[extropy-chat] Deep-earth methane generation
hal at finney.org
Thu Apr 28 21:33:35 UTC 2005
Bret Kulakovich writes:
> The question for me began when I was very young - and although this may
> be flawed, it made for further inquiry: If dinosaurs got stuck in and
> died in the LaBrea tar pits, then what dinosaurs died to make the tar
> pits in the first place? It seemed like a chicken and egg scenario.
The La Brea tar pits don't actually contain dinosaurs. They are much
newer and only contain relatively recent animals like mammoths and
saber tooth tigers (as well as non-extinct animals). They go back tens
of thousands of years, thousands of times less than the time interval
to the dinosaurs. Comparatively speaking, the tar pits are a modern
day phenomenon. The only reason that the animals in the tar pits are
extinct is because of a mass extinction event in North America which
roughly coincided with the introduction of humans to the continent.
> The answer was eventually in chemistry class. We've all taken a
> carbohydrate, and cooked it to make caramel. The Earth takes
> hydrocarbons, aggregated at planetary formation, and cooks them into
> crude. Given that it has been shown that high impacts involving
> hydrocarbons have even formed protein chains, I think this at some
> point becomes obvious. It is our distance from the sun that put so much
> oil in Earth, not a bunch of dead matter.
As you probably know, that's not the conventional scientific explanation.
My advice is to give more credence to the belief which is widely held
by experts who have devoted their lives to the study of the field.
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