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hewhocaves
2004-Nov-17, 05:57 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/science/11/17/carolina.dig/index.html

"Scientist: Man in Americas earlier than thought.
Archeologists put man in North America 50,000 years ago"

CNN, the Creduous News Network has tentively pushed the advent of mankind on this hemisphere back to 50,000 BP. Hey, that's only 3 1/2 times longer than current scientific theorey. If that were the age of the earth, they'd only be off by ten billion years.

I'm sure that we could all come up with our own pet lines about how dopey CNN is in this article in particular, but my favorite line is the following:

"Until research is peer-reviewed, objective experts in the field have not necessarily had an opportunity to evaluate a scientist's methods, or weigh in on the validity of his conclusions."

but hey, that doesn't mean we can't tell the public!

by the way, the specimens were CARBON DATED... that's in bold for a reason. C-14 Dating gets wonky (i.e. unreliable) at about 50,000 years. If that doesn't set off warning bells, it should.

Why don't they just use something totally inappropriate like uranium dating that's got a much larger room for error? then they can make really outrageous statements like "we've found evidence that mankind has been here fore a million years... of course our margin of error is one million years and... what?
No... it's accurate. We used the machine at Wal-Mart."

I'm not upset that bad science was done as much as I'm upset that bad scence was reported as good science.

John

Humphrey
2004-Nov-17, 06:25 PM
In South America they have found settlements dating back 30k . But several of those sites were found to be in question due to intrusion into the layer by materials that could throw off the dating.
That could possibly be what happened here.

But i see nuthing wrong with the reasercher in the article. He seems to of followed all the right procedures. Now we just have to wait to see if its verified by his peers.
The only fault with CNN is that CNN is jumping the gun.

[adit: Sure Carbon dating could be faulty back to that point, but that does not mean it was the only dating he used. He might of verified it woith others. ]

hewhocaves
2004-Nov-17, 06:51 PM
But i see nuthing wrong with the reasercher in the article. He seems to of followed all the right procedures. Now we just have to wait to see if its verified by his peers.
The only fault with CNN is that CNN is jumping the gun.


That is exactly my point. gotta get that news story out before MSNBC gets it first!

Two words come to mind: cold and fusion. Any scientist that goes to the newspapers before they go get their work peer-reviwed has massive question marks IMHO.

also, the south american settlements are VERY much in question.
there's a whole raft of questions surrounding pushing people onto this continent back 15 to 20K years, like "where did they come from" and "how did they get here" I beleive (and I'm willign to be wrong on this - just remembering off the top of my head) that the land bridge wasn't up 30KYA. And there's scanty evidence of trans-pacific boats (if any at all) for that period. Annnd there's less than zero (which I difficult, I'll admit) evidence for a trans-atlantic migration then, too. And yet this guy wants it 50KYA. I'm not even sure siberia was settled then, (I think it was about 45KYA) and on the wrong side of the continent, no less.

So we have some VERY controversial findings, the only evidence produced was dubious at best (C14 dating goes to pot about 45KYA - here's a fiarly brief page
http://id-archserve.ucsb.edu/Anth3/Courseware/Chronology/08_Radiocarbon_Dating.html
regarding c-14 limitations, it's a UCal site, i think), the author bypasses the standard peer-review cycle for a news 'splash' and it doesn't mesh with the rest of the archaeological timeline as we know it. Something's going to give and I'm fairly certain that it's not the rest of the archaeological sciences.
Ladies and gentlemen... bad science.

John

Wolverine
2004-Nov-17, 08:54 PM
Realizing I've posted this on the board several times now, I can't help but be reminded why CNN isn't my source for science-related news:

http://home.austin.rr.com/victorsvaliant/cnn2.jpg

Van Rijn
2004-Nov-17, 09:08 PM
Wow! Using the "worp" drive, no doubt ... (think Airplane II)

Wolverine
2004-Nov-17, 09:11 PM
Funny you should mention, Van Rijn -- after a few minutes they corrected the above graphic... sorta... to Shuttle was travelling at Mock 18. Shortly thereafter, they finally got it right. :roll:

VTBoy
2004-Nov-17, 09:16 PM
Funny you should mention, Van Rijn -- after a few minutes they corrected the above graphic... sorta... to Shuttle was travelling at Mock 18. Shortly thereafter, they finally got it right. :roll:

That shouold be Mach 18 right. Just making sure. Thats how fast I assumed it was going.

