Book on PT – but not this PT


Over at Scientist, Interrupted there is an excellent review of a new book by Smithsonian paleontologist Doug Erwin. The review speaks of “the PT boundary” and “the PT mass extinction”, but, sadly for creationists, it is speaking not of the Panda’s Thumb, but the Permian-Triassic boundary. The PT mass extinction is the largest and most severe mass extinction recorded in the fossil record, and (unlike the KT boundary, due to a bolide impact), scientists have not reached consensus on what the the primary cause(s) were.

Erwin’s book is entitled Extinction: How Life Nearly Ended 250 Million Years Ago. Check out the review and the book.


Scientists have announced evidence of a crater buried beneath the Antarctic ice that has about the right age (~250 million years) to serve as a possible explanation for this extinction.

A fine write-up of this discovery is posted here at Universe[…].html?662006

I was just wondering why he thought of an impact as a possible cause of the PT extinction ? The KT boundary is marked by a thin layer of sediment which contains much higher than normal amounts of the element iridium. This metal is found in abundance in only two places: (1) Magma and (2) Meteorites. Hence the impact theory as a possible cause of the KT extinction. Is there similar evidence at the PT boundary ?

It does sound like an interesting read. I must search it out when it’s available in the UK.

Doggone it, I wanted to get that post about the crater in first. The NYT also has an article about it online.

I suppose it goes without saying that it ticks me off no end when IDers spread their BS in all their ignorant arrogance. The true scientists that I know (and was when I was in research) are actually doing research, getting off their butts, traveling to difficult (OK, and exciting) locales, writing and publishing, teaching, writing grant proposals, etc. The scientists are not only doing work, they are using the theories to make further discoveries (predictions, if you will). This is something that ID will never do, and in fact, if they had their way, would stop.

True scientists will have the satisfaction of knowing that they really did add to the boundaries of knowledge, expanding our universe.

IDers will never have the joy of discovery, of furthering human knowledge, because all they want to say is Goddidit. /rant

“IDers will never have the joy of discovery, of furthering human knowledge, because all they want to say is Goddidit.”

If someone petitions the designer, and if the designer answers unequivocally, then they will have the joy of discovery. If an effort is made to search, perhaps an exciting answer can be received.

The only way of knowing if the words “ask, and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock, and it shall be opened” are true, is to put them to a personal (and sustained) test.

As to why there might not be an iridium layer associated with the PT boundary, while it may be true that iridium is found in meteors, it does not follow that iridium is found in all meteors. The ubiquitous iridium layer in 65MYO sediment all over the world was a dead giveaway for a meteor impact and led to the search for a crater, but the absence of an iridium layer does not rule out an impact. Craters can also be caused by carbonaceous meteors and comets.

I might be guilty of feeding the troll here, but here goes: Hey apollo230, can you give some more details on “If someone petitions the designer”? “If an effort is made to search” What would it entail? Be as specific as possible with the methods one would petition the “designer” and search. Also, outline any previous results obtatined by the search method, if available. Anecdotes are not acceptable as data.

“…put them to a personal (and sustained) test”. What are you trying to say here? What are “personal” tests?

Zohn Wrote:

What are you trying to say here? What are “personal” tests?

There will be three trials: a Test of the Body, a Test of the Mind, and a Test of the Heart.

Any or all might have monsters.

Owlbears, most likely.

GvlGeologist Wrote:

IDers will never have the joy of discovery, of furthering human knowledge, because all they want to say is Goddidit.

ID leaders always have the joy of discovery - of learning new quotes to mine, and new ways of misrepresenting evolution and the nature of science. They try not to say that “Goddidit,” though not hard enough to avoid getting caught.

Rank and file IDers (actually classic creationists who find ID’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach appealing) are just being scammed. Most have not even thought of wondering why IDers refuse to say what the designer did and when.

Hello, Zohn, any search for a designer would (obviously) have all the look and feel of a religious quest-petition would involve some kind of prayer, and in order to listen for a direct response meditation could prove helpful.

To validate intelligent design, one must have a designer “in hand”-not on a chalkboard. It is an extraordinary claim, and extraordinary claims do require extraordinary proof (per Carl Sagan), so mathematical design inferences would not be enough, rather, direct experience would be mandated. To get the designer in hand, the best methods to use would probably be ones long favored by traditional religions. I myself prefer meditation.

