The Alvarez Hypothesis?
How Alvarez got his name in lights
Certainly, the most popular cause proposed for extinction is the alleged asteroid that struck the Earth
and did away with the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. This proposal is known as the Alvarez Hypothesis
in honor of the father and son team that published it in 1980. Actually, the Alvarez Hypothesis serves more
as an example of how the powerful mathemagical classes have gained the upper hand in the world of
'science' and today manipulate public opinion through their complete control of the scientific publishing
world. The popularity of the Asteroid Theory has little to do with Science and much to do with authority,
peer pressure, censorship, celebrity status, and how 'science' is done these days. It tells us nothing about
how the dinosaurs disappeared in the past.
Max De Laubenfels published his extraterrestrial impact theory in January of 1956 in the Journal of
Paleontology, 24 years before the Alvarezes. He wrote...
be expected to result from intensely hot winds such as would be generated by
extra large meteoritic or planetesimal impacts... It is not fantastic to consider
the likelihood that an extra large impact affected this planet some sixty million
years ago. No human being was here to see it, or study it with radar. But just
such extinctions occurred, and just such survivals occurred, at the end of the
Cretaceous, as would be expected to occur as the result of impact from a
planetesimal or an extra large shower of meteorites."
Drawing upon the experience of the Tunguska Event of 1908, he even went further and calculated the size
and speed the planetesimal must've had...
MV2/2, its mass 3X107 tons or 3X1013 grams. The total calories possible from
the conversion of this kinetic energy into heat energy would be 1.5 X 1025, Or
enough to boil 1016 tons of water. In the entire ocean, there are only some
1018 tons of water. The energy sufficient to boil 1016 tons of water would be
enough to boil 3X107 tons of iron, much of the surrounding earth, and still allow
for terrific radiation outward into space.
212,890,625 times as much heat, an almost incomprehensible figure.
enough to boil 1014 tons of water. Assuming that to boil iron requires ten times
the calories required to boil the same mass of water, this heat would still
vaporize 1013 tons of iron, whereas the meteorite mass was 3X107.
of its impact; a region about twice its diameter, to vaporization, a much larger
area to incandescence, more than a thousand kilometers diameter to the boiling
point of water, and the whole world notably but briefly."
Clearly, De Laubenfels proposed the ET theory before the Alvarezes. There is nothing regarding the
mechanism that is different in the Alvarez paper. Just in case, Napier and Clube published a similar
thesis in Nature in 1979, a few months before the Alvarezes.
However, De Laubenfels made two fatal errors. The first error made by De Laubenfels is that he was a
nobody. He should have tried to be a somebody before publishing. In contemporary 'science' it is more
important to know the right people than to propose an explanation. No one reads the papers written by
nobodies. Come to think of it, no one reads papers written by somebodies either. For instance, everyone
on the planet has heard the name Einstein. This word is widely treated as a synonym of intelligence.
However, there are but a handful of people in the world who have read Einstein's papers or that can tell
you what Einstein is famous for. Ditto for Stephen Hawking. Is Hawking famous for moving around on a
wheelchair with a voice synthesizer? Is this his claim to fame? Is this what he contributed to Science?
Even to this day De Laubenfels doesn't have an article in his name at the Wikipedia as the author of the
ET theory. Full credit is given to the Alvarezes despite that in their paper they reference the De Laubenfels article.
The second fatal error that De Laubenfels made is that in the religion of Mathemagics it is not the theory
that counts, but rather the evidence that is presented. The mathemagicians aren't interested in
understanding... especially if the theory is logical. No one in the scientific world expects rational theories
any more and haven't for at least a century. Richard Feynman famously said, "No one understands
Quantum Mechanics." But if you attempt to challenge any part of Quantum Theory, your manuscript is
summarily rejected. Likewise, the mathemagicians who now control the Paleo world today do not expect
rational theories because the worldly wisdom is that humans cannot possibly understand the universe we
live in. Therefore, if you come up with a rational theory, it is certainly wrong. You are in effect proposing
that we can make sense of how this universe works. That would certainly be quite unprecedented... and
arrogant of you!
The mathemagician of today doesn't want to hear theories. He wants to be entertained by evidence. He
doesn't want to listen to your reasoning. He wants you to prove it to him. And what better evidence is
there in the mathemagical world than testimony from celebrities. If a big name within the guild says it's
true, who are you to argue against him? He's got a Nobel medal hanging on his chest. What do you have?