Wolverine
2004-Nov-17, 09:19 PM
Yes.

Van Rijn
2004-Nov-17, 09:25 PM
Worp. Warp. Mock. Mach. Speed of Light. Speed of Sound. Fiction. Reality. It's All Good! ](*,)

hewhocaves
2004-Nov-18, 04:49 AM
As of at least 10:30 pm tonight, it was the top headline on cnn.com.

If I had any sense of ambition, I'd make a mental note of the pofessors who are even entertining this seriously. *sigh*. and they get tenure...

John

edited to add this link:

this is an older article about the site. Apparantly, the good Doctor in charge was already speculating that the site was 25 - 30KYA before the results came in.
It also says that the only other 'dated' materials on the site were roughly 16KYA, which, while extrordiary in it's own right would not be paradigm-shifting. And again it should be pointed out that he's tossing dates willy-nilly without even getting the evidence tested first, never mind having hsi findings peer-reviewed.

http://64.62.196.98/board/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=8568

edited again: this is what happens when you post late at night.. somehow I missed the entire message board underneath it. lol.

Humphrey
2004-Nov-18, 07:35 AM
Skimming the article i didnt notice anything outright wrong. He was making a estimated guess to a reporter who probobly twisted it into a statement of fact. He never really says that its that old, just a hunch. His methods seem to be siound and that rance you can date prety well. I wonder how it turned out.

If it is true and he verifies a site that old throught several dating techniques than we have good posibiblity for at least two immigration events. Or a Major on 13,000 years ago and a minor one long before.

ComputerTech
2004-Nov-18, 07:51 AM
Realizing I've posted this on the board several times now, I can't help but be reminded why CNN isn't my source for science-related news:

http://home.austin.rr.com/victorsvaliant/cnn2.jpg

Wolverine.. that sounds, very, very, very familiar.

I've alerted the BA.








lol.. no, not really. But, yes you have put this up before... Good for you, no banned poster posted this before you though... :lol:

ComputerTech
2004-Nov-18, 07:52 AM
Skimming the article i didnt notice anything outright wrong. He was making a estimated guess to a reporter who probobly twisted it into a statement of fact. He never really says that its that old, just a hunch. His methods seem to be siound and that rance you can date prety well. I wonder how it turned out.

If it is true and he verifies a site that old throught several dating techniques than we have good posibiblity for at least two immigration events. Or a Major on 13,000 years ago and a minor one long before.

Humphrey, read the article again and put you're debunking helmet on. Then you will see it the way the thread-starter intended you too. :wink:

Careless
2004-Nov-18, 08:34 AM
by the way, the specimens were CARBON DATED... that's in bold for a reason. C-14 Dating gets wonky (i.e. unreliable) at about 50,000 years. If that doesn't set off warning bells, it should.

Why don't they just use something totally inappropriate like uranium dating that's got a much larger room for error? then they can make really outrageous statements like "we've found evidence that mankind has been here fore a million years... of course our margin of error is one million years and... what?
No... it's accurate. We used the machine at Wal-Mart."

I'm not upset that bad science was done as much as I'm upset that bad scence was reported as good science.

John
Problem here: the point is that it's OLD. If the c-14 is so old that its levels are too low for accurate carbon dating, what we've learned is that these things are not much younger, that is, that they're not consistent with the previous theories. It doesn't matter (immediately) specifically how old they are, just that they're older than you'd think they could be
Or have I missed something

swansont
2004-Nov-18, 11:56 AM
But i see nuthing wrong with the reasercher in the article. He seems to of followed all the right procedures. Now we just have to wait to see if its verified by his peers.
The only fault with CNN is that CNN is jumping the gun.


That is exactly my point. gotta get that news story out before MSNBC gets it first!

Two words come to mind: cold and fusion. Any scientist that goes to the newspapers before they go get their work peer-reviwed has massive question marks IMHO.



There are a few physics journals that, after the "cold fusion" fiasco, adopted the policy that they will not publish articles if you've released the information to the press beforehand, or before some cutoff date. That at least ensures the peer-review has occurred.

