Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops driven to extinction by aliens?
Brian Switek – … About halfway through the program, Cremo says, “Some researchers found human footprints alongside the footprints of dinosaurs.” The quote is a line out of context from Cremo’s interview, but is played in a section claiming that American Museum of Natural History paleontologist Roland T. Bird found human footprints associated with dinosaur trackways in the vicinity of Glen Rose, Texas.
Bird didn’t find any such thing. He found many dinosaur footprints and trackways—one of which he and his crew partially excavated and anachronistically placed behind the AMNH’s “Brontosaurus“—but no human tracks. Strangely, though, hoaxed human tracks did have a role to play in Bird’s decision to initially visit the tracksites.
Bird wasn’t the first person to notice the dinosaur tracks, and selling the sauropod and theropod tracks was a cottage industry in the vicinity of Glen Rose. And a few local people carved fake human tracks in the same stone. Bird actually saw a pair of such forgeries at a trading post in Gallup, New Mexico, along with dinosaur tracks removed from the Glen Rose area, shortly before he left to investigate the site himself.
Bird wasn’t fooled by the fakes. He saw them for what they were, and was much more interested in the real dinosaur tracks imprinted in the same stone. But some creationists, blinded by dogma, have put their faith behind fakes and even dinosaur tracks that they have misinterpreted as being human footprints. When theropod dinosaurs squatted down, for example, the backs of their lower legs, the metatarsals, left slightly curved depressions in the Cretaceous sediment, and creationists have misconstrued these markings to be the footsteps of ancient people.
Dye takes up the standard creationist line that humans and dinosaurs coexisted and reappears a little later in the episode to throw his support to a different icon of creationist nonsense—the Ica stones from Peru. These famous fakes are stones engraved with images of dinosaurs and humans interacting. They were created by farmer Basilio Uschuya and his wife, using pop culture depictions of dinosaurs in books as their guides. Despite this, both Dye and the Ancient Aliens program present the stones as if they were authentic ancient artifacts that record the survival of dinosaurs such as Triceratops to almost the present day. Dye says that ancient people must have known a lot about dinosaurs because the stones are engraved so precisely, even though we know that precision came from Uschuya copying mid-20th century dinosaur art so carefully. Our narrator says that scientists are skeptical about the origin of the stones, but nothing more.
The show offers a few other awful gems. Our narrator goes on at length about how carbon-14 dating is unreliable for telling the age of dinosaurs, but paleontologists do not use carbon-14 to estimate the age of non-avian dinosaurs. Radiocarbon dating only works for carbon-bearing materials up to about 60,000 years old. Instead, paleontologists use different radiometric dating techniques to constrain the history of non-avian dinosaurs. In uranium-lead dating, for example, geologists investigate the relative abundance of uranium and lead, the element uranium decays into, to determine the age of the rock the materials were sampled from.
Different dating systems are used for rocks of different ages, and these techniques have put time estimates on when dinosaurs lived. The key is finding layers such as ash beds that contain radioactive materials and are above or below layers containing dinosaurs. Since dinosaur bones themselves can’t be reliably dated, geochronologists determine the age of the under- or overlying rock to constrain the timeframe for when the dinosaur lived. Ancient Aliens, reliant on tired creationist talking points, casts aspersions over a process that the show’s creators clearly don’t understand.
But my favorite bit of babble involves the ultimate fate of the dinosaurs. The show can’t even keep its own story straight. Fringe television personality Franklin Ruehl makes a case for the modern or recent existence of non-avian dinosaurs by way of the coelacanth. These archaic lobe-finned fish, which Ruehl rightly points out were around long before the first dinosaurs evolved, were thought to be extinct before a live one was hauled up off South Africa in 1938. Since then, a handful of fossil coelacanth finds has bridged the gap between their modern representatives and those that lived at the end of the Cretaceous 66 million years ago. Their unexpected reappearance has often been used by cryptozoologists and true-believers of various stripes to claim that some other prehistoric lineage may really still be out there, even if there’s no actual evidence to suggest this is so.
