Damn! Fox News Is Stupid!

Via Highly Allochthonous comes this horrible story from Fox News. The story is supposed to be about lung cancer in China caused by people burning coal that formed 250 million years ago. The story veers strait into stupidity in the first paragraph:

The tremendous volcanic eruption thought to be responsible for Earth’s largest mass extinction – which killed more than 70 percent of plants and dinosaurs walking the planet 250 million years ago – is still taking lives today.

Yup, that’s right. Dinosaurs went extinct 250 million years ago! Now, I’m no dinosaur expert but dinosaurs are generally considered to range from about 230 million to about 65 million years ago. The extinction event 250 million years ago, at the Permian-Triassic boundary, did wipe out a lot of reptiles including sauropsids and therapsids. Which is partially where the confusion lies. Apparently for Fox News any prehistoric reptile – especially if it includes the word sauropsid – is a dinosaur.

Of course that does not explain the final paragraph which really muddles things:

The cause of the dinosaurs’ demise is far from an open-and-shut case. Many experts support the theory that an asteroid impact on the Yucatan Peninsula off Mexico (called the Chicxulub impact) was behind the cataclysm, others question whether the extinction was caused by an impact at all, and suggest that climate changes and volcanism were responsible. One line of reasoning holds that all three phenomena were to blame.

I guess Chicxulub had a retroactive extinction effect…

Uodate 1: I have fixed the links and so I deleted my comment

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2 Responses

  1. It seems the Yale Skull and Bones society is selling off a skull which it once used as a ballot box.
    http://www.courant.com/features/lifestyle/hc-skull-and-bones-yale-secret-yale-society-0105,0,3007686.story

    Totally off-topic, but I thought you might find it interesting.
    It reminds me of the rumor that the Yale skull and bones society has parts of Geronimo’s skeleton.

  2. People who read this also read:

    –Anti-Wrinkle Bras and Protein Undies: High-Tech Lingerie Is Here

    –Loch Ness Monster Alive and Well, Thank You Very Much

    –Are Vampires More Than Spooky Subculture?

    I have to give Fox’s Science and Technology team credit for keeping us informed about the really important stories.

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