A mathemagician equates theory with philosophy, opinion, idle talk at the cafe. He's got no time or
patience for gossip and small talk. The reason the Alvarezes got away with placing their names on De
Laubenfels' theory is that the religion of Mathemagical 'fizzix' emphasizes authority and persuasion...
your proposal." "Have you submitted your manuscript to peer review?"
because they said it was too rational to be published!"
It seems like no one can think on his own and reach his own conclusion without consulting with an alleged
expert first. Yet not a single 'expert' can give you a fool proof theory of extinction. By foolproof, I mean
one that objectively guarantees the elimination of a species or class of animals. After the Alvarez coup
d' etat, Paleontology became just another branch of Mathemagics.
Explanations are deemed to be trivial, especially if they are rational. An explanation must be wrong if
it can make sense of the Universe. What is important to the mathemagicians is evidence, the evidence
one introduces in support of one's theory, especially if the evidence comes in the form of equations and
testimony. The goal of the Mathemagix Klub is to persuade in order to convince in order to recruit. For
this purpose evidence in the form expert testimony such as a prosecutor would introduce in a court case
is absolutely essential.
For instance, there is not one explanation or physical interpretation of Quantum Mechanics or General
Relativity that is rational. The surprising thing is that stating that Quantum is irrational doesn't cause
anyone to bat an eyelash anymore. The mathemagicians freely admit that their theories are irrational.
Thus, they have taken the wind out of your sails. Richard Feynman famously said "No one understands
Quantum Mechanics!" And yet you can't publish a paper attacking any part of this religion. The
mathemagicians claim in the same voice that QM has been proven and is no longer up for debate. The
mathemagicians freely and calmly explain that no one expects the theories of Physics to be rational
anymore. They are careful to clarify that what is irrational is to expect the Universe to work according
to the notions of rationality and common sense of humans, (i.e., in a way that we can comprehend it).
Such replies bring back memories of the excuses of traditional religions: "We cannot comprehend the
ways of God." or "God works in mysterious ways." Nothing has changed in 10,000 years. The priests
gave way to the mathemagicians, the black habit to the white lab coat.
It's as a result of this that the mathemagicians seek to convince their 'equals' with experiments and
numbers and evidence, especially testimony from people blessed with authority. Hawking gives a
personal anecdote about an editor who sent a paper to him to determine whether it should be published.
But what is the purpose of evidence?
The purpose of evidence is to persuade and the purpose of persuasion is to recruit. Evidence is the
bread and butter of lawyers, politicians, priests, and other scoundrels. Explanations are the tools of
scientists. Inexplicably, the mathemagician brushes aside explanation without evidence as a waste of
time, as small talk at the cafe, as abstract philosophy. If Hawking or some other big name hasn't
blessed it, your theory will never see the light of day. And since 99.99% Of humanity has been
conditioned to drool in the presence of celebrity and authority, the common man has grown
accustomed to ask for autographs rather than for explanations.
De Laubenfels presented a theory. The Alvarezes presented evidence, ironically, evidence for the De
Laubenfels theory. Science is about theories, not about evidence! The 'great' contribution to ''science'
from the Alvarezes and which made them famous was that they discovered a layer of iridium near the
K-T border. It is unusual to find iridium in such quantities at that level. Of course, the Alvarezes cannot
explain why the other dozens of ET impacts never left a layer of iridium nor a mass extinction in their
wake. Therefore, the discovery of the iridium layer at the K-T boundary gave credence to the theory.
Pursuant to the rules of the Mathemagics Asylum the Alvarezes and not De Laubenfels get the cigar.
Suddenly, by decree, because of the simple bad habit of putting more weight on evidence than on
explanations, Paleontology passed into the hands of the mathemagicians. It no longer was a qualitative
science where people can offer rational theories for extinction. Overnight, it all became a question of
numbers and experiments and proofs and evidence. The question was no longer an issue of how the
dinosaurs became extinct. The new questions that the 'paleomathemagicontologists' were investigating
were of a quantitative nature:
What was its mass?
At what velocity could it have been traveling in order to produce such a catastrophe?
What amount of dust spread throughout the atmosphere to cover the Earth and
The site of the crash was the most important issue because without evidence, the religion of Mathemagics
is lost. The theory itself collapses for lack of evidence irrespective of its soundness!
