Napier Paper: Giant comets and mass extinctions of life

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  • Steve Garcia

    Noel –

    Lots of questions! Good!

    I can take a stab at answering some of them… The discussion is open on these, so don’t just accept anything I say here. Replies and other POVs are welcome.

    • Sand conforming to the flat coastal plain of NC? First, they extend from NJ down to Alabama. This isn’t authoritative, but my understanding is that IF sand was deposited on steeper slopes, then erosion had plenty of time to erase them. Lots of bays have erosion through them.

    • Sand extending further inland… How ejecta flies and what patterns they make upon landing is not well covered in the literature. Not that I’ve seen. My understanding is that it is lofted in an arc and lands where the trajectory takes it – no closer and no farther. See the latter part of the next response.

    • It has been the opinion of most people who’ve addressed the possibility of ET causes that some might be in the ocean. There are even ones near Myrtle Beach (if I recall correctly) that overlap the shoreline. I’ve done an interesting look at the data, and now I am not so sure that many went into the ocean, though. The devil is in the details, though… I am currently working on something about that for George that hopefully he will post.

    • As to those which DID go into the ocean – certanily SOME did – yeah, what kind of waves would they have created? My impression is that the effects would have been local, but maybe not. Some bays are over 7 km long, so if ones large enough to do that hit offshore, I would not have wanted to have been strolling on the beach…

    • Right – the sand does not lie UNDER the bays, from what we’ve seen here. C Moore here has looked at them, doing transects, and what he has shown is the sand draped over the bay rims, following the contour. That may not always be the case, but we haven’t seen anything to say otherwise. IMO, Moore comes up with conclusions that I think are contradictory to what his transects show.

    • Yeah, if the sand came from Saginaw, it should be born out in the chemistry. If the sand came out of Saginaw Bay it may be difficult to do assays. But first there needs to be someone with bucks to fund such an expedition.

    • As to total sand volume, it appears that no one has studied that. That would be a helluva big study. As to what hit in the ocean, the Gulf Stream would have had its way with much of it. I wonder if any of it shows up in the material studied and classified as ice-rafted debris farther north.

    In case you missed it, the sand in NC is such pure quartz that they just did it up and directly turn it into glass, without purifying it. It is up to 10 meters and more in some places.

    Also, there are bald cypresses found lying sideways in the sand – and the wood is still usable and valuable after tens of thousands of years.

    In case you are wondering, there are 43,900 Carolina bays, counting 592 out win the Great Plains. That number comes from Michael Davias’ LIDAR work at Cintos. He has separated them into 6 types, based on their shapes. They are not all elliptical, though they are all rounded. And, as Davias has shown, their patterns are related to their N-S locations. (That last is something that the aeolian and steam bubble people have no possible explanation for.) The 6 types are:

    (22,631) bayCarolina bays
    (16,103) baySouth bays
    (3,672) bayBell bays
    (829) bayShore bays
    (592) bayWest bays
    (73) bayOval bays

  • Steve Garcia


    I am gonna rant on a bit here about the planetary accretion thing again…

    Based on the title, I thought, “Wow, someone actually doing experiments to discover things in astronomy.” And it was going really well… Until the last sentence.

    At I found this Abstract:

    Laboratory simulation of planetesimal collision: 2. Ejecta velocity distribution
    Waza et al 1985:


    Velocity distributions of fragments produced by low-velocity impact against rock were obtained from high frame rate photographs. Cylindrical projectiles of mild steel (S15CK) and two kinds of rocks (tuff and basalt) were impacted against spherical rock targets at velocities from 50 to 400 m/s. Target destruction initiates with longitudinal splitting, which is analogous to destructive uniaxial static compression. The ejecta velocity component normal to the incident direction (“lateral component”) differs for impacts into basalt (∼20 m/s) and tuff (∼5 m/s) targets. The lateral component of kinetic energy of the fragments is shown to be controlled by the total strain energy stored before fracturing begins. For equivalent impact energy per unit target mass, ejection velocities of larger fragments from low-velocity impacts are slightly higher than velocities from high-velocity impacts; in addition, ejection velocities relative to the impact velocity for low-velocity impacts are much higher than those for high-velocity impacts. Therefore, impact velocity and not the imparted energy density is suggested to be an important parameter for classifying these low-velocity collisional events. The ejecta velocity distribution is also greatly influenced by differences in relative mechanical properties between the projectile and target. Ejecta velocities from rock-rock collisions are much higher than velocities from steel-rock collisions even for equivalent impact velocity. This implies that the mechanical properties of planetesimals have played an important role in the early stages of planetary formation.

