Wednesday, July 17, 2013

1307.4266 (C. A. L. Bailer-Jones et al.)

Evidence for periodicities in the extinction record? Response to Melott & Bambach [arXiv:1307.1884]    [PDF]

C. A. L. Bailer-Jones, F. Feng
In a recent paper, we applied time series analysis methods to study the possible influence of the solar motion through the Galaxy on terrestrial extinction (Feng & Bailer-Jones 2013). We drew conclusions about the relative probabilities of how well different models explain the geological extinction record. We found no strong evidence for either a periodicity in the extinction record or for a link between the solar orbit and this extinction record. In response to this, Melott & Bambach (2013) dedicate the majority of their article to criticizing our analysis. Their main objection is to evidence-based model comparison. Here we deal with their criticisms one by one, and show that they are largely misplaced, leaving our conclusions unaffected. The bottom line is that although one can get a periodic model at some period to fit the extinction data, there are other models which explain the data better.
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