Fossil record dating assumptions

It seems they would cut off their nose to spite their face, so long as they do not allow a Divine foot in the door.

They checked assumptions and methods behind evolutionary claims about mass extinctions in earth history.

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Assuming that, the top fossil of a given animal, such as a mollusk, should count as the “last occurrence” (LO) of the species. The mollusks in the cores presented a false extinction pattern, with last occurrences of certain species seemingly “vanishing” from the fossil record at different depths.

When shorelines advanced even farther, shallow-water species disappeared as well.

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Shifts in sea level can also affect sedimentation rates – how quickly mud and sand are deposited.

These factors can cause last occurrences of fossils to cluster together and influence the probability of finding fossils in a given location.“This is to my knowledge, the first empirical study to use the fossil record of living species to test these models rigorously and computationally, rather than theoretically,” Kowalewski said.

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If several species show their LO’s at the same time, scientists would think have identified the date of a mass extinction. The cores also depicted a false pattern of extinction, with the majority of offshore species disappearing in a single large “pulse” in the lower part of the cores and shallow-water and brackish species fading out in several smaller pulses.

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