    Right up till that last sentence, all they talked about was obliteration of the target material… “Ejecta velocities”, “The lateral component of kinetic energy”, “Target destruction”.

    And then? “…mechanical properties of planetesimals have played a part in the early stages of planetary formation.


    HOW is destruction in any way planetary formation?

    It’s like studying the shades of black rocks and how black they are, and then closing with, “…blackness has played a part in the whitening of rocks.”

    *** BTW, I totally agree with the part about the mechanical properties of impacted bodies having a part in what happens with impacts at the velocities of impacts out in the solar system. HOW an impacted body breaks apart at impact IS governed a lot by the mechanical properties of the materials. How could it NOT? Any idiot knows that.

    I also agreed re the rock-rock impacts having higher ejecta velocities than steel-rock impacts. Rocks are crystalline and brittle. They shatter, and the shattering is governed by the lattices of the crystalline structure within them. Shattering is like snapping. (It’s kind of like styrofoam which doesn’t bend much before it snaps, and the snap is like a bent spring that pops loose.)

    Steel, on the other hand, is crystalline, too, but malleable – ESPECIALLY MILD STEEL! WHY in the world would they use MILD steel – which is CRAP steel compared to most alloys? Maybe they are trying to simulate iron meteors. But if they are, they should use IRON, not mild steel or any steel.

    *** And BTW, the velocities used here are called “low-velocity”, and they should be. Almost no collision in space will ever be as slow as 400 m/sec or 50 m/sec.

    So, though this paper 30 years ago did empirical work, IMO the results are kind of worthless, because they used the wrong materials and they also used velocities that ere far too low. WAAAAY different things happen with changes in materials and changes in velocities.

    Heck, they probably didn’t even freeze the dang things to simulate outer space temps, either.

    Surovell would have loved these guys.

  • Steve Garcia

    One more issue on those velocities (If I am repeating myself, please stop me…)

    Even those ejecta velocities mentioned in the abstract – 20 m/sec and 5 m/sec – are for planetesimals, so high that they probably exceed the escape velocities of even meteors the size of meteor 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (which is 4.3 x 4/1 km).

    The probe Philae’s first bounce off of 67P was calculated to be about 0.38 m/sec (0.85 mph), and the probe then came within 15% of reaching escape velocity and never coming back.

    Ergo, when really slow ejecta can leave a 4.3 x 4.1 km “planetesimal” at about 0.45 m/sec because of the effects of a collision, which was only a 1 m/sec impact (about 2.2 mph), how is any impact of smaller objects supposed to “accrete” any of the two bodies together?

    From an engineering standpoint, none of that makes sense. Any faster impact than 1.2 m/sec and Philae would have been lost forever, after its 10-year flight.

    And yet impacts at several THOUSAND meters per second are supposed to have accreted planetesimals together.


  • CevinQ

    Pluto Has a tail,

    New horizons has found that pluto is producing a tail of nitrogen ions that are being stripped out of the atmosphere by the solar wind.
    Technically that makes pluto a comet.

  • Trent Telenko

    >>New horizons has found that pluto is producing a tail of nitrogen ions
    >>that are being stripped out of the atmosphere by the solar wind.
    >>Technically that makes Pluto a comet.

    I wonder the sensor that detected nitrogen ions has been used on other space probes?

  • Hi Trent

    Remember that Mercury seems that also loses its atmosphere.

  • Steve Garcia

    Don’t be surprised if Earth is also trailing some nitrogen ions. “Earth’s magnetic field stops its atmosphere from being stripped away by the solar wind” [Wiki]

    Hell, I am quite surprised that Pluto even HAS an atmosphere. It has to be awfully thin.

    Venus sometimes has a comet-like tail, but they phrase Venus’ tail this way: “The planet Venus sometimes looks less like a planet and more like a comet, scientists say.