Is this traditional science? My personal conviction is: “Yes” and “No”.

“Yes” in that a hypothesis would be formed (does desiger exist), tested (using some method of petition and ongoing meditative practice) and if a detection did come more testing would follow (reproducibility is a must). Science probes reality as a matter of course. The search for a designer is itself a probe of reality.

“No” in the sense that any positive results would not be readily reproducible for the benefit of others-if at all. Without this reproducibility, peer review would be impossible. Granted, about all the prior data we have regarding a designer are personal accounts-what you term anecdotes. In this type of search, one will have to get one’s own data. The basic methodology of seeking desigers is clearly unique as well, tailored for the task at hand.

Looking for (presumably disembodied) designers is clearly the most difficult research subject of all to address. However, any probe of reality would not be complete, in my humble opinion, without addressing precisely this issue.

For those of you not so inclined in this direction, do feel free to disregard my post.

Best regards, apollo230

That’s a classic:

Some jumbled up hokum that tries to take propaganda from the Discovery Institute and slap some pseudo-Eastern(Asian) spin on to it.

These guys at the very least can occasionally be entertaining. :-)

“No” in the sense that any positive results would not be readily reproducible for the benefit of others-if at all. Without this reproducibility, peer review would be impossible.

Also “no” in the sense that those who disagree with the content of the “results” would simply deny the existense of the results, or say that they came from someone other than God (i.e., SATAN!!!); and there would be no way for you to prove or disprove anything to the satisfaction of such antagonists.

I would seriously encourage everyone who is committed to the absolute truth of the Bible in areas of science, morality, and politics to spend as much time in prayer as possible. Eight, even 10 hours a day, at a minimum. Fervent, devoted prayer–the kind that takes all of your energy and all of your focus. In a kneeling position, say, in a special darkened “prayer closet” designed just for that purpose.

That ought to help make rational society safer for the rest of us. You can’t hurt other people when you’re mumbling to yourself in a dark closet.

Apollo230 seems harmless if confused on Eastern philosophy. I always thought meditation’s purpose was to clear ones mind not fill it with improbables

The Great Way has no gate; there are a thousand paths to it. If you pass through the barrier, you walk the universe alone.

- Wu-Men

A 14th Century Zen Kohn.

Why are people called Buddhas After they die? Because they don’t grumble any more, Because they don’t make a nuisance Of themselves any more.

- Ikkyu


He was a messaih AND a very naughty boy.

Ikkyu was among the few Zen priests who argued that his enlightenment was deepened by consorting with pavilion girls.

Studying texts and stiff meditation can make you lose your Original Mind. A solitary tune by a fisherman, though, can be an invaluable treasure. Dusk rain on the river, the moon peeking in and out of the clouds; Elegant beyond words, he chants his songs night after night. A Fisherman - Ikkyu

Hello, K.E.!

What I meant to say about meditation was that it could be used as a listening device to sniff out a designer’s potential response.

My (elaborated) idea of listening was to observe reality and the flow of consciousness with relaxed mind. One does not want to actively encourage (or discourage) any mental traffic-but rather observe everything as “calmly as possible”. When that habit of listening is cultivated on a regular basis, the brain may change over time, facilitating the potential of deeper perception - and designer detection? It is impossible to say for sure what will be found down that road until we get there.

My proposal for meditation was not to fill one’s head with all manner of speculation which would muddy the waters. Observing is the idea.

You’ve clearly been exposed to Eastern thought, so I do not want to presume to lecture you at length what meditation is.

Ikkyu sounded like a very unconventional man. I will study his example.

Best regards,


You’ve clearly been exposed to Eastern thought

And you clearly have not. If you had, you’d recognize the wisdom in the saying “if you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.”

I will study his example

Why? Don’t you have your OWN path to follow . … ?

Are you looking at the moon, or just at the finger pointing to it?

Andrew McClure stated: “There will be three trials: a Test of the Body, a Test of the Mind, and a Test of the Heart. Any or all might have monsters.”

Sounds like the makings of another Indiana Jones movie!

No true understanding is achieved without cost. Any path to genuine enlightenment will likely be populated by tests and hardships-figurative “monsters” if you will. Completing the journey may require the nerve and skill that young Phaeton lacked when he tried his hands at taking his father’s (Apollo’s) solar chariot across the skies-only to plunge to the earth and crash.

