Hugh Ross asks us to consider the Pliocene extinction:
Two years ago, a team of seven ecologists and paleontologists from Switzerland, Panama, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States identified a previously unrecognized mass extinction event. They determined that 36% of the Pliocene marine megafauna (mammals, seabirds, turtles, and sharks) genera failed to survive into the Pleistocene. The Pliocene Epoch extended from 5.333 to 2.580 million years ago while the Pleistocene Epoch spanned from 2.580 million years ago to 11,700 years ago.
The seven ecologists ascertained that the Pliocene-Pleistocene mass extinction event especially impacted animal species with high energy requirements. Animal species that lived in coastal and continental shelf marine habitats were also especially impacted.
A month ago, three astrobiologists published a paper in which they presented evidence that a nearby supernova either caused or was a substantial contributor to the Pliocene-Pleistocene mass extinction event. They first pointed out that there is independent evidence from multiple sources for up to ten nearby supernova eruption events during the past 8 million years. Of these supernovae, the one that impacted Earth most strongly occurred about 2.6 million years ago.4 This ensemble of supernova eruption events also formed the Local Bubble in the nearby interstellar medium…
As with all mass extinction events that have occurred in the history of Earth’s life, the Pliocene-Pleistocene mass extinction event poses a serious challenge to models attempting to explain the history of Earth’s life by strictly natural means. The general trend in that history reflects a pattern of increasing numbers of species of life where the most complex life-forms become progressively complex and advanced. Thus, on average, the rate of speciation must exceed the rate of extinction. While natural processes and events can explain the extinctions, they are not able to explain the speciations. Naturalistic models are especially challenged to explain high rates of speciation for large-bodied, advanced animals. A creation model can readily explain the speciation rates as stemming from the mind of a supernatural Creator who replaces species when he pleases and for his purposes.Hugh Ross, “Another Megafaunal Extinction Challenge to Naturalistic Evolution” at Reasons to Believe
See also: Is there a fixed time limit for recovery after mass extinctions?
Learning more about the asteroid that doomed the dinosaurs
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