Exploring abrupt climate change induced by comets and asteroids during human history

Common culture embraces the Younger Dryas Boundary theory

83 Responses

  1. Gobleki Tepe – The culture that rose to that level did not start at 12,000 years ago. It takes TIME to rise to that level – thousands of years. So the beginning of that rise was at least 13,000 years ago, perhaps as long ago as 15,000 years ago.

    Sumer itself had a fully functional modern-type economy, as shown in the tablets found at Ugarit. They had businesses writing out documents similar in almost every way to modern purchase orders and shipping bills and receipts. THAT did not start up in a day, either.

    It is very likely, given the proximity of Sumer to Gobleki Tepe, that Sumer was a MUCH later version of the culture that existed at Gobleki Tepe – and with the time spans being roughly equal, one can suggest that WE are a later version of Sumer.

    It was a very good observation in the video about the 6,000-year time lags. Some of the presentation was a bit retarded, and some misrepresented slightly, but overall it was a good summary of things.

    As I’ve noted before, Gobekli Tepe is only about 100 miles from Abu Hureyra in Syria. Both of those essentially are in the Fertile Crescent along with Sumer. They are all three apparently separated in time, but don’t take ANY dates as solid, EVER. After all, who would have thought something of the sophistication of Gooekli Tepe existed 6,000 years before Sumer in the first place? That right there tells you that the so-called knowledge is very partial and piecemeal. The undiscovered evidence fora outweighs that already discovered. So conclusions now will be (as in the past of history and science) premature.

    To some extent the three places must have IMHO been aware of each other’s cultures, even if some/one of them did precede the other(s) by some little bit. And by a little bit, do I mean 6,000 years? At this point there is no way of knowing. Abu Hureyra is even earlier than Gobekli Tepe. (It is now at the bottom of a reservoir on the Euphrates, so we may NEVER know. We are only just beginning to learn about Abu Hureyra and Gobekli Tepe (even if Abu Hureyra’s discovery phase seems to be over), so expect the academics to experience at least some surprises.

    As I said above, Gobekli Tepe did NOT spring up fully developed. SOME technical evolution preceded it, and at the rate OUR building technology grew, that would mean a long pre-history before Gobekli Tepe. One has to put Gobekli Tepe at around the same sophistication as Romans or Greeks – and how much in our orthodox view preceded those two? At least 3,000 years. So a date of 1,000 or 2,000 years BEFORE the YDB should not be off the table.

    Some of us here will be less surprised than the orthodoxy will be, no matter what. Why? Because at least some of us have been saying all along that civilization goes back WAY further than they have ever admitted – and time after time the beginning gets pushed back farther and farther. And those who are archly conservative about these things keep on getting proven wrong – yet still THEY are widely considered the experts. Well, they are only experts as long as they are getting grant monies and we aren’t. If WE had some sugar daddies, some of US would be out there, pushing the boundaries and doing original research. Oh, if it were true…

  2. Steve; A question here, what is the distance and direction separating these 3 sites? Are they are somewhat linear? Then as each newer civilization springs up they could very well have found some of the remnants ( writings, architecture, engineering,of the older sites and used them in their own development as has occurred since recorded time. This of course would shorten the learning curve each time a society arises. Maybe we should be looking past Abu Hureyra in the opposite direction of development to find an even earlier society. Another question is, Has there been any correlations found between the collapse of any of these civilizations and known or recorded cosmic events?

  3. jim –

    Abu Hureyra is 95 miles as the crow flies from Gobeli Tepe on a heading of ~197°. In addition, just south of Gobekli Tepe is a flat river plain that is now farmland and probably had SOME farming on it long long into the past. That watershed feeds directly into the Euphrates River less than 40 miles east of Abu Hureyra.

    Sumer is down the Euphrates and begins about 170 miles as the crow flies at Mari, Syria or even sooner if I missed something. Along the water, that distance is about 200 miles. Babylon is about 400 miles from Abu Hureyra as the crow flies.

    I agree with your thinking that before Abu Hureyra there might have been (almost certainly WAS, IMHO) earlier developments. That is EXACTLY my point about Gobekli Tepe, because those ruins are NOT crude whatsoever, so there had to be a lot of time to develop architecture to that advanced stage. And advanced Gobekli Tepe IS. No one doubts that. But everyone is avoiding the implications of that level of architectural technology existing at 12,000 years ago and 6,000 years before the highly sophisticated civilization in Sumer.

    I also agree with you about the spread of developments being fairly rapid. That is totally what has happened in the modern world, with everything from medicines and sanitation to cell phones, high speed rail, and drones taking a VERY short time to reach people in what before were third world countries. I met a woman from Mali (Timbuktu) in the middle of the Sahara desert two weeks ago, and she was as educated and sophisticated as anyone I’ve met in a while – and I meet very sophisticated people here! 50 years ago Mali was literally “the middle of nowhere” – in my own life, we even used to use the name Timbuktu to represent the farthest thing from civilization, as in “the middle of Timbuktu”. The rest of the world has been catching up (and many passing) the USA; we are no longer the single advanced culture in the world. And because of the spread of all the advances life expectancies are in almost ALL countries above 60 years and with 20 countries over 80 (and that does not include the USA).

    Did such spread occur in the past? We know that Clovis points and other points – as well as obsidian and all sorts of things – were found far from the natural sources of the materials or from where the craftsmen lived. And that goes back almost as far into our history as we can go.

    Some technical developments are seen today as having been developed independently in various places around the world. That seems to be the orthodox view. And it may end up being true of SOME of them – but certainly not all. We are WAAAAY too early to know what the end conclusions will be about these developments, IMHO. We will know some day, but that day won’t be anytime soon.

    Correlations between those collapses and possible impact dates and sites? Hell yes. There is work being done in that direction all the time, it seems. But honestly, don’t ask me to lay them out for you. I notice such things, but my focus is elsewhere, so I forget the details as soon as I read them. Ones that come to mind are Akkad researched by Joachim Seifert and Frank Lemke, which begins

    ABSTRACT: We focus on one of the most important events in human history, the 4.2 kiloyear event, when great civilisations around the world collapsed into anarchy and social chaos. From this moment on, climate cooling and widespread aridification began, lowering agricultural food production and human living conditions. Various hypotheses exist about its cause; the most promising approach links the 4.2 kiloyear event to a cosmic asteroid crash into Mesopotamia. The asteroid landed in a densely populated area

    [See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4.2_kiloyear_event.%5D At least China, Egypt, and other parts of Mesopotamia were affected.

    SOMETHING affected those regions AND the climate.

    Orthodox science pretends to not notice. They not only use crowbars to put square pegs in their own round holes, but they also know how to sweep inconvenient evidence under the carpet.

    If the Akkad impact IN the city is true, then we do know what would happen if an object hit in an urban area. We would just need to look at it as a real historical event instead of separate regional myths/tales. Even in an ancient world with little international connections, there was a ripple effect. How much more so would such an impact do now, with our computer connections, our internet, our intertwined banking systems – and with our food supplies? Would all the world’s economies be affected by an impact in, say, Marseilles or Kuala Lumpur or Philadelphia? Almost certainly.

    I myself think such a city strike is almost a statistical impossibility. But would a non-urban strike also be able to do such damage and send us back to the stone age? I don’t know that we know yet.


  4. Steve; I was scanning Egypt on GE looking for a pyramid object supposedly found in the desert west of the Nile. While zooming in and out I came across 2 features in Libya at the SW Corner of Egypt that look surprisingly like impact craters. Could these be related to the Libyan glass impact? I can’t find any dating for the glass impact and any info states that it was an airburst. Has anyone mentioned any impact craters in that location? If you get a chance take look and see what you think. There appears to be multiple raised rims and central rebound structure and very little sand intrusion. This might be a case of active imagination or not.

  5. Jim –

    The Libyan desert glass being from an impact is – truly – only one of about FIVE possible explanations from them in the scientific journals. I posted a comment to that effect here on CT maybe a year ago (maybe a bit less?). The impact, is, of course, Boslough’s baby, and since he gets air time about any time the rock star wants it, that one gets air play more than the others. The issue is FAR from settled. It is LUDICROUS – and extremely laughable – to me that ANY scientist touts his own theory as THE explanation for something when he knows damned well that it is not a settled issue.

