Poking Fingers in Clay Could Lead You to Great Discovery

One of the things that Walter Alvarez did right, it seems from the beginning, was to consult others in the scientific community. One of which was his father. It was from his father’s idea that he first tried to find out the aging period of a layer of clay. With the first idea being a dud, Walter came up with another idea that seemed to help with the problem-Iridium. He was trying to see how long the “KT” boundary in clay would have taken to be deposited. This would help determine whether dinosaurs were made extinct quickly or gradually. Part of his research turned up a discovery that the decay rate for beryllium at the time was incorrect.

Walter and Luis continued hypothesizing and testing their hypotheses, often times hitting a dead end. Each time, though, they required help from the scientific community. The test with iridium had spread to other scientists worldwide, and they found a consistency in their findings. This helped determine that the event that caused the dinosaurs to go extinct was a massive, global event. With the idea that an asteroid hit the earth, they came up with new hypotheses of what would have happened depending on where the asteroid hit the earth. They had ideas for both ground landing and ocean landing, including the repercussions, like a huge tsunami if it had hit the ocean.

The curiosity of Walter continued as he entered each phase of his adventure to discover the answer to his next question. It seemed his questions were never ending and it also seemed he was never really focused on just one. This we do know, though, that because of his curiosity, and his continued workings with the scientific community, more information has been learned regarding what happened during the time of the dinosaurs than had been known before he started poking his finger at the earth. We learn that the scientific community, when working together, can advance understanding very quickly.

Asteroids and dinosaurs: Unexpected twists and an unfinished story. (2017). Byui.brightspace.com. Retrieved 23 November 2017, from https://byui.brightspace.com/content/enforced/312985-Online.2017.Fall.FDSCI101.52/Course%20Files/Documents/alvarez_wflow.pdf?_&d2lSessionVal=yJWCrDvD65H6DJiynEBzBXozt&ou=312985

Walter Alvarez
Photo by Aditya Vyas on Unsplash

I wrote this as an essay in college 4 years ago...

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It is great that Walter's addiction to asking questions and finding answers is helping with some discoveries on earth.

Probably we need more walters to advance the theories that are buried in research articles, books, and materials so that we can find answers that will help us thrive better as humans on earth

For sure...I'm a fan of thriving :)

So I'm I sir.

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