    So, Pluto’s solar wind induced tail makes it a comet, but Venus’ only makes it “like a comet”. Tsk tsk tsk… The people who want to make sure everyone thinks of Pluto as a non-planet really are laying it on thick. I am not holding my breath till they declare Venus a comet…LOL

  • Trent Telenko
  • Trent Telenko

    Whoops, forgot to add this —

    “The comet has a black hydrocarbon crust overlaying ice, smooth icy ‘seas’, and flat-bottomed craters containing ‘lakes’ of re-frozen water overlain with organic debris”

  • Steve Garcia

    Phys.Org seems to be a site for touting researcher’s jumped-to conclusions, premature conclusions and immature mental processes. I say ‘immature’ because in almost ALL of the areas of research they write about, the science is only in the early stage where evidence is being collected, and so the science is in flux – and not well-enough developed to actually see the bigger picture. To me, that is a state of immaturity. NO offense intended, except that I wish that they would stop prematurely ejaculating about what the new evidence means. They are almost invariably wrong, anyway. What the really mean is that the new evidence fitted into the uniformitarian POV would SEEM to fit in such-and-such a way. The evidence-gathering phase of any scientific topic is early in the continuum of that topic, and thus conclusions are always based on too little information and too much leaning on existing paradigm-think.

    Some articles on planetary and cometary formation/development:
    Do comet fractures drive surface evolution?
    with hi-res image of the surface of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko showing cracks. There searchers interpret them as fracturing from solar heating. I look at the same cracks and see fracture planes from cooling of molten basaltic (or somewhat similar) rocks, such as at

    While rocks DO fracture from solar heating and cooling on the surface of Earth, the fracturing is normally at a scale tending toward microscopic – and not very deep. (I could be wrong on that, of course.) I would doubt very much if fracturing on the scale shown on 67P is possible, due to the depth implied of heating implied by the scale of the macro cracking pattern visible from Rosetta.

    The entire article is rife with speculation piled upon speculation – conclusions upon conclusions, and all with caveats. Meaning basically that they don’t really know, and there is really no fundamental reason for the article. They are WAAAAY early in their study of Rosetta’s 67P evidence. But they MUST keep the attention on NASA and ESA and don’t let the public forget. Public forgetting is the way to lose funding. So, they believe that they have to keep on waving their arms and hollering. Their near-term careers depend on ongoing attention. And the ever-present, “This will require further study!”

    For example: “Monitoring for changes in these fracture systems after the current perihelion phase, and running models to simulate the evolution of the comet over time, will enable us to test our various hypotheses for fracture formation,” adds Ramy.

    Just a laugher in a way, but 67P in the article is said to have a “6.5 year orbit around the Sun”. Comets are said to have been created in the solar nebula phase over 4 billion years ago. (OR created in the Oort cloud. Yet the Ooort cloud where there is even less gravity and more vacuum than in the inner solar system. Right. Igneous or metamorphic rocks forming where there is no gravity and no pressure.) If it was not in the Oort cloud, then in 4 billion years a 6.5-year orbit would mean ~615 million perihelions – about 150 million orbits per billion years. I daresay that if there had been that many orbits, and if the solar heating was as much as they assert, the entire surface would be not only regolith but dust. And as the surface micro-cracked, the surface would recede, bit by bit. Science’s own “nearly infinite time” for geologic and astronomical processes would entropy the comet out of existence. It would be not a dirty snowball but a dusty dirtball – and a strengthless one, at that. It would just be a lot of dust. And if comets Schwassmann-Wachmann and SL-9 and the Encke progenitor are typical, as soon as pieces break up and float away, they would string out along the orbit like a string of pearls, not stay close together in one aggregated, accreted clump. Schwassmann-Wachmann was very instructive, since it broke up far from any gravitational tides. And what happens to one like Schwassmann-Wachmann, at the scale visible from Earth, has to be happening also at the micro level as well.

    But on a more basic level, the solar heating idea is CRAP. 67P’s perihelion is at 1.2458 AU. Assuming that heat energy diminishes as the cube of the distance (correct me if I am wrong), then the solar energy hitting 67P at perihelion is (1/1.2458)^3 = about .52 times that of Earth (1.360 kW/m^2), or 0.703 watts per square meter. Pardon the language, but that is not enough to pee on. Those rocks are not going to be exposed to enough energy to crack them. Aphelion is 5.68 AU, so the LOW heat portion of the orbit has about (1.36 x 1/5.68^3) = 239 watts per square meter – about three 75 watt bulbs per square meter. (A square meter is about 11 sq feet.) The delta is .703-.239 = 0.464 kW/m^2. Not enough to pee on. Given that with rotation any surface is exposed to the Sun only about 1/2 the time, the energy density cycling isn’t enough to crack a rock. On the scale of astronomical motions and energies and masses, 239 watts, 703 watts, and 464 watts is just NOTHING. That is like saying that the heat from a flashlight’s bulb would heat up a car interior when you got stuck in a blizzard.

