From Library Journal
Powell is the director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, and taught geology at Oberlin College for 20 years. In 1980, a physicist father and his geologist son rocked the scientific world by their proposed theory that dinosaurs became extinct because of an impact by an asteroid or comet. Powell recounts the bitter debates over Luis and Walter Alvarez's idea and years of intense research that followed, culminating in the discovery of a gigantic crater deeply buried in the Yucatan Peninsula, which seemed to prove the probability that science and evolution are punctuated by random events. The author's presentation of the dramatic events surrounding the controversy, the bitter refutations, and, finally, acceptance of the Alvarez theory is fascinating by itself. But Powell also examines the equally interesting factors that inhibit science from making paradigm shifts. Some formulas and terminology are designed for specialists in the field, but the overall content here is geared to general readers and is utterly engrossing. [Interested readers may also want Walter Alvarez's own account, T. Rex and the Crater of Doom, LJ 6/15/97.?Ed.]?Gloria Maxwell, Kansas City P.L., M.-?Gloria Maxwell, Kansas City P.L., MO
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Scientific American
Powell lays out persuasively the evidence that has accumulated to give force to the Alvarez theory. He also maintains that the impact theory has transformed geology.