--Tommy Jefferson Mon Feb 4 00:20:24 2008
The atmosphere's thinness is what makes its protective abilities remarkable, but then again, humans and other earthlife are scaled for its protectiveness-- what it can't protect us from, we've largely found other defenses for (skin and hair, immune systems, warm-bloodedness), and life that requires much more protection failed to thrive. 

What's left, of course, is asteroids, some of which are obliterated by the atmosphere, some of which are deflected by it... and it only takes one to get through.
--LAN3 Mon Feb 4 12:33:20 2008
Asteroids and geothermic faults! I know Supervolcanoes had its day in the tin foil hat sun, but there is a ton we don't know about what's going on under the crust. (Heck, I didn't even realize the core of the Earth is thought to be as hot as the surface of the sun!)
--Kirk Mon Feb 4 12:44:18 2008
And the crust, of course, is much thinner than the atmosphere, but only in the way that rock is thinner than air.
--LAN3 Mon Feb 4 22:30:08 2008

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