  • Steve Garcia

    I was going to mention other articles. Maybe I will. That one took a lot of time… so maybe and maybe not.

  • Steve Garcia

    And BTW, here we go again – Proportion, Proportion, Proportion…

    It is REALLY necessary to keep proportion in mind. Always. To always have in the back on one’s mind, “Is that sufficient energy? Enough force? Enough pressure? Enough temperature? Enough relative velocity? Enough mass?

    All this started in my head with the back of my mind asking if there was enough gravity and pressure and temperature to make olivine in the Allende meteorite.

  • jim coyle

    Steve; Those three conditions are the real basis for any good ideas. In reference to the Allende meteorite the answers are no, no, no, maybe, no, and no. so that leaves the next question: Where did it come from?? Is the base rock igneous or metamorphic? I haven’t read up enough on it to even venture a guess at this point. I’m going to use the 3P’s on My pet project to see if it helps to clear some of the fog that’s arisen lately. Thanks for theconcept to work with.

  • Steve Garcia

    This is the first I’ve heard about this. I suspect it won’t be the last alarmist rumor to go viral about “We’re All Going to Die!”

    If we even remotely want to be taken seriously, we need to not do this sort of thing. Ever. Not to make sh*t up, and not to run around like Chicken Little.

  • Steve Garcia
  • Steve Garcia

    Perhaps an alternative method for estimating the threat to Earth…

    My Theory on the Purpose of Higher Consciousness in Humans

    No, I don’t agree on what the main theme of this article is, which seems to be “Let’s all sing Kumbaya” and that will prevent an impact from wiping out humans on Earth.” I would HATE for us to all start chanting and hoping we don’t get hit by THE BIG ONE, and it squashes us like a fly. That is a really dumb idea for an experiment, with all our lives on the line.

    But the article has this terrific map entitled “Bolide Events 1994-2014 (Small Asteroids that Disintegrated in Earth’s Atmosphere” at

    It even separates the day airburst with the night airbursts and codes for energy levels of the individual bolides.

    If we map such objects coming in long enough – or simply database them, I guess – we should begin to see the ratios of them by size – in REAL WORLD terms. That is better than mere models and mere estimates of quantities of objects “out there”.

    It is not the ones out there that are important. It is the ones that arrive HERE.

    BY compiling data on the bolides, we MAY be able to one day get an estimate on what the flux density of them IN OUR ORBITAL toroid that we pass through. (The Thanks to WISE, we have counts on those we can SEE, and where they are and what their orbits are. But that is only down to a certain size, and those that are visible in the EM frequencies we choose to search with. Below that size we are more or less blind. When we find half a million above that threshold, we know that there are many multiples of that number out there, too, that we can’t see yet.

    But if we can generate a reliable curve for size>quantity, we can estimate the ones that are large enough to kick our butts but still too small to see (so far).

    I think that by counting the bolides and logging their sizes, we can compare that curve to the “outer space” estimates and data, to see if our outer space estimates have similar ratios. The map on that web page only goes back to 1994 (the year of Shoemaker-Levy 9). If it can be taken back earlier, then the added data can give us a better estimate ratios and quantities. Or at least an alternative method, with which to vet the existing NASA numbers.

    One of the things is to see if there are ways of finding out if we are missing any, with WISE or with other existing methods. Do the dark ones out number the visible ones? Is the N-size ratio curve correct? Etc…

  • Steve Garcia

    I was looking for a better post to make this comment, but really didn’t find a good one.

    Quite randomly tonight I picked an episode of the Sherlock Holmes in New York series titled “Elementary”. I chose one with the odd name “Dead Clade Walking”. Lo and behold, its topic (as Wiki describes it) “featured a Nanotyrannus skeleton found “significantly above” the K-T boundary”.

    In the episode my ears perked up when Tommy Lee Miller’s Sherlock character stated, “A clade is a group of animals which has survived an extinction level event. It is widely acknowledge in paleontological circels that the extinction of the dinosaurs was brought about by a comet striking the surface of the Earth approximately 66 million years aago. The foundation of this belief is a layer of rock beneath the surface of the Earth which has an abundance of rare metals supposed to be common in comets and asteroids – called K-T Boundary….”

    To this his partner, the female Watson in this version, responded, “Yeah, I’ve heard about that somewhere. They only find dinosaur fossils BELOW the K-T boundary, right?”

    “Apart from a few very rare exceptions, yes. It stands to reason. If the dinosaurs were rendered extinct by the comet which created the K-T boundary, you couldn’t very well find their bones above it, right?”