ToSeek
2004-Nov-18, 03:06 PM
The story has been picked up by numerous sources (http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&lr=&c2coff=1&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&tab=wn&ie=ISO-8859-1&ncl=http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/cnn/2004/TECH/science/11/17/carolina.dig/), including the Washington Post. So it's not just CNN.

hewhocaves
2004-Nov-18, 04:59 PM
the 50KYA date could mean a lot of things. It could mean that the samples provided weren't good samples. It could mean outside contamination, it could mean that whoever did the lab work messed up. It could mean that it wasn't a fire pit to begin with, but was something else that superficially looked like a fire pit. Somewhere it was mentioned that the site was essentialy a shallow depression filled with ash / charcoal and that the debris might have washed here naturally, after a flood, for example.

The point is, we don't know. I'm reminded of the flap that was created when pulsars were discovered. You get regular radio beams that seem to be coming from a distinct point in the sky and aimed right at us. The first, knee-jerk reaction (and the one that everyone wanted to hear, not just the networks) was that it was aliens. Of course, we now know what pulsars are - neuton stars whose mag fields aren't aligned with the axis and also pass through the earth's LOS, thus making them seem to 'pulse' reguarly.

(pulsar definition, courtesy of NASA)
http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l2/pulsars.html

A further point is, that the scientist involved has decided that he's so certain of being right that he can pass by the peer-review step. There's a big problem with being so certain - you'd better actually BE right. If you're not, like Pons and Fleichman, you back yourself into a corner.

Okay, last point... before this stats to look like I'm trying to conduct a one-man witch hunt here, let me state that I'm not trying to besmirch anybody's character here or anything like that. Right now, all we know is that there's the potential that someone made a pretty big boo-boo and then misapplied the results. The boo-boo was further compounded by goign direct to the media before the paper was peer-reviewed. (Imagine a world where the media or some other org. had final say over what was scientifically valid. Actually, you don't have to - just look at the Creationist movement, the UFO people and the direction genetics went in 1930s Soviet Union). Yes, it is possible that Dr. Goodyear is right and we've all been wrong and h. sapiens has been in N. America for 50KY. I don't think that there's an archaeologist who wouldn't be thrilled with that finding. But claims that we really want to be true are exactly the sort of claims that we have to put through the most rigorous testing.

john

Eroica
2004-Nov-18, 05:13 PM
Modern humans, or homo sapiens, most likely emerged between 60,000 and 80,000 years ago in Africa.
I thought modern humans first emerged in Africa around 160,000 years ago.

hewhocaves
2004-Nov-18, 05:42 PM
I found two more articles on the Topper Hill site, for everyone's consideration.

http://www.centerfirstamericans.com/mt.html?a=13
a longish article more or less summarizing the work done between 96 and 01
Max age noted is about 23,000 BP.

by Dr. Goodyear himself regarding the stratigraphy
http://www.centerfirstamericans.com/mt.html?a=14

both articles talk about 'OSL Dating' which was a new one to me. Here are two websites that give brief explanantions of what they are.

http://www.ees.lanl.gov/Resources/osl/BriefOSL.shtml
http://www.shef.ac.uk/uni/academic/I-M/idry/lumindat.html

the first one is more technical (thanks, Los Alamos) - the second is more for the layman. from what I understand of it, Cosmic rays (and other stuff) gets absorbed by regular sediment (i.e. quartz sand) to a sepcified amount (then it's full). Then, once it's buried, it emits its stored radiation at a regular rate.

I guess my first question is: how do you know you have a full charge? (maybe it charges so quickly, you just assume the full charge). And if it charges so quickly, then why can't you just take the artifacts themselves and test them. I think we need more info.

Other thing: for all the old dates, they use OSL (in these 'new' articles), yet in the recent article, they use C-14. Weird. Why go back and use the less reliable dating method?

John

EDIT:

apparantly i got it backwards... #-o

http://www.uga.edu/osl/applications.html

sunlight removes all OSL dating and it gets reestablished by the backgorund radiation in the soil. Anyway, if someone is real familar with this, I'd like them to chime in abut now.

Humphrey
2004-Nov-18, 07:31 PM
Well i heared this guy on CNN. He seems to be going about the excavation and techniques the right way. His 50k carbon dating date seems to be from a single fire pit. But the he could of had more and not just mentionned them.

But he did do one huge boo-boo like the OP stated, he totaly ignored the peer review process. He might go onto it later, but going to the media first is not good.

But so far i see nuthing wrong with his techniques.