Kerr Watch

Elapsed time since Richard Kerr failed to inform his Science readers of the confirmation of nanodiamonds at the YDB: 6 years, 2 months, and 1 day

WikiLies: Skeptical Raptor squelches science

The accuracy of information concerning the YDB event on the Wikipedia has always suffered from the dominance of a moderator describing himself as “Skeptical Raptor.” Watching the Raptor do his wiki-work has taught the Tusk that cynicism has few bounds — and the truth has few friends (that stay up that late at night). The Raptor constantly cleanses the public’s Wiki of any objective balance on our subject.

His shortcoming now identified this fellow is not without merit. The Raptor is one of the most forceful vaccine-truth advocates in the blogosphere. And while the Tusk avoids sharing off-subject opinion, I am way down with the Raptor on vaccination and as a subscriber to his blog, appreciate his constant attention to undermining dangerous public health nonsense.

But this curious contradiction does not absolve the Skeptical Raptor. His character conflicts are not equal. Providing new information is noble and should be the goal of every interested and capable citizen; aggressively suppressing information based on a personal intellectual arrogance is simply despicable.

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  • Steve Garcia

    He probably had a previous lifetime in the Inquisition and doesn’t feel like his work was finished.

  • Since Wikipedia is all about the “consensus”, and has no place for controversial hypothesis, no matter how well supported by real data, It’s pretty much a waste of time, and useless as a valid reference for any subject.

  • Steve Garcia

    Dennis, after all this time, do you actually think there is anything to be gained by interacting with chicken little?

  • Nope, not really 🙂

  • E.P. Grondine

    Why don’t you set up a separate Wiki entry for Holocene Start Impact Event and just put the information there?

    There is a 1,000 year span separating the beginning of the melt at the Allerod and the melted glacial water outflows of the Younger Dryas.

  • David L. Ulrich

    if you would do that, then non-professional science people like me won’t have to worry about some bozo doing the editing.

    I really like the Scribd site with all the papers with George Howard. That place is a godsend.

  • Kay Ger

    Yes the Skeptical Raptor will delete your blog posts when he senses that someone is about to debunk him. He makes all kinds of claims of his credential, but he hides behind the veil of the internet, as he gets paid to write for the corporations who will do anything to smear homeopathic alternatives to medicine. If this guy is such an expert, where are his legitimate credentials and what is his identity.

  • His name is Michael Simpson and he’s in the Northwest somewhere. One does not need credentials to do science, but Michael Simpson doesn’t do science anyways so he’s good. The primary problem people here had with his behavior, besides being a pompous ass, is that he deleted a bunch of primary references in the Younger Dryas impact page based upon a superficial reading of a minor blog criticism of the hypothesis. Then he went on to make up a whole bunch of stuff on several tangentially impact related wiki pages, longdaleite, the Laacher See etc, in order to convince himself that he had some sort of extraordinary insight into the conspiracy to publicize what he views to be a crackpot theory.

    Maybe it is a crackpot theory, but many are still interested in the possibility that impact proxies may be discerned in the paleorecord and that the paleorecord may indeed indicate that some sort of larger than normal impact may have occurred at or around the time of the Younger Dryas. This may just be a coincidence, or not, as many now believe the Younger Dryas was a mere downturn in North Atlantic climate related mostly to meltwater runoff and sea ice, ocean currents and atmospheric prevailing wind feedbacks and not related to any impact at all. He just can’t get it in his mind that many still entertain a variety of possible ideas related to a wide spectrum of phenomena.

    Yes, Michael Simpson is a … shill, whether he is paid or not.

  • Steve Garcia

    TLE – Now THAT is a hoot, you giving his name.

    That is why I got booted off Wikipedia for life. I mentioned his name. Not to the public. I didn’t OUT the guy to the world. I mentioned his name to the court of Wikipedia, thinking that if they had his name it would facilitate the whole thing.

    Yeah – It facilitated me right off Wikipedia.

    And here you are, outing him to the whole world.

    Well, all I can say is: GOOD!

    But, folks, a word to the wise:

    If you ever discuss the guy to Wikipedia, call him “Skeptical Raptor” not Michael Simpson.