    As to the two possible impact craters, can you post here the coordinates and save me time?

    And I personally do not think that the craters could be the source of the LDG. Reason? The glass – if closely related to the Australian tektites – needed to be ejected and exit the atmosphere and then re-enter. I think if that is all correct, then the impact had to be more distant.

    But if they are in some way related to the LDG, then Bos’ airburst is toast, of course. There is certainly no reason to have both an airburst AND one or two surface impacts.

  6. jim –

    I commented on your 2 craters comment without looking past it to your other comment. I will look at the 2 craters link later. Gotta go to town.

    And no, I am NOT in the desert, and certainly not in that desert. I live on the edge of one of Mexico’s agricultural regions – the same one Lake Cuitzeo is in. That is the lake in Mexico that has evidence of the black layer and impact materials. That lake is about 2-1/2 hours south from me.

  7. From your link, Jim:

    Since the discovery of the (LDG), it has fascinated scientists and researchers who were puzzled over its formation. Despite the fact that many studies concerning the formation of (LDG) have been carried out, the source of (LDG) has become the subject of controversy from some of the perspective researchers, that still has not been resolved [3].

    So, any time you read or hear that Boslough is claiming to have solved the puzzle, you can refer to this paper and know he is full of it. He has only ONE of the possible solutions – all of which at this point are speculations. And this paper suggests a NEW one. That ups the count to at least six, then.

  8. Dang! I didn’t read quite far enough. That author points out and lists six already, making seven now, including his new one.

  9. George- Steve; I just finished going through the link for the Clayton Craters and all I can say is Holy —- Batman!! All those indents, a lot of them elongated, That must have been one hell of an impact field event. The 2 sites I was looking at earlier are the BP and Oasis craters Someone has already been there, seen it, done it and has a Tee shirt. An idea has crossed my “mind” that maybe this impact event occurred in an intense rain of cosmic material that caused a spider web fracturing of the mantle at this location allowing the magmatic intrusions seen at a lot of the locations. The concept of the region being or going over a hot spot is quite plausible but I would think there would be more signs of regional volcanism and why would this whole area be littered with these “Volcanoes” that never quite erupted all the way? Also the continental positioning of Africa has not changed much since 25mya so I would think the hotspot would still be in place.

  10. Jumping out of reading the linked paper for a moment, I have to say that one thing maybe overlooked in multiple impacts is the interaction of their ejecta “plumes”.

    One of my first thoughts about the LDG is why the area is so SMALL. Why aren’t the LDGs spread over a wide area? Why concentrated in that small region? The Australian tektites, after all, are spread over what appears to be millions of square miles, perhaps as much as 1/3 of the Earth’s area. They also seem to have been thrown about 6,000 km from their source, wherever that might have been.

    Instead, the LDGs only take up about 600 sq km. How could that happen if the two similar objects’ origins are perhaps the same?

    Well, it occurs to me that if two impacts occur at the same time, then the plumes interact. Such an interaction might even contribute to the LDGs’ formation and shapes.

    Envisioning all of this in my head… First part:

    This is just a thought experiment, so don’t everybody get their nickers in a twist…

    If two spherical explosions happen in outer space, the two spheres will form a circular pattern, and as the spheres expand, so will the circle. It would be at a more or less fixed distance from each sphere center. The location of such a circular pattern (from the centers) would depend on the timing and power of each explosion. If one is more powerful, then that one might even push the circular pattern of shock wave and/or ejecta material toward the weaker explosion – expanding in that direction in a conical shape. INSIDE the circular or conical shape, I think it is a fairly solid front of head-on collisions of materials.

    Part 2:

    That was in outer space, where the explosion in all directions is unrestricted. On land the impacts are as we all picture them, but how about two of them with overlapping plumes? Do they do the same thing, but in a semi-circular pattern? In an ideal world (hahaha – meaning in a computer simulation!) maybe so. The question is if the material after the collisions continues outward, and I think that yes, it does. Then what? Is it going outward in a kind of flat vertical plane? That is not completely unreasonable, IMO. Hot material, flying out in a fan shape, more or less, might be what happens. Some material doesn’t get hit head on and keeps going in the normal direction – perhaps most of it. The fan shape pattern will, I suppose, get separated by mass and momentum and initial angle of elevation – some going farther than others. I would also suggest that the pattern would be somewhat at right angle to the line between the two impact craters – especially if the two craters are the same size (which the two in Libya seem to be).

    Would the LDG be sorted by size, shape, and density (elements of momentum)? Would the sorting mean that the glass material (which comes from the target material on the ground, not the meteor) only goes so far and no more? If so, I’d want to look on the OTHER side of that line between the craters.

    Things I note, in looking at the craters on GE:

    1. The heading from the southern crater to the northern one is 353.2°. The distance is 83.15 km.

    2. A discrepancy between the article and GE: The southern one is said to be 18 km across. I only measure 4 km across. In the satellite photo in the paper the sizes are roughly the same, with the southern one being only slightly larger than the other. I HATE it when paper authors can’t get simple measurements right. (Am I the one who is wrong? Look it up yourself and judge.)

    3. Encouraging: Wow. The GE photos posted turn out to be ENE of the line between the two craters, AND at least some of those posted photos are fairly in line with the midpoint of the line between the craters (equidistant from both craters). That is NOT in disagreement with what I outlined above. (Not that I have all of this figured out…)

    WEIRD Observation #1: The desert glass area seems to be on mostly rocky ground right on the edge of the area known as “The Great Sand Sea”. And I mean RIGHT ON THE EDGE, as in the LDG area goes right to the bases of HUGE sand dunes that begin The Great Sand Sea. The Great Sand Sea’s dunes would easily cover such little glass pieces in a day or three.

    So, I have to ask the question: How much, if any, of the desert glass area is actually UNDER the Great Sand Sea?

    Believe it or not, I’ve seen an analog to this kind of thing, with something VERY interesting being right on the edge of bulk materials which would cover up the interesting stuff, in Peru (in that case, volcanic ash). Details upon request.

    Weird Observation #2: The line between the craters is very close to being the axis of a bare area that projects up north into the deep sand dune area of the Libyan Desert. This is almost as if something had pushed the sand out of the area for about 120 km east and west of the craters and for 120 km top the north, too.

    So, the thought experiment suggested something that surprisingly turned out to be true – that the LDG area is in the area along the WSW-ENE axis that the thought experiment said it should be, relative to the two craters.

    A lucky guess? Probably. Honestly, I did not peek, either.

    So, Jim, for the moment it looks like your guess may have a germ of truth in it, maybe more. I think following this line of thought might just possibly turn up something significant. Too bad we don’t have a sugar daddy to pay for us to go check it out!

  11. A typo:

    “…the LDGs only take up about 600 sq km” should read “…the LDGs only take up about 6500 sq km”.

  12. Steve; I’ve done some more e-traveling around the Sahara and noticed that almost everywhere the sand isn’t you can find those same “craters-volcanoes”. I wonder how many more of these are under the sand and not visible. If this region was a shallow sea when the bombardment occurred I would think the impacts would have been muted in their energy transfer making for shallower cratering.

  13. Okay, George, you gave me a great nudge.

    Wow. The convoluted and long last comment above suggested that there would be “something” out along the WSW-ENE axis amd that is just where the LDG area is.

    Your comment and link had a map showing something called “Dakhla Glass” farther ENE.

    Dammit if it isn’t along the very same heading as the LDG field.

    At another website at http://www.meteoritecollector.org/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=5691, entitled “Dakhla glass locations, the map shows four locations for Dahkla Glass. I list them here, as best I could match them up on GE:

    25.478175°N 29.064631°E
    25.512708°N 29.169556°E
    25.425713°N 29.192619°E
    25.365620°N 29.452766°E

    My WSW-ENE axis passes right through the pattern made by those locations – at 500 km ENE of the NNW-SSE axis of the of the 2 craters.

