Permian
299 - 252 mya

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Ye Olde You Stupid Relativist

    The paleo-mathemagicians trumpet the Permian as the greatest extinction of all time. Nearly 95% of the species
    were wiped out in the event. What could have happened to them?

    The contemporary paleontologist have been trained to think of only two grand causes: catastrophes and
    environmental change. On the catastrophic side, we have the same old, same old, take your pick. You either
    choose a gigantic extraterrestrial rock striking the Earth or a gargantuan eruption that spills lava all over its
    surface. On the environmental side, both the air and water composition change for the worse, almost always
    as a result of a catastrophe. That's it. You're not allowed any other choices. Not if you want to publish in a
    'respectable' journal.


    Oh where, oh where is the evidence?

    In the religion of Mathemagix it is not the theories that count. It is the evidence you present to persuade and
    convince the scholars. Your theory could be totally irrational. You can tell the hooded monks who form the
    secret Inquisition Peer Review Boards that the LGM came and gamma-rayed the therapsids to death. They
    did it just for the fun of it or they came to do some exotic safari hunting while they were building the pyramids.
    The important part -- the one the peers are interested in -- is that you produce the ray gun or a bit of green
    skin or one of the Martian's fossilized antennas. That would prove your irrational theory in their eyes.

    Therefore, the paleo-mathemagicians are conditioned to look for evidence to suit preconceived explanations.
    A mathemagical researcher spends 10 seconds brainstorming causes, two seconds coming up with the first
    theory he can think of, and decades looking for evidence to persuade his peers that his theory is 'correct'.
    Modern 'science' is all about evidence: persuasion, convincing, recruiting. It is the legacy of Popper's
    falsification criterion. It's the way of arrogant social monkeys.

    So, the question arises, where is the Permian crater? Where did the comet fall? Show me a piece of the
    rock or some shocked quartz that came from the boundary. This is what the hooded peer is going to expect.


    The Permian asteroidists

    Some volcanists had a hunch. They reasoned that if they followed in the footsteps of Luis Alvarez they might
    get their name in lights and be heroes, They speculated that the reason we don't see a 252 year old crater in
    London or Paris is that the asteroid might just have fallen elsewhere. The meteorite must have fallen where no
    man has gone before.

    (Oh! Why didn't I think of that? Damn it! I'm missing out on a Nobel here!)

    These bean brains asked for funds and went on several evidence hunting trip to Antarctica. I mean, even if
    you don't find anything, who cares? You've had the trip of a lifetime on someone else's tab! Ha, ha, ha! I
    mean, you could have done it much cheaper just by doing a Google maps search on your computer. If there
    is no obvious hole under 'down under', then there's no reason to grant the funds to begin with. But then, what
    can the money managers do with all that money, anyway? What else can they spend it on? So, why not?

    Well, to make a long story short, they never found a crater in the Antarctic desert. What they came back
    with, instead, is with a bunch of excuses for why they found shocked quartz, but no iridium. ( 1 )

    The final ruling: not enough evidence! ( 2 ) This lack of evidence gave the volcanists the upper hand and a
    chance to even the score with the asteroidists.


    The Permian volcanists

    Fanatic volcanists like Paul Wignall, Mike Benton and Dewey McLean were delighted. They lost the
    Cretaceous War, but they were slaughtering the Chicxulub folk left and right in the Permian. They were
    driving the asteroidists to extinction. With the asteroidists on the run they now had a chance now to drive
    home their version of what happened 250 mya. Their unchallengeable proposal: the Siberian Traps are
    responsible for wiping land and sea creatures at the end of the Permian. Their complex, un-Ockham theory
    progresses in several steps, so please bear with me...

    1. Volcanoes in Russia erupt for thousands of years.

    2. Lava kills animals at a certain radius from Ground Zero.

    3. Countless volumes of carbon dioxide (CO2) gases are released into the atmosphere.

    4. Global temperatures rise 5ºC. The combination of gases and heat kills another batch
    of plants and animals.

    5. Rapid global warming triggered by volcanic gases overheats the oceans. This allows
    the release of methane from the tons of methane hydrate frozen deep in the sea beds.

    6. The release of methane out of the waters triggers global temperatures to rise another
    5ºC for a total of an unbearable 10ºC.

    7. Meanwhile, the seas stop circulating water.

    8. Because the waters are stagnant they lose their oxygen content.

    9. Poisonous hydrogen sulfide is produced by bacteria in the oxygen-starved waters.

    10. The combination of lack of oxygen and the poisonous hydrogen sulfide smothers all
    remaining life in the oceans.

    11. The sulfuric mixes with water in the oceans and with humidity in the atmosphere to
    produce acid rain. More plants die. The handful of animals that could have survived all
    these disasters now die of starvation.