  • Steve Garcia

    TLE –

    No, the YDIH is not a crackpot theory. It was put forth by a large multi-disciplinary team of serious and sober scientists. It doesn’t even challenge any previous consensus mainstream theories – unless one considers that climate change theory. But that one challenges the previous Overkill and the illness theories, so there were already THREE contenders, and all of them were disagreeing amongst themselves, without anyone coming to any consensus.

    So it is just Theory #4.

    Being Theory #4 doesn’t make it crackpot. Not with all the forensics you speak of.

    All FOUR now have compiled evidence on their own behalf, and none of them are budging an inch.

    But any number of younger scientists have attended conferences and classes in which the YDIH has been presented coherently – and SOME of them will take it forward after the Old Guard has given up the ghost.

    The YDIH isn’t any more crackpot than Wegener’s wandering continents or Schliemann’s Troy (which began the science of archaeology) or Bretz’s Scablands floods. Just proposing a different and new possible explanation doesn’t make an idea crackpot.

    It doesn’t help that even hexagonal nanodiamonds USED TO BE 100% evidence of an impact. But the skeptics – with basically NO evidence – have asserted that, no, hex nanodiamonds aren’t necessarily cosmic in origin.

    And it doesn’t help that even elevated levels of Iridium – Alvarez’s solidest clue – is asserted by skeptics to not be 100% evidence of an impact.

    All of that is called “MOVING THE GOALPOSTS.” They can’t deny the forensics. They tell us that that isn’t good enough, that extraordinary new evidence must be found. Yes, evidence that they will argue even LOUDER is not being interpreted correctly.

    It’s like dealing with fools who say that we have to prove that 2 + 2 = 4, that those 2’s look mighty suspicious!

    How does anyone DEAL with people like that?

    The evidence is about as strong as evidence gets in the natural world, and yet the whole thing is spinning its wheels. Partly because the researchers have already proven their case, and yet the world somehow keeps on listening to the skeptics instead of accepting the evidence, whose main argument is “No, it’s not!” ala John Cleese and the Monty Python Department of Arguments –

    Again, how does anyone deal with people like that?

  • Again, how does anyone deal with people like that

    All I can tell you is how I deal with people like Michael Simpson (Skeptical Raptor). I confront them once or twice, and then subsequently ignore them, much as I have done with you. The problem with the Younger Dryas hypothesis is that it does not yet approach the level of theory, and it’s rapidly falling apart. The only thing that holds it together now in the face of many other viable alternative theories, is that some of the sedimentary impact proxies do indeed appear to be repeatable, except for the fact that they also appear to move around in the sedimentary record due to their very small size. The only thing in my view that is able to be tested to any degree of reliability are the nanodiamond proxies, but since they are extremely difficult and expensive to extract and characterize I’m afraid that unless those results are repeated or until I hear back from Andrew Madden on the subject I’m skeptical even of that. One thing in their favor is that tons of scientists are interested in nanodiamonds and lots of recent work confirms that they come in many different morphological forms (polymorphs) and that these forms are often accompanied by many different forms of carbon structures not necessarily characterized as nanodiamonds – onions, buckydiamonds, graphenes and graphenes and multishelled structures, often transitioning continuously to nanodiamond and occurring simultaneously. They only thing we can definitively say for sure nowadays is that they DO NOT appear to be associated with or formed within ordinary fires. What is required to form them is shock and impact sufficient to initiate the bond breaking, buckling and folding necessary to transform into nanodiamond.

  • Steve Garcia


    TLE: “The problem with the Younger Dryas hypothesis is that it does not yet approach the level of theory, and it’s rapidly falling apart.

    Falling apart???? That just didn’t sound to me like a clear and objective appraisal of the recent past (so I looked it up). On what evidence do you base this characterization of recent events on the YDIH front?

    So why don’t we do an inventory of the last year and a bit (back to July 2013) (which period I think has been rather quiet)…

    I will tell you the overall score right now – It is:

    PRO 8 (incl 1 popular article)

    CON 1 (incl 1 popular article)

    TOSS-UP 2


    Whatever you were basing your assessment on, it wasn’t what has come up on CT. Do you have a secret stash of papers and articles?

    Please enlighten us. Seriously. Are there papers out there we don’t know about? Blogs slamming the YDB? Forums picking its every nuance apart?