    See this link: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/12/061221-egypt-glass.html – “Mysterious Egyptian Glass Formed by Meteorite Strike, Study Says”

    “But scientists have found no signs of an impact crater in the area.

    “Usually from an impact like this, we should have a crater at least a kilometer [0.6 mile] across,” Osinski said.

    And how big are the two crates Jim noticed? 2km and 4 km (as I measure them).

  14. And, yeah, George, I was noticing the weird landscape in the area of the craters, too. I looked to the west and saw some weird stuff, too.

  15. Trent –

    What do you mean, “Took down”? It is still there.

    Maybe I am confused…

  16. JIm –

    Hving gotten around to actually reading all of the article New Interpretation for Libyan Desert Glass Formation by Samir Ahmed Hamouda, Fatma Milad Elsharif, I have to say that it is amazing how weak some papers are. The papers read like a Geology 201 assignment. The level of professionalism and thoroughness are almost non-existing. They run through THEIR OWN derivation of the math of craters, apparently without consulting ONE previous paper on the subject, making assumptions and – basically, IMHO – making fools of themselves.

    WTF is International Journal of Astrophysics and Space Science doing, publishing such amateurish pap?

    And they barely got done doing “the math” about impacts IN GENERAL, as they calculate the size of the two impactors (or did they?…I don’t think so), before making a quantum leap of Brobdignagian proportions and connect the two craters with the LDG field, without giving ONE solid reason why the two are connected.

    Who in the HELL taught those two logic?

    And if Boslough wants to jump on someone for doing poor science, I hope he writes one on these two sophomoric dolts. IMHO, if the science done by the YDB Team is a 10.00, the science done by these two doesn’t rise above a 0.64.


    (And I had such high hopes for the paper…)

  17. Steve; I see that I’m not the only one to read that and said huh? I’ve been doing some more e-traveling around the Sahara and noticed that even under the sand some round features are showing through but you have to look closely. In Sudan in particular there are rounded features that vaguely show through the sand. I’ve also noticed that there doesn’t appear to be any possible cratering east of the Nile.

  18. I just remembered that when I read and used the crater size calculator that one of the parameters was that most craters are at least 50% refilled with melt material from the impact. That could be the material that you see in a lot of these Sahara sites. They look like cooled lava lakes so I’m sure the mainstream looks and says easy take: VOLCANO! My work here is done. Time to write a paper!

  19. Steve, speaking of the 4.2 kya event, Mike and I have an interesting paper in press (due for publication towards the end of this year). Unfortunately I cant go into details at the moment about it, but just thought i would give you the heads up, so to speak.

  20. Jim – Be cautious in drawing any ideas. That area looks suspiciously like the Trans-Mexican volcanic zone, near me. YES, there are circular features with what LOOK like central uplift, which would make them craters. But I assure you that volcanic craters sometimes have ‘plugs’ which on GE could easily be mistaken for central uplift. I just saw a DOOZY of a plug this past week, just outside of the city of Tepic in the Mexican state of Nayarit. Google image for “Sanganguey”. It’s a BEAUTY of a plug.

    I’ve mentioned here before that I got involved with a guy in about 2010 who thought he’d found some pre-historic canals on the coasts of the USA. Even though I thought he had something, I did due diligence and found out that his artificial canals were not ancient at all. In fact they had THREE different causes, that I was able to track down before committing myself to something really stupid. THe object lesson there is this:

    Do NOT take what you see on GE as gospel. ANYTHING you find needs on-the-ground investigation to show it is what your Google Earth eyes think it looks like.

    So be careful in thinking you see what you think you see…

  21. Right now I don’t know which those are – volcanic or impacts. It does not look so far like anyone has looked for impact materials. Those two doofuses – their work is too sophomoric and ad hoc to go by ANYTHING they say.

    (If I eve get a paper published, I expect a few people to call me a doofus, too…LOL)

  22. Steve; Believe me I declare nothing, only point to what looks interesting. I wish I had the time to delve further into these objects. But due to circumcisions beyond my control…. maybe someday. See I’m one up on you, I get called a dufus without publishing a paper!! I guess my main concern is why all those volcanic plugs in this region and no flows or volcanic cones. There are definitely some volcanic features there but…

  23. Steve; Just looked up Sanganguey and that is an impressive volcano. I was surprised at the number of smaller cinder cones all around the mountain. If and when it goes off it’s got to be quite a sight to behold!

  24. The thing to keep in mind when looking up at a volcanic plug is how much, and what has changed since it was part of an active volcano.
    If you are out in the desert looking up at one you are standing about two miles below an ancient, original surface terrain which eroded away many long eons ago. And those missing lava flows you’re wondering about were probably on top of that ancient terrain.
    In short: The pocess of exposing the frozen heart of a long dead volcano conitinues long after the lavas of it’s youth have crumbled to dust.

  25. Nah, Jim, no doofus thee. Wildly intrigued by things, it seems, and there is nothing wrong with that.

  26. Dennis – Good observations.

    But I know that the plug in Krakatoa (Anak Krakatoa) is a new upthrust emerging, and that is the way I look at them. I’ve seen several labeled exactly that way, when a new dome comes up and stops (temporarily? maybe)

    But certainly in other cases it is erosion leaving a central bit.

    I don’t recall talking about missing lava flows. But since you brought it up, at least some lava is durable enough that I’d have a puzzled look on my face if the lava flows were missing. Andesite, for example, is quite durable. The LDG area ones are asserted to be basalt, and from a cursory look at them that looks about right – especially when they even show some basalt columns. And basalt is REALLY durable. And in an arid, non-rainfall area like the LDG area, I’d expect the lava flows to last a long time like the craters out in the Australian desert areas. That said, the age of the LDG area hills may be quite old.

    …If you haven’t seen Sangangüey, check it out. It’s pretty freaking cool. I was on a bus nearing Tepíc and saw it and though, “WTF?” Then we passed it and then even from within the city you can see it from the other (better) side. I thought, “WOW!” Anybody who likes volcanoes has got to like that one.

    …There are hundreds of volcanoes, active or extinct, in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Zone. I’ve seen probably 100 of them myself, though not really up close. The Zone extends from east of Puebla and Mexico City, past the monarch valley, past Morelia, past Querétaro, past Patzcuaro, past Uruapan, to west of Guadalajara and northwest to just past Tepíc and southwest past Colima. Pretty much coast to coast – but not quite. I am only about 1-1/2 hours north of the northern edge of the zone. I went right by Colima (The Vulcan del Fuego – the Volcano of Fire) back in about 2007 when it was erupting, without knowing it was erupting, because of clouds.

    I’ve also seen basalt-like black rocks littering beaches on the Pacific that are a really LONG way from the nearest volcano, so some of them must have blown their tops quite nicely in the past.

    And in profile many of the Mexican volcanoes look just like the cones in the LDG area – sticking up like Chinese coolie hats of varying angles. But in Africa the zone is arid while in Mexico it is verdant and is one of the really fertile regions in the country. The African ones seem to tend toward black, which is an interesting facet to me. The ‘collars’ are also unique, I think.

    Could all the LDG area hills/craters be impacts? No clear idea yet, but they are similar enough to the Mexican ones that I think that that parallel needs to be on the table. The geologists may be right, but I honestly am not sure if they have considered impacts yet.

  27. There are some pretty good, and fairly recent geologic maps showing the distribution of the LDG in the context of the naturaly occuring volcanic materials in the region. The same papers you find those maps in give a good account of the chemistry of both the LDG, and the parent materials where it’s found.

    Unfortunately for a few readers of the Tusk, the most recent team of geologists who went to Libya, and surveyed the LDG were accompanied by a physicist who also co-authored a paper with them. And since there are so many Boslough haters boycotting all things Boslough, those maps remain to be discused.

    The only alternative is to continue guesing, and speculating about what you might think you see in Google Earth.

  28. Dennis: “And since there are so many Boslough haters boycotting all things Boslough, those maps remain to be discused.”