Best regards, apollo230

Hello, Lenny. Actually I’ve been exploring Eastern ideas for 20 years, and I recognized both your cited axioms instantly.

Killing the Buddha when one encounters him is an oldie but a goodie. Any intellectually honest person will follow that logic. I try to nurture my internal agnostic on a regular basis: by suspending judgement and accepting nothing as final.

Best regards, apollo230

Actually I’ve been exploring Eastern ideas for 20 years

Since 1979, for me. Three and a half years of formal study.

And it sounds to me as if you missed the entire point.

uh dudes

“PT mass extinction”, but, sadly for creationists, it is speaking not of the Panda’s Thumb”

that would be a good thing not to be involved in a mass extinction…I mean sudden like … not like the slow steady extinction events we are experiencing now…

so it should be “happily” (sic) except that we are actually in a mass extinction event right now.

maybe that’s nappiooly?

i really really like that apollo link…I had read another desc earlier but this was way cool

Hello, Kevin, yes, there may be another mass extinction in the making. The thought makes me tremble. If more mutual respect and civility are practiced, then we as a species may be able to engineer an alternative future.

Best regards, apollo230

since we are now in Xialin or Xianity.…I say

It is as the same to walk the soft path of indulgence and vanity as it is to walk the hard road of sacrifice and self-effacement.

you can lose yourself in either persuit.

better to (walk the path between the dawn and the dusk and then sleep. and then rise at moonrise and walk the land in silence and beauty) as it is to (prowl the backthoughts in the dimness and then yawn at the dawn.) today.

“yes, there may be another mass extinction in the making”

er now not like … whenever!

don’t temble my son … seek your answers at LBC…they will console you.…the days are apon us now and no comet shall ensue

“Since 1979, for me. Three and a half years of formal study.

And it sounds to me as if you missed the entire point.”

Lenny Lenny Lenny.…


“yes and it looks like another 20 years would yield the same result”…

just smoother.…

I like apollo.…at least hes greek if you know what i mean///

Ooookay, how the heck did this thread turn into a discussion of Zen Buddhism?

Not that I’m protesting - it’s very entertaining to watch people complaining that other people don’t understand the Way.

Hello, again, Corkscrew! You can blame the “resident troll” (me) for turning this thread into a discussion of Zen!

I kindly refer you to the first post: it links to a fine write-up of a recently-discovered Antarctic crater that may explain the great Permian extinction (on

Best regards, apollo230

There is, of course, nothing to understand. (shrug)


Hello again, Lenny!

A few more humble thoughts (if you care to give them any hearing):

Clearly, true understanding of “ultimate reality” is achieved in one way only: “up-close and personal”. Knowledge of “THE Subject” is conveyed through direct experience only. Mere mental constructs (models) do not spawn genuine understanding of this “Tao”. This ultimate target defines itself with itself. That is the best stab at the problem that this little brain can muster!

Additionally, nothing knowledgable about this “final essence” can be conveyed in words. One would have to state the “essence” itself (if that’s even possible). Therefore, I am not sure that one can even say “there is nothing to understand” and hope to convey “genuine knowledge” of this “Final Stuff”. However, I honestly do not fault you at all, Lenny for saying such a thing, heck, it’s a difficult subject for anyone. I hasten to add that I have no more right than you to venture comments about the matter.

Another little point I wish to make is: Religion matures when it goes from dogma to direct experience of the “divine” (assuming it’s methods: meditation and petition, have the power to vault one from mere subjectivity to genuine objective experiences). Science matures when it suspends judgment and keeps pressing for more first-hand empirical data. Therefore, in theory, these two paths should converge at the same point-assuming that the “real jobs” of both science and religion are to determine the true nature of reality (others may say that co-mingling the two disciplines is problematical- a judgment that I do respect, albeit it my own way).

Best regards, apollo230

Um, why are you preaching here?

This resident “troll” will give credit where credit is due: Panda’s Thumb’s management is to be lauded for giving guests generous latitude to air their opinions-even when these statements differ from the mainstream positions of this weblog. *Hats off* to the management.

Best regards, apollo230

P.S. I am not a BIG troll, I do believe in ancient earth and common ancestry! :)

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