Kerr Watch

Elapsed time since Richard Kerr failed to inform his Science readers of the confirmation of nanodiamonds at the YDB: 6 years, 4 months, and 5 days

Datestamp: World’s oldest monument memorializes Younger Dryas comet impact


What does that fox say?

Times of London


Ok, I’ve finally found a little time to provide some commentary after posting the Gobekli Tepe \ YD Comet paper last week. I have more substantive comments underway (believe it or not) but first I thought I would rail a bit about the press.

The treatment of this particular story by the American press, and its larger context, the Younger Dryas Boundary Impact Hypothesis, continues to be despicable. The Brits led the way again on this subject and carried most of the planet in their wake. This fascinating little paper is being picked up all over the globe with dozens of re-writes by hundreds of publications — but very nearly zero from the US.

It would seem the US science desks and editors could find some common interest in this subject with our closest intellectual cousin, global warming certainly dominates coverage in both countries. But no. Just like the Widespread Platinum paper in Nature Reports last month, crickets in the US and reported in the UK. It seems we have our own science news, and they have theirs. How’s that for legitimacy of science?

The always depressing fact is that the U.S. science press has become so overtly politicized that it has no ink for anything that does not extend the narrative. There is no room for a serious, mitigable and global “science” threat that does not involve polluters and conservatives as the bad guys. Space rocks are hard to blame – and distracting.

Imagine if a media kid dares take this seriously, and (gasp) does some ‘enterprise reporting’ on the magnitude and quality of the research? They may reveal to themselves a threat on a par with CO2. Who would embark on a writing project that might result in THAT? For the rest of their career they would be intellectually compelled to write the next global warming story with an acknowledgement that the subject is our #2 global problem. That makes it hard to get up in morning to cover the March for Science.

So why the Brits? I think catastrophism, as a philosophy and a way to see world, is still a faint cultural recollection for them. And therefore of more interest to their readers and their writers. Like so many non-US cultures, they are still surrounded by their dragons — and most have had to consider at least once whether their ancestors really saw flying fire lizards, were full of shit, or maybe, just maybe, they saw flaming bolides with smokey snake tails — just like they record today with their iPhones.

Moreover, a hardy band of UK researchers have been making precisely these same claims in peer-reviewed publications for many decades — approximately 40 decades. From Newton and Whiston, to Clube and Napier, it is hard to put a Brit down that knows he has been right for millennia. There is clearly some thread of understanding in the UK Fourth Estate that this is an area of legitimate intellectual inquiry with a long and distinguished history. Our press, on the other hand, only honors fashions that were born after they were.

So that’s that on the press coverage. As I say, more is coming, on our newest British friend, Dr. Martin Sweatman, author of the paper that inspired this deviation.

Download (PDF, 1.6MB)

  • George Howard

    Comments open and encouraged!

  • SteveGinGTO

    Hahaha – The Daulton Gang will tell the world that the carvings are actually insect poop, I bet.

  • SteveGinGTO

    — I think the summary of coherent catastrophism is QUITE excellent – both thorough and concise at the same time. Well presented!

    — I would note that in the Geology section the authors point out that the ‘proposed mechanism’ (the comet fragments) “primarily affected northern latitudes, especially the Laurentide glacial ice sheet that covered Canada at the time, and Northern Europe” – while the Gobekli Tepe site is outside either region and FAR from the main proposed impact zone.
    —— This site being so distal from the NA impact region, this point has ramifications. It is one thing to experience whatever cataclysmic effects occurred due to the impact. It is quite another thing to have SEEN and recorded the comet’s fragments approaching earth – and then connected the impacts with the effects.

    — Yes, to the multiple impacts, too.

    — “…archaeological evidence from that period or before is very rare, and it is also generally thought that any form of writing, even proto-writing, did not appear until around 7000 BC in central Europe, far too late.” . . . I am still reading the paper, and may be jumping the gun a bit, in positing that the REASON for burying the site was to preserve it for a time when the astronomical depictions could be read and comprehended in the vein in which the carvings were created. It seems possible that the caretakers at about 10,000 years ago became concerned that the deterioration of the site was proceeding more rapidly than human development toward a sufficient level of astronomy. (Certainly somebody at that later time was overseeing the site, if they took it upon themselves to bury it.) If its preservation was primary, burying it saved it for us to find in our current scientific period and not before. (This, if true, would imply that all the other enclosures and pillars – including ones in the un-excavated portions of the site – have MUCH to convey to us.)