As paleontologist Darren Naish has pointed out multiple times, though, the coelacanth is a red herring. In strata from the past 66 million years or so, at least, coelacanth fossils are rare and hard to identify. It’s not really surprising that their fossil record appears to have petered out. Non-avian dinosaurs, however, had bones that were far more diagnostic. In fact, the resolution of prehistoric eras gets better as we investigate slices of time approaching the present. If creatures as large and distinctive as Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Apatosaurus and Tyrannosaurus really did thrive for millions of years after the end-Cretaceous asteroid impact, they would have turned up in the fossil record by now. The evidence is clear—with the exception of avian dinosaurs, all other dinosaur lineages went extinct about 66 million years ago. …
There were a few real scientists on the program. Paleontologists Luis Chiappe and Mark Wilson, for example, make appearances throughout the show. I can’t help but feel bad for them, and wonder whether scientists should simply boycott appearing on such programs. While I think it’s worthwhile and essential to call out false claims made in the name of science—such as intelligent design and myths of living dinosaurs—programs like Ancient Aliens only abuse scientists. Responsible researchers are typically taken out of context to help set up unsupported fictions spewed by the alien fan club. …
Brian Switek simply does not understand the truth about the aliens. Raul J. Cano and Monica K. Borucki discovered evidence of aliens preserved within the abdomens of insects encased in pieces of amber. They revived more than 1,000 types … – some dating back as far as 135 million years ago, during the age of the dinosaurs. I have no doubt that aliens (their mutated serial endosymbiotic descendants, actually) killed and ate the dinosaurs, including T. Rex. I don’t know if this caused their extinction, however. The early alien’s offspring are still here on earth, but go mostly unnoticed.
As bizarre as it may seem, the sample jars brimming with cloudy, reddish rainwater in Godfrey Louis’s laboratory in southern India may hold, well, aliens.
In April, Louis, a solid-state physicist at Mahatma Gandhi University, published a paper in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Astrophysics and Space Science in which he hypothesizes that the samples — water taken from the mysterious blood-colored showers that fell sporadically across Louis’s home state of Kerala in the summer of 2001 — contain microbes from outer space. Specifically, Louis has isolated strange, thick-walled, red-tinted cell-like structures about 10 microns in size. Stranger still, dozens of his experiments suggest that the particles may lack DNA yet still reproduce plentifully, even in water superheated to nearly 600 degrees Fahrenheit . (The known upper limit for life in water is about 250 degrees Fahrenheit .)
So how to explain them? Louis speculates that the particles could be extraterrestrial bacteria adapted to the harsh conditions of space and that the microbes hitched a ride on a comet or meteorite that later broke apart in the upper atmosphere and mixed with rain clouds above India. If his theory proves correct, the cells would be the first confirmed evidence of alien life and, as such, could yield tantalizing new clues to the origins of life on Earth.
Last winter, Louis sent some of his samples to astronomer Chandra Wickramasinghe and his colleagues at Cardiff University in Wales, who are now attempting to replicate his experiments; Wickramasinghe expects to publish his initial findings later this year. Meanwhile, more down-to-earth theories abound. One Indian government investigation conducted in 2001 lays blame for what some have called the “blood rains” on algae. Other theories have implicated fungal spores, red dust swept up from the Arabian peninsula, even a fine mist of blood cells produced by a meteor striking a high-flying flock of bats.
Louis and his colleagues dismiss all these theories, pointing to the fact that both algae and fungus possess DNA and that blood cells have thin walls and die quickly when exposed to water and air.
More important, they argue, blood cells don’t replicate. “We’ve already got some stunning pictures — transmission electron micrographs — of these cells sliced in the middle,” Wickramasinghe says. “We see them budding, with little daughter cells inside the big cells.” Louis’s theory holds special appeal for Wickramasinghe. A quarter of a century ago, he co-authored the modern theory of panspermia, which posits that bacteria-riddled space rocks seeded life on Earth. “If it’s true that life was introduced by comets four billion years ago,” the astronomer says, “one would expect that microorganisms are still injected into our environment from time to time. This could be one of those events.” The next significant step, explains University of Sheffield microbiologist Milton Wainwright, who is part of another British team now studying Louis’s samples, is to confirm whether the cells truly lack DNA. So far, one preliminary DNA test has come back positive.
“Life as we know it must contain DNA, or it’s not life,” he says. “But even if this organism proves to be an anomaly, the absence of DNA wouldn’t necessarily mean it’s extraterrestrial.”
Louis and Wickramasinghe are planning further experiments to test the cells for specific carbon isotopes. If the results fall outside the norms for life on Earth, it would be powerful new evidence for Louis’s idea, of which even Louis himself remains skeptical.
via CNN (2006)
As I’ve pointed out before, a human sperm cell head is about the size of a bacteria. It contains the complete genetic code for an intelligent human, which gets expressed under the right conditions. I think an intelligent alien species traveled to earth as seeds and that under the right conditions, they mature into large intelligent forms.