    So go ahead and discuss them, Dennis. That is what this is about. If possible, let us have links, and then have at it. Why not? Who knows? Maybe we will find some reasons to not “hate” Boslough (your term not mine).

    I don’t hate him myself; I just think he is wrong. And obviously on this subject at least SIX other GROUPS of scientists also disagree with him. Are THEY all Bos haters, too? Or just people who happen to disagree with him?

    But please, discuss it. I for one am open for it.

  29. My purpose there was to point out that there are some very detailed geologic maps of that whole region made by people whole been on the ground there.
    Speculation about what one might think can be seen in GE becomes pointless if existing geoligic maps aren’t considered first.
    I’ll look up the link to what I can find about MB’s trip. But the last time I posted it things quickly degenerated into rants that focused on how hated Boslough is here. And never a word was mentioned what the geologists he was with may have found.

  30. Dennis, I couldn’t agree with you more. And it was one of my criticisms of the paper from those two. They showed NO connection between the two craters and the LDG, and yet they concluded a connection. Sad science paper. The editor and reviewers screwed up publishing it, IMO.

    My speculations were clearly put out as speculations, and I don’t stand by them except as an exercise. At this time I do NOT think any of those hills were impact related, but volcanoes.

    Yeah, put up Bos’ thing when you find it. But if I see a weakness, please permit me my take on it, as I do yours. And as I said, I myself don’t hate Bos; I think he isn’t much stronger of a scientist than those two, from what he’s shown. At this time. I remain open and am willing to change my mind – but he’s dug himself in a hole a bit in convincing me. HE jumps o conclusions and cherry picked his height, which I find less than honorable, shall we say…


  31. Barry – Yes, I recognized it as an April Fools Day joke – but just barely…LOL

  32. Dennis; I understand what you’re saying but what gets me is that most all of these plugs are still inside their craters so erosion is not the question. I guess once the sand moves away there will be more exposed and maybe a better understanding of what’s happened.

  33. Steve; I read your post at Feet 2 the fire. I’m still working out the idea of floating continents and I can see where it should be possible. but with all the land mass in one spot wouldn’t that make for an off balanced sphere spinning in space? Now it appears that when these land masses come apart and go together again it is in a yoyo effect. Why don’t they keep going around in their own directions until they run into each other on the other side of the globe? another could all the weight of the land masses (SOLID) be equal to the weight of all the waters on the earth? That could be why, as the masses move around, the earth doesn’t become out of balance.?

  34. Jim –

    They have worked out pretty much all of it into a coherent whole, and as far as I know they have never looked into the wobble that might occur with an off-center weight. But be aware that slow-rotating things do not act like fast-rotating things. And in addition the weight as a part of the whole is still very small.

    Look at the Pacific Ocean. That is about 32% of the area of the Earth’s surface all on one side – actually kind of like a lighter side if you get my drift. The Earth doesn’t have a wobble in spite of most of the continental weight being on the other side. If it was spinning at, say, 1000 RPM, that might be a problem. But since it rotates at 0.000694 there isn’t enough angular momentum to really throw it all off. Yes, the mass is big, but mass is not the only factor. And yes, it is actually traveling at about 1,000 miles per hour at the Equator. But so is the rest of the mass at the Equator.

    Another factor is this: Proportionally, the Earth is as close as a billiard ball to being a true sphere. I’ve done the numbers, and that is the case. Even with the Mariana’s Trench being the lowest point on the Earth’s surface, and Chimborazo being the highest mountain from the Earth’s center, the range of high to low is within the standard tolerance range of a billiard ball for being out-of-round. So, when you read that the Earth is a oblate spheroid, that is both true and not true. If a billiard ball was expanded to the Size of the Earth it would still be just as truly round – and no more – than the Earth is. Conversely, if you shrunk the Earth to the size of a billiard ball it would roll just as true.

    Think in terms of a 5.5 mile high mountain like Everest. How far laterally on the surface is 5.5 miles? Not far. It is only 5.5/3,959th of the radius of the Earth, or about 0.139% of the diameter. Re-sized to a billiard ball that 5.5 miles is only 0.085 mm, about 3/1000 of an inch. And very little of the Earth is much less high or low. After all, 71% of the surface is at sea level. That is allowing for the variations in the tides, which are only a few feet in most places. And even the 47.5-foot tides at the Bay of Fundy are nothing compared to the size of the Earth itself.

    When people start talking about billiard balls being out-of-round, then the Earth is not round, IMHO. Until then, piffle.

    So the issue of wobble and such doesn’t really amount to much.

  35. I guess when you rationalize things it makes more sense. That’s why your the engineer and I just fix’em.

  36. from your article listed above, I thought Pangaea was established because of “like/identical” fossils and the geology (like/identical rocks). for example, the panhandle of Florida matches the rock types of west Africa.

  37. David –

    No one type of the evidence was conclusive, even though they accept them all as collectively.

    But all of the continents match up fossils and geology, even if S America and Africa do. At least none that I know of. Point me at some more, if you could, okay? As to matching with Florida, that actually is one that I’d not heard yet. The PANHANDLE, you say? The western part of the state? I really don’t think that can be correct. All the jigsaw Pangaea maps I see show the Florida panhandle 3000 miles away from the coast of west Africa, even with the plate boundaries shown touching each other. I can’t imagine that the geology in both places can match up. Prove me wrong on that if you want to. I would eat crow, I guess. But I DO think you meant to say S America and Africa.

    And they do not cover the bases as far as there being ocean fossils – and not-yet-fossils – in the middle of continents or high up in the Himalayas, Andes, Sierra Madres, etc. Obviously with oceans covering the middle of continents, there were times when a jigsaw puzzle of THAT time would not fit up like the current jigsaw puzzle fit-up, using only dry land/continental shelf edges. At different times in the past 500,000,000 years the jigsaw fit-up would have been completely different.

    When a plate is subducted OR if it is the plate that rides over the other plate being subducted, both plates are seriously eroded in the process. Thus the edges of the plates lose material and the “coastline” moves land-ward – on BOTH sides of the plate boundary. Over a period of 300 million years this land-ward movement/loss has to be very substantial. Add to that the vast amount of volcanic lava output due to the subduction and heat generated, and the while story gets a damned lot more complicated.

    Now add to this the increasingly large group of real geologists who see so many holes in the mantle plume theory as to make it seriously in doubt. They didn’t come to this conclusion lightly. And without mantle plumes, where does the “spreading ocean floor” concept stand? (Is THEIR POV correct? Time will tell.)

    No one doubts that the Pangaea folks have evidence. And their interpretation on the surface sounds reasonable, I agree. But when one knows of exceptions to their thinking, what is one to do but wonder if there is more to the story?

    I am convinced that the story is much more complicated than their simplistic thinking can deal with.

    Personally and intellectually, I see their jigsaw Pangaea as a cartoon.

    Seriously, as an engineer, all I do when I see an idea is to recognize difficulties in the thinking behind it. That does not mean that I am right. Hell no. But it means that I see places where they may have missed something.

    It is an engineers’s PLACE to see where there are difficulties. So if someone has a problem with that, I am sorry. If those people were in front of me, I’d ask them directly, and we would sort it out in a few minutes time. But they are not. But I still ask the same questions, and see the same difficulties. I think real world – 100% of the time. Sorry, but that is the way I function.

  38. Wow, that is really weird. Yesterday when I googled Pangaea the several maps all showed the Florida peninsula about as far from Africa as the distance across the USA. Today I got an entirely different assortment of maps, all of them showing the FL peninsula tucked up against the west Africa coast. (Perhaps my browsing since yesterday changed what it found, according to Trent, as I understand what he said.)

    At the same time, as I understand the papers I’ve looked at, the current coastline are NOT supposed to be what are used, but the edges of the continental shelves.

    But if you browse among the Pangaea maps, everyone shows things differently – some places more rotated than on other maps, etc. It seems everybody fakes it a bit (or more). I’ve seen several different ages for Pangaea, too, suggesting that the scientists do not all agree on that, either. At the least it all makes me sure that there is a lot of range to it all.