    “Maybe. A new generation of paleontologists seized on the FEW fossils found above the K-T boundary, to suggest that some dinosaurs survived the comet’s impact… They call their theory ‘Dead Clade Walking’, and it is enormously controversial in the field.”

    “Okay, so maybe dinosaurs lived longer than we thought. So why is that controversial?”

    “…Dead Clade Walking has yielded a bumper crop of conflict.”

    “…I’m not sure what it has to do with our investigation.”

    “The rock nanotyrannus was found in – I decided to take a closer look at its composition, and Gaye [their geologist] has confirmed that it seems too have certain geological features which would suggest that it was buried above the K–T boundary.”

    End of dialogue.

    All of this brought to mind the so-called pygmy mammoths on Wrangel Island off the NE coast of Siberia, as well as the pygmy mammoths on California’s Channel Islands. Every time posts about the YDB, a contingent there says, essentially, “The mammoths didn’t go extinct at the YDB; they survived until about 36000 years ago on an island off of Siberia”.

    And they are right. But I don’t buy their argument, because isolated groups could certainly have survived what happened elsewhere.

    I looked up “Dead Clade Walking” (DCW), and it even has a Wiki page. The term is a take-off on the movie “Dead Man Walking.” DCW refers to a small group of animals which survive an extinction level event but die out before long. The paper in which the term ‘Dead Clade Walking’ was introduced is at Survival without recovery after mass extinctions

    Dead Clade Walking seems to me to be an exact description of the mammoths on both Wrangel and the Channel Islands. Those mammoths were a Dead Clade Walking. They survived. Their environment/ecosystem allowed them to live, but not to thrive – only at a level that meant dwindling numbers and eventual extinction of the isolated survivor groups.

    Think of it like a “bottleneck event”, one in which a population is severely reduced but manages to survive and grow its numbers back up – except one in which the bottleneck gets tighter and tighter until it eventually pinches off the reproduction altogether eventually.

    In Jablonski’s paper he only talks about the big extinctions of millions of years ago. And he talks in terms of the Dead Clade Walking living for a million years or so. So, the mammoth extinction doesn’t fit, because they only lived for about 9,000 years, not a million years. (Actually, I think a DCW lasting 9,000 years is a more rational idea. Any animals whose offspring lasts for a million years seems quite unlikely to have THEN had its numbers reduced to zero. That is a LOT of generations – WHY would the extinction comet still play a part in fauna life maybe 30,000 generations later?

    In any event, we have a new term for those pygmy mammoths now. The pygmy mammoths were a Dead Clade Walking., even if the YDB wasn’t one of Jablonski’s five big extinction level events. They survived but were on the brink for a good while, but eventually they could not manage to stay alive any longer.

  • Steve Garcia

    It’s interesting…

    I’d commented this recently:

    Steve Garcia
    August 17, 2015 at 8:05 pm
    When you think about it, the Overkill hypothesis was always wedded to the Clovis First dogma. When that went down in 1997, Overkill was toast. It’s just taking some time for the world to wake up to it.

    And then the previous comment here, about “Dead Clade Walking”. (Thanks to the Sherlock Holmes TV show “Elementary”.) It was/is about species that have only a small group left after an extinction level event, and who don’t know it yet, but their kind are doomed.

    In a way, the two go together.

    The Overkill Hypothesis of Paul S. Martin survived the overthrow of the Clovis First barrier, but, from that moment on Overkill has been doomed, but they don’t know it yet.

    The argument about Overkill was that all it took was the arrival of insatiable human hunters and 33 genera of megafauna were doomed, and doomed very quickly. The Clovis technology lasted about 300 years, tops. Martin’s story went like this: People arrived, people raced across N America, people killed every large animal they laid eyes on, and the megafauna were wiped out.

    But it didn’t happen like that. Humans had been here for at least 2,000 and perhaps even more than 9,000 years. But in those millennia the animals did not get hunted to extinction. Meltzer himself did a paper pointing out how the extinctions were in a very short time, and that range of time included the Younger Dryas onset. What were the humans doing all that time, if they weren’t wiping out big animals? They were eating other animals, smaller animals. Meltzer, again, has papers on this subject, too. He writes that, YES, humans were eating all SORTS of animals. Meltzer points out that mammoths were not their sole prey, as Martin had asserted (and just about everybody but me swallowed, hook, line, and sinker).