    — Let us express an appreciation for the authors’ suggestion that astronomy even EXISTED at 11,530 ya. At the same time, if true, it would vindicate Posnansky, who argued that the archaeoastronomy of Tiahuanaco shows THAT site to be 12,000 years old. If this holds up (as it may well do), we would have TWO sites with quite advanced astronomy, on opposite sides of the globe. There are ramifications to that realization.

    I want to leave off there for the moment. Back later….

  • Trent Telenko

    >>it would vindicate Posnansky, who argued that the archaeoastronomy of Tiahuanaco shows THAT site to be 12,000 years old.

    I missed that somewhere.


  • Trent Telenko

    The issue of “Date Stamp” for the TYD Hypothesis hits the “steady state” crowd right in their secular religious beliefs.

    That is, catastrophic events undeniably recorded in human history and validated by independent geological scientific evidence.

    “Denial” will be more than a river in Egypt for them.

  • SteveGinGTO

    Well, I seem to have remembered it a bit wrong. The number 12,000 has been in my head for 40 years. You can start with Wiki:

    “In 1945, Arthur Posnansky[6][page needed] estimated that Tiwanaku dated to 15,000 BC, based on his archaeoastronomical techniques. In the 21st century, experts concluded Posnansky’s dates were invalid and a “sorry example of misused archaeoastronomical evidence.”[7]”

    I googled “posnansky date tiahuanaco”.

    13,000 BC – perhaps I remembered it as 12,000 BC.

    I argue that GT must have a significant history of astronomy and architecture (as well as art) preceding it, because such an architecturally complex site could not come directly out of any hunter-gatherers like the pre-Natufians. I’ve guesstimated the preceding developments at at least 1500 years if not 3000. If not MORE. That gives Posnansky’s date. In terms of archaeoastronomy, Posnansky was using it so early in modern research. The current paper uses a cheat sheet software package. He had to do it in a time of LOGARITHMS. If you’ve EVER done trigonometry with logarithms (I have and LOTS), you’ve got to appreciate his efforts.

    I would argue that the architecture is at the level of engineering, PER SE, as opposed to simple house builders or temple builders. Those T-columns are not your everyday post-and-lintel construction.

    That high-relief sculpture of the animals is FAR in advance of many of our “normal” ancient civilizations’ artifacts. Those are eye-openers.

  • Trent Telenko

    So has anyone tried Posnansky’s dating with modern software?

  • SteveGinGTO

    To my knowledge, no. One would think that GT would have made someone consider it.

  • Trent Telenko

    There is both a good science project and possible an opportunity depending on the results.

  • Trent Telenko

    Two passages from that article stood out regards the Göbekli Tepe Ancients.

    This one regards astronomical knowledge —

    “To reach this level of understanding, and to
    have sufficient confidence in it to encode it in
    a large megalithic structure, which undoubt-
    edly requires considerable effort and organi-
    sation, observations of precession had very
    likely been made for many centuries, and
    quite likely many millennia, before the con-
    struction of enclosure D. The general orienta-
    tion of the structures towards the pole stars of
    earlier millennia reinforces this view, and
    suggests observations possibly as far back as
    12,000 BC, or perhaps even earlier.”

    And this one regards how long a time had to have passed between TYD and it’s recording at the Göbekli Tepe site —

    “Pillar 43 is embedded in the rough stone wall
    of enclosure D, which has been dated to
    around 9,530 BC to within 220 years. Yet the
    date stamp of pillar 43 corresponds to around
    10,950 BC (to within 250 years). It is therefore
    very likely that Pillar 43 was constructed be-
    tween these two dates, possibly just before the
    rough stone wall. Moreover, other demonstra-
    tions by this culture of their specialised
    knowledge of stone-working and astronomy
    might have existed between these dates in the
    YD period. Given the considerable lead-time
    in developing this knowledge, we should not
    rule out even earlier demonstrations of these
    specialisms before the YD period.”

    The Göbekli Tepe was minimally in full scale operation twice the time the United State of America has been a nation-state!

    A culture that can do anything on the scale of Göbekli Tepe for at least 500 years at the -presumed- level of technlogy credited to them is completely outside the frame of reference of modern archeology.

    If for nothing else that the Göbekli Tepe building culture had to have a level of social stability to produce the surpluses necessary to maintain it for that period that is unmatched in recorded human history.

  • Trent Telenko

    Sadly this —

    “The alway depressing fact is that the U.S. science press has become so
    overtly politicized that it has no ink for anything that does not extend
    the narrative. There is no room for any serious, mitigable and global
    “science” threat that does not involve polluters and conservatives as
    the bad guys.”

    Covers the true state of US Science journalism.

    The UK Daily Mail has the best english language general audience science page, period.