    I think Pierson’s map on his link is more like I’d expect – continental shapes to be very much different from now. (I have more problem with the SHAPES miraculously being the same than I do the idea of a super-continent.)

    However, I do still have a little problem with that map showing the continents all together in one massive continent, “Rodinia”, 1.1 billion years ago. IMHO, if mantle plumes existed then (and if they do now, I am sure they DID then), then the mantle plumes should have been creating Iceland-like land masses all along, all around the world, wherever mantle plumes (or their analogs) existed.

    These sorts of maps seem to suggest that ONE land mass existed at “the beginning” of continents, which makes little sense to me. Why only on one side of the Earth?

    I stand by what I said yesterday and on my blog. IMO, it is all made up, based on someone projecting the current spreading seafloors back in time as if it was a linear process. I understand why some sophomoric simple-minded grad student, taking Occam’s Razor too literally, would try to sell that, but I don’t understand at all why anyone else bought into it.

    Hahaha – That would make it like young Louis Agassiz, trepidatiously presenting his ice age idea to George Lyell, and Lyell slapping him on the back and saying, “Thank you, my Boy! You just gave me the last piece of the puzzle!” and then eviscerating Agassiz’s several ice ages down into one ice age. And then later gradualists had to undo Lyell’s simplification.

    One of my rule of thumbs is, “If it is a simple concept, it is wrong, as is.” Nothing in nature is simple. ALL of nature is complicated by something – the pH of an organism, the albedo of different surfaces, the shapes of the continents messing with the Coriolis effect, cosmic rays mutating cells and DNA, blah, blah, blah.

  39. >>Trent –
    >>What do you mean, “Took down”? It is still there.

    what I found when I searched was a Wikipedia note that the article either didn’t exist or had been challenged and was down for moderation.

  40. Steve, mantle plumes as per conventional science might be largely a myth (not completely, just largely). The asthenosphere might be more complex and creative of heat and magma. See mantleplumes.org.

  41. Okay, thanks, Trent.

    No idea exactly what “moderation” is on Wiki. But if that is what they had, that is what they had. But moderation suggests what they actually DO call a “controversial subject”. No idea why that one would be controversial. Maybe some of the alternate people edited in some Velikovskian or Electric Universe or some such assertions and the academics had a hissy fit.

    If so, it is typical Wikipedia, to let the academics’ emotions run the show.

  42. pyromancer76 –

    Yeah, those are the geologists I am talking about. You know about them, too? Cool.

    As I understood it, you are right – not completely a myth but partly. As I read the skeptics before. It SOUNDS like a fascinating subject, actually. And the repercussions could be far-reaching for the geological paradigms including plate tectonics.

    The arguments were a bit over my head, a bit too technical and subtle for me, and I decided I didn’t have time to put thought into it at the time. Maybe some day I will. And it sounded also like it was going to take them all a long time to sort it out, one way or the other.

    But the mantle plume skeptics said that they’d been skeptical a long time before going public about their doubts.

    A 2012 book review (apparently) said this, which I think is pertinent to the discussion of the African features:

    The plate tectonic theory provides rational answers to these questions, but still a significant number of volcanoes remain for which the answers are not straightforward. Most of them are located within oceanic and continental plates. They involve some very productive volcanoes, such as in Hawaii and the Réunion islands, but also the small-volume basaltic volcanoes of many monogenetic volcanic fields. The ultimate reason for the long-lasting but intermittent volcanism in the latter, for example in Arizona and Nevada in the USA, in the
    Michoacán-Guanajuato region in Mexico, around Auckland in New Zealand and in the Eifel and the Pannonian Basin in Europe, is still unresolved…

    I think it might be necessary to add to that list the LDG-area features in Africa, if they are, in fact, volcanoes.

    (In several ways, as I’d noted, they DO look like the volcanoes here in what that reviewer called the Michoacán-Guanajuato region in Mexico, and their dispersal is also reminiscent of the spread of the ones here).

  43. >>it is typical Wikipedia, to let the academics’ emotions run the show.

    It is not academics.

    It is Wikipedia.

    “Chieftain” — one of the major contributors at the “World of Tanks” web site — ran into some really obscure Wikipedia article citation rules because he cited a real document from the US National Archives stating that a posted Wikipedia article on an armored fighting vehicle was wrong.

    His article contribution got rejected for reasons amounting to most other people didn’t have access to the document he cited.

    Repeat after me — Wikipedia article are not reliable sources.

  44. Trent –

    Not the worst rule of thumb in the world, and one repeated millions of times a week.

    Wikipedia is FINE (in spite of my own disrespect of their policies and internal cops) – as long as the subject is not controversial. But definitely use Wiki at the risk of using crap info. Which is why it should generally only be used as a starting point, or if one apologizes up front for using Wiki as a source.

  45. Trent’s right.
    In fact, in mostmost college courses nowadays don’t consider Wikipedia a trustworthy source. As a Wiki editor myself I’ve butted heads with the hem more than once.

    The biggest problem there is that a true Expert on any given subject is disallowed from doing edits on that subject because it is assumed they will write their own cognitive biases into their edits.

    So Wikipedia is only useful as a place to begin an information search. You should never rely on them to be a an authority on anything.

  46. I really somewhat have trouble with “editors” who go by the name of “internet guardian”… and I do use wiki but really only to see what their sources are.

    And I love the comment made on one posting that went something like “Dr. Richard Firestone, a known fringe scientist of questionable expertise, has published a book on……

  47. rule of thumb for me…

    when “wiki” trashes something, a person usually should check it out as “wiki” will probably be “misleading”. A person should look at what they did to Scott Wolter and Albert Goodyear and Christopher Hardaker, to name just few….


    do I need to mention the name of that college professor (SMU) who has graced the pages of this forum with his “research”…..

  48. Dennis – That is pretty much what I said, too. So we all agree.

    David (1:11 am) – Yep, it isn’t bad for looking at their sources. And, Dennis, yes, even THAT should be only as a starting point.

    David (1:30pm) – (Sorry if this diverts…) What kind of a freaking article is THAT? ONE paragraph, and it took TWO people to author it?

    That link claims that someone (unnamed) says humans might have been in the Americas at 40,000 ya or 100,000 years ago:
    “Several are thought to be more than 40,000 years old, and a few are argued to be hundreds of thousands of years old.”

    No one I have ever heard of has stated anyone was in the Americas 100,000 years ago. This sounds a WHOLE LOT like a straw man argument – putting up some mysterious unnamed people as saying things that THESE authors say they said – but did anyone actually say that? Or are these authors simply trying to ridicule any side that doesn’t say what they say.

    I mean, I could have added to their article, “And others are thought to have been with Santa Claus at the North Pole 250,000 years ago,” and it doesn’t add one whit to the discussion.

    The following summary paper from 2005 lists the modern humans found in Africa (195,000ya), Europe (40,000ya), and South Asia (35,000ya). So anyone putting modern humans in the Americas at even 40,000ya (much less 100,000ya) would be really be putting their butts on the line.

    Cooper et al. (2005) Early Modern Humans, Annu. Rev. Anthropol. 2005.34:207-30 http://crcooper01.people.ysu.edu/trikhaus%202005.pdf.

    However, all we have about those dates are these two authors and their un-sourced assertions about what others say.

    My guess is that they read it on Rense.com, and who cares about THAT?

    My mind boggles at why those two bothered writing that article, It says nothing, and it sure as hell doesn’t say it with anything behind it. They mention, but don’t say anything specific about, vague “flakes”, vague “radiocarbon dates”, vague “other types of chronometric dates”, and vague “ages of geological contexts”.

    If I was a science post-grad instructor, I’d throw those two out of the program. I think most high school sophomores would be embarrassed to have written it and submitted it.

    archaeologysouthwest.org should hide their heads in shame at having accepted such a sloppy and inexact article.

  49. OOPS!

    I put in some filler dates and had intended to fill in more accurate ones before posting that comment!

    “The following summary paper from 2005 lists the modern humans found in Africa (195,000ya), Europe (40,000ya), and South Asia (35,000ya)” should read:

    “The following summary paper from 2005 lists the modern humans found in Africa (195,000ya), Europe (37,570ya), and South Asia (30,000ya).”

