To Catch A Crater

It is of the highest importance in the art of detection to be able to recognize out of a number of facts which are incidental and which are vital.' Sir Arthur Conan Doyle he Alvarezes and their supporters had recognized from the start that finding the K-T impact crater would clinch the impact half of their theory, but they also knew that the odds against finding it were high. For one thing, an incoming meteorite has about a 67 percent chance of striking in the ocean, where, if the resulting crater did not lie in the 20 percent of the seafloor that has disappeared down the deep-sea trenches since K-T time, it is likely to have been covered by younger sediments. If the meteorite struck near one of the poles, the crater might now be covered with ice. In short, it was far easier to think of reasons why the K-T crater, if it existed, should not be found than reasons why it should. Clever detective work, and even more importantly, good luck, would surely be required.

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