The paleontologists bowed down to their superiors – the mathemagicians – and allowed the take-over of
their guild. Under the direction of their masters in the world of Mathemagics, the paleontologists changed
course. Instead of trying to research the causes of extinction, the geologists, paleontologists and
anthropologists were busy in the fields trying to be the first one to find evidence to support the already
proven and certified 'Alvarez' Hypothesis, specifically, the site of the impact. Meanwhile, colleagues with
missionary vocation, took on the task of spreading the new evangelism from door to door among the
masses. From then on it was merely question of discovering where the ET rock struck. And, wouldn't you
know it? They discovered a hole in Mexico known today as the Chicxulub Crater. Of course, the Permian
bloodhounds also found an asteroid impact in Antarctica to justify the greatest mass extinction of all
times, but the experts brushed that one aside and no one will ever hear about it again.
But they're wrong! They're all wrong! The asteroid did not fall in Mexico! The asteroid fell on Science!
We now had an unassailable theory -- known today as the Alvarez Hypothesis. We now had irrefutable
evidence in the form of a layer of iridium. And above all we now had the certified authority of Luis Alvarez
to push his theory throughout the world. In the year 2010, 41 'experts' from around the world decreed
that Alvarez was 'right' and that whatever alternative theory anyone else proposes is wrong. The book of
the K-T Extinction was closed forever. The Alvarez Hypothesis can't be challenged anymore, especially by
those who fear for their careers. It is no longer even a theory. It is now a fact!
This is in a few words the reason the majority of the people in the world believe in the impact theory
today. They have no idea where the theory came from or how it came to be the only one on the table.
The student of today has no chance to question such poppycock. The best he can hope for is to
memorize the magical words the prophets drive into their heads in college if he wants to pass the course
at the end of the year: "An asteroid killed the dinosaurs. It has been proven by experts. If it hadn't been
for that lucky strike, T-Rex would still be roaming the streets of New York today!"
So how do you become an expert and a celebrity?
Well, one way to do it is to imitate what successful people did to strike it rich. One such celebrity is
undoubtedly Luis Alvarez. It is worthwhile to briefly review how this bitter individual climbed up the ladder.
Luis Alvarez was one of the mathemagicians who contributed to the development of the plutonium bomb
(Fat Man) that destroyed Nagasaki. He was a critical piece in the puzzle, so much so that the Armed
Forces of the United States placed him on the observation plane The Great Artiste that supervised the
explosion over Hiroshima... perhaps so that this alleged scientist could count how many people the bomb
could kill and develop a more potent one for the next war. As a result of his work with the bomb, with his
development of radar technology, and with other contributions to the Military Industrial Complex, Alvarez
managed to make a lot of friends. He established immensely valuable contacts with influential people in
the military, in government and in academia. It is thus how his cronies in the Mathemagical world would
eventually grant him a Nobel Prize in 1968, allegedly for promoting yet another idiotic explanation of the
religion of Quantum Mechanics. Alvarez returns the favor in 1976 giving his testimony on behalf of the
U.S. Government to convince its more gullible citizens that John Kennedy was shot through the head
With his work on the bomb and a Nobel in his pocket and his military connections and in the Mathemagical
world and his strategic contribution to the Kennedy Assassination, Alvarez had more than enough authority
and credentials to put behind his son Walter, a nobody who usurped De Laubenfels' theory and made it his.
The fact that his daddy Luis was placed as the lead author of the article says much about the strategy the
team followed to get their paper at the top of the list. It also says a lot about how these things are handled
in the publishing world. The idea is not to propose a rational theory objectively, but to sway the masses
and influential people through authority.
However, Luis Alvarez, a ruthless and unscrupulous individual, didn't stop there. He also belittled rivals
and pulled strings to eliminate competing theories, another hallmark of the Mathemagical Establishment.
Specifically, he did everything within his power to destroy the alternative theory (as well as the academic
career) of geologist Dewey McLean. We didn't learn much about how the dinosaurs became extinct, but
we did about how theories are filtered and peddled to the public.
|If it hadn't been for that asteroid, T-Rex would be dancing in the
streets of New York today!
|Walking on Dinosaurs
Luis Alvarez's star at the
Dinosaur Walk of Shame
|To comment on any of the pages in this website go to:
Rational Scientific Method
|The History of Life on Earth