    …I trust that George has not been slipshod and missed anything important. He’s been very even-handed about posting both sides, even if he editorializes in his preambles. The CosmicTusk posts papers (and links to them) in the last 13 months – PRO and CON. I included tJuly 2013 because the first item in August of 2013 was an article about a July paper.

    The tabulation weighs in both number and quality in favor of the YDIH. I say “quality,” too, because the one CON paper was REALLY sloppy stuff and was shot down pretty handily by the YDB group.

    Overall the history very much would argue you are wrong in making that judgment above:

    2013 July 25But seriously, folks: Harvard bangs a big fat Platinum nail in YDB critic coffin

    Which has a link to this paper: “Large Pt anomaly in the Greenland ice core points to a cataclysm at the onset of Younger Dryas” Petaev et al


    2013 AUG 25:Mahaney 2013

    Which has a link to this paper: “Weathering Rinds as Mirror Images of Palaeosols: Examples from the Western Alps with correlation to Antarctica and Mars” Mahaney et al


    2013 AUG 5:Zolfagharifard and The Mail: A comet DID wipe out first North American prehistoric humans: Ice core data suggests a cosmic impact killed off Clovis people

    Which refers to the Harvard paper above.


    2013 AUG 12:Mahaney….Again!: New Evidence from a Black Mat Site in the Northern Andes Supporting a Cosmic Impact 12,800 Years Ago

    Which has a busted link to this paper: New evidence from a Black Mat Site in the Northern Andes supporting a cosmic impact 12,800 years ago


    2013 SEP 18:Love Notes: Wittke and van Hoesel in PNAS

    Which includes these letters in PNAS:

    Cosmic impact or natural fires at the Allerød – Younger Dryas boundary: A matter of dating and calibration” by van Hoesel


    Reply to van Hoesel et al.: Impact-related Younger Dryas boundary nanodiamonds from The Netherlands” by Wittke


    2014 Jan 22:PNAS: Diamond peak confirmed at YDB — and Bronze Age collapse, perhaps?

    Which has a link to this paper: “Quantifying the distribution of nanodiamonds inpre-Younger Dryas to recent age deposits along Bull Creek, Oklahoma Panhandle, USA” Bement et al


    2014 JAN 27:Independent confirmation: Young bucks at same school double-check National Academy member and YDB author Kennett’s nanodiamond claims — found ‘em

    Which has a link to this paper: “Quantifying the distribution of nanodiamonds inpre-Younger Dryas to recent age deposits along Bull Creek, Oklahoma Panhandle, USA


    2014 APR 14: #YDB impact confirmed again: Volcanos and Asteroids and Mammoths — Oh My!

    Which has this paper linked: “Tocuila Mammoths, Basin of Mexico: Late Pleistocene
    Early Holocene stratigraphy and the geological context of the bone accumulation”


    2014 APR 19:Younger Dryas Boundary independently identified in Michigan and Alabama lakes; reconfirmed in Netherlands…..and another Cosmic Tusk?!?”

    Which has this paper linked: “Quartz melt structures in European cover sands may support Younger Dryas extraterrestrial impact hypothesis


    2014 APR 21: [POPULAR ARTICLE] “Half a loaf from B612: Asteroid data from nuke blast detectors calls out faulty impact assumptions; older impact data ignored; nothing new

    Which has links to:

    B612 Impact Video 4-20-14 H264” [VIDEO]



    2014 MAY 13:Holiday – Meltzer: First abstract thoughts…

    Which has a link to this paper: “Chronological evidence fails to support claim of anisochronous widespread layer of cosmic impactindicators dated to 12,800 years ago” Holliday-Meltzer


    2014 AUG 9:Found again: Cosmic geochemistry identified at Younger Dryas Boundary by independent international research team

    Which has a link to this paper: “In Search for Fingerprints of an Extraterrestrial Event: Trace Element Characteristics of Sediments from the Lake Medvedevskoye (Karelian Isthmus, Russia)” Andronikov et al



    PRO – 8

    CON – 1

    TOSS-UP – 2

    TLE: Please show where this is wrong.

  • mary noslein

    WTF? – you think vaccines are ok?