    12. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere prevent sunlight from coming in. Whatever
    plants survived all the previous disasters cannot photosynthesize and die en masse.
    Whatever animals that survived all these disasters and depended on this source of
    food also die.

    13. Because sunlight can't get through the atmosphere, the temperature shifts in the
    other direction: Earth enters an ice age. Whatever plants and animals survived the
    lava, the heat, the CO2 gases, the lack of oxygen, the hydrogen sulfide, the acid rain,
    etc., now freeze to death.

    Now if all that doesn't kill ALL life on Earth -- both plants and animals -- nothing will! Presumably, the last step
    consists of God creating Eden all over again.

    But no! The gawking, gullible narrators always end the story marveling at how resilient life is. The documentary
    ends with something always miraculously surviving.

    How? By what mechanism? Why didn't the lava, the hydrogen sulfide, the methane, the lack of food, the heat,
    the cold, the acid rain... kill them as well? By what superpower were the plants and animals protected from
    such gargantuan agents?

    Well, I suppose that the experts are busy working on obtaining more funds to investigate this trivial part of their
    theory.

    But then you wonder why if gargantuan catastrophes produce heat that release methane trapped in the crust
    under the Earth's oceans, why this same phenomenon didn't happen in the Devonian, Triassic, and Cretaceous
    Extinctions. Why wasn't methane released by the seas during these catastrophes?

    O well... On to the corollary...

    Corollary: The volcanists are so pissed off at the asteroidists after Alvarez
    trashed Dewey and won the Cretaceous for their side that they will never
    again allow an asteroid to form part of another extinction theory again.
    Investors and grant-givers please take note!

    The initial question

    The Permian is the era in which mammal-like reptiles generally known as synapsids ruled the land. Throughout
    the period the synapsids evolved from primitive crawling beasts such as the sailbacks Dimetrodon and
    Edaphosaurus to more streamlined, lion-and-rhino-like creatures such as Inostrancevia and Scutosaurus.

    The Permian begins with primitive apex predators such as the sailback Dimetrodon chasing after Eryops, one
    of the first large terrestrial amphibians, and later after Edaphosaurus. These animals disappear in a mass
    extinction half way through the Permian about 270 mya in what is known as Olson's Gap. Thereafter we see
    the rise of therapsids and pareiasaurs that last all the way to the end of the period. It is these mammal-like
    reptiles that participate in the famous mass extinction at the end of the Permian (252 mya). That's on land. In
    the seas, it will noticeably be the famous trilobites which finally disappear. Their niche is taken over by the
    ammonites in the Mesozoic and by the krill in the Cenozoic.

<<  Dimetrodon confronting Edaphosaurus

In the Early Permian the sailbacks ruled
the land. These animals disappeared midway into
the Permian (≈ 270 mya).

According to our bright paleo-mathemagicians,
these Lystrosaurs are their grandfathers  >>

Judging strictly by the evidence of
intelligence that the paleo-mathemagicians
exhibit, I will have to agree.

<<  "Thrynaxodon wouldn't look much like any
mammal alive today, but scientists believe that
this small creature was a direct ancestor to
modern mammals, including the human race."

Inostrancevia attacking Scutosaurus  >>

By the end of the Permian 252 mya therapsids
and pareiasaurs ruled on land much like T-rex
and Triceratops ruled as the last kings of the
Cretaceous.
.
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Rational Scientific Method   

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The History of Life on Earth

    What caused the Permian extinction in the alternative?

    Where dos that leave us regarding the Permian Extinction?

    Let's start with the Law of Extinction:


    "He who hasn't explained selectivity with ONE mechanism has not explained extinction."


    Selectivity was the ONLY issue that any paleontologist ever had to explain. Instead, it has been the one
    they all eluded. You cannot explain selectivity with EXTRINSIC agents or mechanisms such as volcanoes,
    asteroids, gamma rays, climate change, gases, lack of oxygen, etc. By their very nature such agents have
    no ability to discern between species, specifically between the ancient and the new species. It necessarily
    MUST be an INTRINSIC agent or mechanism. Intrinsic agents and mechanisms for ANY plant or animal
    species include: aging, density dependent birth rates, the disappearance of food sources, genetic drift, etc.

    The answer to selectivity has been staring at the paleo-mathemagicians in the face for decades. It's been
    the 600 lb gorilla in the room that nobody sees. It's the agent that everybody mentions, but that everyone
    immediately glosses over in search of a trigger. It never occurred to anyone that there is no triggering
    agent.

    So what have the paleontologists, geologists, and anthropologists overlooked?

    Let's look at their own words:

    "if ecosystems lost some key species, many other species might swiftly become extinct
    as well. “The collapse of the biosphere may be far more rapid than people realize."

    "My suggestion has been criticized because it presumably did not account for the lack of
    change in flora at the end of the Cretaceous, and by another critic who argued that it did
    not account for the great change in flora at that time. As noted above, the evidence favors
    a Cretaceous vegetation much like that of the present. Romer suggests that lack of proper
    food plants caused the extinctions..."

