the subject, you can quickly explore the going theories here.

3 thoughts on “The Hardest to Kill is the First to Die: The Singularity of Paleontology

  1. Oh Krishna, do I have to easily refute everything you type? I’m not even a supporter of empiricism and these things make so much more intuitive sense than anything you can come up with.

    Let’s look at current times. What species are most in danger of becoming extinct right now? The little, easily stamped creatures like bugs and rodents, or the huge, lumbering beasts like elephants and bears? Can you really not think of why this is?

    Larger creature means larger area needed to survive. It means less adaptability and thus less likely to weather changing environments. Let’s say hypothetically that the extinction of the dinosaurs was indeed caused by a meteorite strike. Now, when it hits, and after all the devastation, jthe area of land and water that can support life is drastically reduced. Because dinosaurs need so much raw material to stay alive – instead of the relatively miniscule amounts needed by the first mammals – they were the most likely to die off. It becomes even worse for carnivores, as they are dependent on other creatures having a large enough population to sustain them. The higher up you go on the food chain, the MORE likely you are to be wiped out, not less. This is why everyone’s screaming save the polar bear, not save the arctic fox or save the leopard seal.

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