  50. just watched a news blurp about ‘wiki’….the young lady ‘said’ they get 1/2 billion hits… and she ‘said’ they try to screen all posting ‘very carefully’.. but she did say they are ‘cautious’ with ‘new scientific’ work…

    that would be my first thought also (hahahahahhahah)

  51. Steve,

    I am going to have to call that last reply set a “rant” and a surprisingly uninformed one from you.

     In response to the paper David posted a link to, when that presentation was put together, the authors were essentially committing archeological heresy, to suggest a substantive pre Clovis population.


     In the list of sites#1 I’m am not familiar with, but #2, Burnham OK, mammoth kill site 50+k ,

    3)Calico hills, Well then, Calico is is to American archeology just as Younger Dryas Event theory is, an abundance of evidence that is summarily ignored, with the detractors relying on nitpicking the small details using flawed and many times fallacious arguments.

     Calico hills, Manix lake and the China lake site should all be grouped together as they are reasonably close to each other, Manix and Calico are right next to each other.

    I used to be very very very skeptical of Calico, until I spent most of my free time for the better part of a month tracking down and reading all of the available information on the site, and it radically changed my view.

     Homonins have been visiting the quarry there for a possible 200k years, dates from the 100+k range are solid, and artifacts at those levels are still in situ, for anyone who want to do field work.

     It is the site of the oldest known hearth outside of Africa, one pit yielded quartzite tools and debitage, along with yellow ochre, neither of which is local nor found in adjacent pits.

     I have an aquaintence that has worked a site in the Mojave that has dates ranging from the ydb going back 40k with solid occupation levels 17-20k years.


    6)China lake has has a pre Clovis and Clovis layer,  pre Clovis is securely dated at 16k and it has a YD boundary layer with Clovis above it.

     24) Listed as Tranquility, likely should be Wittt, the two are about 15-20miles apart. Originally the tranquillity burials were thought to be very ancient 25-40k based on the very archaic morphology, but have subsequently been redated to 6-10k , while Witt has verifiable occupations at 15k  As evidenced by a human femur, found within a shellfish midden that has dates going back 62k years. The midden is a quarter of a mile long 20 feet wide and 6 feet deep, all made out of quarter sized freshwater mussels, that would take a very long time. Clovis shows up here 600 years after the YDB event.

     Things have changed in the field tremendously since this presentation was put together.

    Meadowcroft, topper and cactus hill are all missing, all of which have securely dated pre Clovis occupation going into deep antiquity.

     Sites all through south America are giving dates in excess of 20k some as much as 40.

     There is good evidence that the people who made the haskett, agate basin, sluiceway/mesa points, found from the great basin to the north slope of Alaska, older south to younger north , were northern migrating descendents of the El jobo tradition from South America.

     Oh I forgot, the 25k old midden recently found in Monterey county, disarticulated mammals, with split long bones, waterfowl, fresh and saltwater shellfish several miles inland from the coast.

     And the central cal site from a couple of years ago that has dates from 17-24k that produced mammoth, horse, camels and dogs, not Coyotes or wolves or foxes, but dogs.

     Now the second part of the rant about the 2005 paper, the authors were way ahead of the curve on that one. The model of humans assimilating into or be being assimilated by existing archaic populations is exactly what is being shown by recent work.

     Some of the split times are way off from modern work, 

    First split in Ydna lines A0-A00, 225-320k years ago

    Native American split from Eurasians 125+k maybe 175k, earliest “Europeans” and native Americans have common ancestor or native Americans are the common ancestor.

     Native americans have the highest levels of Neanderthal ancestry, and substantial denisovan ancestry, but there is a cline between the two, with some populations leaning more to one that the other.

     The assertion that modern African are the product of a back migration has been substantially reinforced in the last couple of years, as all africans show some Eurasian ancestry. 

    That south Asian date of 30 something k years, even when the paper was written is ludicrous, modern humans were already tuna fishing in PNG, and had spread to Australia and all of oceana by 40 k years, where they assimilated and were assimilated by the indigenous archaics, the denisovans.

  52. cevinQ –

    Your point is heard, but I read that article completely different than you do.

    Though they list those sites, their text (as brief and vague as it is) ends saying that the (vague and unspecific) assertions of unnamed scientist (perhaps) are not good enough for “many archaeologists). The insertion of some un-sourced claim of humans in the New World at 100,000 years ago is, in itself, fodder for ridiculing the people (whoever they may be) whom the “many archaeologists” disagree with.

    Your point that “when that presentation was put together, the authors were essentially committing archeological [sic] heresy, to suggest a substantive pre Clovis population,” I don’t get, because there is no date on the article, so I have no date to go by, nor do you (unless you know when it was submitted). And nothing that they say spells out a “substantial pre-Clovis population”, either”, as I read it.

    I see nothing but the list itself as being pro- or anti-, and even that is doubtful.

    But in general, there seems to be no point to the article – except the closing sentence which says that many don’t agree with any such things. (But as I said, the thing is so vague about EVERYTHING that who knows WHAT the purpose of the article is.)

    Call it a rant if you wish. But my point was, “WTF was this even ABOUT? And which side are they taking?” I can’t tell, even now, after reading it for the 6th time. Without any specifics about ANYTHING, it is a useless article that says nothing. That still is my take on it.

    But I WILL correct one point: CALICO is, actually, a site that is argued to be 200,000 years old, to be honest. But none of the others are. The article should, IMHO, point that only one was. And if they were going to include CALICO, they should have included Valsequillo, too, near Puebla, which was dated by the geologists in the 1960s at 240,000 years old.

  53. Thanks for all of the info, though what you present is too sketchy for me to follow some of it.

    I did not read past your opening line before responding to it. Which is why I talked about Calico – I didn’t see your mention before commenting on it. My bad.

    The rest is good stuff. Thanks much. But if you could flesh them out, I for one would appreciate it.

    Had the article mentioned dates in the 15,000-25,000ya range I wouldn’t have said much. 40,000ya is a stretch, and Calico is at 200,000, not 100,000. Why they would mention those ages – 40kya and 100kya – instead of the others I wouldn’t have a clue.

    The Ydna split before 200kya is interesting. That is before the earliest early modern man dating I’ve found, which is in Ethiopia at 196kya. On the surface that seems like a contradiction – having modern human DNA splitting before early modern humans are said to have existed.

    Your last comment, about Asia, I pretty much agree with. Other sources I’ve found recently showed as much as 46kya in Borneo. I do not know why that linked paper showed such conservative ages, but SOME people think those are really the oldest. I DID know about the older ages, but presented the conservative ones.

  54. Now you’ve done it! I have Calico on the brain again. Thought I had let that ship sail. Got interested in Leakey in the 60’s… even dragged my wife to hear him speak about it in the 70’s. Now I’m going to go check the place out myself… as if I could really tell anything by looking at it.

  55. The Tranquility shellfish midden is totally interesting. Dating to 62kya at the lowest levels it is clear evidence of human occupation at that time. How can anyone possibly argue differently? That otters did it? Raccoons? Bears? Not possible.

    The more interesting part of that is that the linguists examining the spread of languages in the Americas say that there is more diversity in NA than can be explained in the short time humans have been here. Not only that, but they say that the language diversity is greater than in Europe or Asia or Africa and therefore suggests that humans began in the Americas, not in Africa. Like the mtDNA and Ydna splittings/mutations, they assume things like how long between one language and the next. And maybe all three have errors in their assumptions, but they all do their best to make the assumptions as solid as possible. But since the two DNAs and the languages come to different conclusions at least one of them is wrong. It’s too early to tell which, IMO.