    "Photosynthesizing organisms, including phytoplankton and land plants, formed the
    foundation of the food chain in the late Cretaceous as they do today. Evidence
    suggests that herbivorous animals died out when the plants they depended on for
    food became scarce. Consequently, top predators such as Tyrannosaurus rex also
    perished."

    And specifically to the Permian...

    Per"The once majestic forests of conifers, the ancestors of today's evergreens, are dying by
    the millions. Plant life withers in the stifling heat. With vegetation, the foundation of the
    food chain, starvation now runs rampant. Hardest hit are the large herbivores like
    dicynodon... Now the dicynodon's food sources are literally drying but so do the others
    that feed upon them... The Gorgons witnessed their largest food supply simply vanish
    before their eyes. Where once there was more than enough food to go around, now
    there's competition for even the smallest prey... The gorgons are starving to death."


    "We need to understand there's a food chain operating, so that the extinction of plants will
    affect everything, all the animals, whether they eat plants or not. Then the sequence is if
    you kill the plants, you lose all or most of the plant eaters. Therefore, you lose all or most
    of the flesh eaters because they have nothing to eat." Mike Benton   


    "It takes a lot of herbivores, a big territory, to keep a top carnivore alive and happy. As
    you reduce the food of the herbivores, as there are fewer and fewer of them, they can
    support fewer and fewer of the gorgons." Peter Ward   

    "we see the direct effect of warmth on land causing the extinction of a lot of plants."
    Paul Wignall     


    So let's first get the big picture right. A mass extinction has to do with hunger and starvation! It is not
    an asteroid or the lava that kills the plants and animals. Pursuant to their own words it is the lack of
    food that kills them directly. A mass extinction is BY DEFINITION an economic collapse. The ecological
    pyramid overturns on the archaic species and the new species continue as if nothing.

    Now that we have that squared away, we just need to determine whether the overturning of the ecological
    pyramid needs a trigger such as an ET impact or a volcanic eruption. In fact, I will argue the opposite: that
    ET impacts and volcanic eruptions have no power to overturn the global ecological pyramid. They had nothing
    to do with extinction. The paleontologists are looking in the wrong place.


    What disoriented the paleo-mathemagicians?

    So how is it that asteroidists and volcanists got so sidetracked with respect to extinction? How is it that they
    went off on a tangent that has nothing to do with extinction?

    The answer is that people who study paleontology, geology and related fields are smothered with
    stratigraphy. They are trained to focus on sedimentary layers. It is this tunnel vision that necessarily takes
    them to environmental change.

    A paleontologist goes to the field and notices that one layer continues up to a certain point and then another
    one continues. One is grayish and the subsequent one is reddish. Through experience they are taught that a
    red one is associated with higher temperatures. There was a measurable climate change at the boundary
    and coincidentally it was at this boundary when a mass extinction took place. Eureka! Some catastrophic
    agent caused this sudden change. Brianstorm... brainstorm... got it! It was either an asteroid impact or a
    volcanic eruption. What else could it have been?

    It never occurred to the paleo-mathemagicians that there was no need to make trips to Siberia, Yucatan,
    or Antarctica to figure out extinction. They just needed to sit back, smoke a pipe, drink a beer and THINK!
    They merely needed to come up with a viable theory that explains selectivity. Instead, the concentrated on
    obtaining evidence in order to persuade their peers.

    If we were standing at the starting line of the Cambrian 550 mya we can 'predict' (in retrospect) that archaic
    plants that have been around for too long are going to be displaced by more advanced plants. That's what
    happened. That's the history of life on Earth. The club mosses reigned in the Carboniferous, the ferns in the
    Permian and Triassic, the conifers in the Jurassic and Cretaceous, and the flowering plants since then. We
    can thus infer that animals that have evolved with each of major these plant groups will disappear when the
    plant disappears. There should be at least one theory out there that invokes no catastrophe whatsoever to
    justify at least one extinction. There isn't! Not one paleo-mathemagician has ever proposed that plants WILL
    disappear all on their own -- without the aid of volcanoes or asteroids -- simply when their time comes. This
    is the great failure of Paleo-Mathemagix!

    It is because the paleo-matheamgicians are trained to have such gross misconceptions that they reach
    amusing conclusions with respect to evolution and extinctions. They conclude that Lystrosaurus and
    Thrinaxodon are their great grandfathers. It never occurred to these gawking individuals that we could
    have developed in parallel to these extinct species, that there was another tinier animal running about from
    which the mammalian line descends.

In the Permian, the
volcanists drove the
asteroidists to extinction
and evened the score.

The LINEAR
evolution of Man
according to
Paleo-mathemagix

An alternative
PARALLEL proposal
for the
evolution of Man