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roundtable:a modern mass extinction Watch Show 3:
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Of all species that have existed on Earth, 99.9 percent are now extinct. Many of them perished in five cataclysmic events.

According to a recent poll, seven out of ten biologists think we are currently in the throes of a sixth mass extinction. Some say it could wipe out as many as 90 percent of all species living today. Yet other scientists dispute such dire projections.

As our panelists debate the issue, they also consider how one species -- Homo sapiens -- may be triggering a modern mass extinction.

are we in the midst of a mass extinction
  Question submittal is now closed. Please read the panelists' answers to user-submitted questions.
How the Roundtable Works
Four expert panelists have written statements in response to the opening question above.

Click on each panelist's name to learn about them and to read their statement.

Visitors to this Web site sent additional questions by e-mail, questions which generated both agreement and dissent from our panelists. Responses demonstrate the connections between studies of evolutionary history and efforts to understand the significance of ongoing changes in global ecology.

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