    But the shellfish midden I think DOES extend humans in the Americas back farther than that – because Tranquility and Witt are deep in the interior, over the Rockies. It should have taken at least 3,000 years for peoples to have wandered inland that far. I mean, 62kya will be resisted like HELL, though…LOL

    It’s kind of like seeing the high-tech architecture at Gobekli Tepe at 12,000 years ago. The fish midden wasn’t built in a day, and you have to go back to the beginning. WIth a fish midden that is direct and easy, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist. With Gobekli Tepe, that level of architecture wasn’t developed in a day, so the ruins there argue for humans to be building structures for thousands of years earlier (and they DO have portions of the immediate area that they are pretty sure date to earlier. How much earlier, based solely on the level of architecture? Orthodox archaeology says that it took from 10,000 BC to about 3,500 BC for the Sumerian culture to evolve. So do we put the start of the Gobekli Tepe development at 6,500 years earlier than 12,000 ya? Probably something less, but certainly 1,000 years earlier at a minimum.

  56. Barry – “…as if I could really tell anything by looking at it.”

    Like we haven’t ALL had that experience! I could name a dozen places I’ve done that… LOL

  57. Gentlemen; I wasn’t sure where to put this comment but this seemed as close to subject as anyplace. I live in the Chicago area and this we are having the wettest and coolest summer on record. 2 weeks ago I received over 20 inches of rain in just over a week and we haven’t seen but a hand of 80 degree days this summer. Interestingly the weather people keep telling us about how the forest fires in NW Canada are bringing a smoke pall over the entire Midwest creating very hazy days and nights. Some days you can even smell the wood smoke. If a couple of forest fires in the Northwest Territories can drop temps 3000+ miles away about ten degrees just think what a comet that eats up a piece of Michigan could do globally!! Just a little perspective.

  58. Jim,
    We have had our share of fires around here, and some huge ones in last couple of years. And a big one can throw enough smoke to cause some atmospheric cooling without leaving a measurable carbon deposit.
    Image how how big a fire would have to be to leave an ash layer an inch thick sixty miles upwind.
    That is the ash layer on Santa Rosa island off of California. The early Holocene layers at Witt overlap the oldest burial at tranquillity.
    And that poster led me to a crap load of new/old info, especially the work of Carter, in San Diego.
    Carterrs work backs up McNiesh’s theory of a very early pebble tool culture in so cal.
    Also since then I have read a paper, pining the minimum surface age of rocks at the various calico excavations, at more than 100k, across three distinct dating methods.
    I’ll track a citation down for that.

    I missed previous reply to me, some how. Yes the presence of a shell midden , with human remains, the remains of nearly every indigenous mammal, plus most of the indigenous fishes, clearly shows a human hand at work.
    The two sites are about 15 miles apart on the end of a dead end slough at the end of side channel of the San Joaquin river.

  59. How’d that happen
    Here is the post in the proper order.

    We have had our share of fires around here, and some huge ones in last couple of years. And a big one can throw enough smoke to cause some atmospheric cooling without leaving a measurable carbon deposit.
    Image how how big a fire would have to be to leave an ash layer an inch thick sixty miles upwind.
    That is the ash layer on Santa Rosa island off of California.

    I missed previous reply to me, some how. Yes the presence of a shell midden , with human remains, the remains of nearly every indigenous mammal, plus most of the indigenous fishes, clearly shows a human hand at work.
    The two sites are about 15 miles apart on the end of a dead end slough at the end of side channel of the San Joaquin rive

    The early Holocene layers at Witt overlap the oldest burial at tranquillity.
    And that poster led me to a crap load of new/old info, especially the work of Carter, in San Diego.
    Carterrs work backs up McNiesh’s theory of a very early pebble tool culture in so cal.
    Also since then I have read a paper, pining the minimum surface age of rocks at the various calico excavations, at more than 100k, across three distinct dating methods.
    I’ll track a citation down for that.

  60. Thank you Cevin for backing my observation. If A few small fires (2-3,000,000)acres can effect Chicago, the concept of a North American conflagration on the globe is mindboggling. Nuclear winter has nothing on this! I’ve also read a couple of articles that state that during the YDB period the mountain glaciers in the Southern hemisphere were actually melting. Small periods of retreating and advancing with more retreat. So it appears that the northern hemisphere carried most of the cooling from the event but why did it cause the ocean currents to change and the southern hemisphere to warm up some?

  61. Jim – Nice connection you made on that cool summer. My kids in Chicago have commented on the cold, but I hadn’t realized anyone is calling it the coldest summer ever. In my time around Chicago, I saw some DAMNED cool early summers. In about 1978, I could use the community pool 3 times all summer. Yeah, anecdotal. But even some of my last summers there – 2010 comes to mind – were very cold.

    Stuff I know about connects it all mainly to the “Pacific Decadal Oscillation”, which ties alternate cold and warm phases in the northern Pacific sea surface temps to decades-long droughts and heat waves and then decades-long cool phases in N America and N Europe. These phases are known to go back before any recent human-CO2 increases, so the PDO is certainly not caused by anthropogenic global warming.

    It’s good to pay attention to the forest fires as you are doing. The particulates definitely are known to cause cooling.

    NOW think about continent-wide forest fires and how bad they must have been to lay down black mats averaging 10 cm (4″) thick all the way to Belgium and Syria – black mats that survived rain, snow and erosion for 13,000 years.

  62. CevinQ – Calico – did McNeish and Carter work with Louis Leakey there? Alvarez’s work was covered in a book I read, but those names don’t ring a bell.

    Ah! I found it… Carter did the earlier work in the 1950s that Leakey was following up on in beginning in 1964. Leakey had long suspected that Asians had come to the Americas long before Clovis.

    . . .

    The pebble tools are interesting in more ways than one. Dennis Stanford, in looking in NE Asia for Clovis tools, to find a possible predecessor technology there, found ZERO Clovis artifacts but he DID find that the extant technology in NE Asia was pebble tools. This absolutely ties in with Leakey’s thinking. Was that what Carter thought, too?

    I have no problem myself with pebble tools in California at 60 kya. If, as everyone thinks, everyone was nomads before the advent of agriculture at about 10,000 BCE, then nomads go wherEVER. Why anyone thinks that they wouldn’t travel along the coast at ANY time before 10,000 BCE baffles me. Wanderers wander – that’s what they DO.

    If incontrovertible evidence has not been found yet of such early wanderings, that says more about the unlikelihood of the survival of remains, the very few people who are ALLOWED to go into archaeology who can do research in the field, and the FEW people who lived in the world ANYWHERE tens of thousands of years ago than it does about people entering the New World. Especially when people NEEDED to live within VERY short walking distances of water sources, those very water sources also would have accelerated decay, animals scavenging, and washing silt (filled with bacteria) over the bones and artifacts. It is NOT a coincidence that most remains found are in arid climates – which in itself skews the record BADLY.

  63. No idea where would be the best place to post this….

    New Horizons: Spacecraft data boosts Pluto’s size” – http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-33513905

    It seems that Pluto is bigger than they had expected it to be, if only by a little bit. I don’t think it is enough to get them to reinstate it as a planet, but…

    “Pluto has just been found to be ever so slightly bigger than we thought, having a diameter of 2,370km.
    The measurement was made by the New Horizons probe which is just about to flyby the dwarf world…

    …But perhaps the main consequence from this result is what it does for Pluto fans, because it finally settles the debate over which is the bigger – Pluto or Eris?
    The latter’s discovery in 2005, with its comparable girth, were partly responsible for getting Pluto demoted from full planet status in 2006. However, this new result indicates that Pluto really does have the upper-hand, if only by about 30km in terms of diameter…

    …The probe will pass just 12,500km above the dwarf planet on Tuesday at 11:50 GMT (12:50 BST; 07:50 EDT).”

    So, we have had a couple of very cool probe missions that are going on right now, what with New Horizons here added to the Philae probe on 67P, as the comet has been approaching the Sun.


  64. Steve,
    here is the conclusions of the 2011 paper on surface ages at calico
    “6. Conclusions
    The 10Be TCN concentrations in stream sediments in the Calico
    Hills show that basin-wide erosion rates range from 19 to 39 m/Ma,
    with an average of 30.5±6.2 m/Ma. Surface boulders have
    10Be TCN ages that range from 27 ka to 198 ka. This wide range of ages probably
    reflects significant erosion of the Calico Hills. However, the oldest TCN
    age (198±21 ka) likely places a minimum limit on age of the Yermo
    Deposits. Depth profile ages at four locations within the study area
    have minimum ages that range from 31 to 84 ka, but when corrected
    for erosion the surfaces have ages ranging 43 to 139 ka. These data
    support the view that the surfaces on the Yermo Deposits likely
    formed during the Late Pleistocene to latest Middle Pleistocene. This
    age has important implications for interpreting the context of the
    artifact/geofacts (Haynes, 1973) that occur within the deposits, which
    might suggest very early human occupation of North America (c.f.
    Marshall, 2001
    ). The new ages and erosion rates provide a framework
    for future paleoenvironmental and landscape evolution studies in this
    region and in other semi-arid environments.”


    One of the problems is that anthropologists in the past have based everything about generalized foragers and hunter/gatherers, two completely different life styles, on the San of Africa.
    The San live in an impossibly marginal environment and needed to move around far more than has now shown of average hg’s or foragers.

    All of these very early sites are on lake shores or seaside.

  65. Oh Yah,
    while doing anthro research I found that our friend Pinter, is a very vocal opponent of a substantial pre clovis horizon, arguing that the round rock lined features, found on Santa Rosa island are not hearths but are caused by natural fires, h has also argued that the carbon deposits( black mats) on santa rosa are also natural fires. So I guess, Mother Nature was busy in pre clovis times, arranging rocks into circles, in caves and at cliff bases or overhangs, and starting fires in them, that vitrified the soil inside the rock ring but not out, then later on she reversed the winds so that fires on the mainland could coat the islands with a layer of soot. Soot by the way that carries forms of carbon you cant make in a average natural fire.

  66. CevinQ – Nobody here has a very high opinion of Pinter, and these positions he holds are not going to change any minds.

    Like I’ve said before, S Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC) is the laughing stock university in the entire Midwest, if not the entire country. It is the easiest, lowest quality, lowest reputation state school in Illinois, by far. I have no idea why anyone who values his/her career and reputation would hire on there. As such, one MUST put Pinter’s opinion up there with high school teachers.

    You are catching on, it seems. Pinter is no mental giant.

    The old adage goes, “Those who can’t do, teach.” But the corollary is, “Those who can’t even teach, hire on at SIUC.”

    He was prominent in skepticism regarding the Harvard paper, “Large PT Anomaly in the Greenland Ice Core Points to a Cataclysm at the Onset of the Younger Dryas” that George posted here. http://www.scribd.com/doc/155450332/Large-Pt-anomaly-in-the-Greenland-ice-core-points-to-a-cataclysm-at-the-onset-of-Younger-Dryas

    A teacher at the lowest college in the country vs someone at Harvard… Just how did THAT work out, Mr Pinter?

    I should probably back off. Pinter is just too easy a target.

  67. Steve; just back from being off from work all weekend. Just worked all weekend at home. Another concept about the Canadian fires is that all the particulate they dumping into the atmosphere is also partially responsible for the hellaious rains this summer. In a 1.5 week period in June I received over 20 inches of rain, close to 30″ for the month. I’m waiting for the hill I live on the slide the 1.5 mile into the Kankakee River. The one morning we had 5.25″ in 1 hr. I my 65 yrs I’ve never seen rains like this and the intensity, frequency of storms is definitely increasing. The general patterns seem to be the same so the only thing that is different is the smoke particulate to make rain drops. I still haven’t gotten around to installing that mapping site to try and align my impact points. I do need to do that so I can get on with the rest of the piece, just no damn time.

  68. Steve Garcia,

    Stuff like the Chicago soot isn’t new.

    I visited the SF bay area in the summer of 1998 from Texas and got to breath a lot of Central American soot on both ends that lowered what should have been 100 Degree F weather in California to the upper 80’s – lower 90’s.


    Central American fires spew soot over Texas; U.S. sends Mexico aid
    Published 4:00 am, Saturday, May 16, 1998


    “MEXICO CITY – The United States has started assisting Mexico in the fight against a devastating series of forest fires. The blazes have spewed a 1,000-mile plume of smoke stretching from Central America to Texas, California and other southern states, according to Mexican authorities.

    The fires, which have killed at least 47 firefighters and civilians, have produced “the worst smoky haze event in the southern United State ever,” an Environmental Protection Agency official said Friday.

    As many as 9,000 fires are believed burning in southern Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, some started by farmers to clear fields for planting and others attributed to arson. More than 36,000 people are fighting the fires in southern Mexico, according to the Mexican government.

    Uncontrolled fires were first reported in central and northern Mexico, some close to Mexico City, from December through February. Since April, fires have raged in the more humid regions, areas rarely touched by fires but sparked by the clearing of fields. Fires are currently burning out of control in the states of Veracruz, Tabasco, Chiapas and Oaxaca in southern Mexico.

    Complicating the problem were eruptions from Guatemala’s Pacaya volcano, which began spewing 1,000-foot columns of ash and smoke into the wind currents blowing northward along the Gulf Coast toward Mexico and Texas.”

  69. I ran across this article about moving asteroids:

    “End of the world plan: scientists to nudge asteroid off course as practice for protecting the Earth” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/end-of-the-world-plan-scientists-to-nudge-asteroid-off-course-as-practice-for-protecting-the-earth-a6675041.html

    This is a plan to send a spacecraft to an asteroid by 2020, to intercept the asteroid by 2020, and see what we can learn. This makes good engineering sense – use what we have to see if it does what we think it can do.

    This, I think, is just exactly what we should be doing at this time. We have what we think are technologically feasible methods of deflecting asteroids or comets. And we THINK we know what their make-up is. But we don’t know exactly for sure, either one.

    I like that they are sending it FAR out – two years out – because, as we all know, the earlier we mitigate an actual threatening asteroid by deflection, the easier it is to change the course enough to miss Earth.

    It is an obligation for our generation to DO this – to actually LEARN how to do this, because we are the first generation to have the capacity to stop an extinction level event. If we screw this opportunity up, mankind will always be starting over from scratch – always be blown back to the Stone Age.

    Orthodox science now considers that our history has been a linear ascent, up from nothing, and that this ascent has never happened before. This despite the evidence of civilizations in the very remote past that were capable of some technological achievements that were more or less equal to things we do now. I refer to the megalithic cities and sites around the world and some of their incredible stone work. The orthodoxy misreads these as having been done by people working with copper chisels and granite balls being dropped many millions of times to work stone. Christopher Dunn, for one, has shown how inadequate such orthodox thinking is.

    So, if there is ANY evidence of high technology of ANY kind that existed in the past, the orthodoxy is busted, and our history is, therefore, NOT a linear ascent but an interrupted history. With SOME forensic evidence of the YDIH now in hand (no matter HOW much a small group of skeptics thinks otherwise), we appear to have evidence from TWO angles that humankind has experienced an extinction level event before. For one, we have sites with incredible stone work, in most cases far beyond the capacities of the aboriginal societies that Europeans found. Secondly, we have the evidence in nanodiamonds and other impact materials.

    The lesson, it seems, is that it appears to have happened BEFORE. And if it did, we are SORELY obligated to prevent it happening to US.

    And the way to do it is logically, step by step. We don’t want to end up like all the End of the World movies, in which we have to take a flyer on some un-tried method. We have the technology, and we have the people, and we have the TIME – to do it RIGHT.

    I see this spaceraft project as being a logic and hugely important step toward being able to do it anytime we need to – and to know that it will do the job. Sooner or later SOME such body will come at us. It might be in 100 years or 10,000 years, but it WILL happen. Every crater on every solid body in our solar system tells us it DOES happen. Shoemaker-Levy 9 tells us also that it happens on UN-solid bodies, too – leaving no evidence on those that comets and asteroids DO hit planets.

    If we pretend that we are some blessed planet that is immune to impacts, that is to be ostriches with our heads in the ground.

    THIS spacecraft is IMPORTANT. We are doing the right thing, and at the right time.

    Thank the stars that Chelyabinsk hsa people taking this seriously.

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