    In a way, Meltzer should be on our side. But he seems to be skeptical about just about everybody’s ideas – not just ours. Ask Paul Martin about that. I swear it was he who wrote a paper about the timing of the “ice free corridor”, showing that it did not open up until about 8,00 years ago – FAR too late for humans to have come down from Beringia to wipe out the megafauna just before the YD onset. 3,000 years too late.

    Pretty much the entire thing we’d been told about Clovis coming over Beringia is turning to crap. They had pieced it together, with the arrival of Clovis, the ice-free corridor, the ice sheets, the extinctions – and one by one, all the parts have fallen apart. (Many scientists still adhere to those, though, and all our kids are still taught that bogus crap in schools all over the USA – if not all over the world. And it simply isn’t true.)

    It’s been a sort of mild-mannered chaos since 1997 when the Monte Verde site in Chile was vetted by a large group of archaeologists and proven to their satisfaction that Monte Verde was older than Clovis. The house of cards did not fall all at once. We are still seeing it fall apart, and much of that collapse is happening behind academic’s ivy-covered walls. Meltzer and Surovell both argue that Clovis man was far different than Martin’s sociopathic Clovis animal murderers. Clovis man actually killed and ate small game and deer! Oh My!

    It isn’t showing up on the covers of DISCOVERY Magazine, but it is happening. The Clovis Overkill is in full Dead Clade Walking mode, and it is happening out of the public eye – just like executions in prisons (the origin of the movie “Dead Man Walking”) are being done mostly out of the eye of the public.

    But DO be aware that both Clovis First and Overkill are just as dead as “former” death row inmates. Even if they won’t admit it yet.

    Dead Overkill Walking…

    The extinction event was Monte Verde. Clovis First died that day. The Overkill hypothesis persisted, but its legs were cut out from under it.

    Some day within OUR lives Overkill will die, as a result of the death of the Clovis First dogma.

    What is there to replace it? Hahahaha – We know!

  • Steve Garcia

    I am going to pull out “Proportion Proportion Proportion.

    Wiki starts out Dead Clade Walking [DCW] with:

    Dead clade walking also known as “survival without recovery”[1] refers to a clade (group) of organisms which survived a mass extinction but never recovered in numbers, becoming extinct a few million years after the mass extinction or failed to recover in numbers and diversity.”

    I agree with it all, except the “few million years” aspect. The proportion is all wrong.

    Think of it – megafauna species now have life spans measured in decades, usually. They are fertile in about 5-15 years, and the reproduce pretty much when they become fertile. Let’s conservatively estimate their generations as about every 15 years plus 22 months gestation – put it at ~17 years. In ONE million years, then, there would be about 59,000 generations. “A few million years” would, say, be 3 million years, making the number of generations available 176,000 generations.

    It is inconceivable that a NEW species would take even 59,000 generations to establish itself, much less 176,000 generations. If even the lower number of 59,000 generations are the number that a species is “on the bubble”, then almost all species would never be born. Add to that that for animals smaller than elephants or mammoths it would mean considerably more generations.

    Something besides simply low numbers must have been going on. This is besides an extinction event. This is AFTER, when the species is in a DCW situation.

    If a species dies a MILLION years after an extinction event, there is no reason whatsoever to blame the extinction event itself. By a million years later, the species should have long since re-asserted itself into the ecosystem.

    Proportion-wise, the 8,000 years for the pygmy mammoths to die out is much more in keeping with proportionality. 8,000 years is “only” 470 generations.

    But think about 470 generations. In humans that would represent almost 12,000 years, based on ~25 years per generation. That is the time span from Göbekli Tepe till now. It is almost all of the years since the YDB. If humans died out NOW, would it make any sense to blame proposed the YD impact?

    Obviously not.

    There must be other factors. The most obvious candidate would be a changed environment after an extinction event.

    Interestingly, the Wrangel Island pygmy mammoths (if they were pygmies at all, which may not be true) lived on a frozen island (at least since the YDB). If it was modern elephants living there it would be so cold that the elephants would not survive very long at all. 470 generations seems an impossible feat of reproduction oin such a land where no tree or bush lives for more than 2-3 moths a year.

    The arctic environment itself would constitute a “second extinction factor” for a Dead Clade Walking species. But if it WAS, then the obvious “NEXT QUESTION” must be what? Right – Why didn’t that same environment not kill them off before?

    So, either there is a THIRD factor or the environment changed. If an extinction event that killed off OTHER megafauna species was not sufficient to kill off a DCW species, then the species SHOULD HAVE recovered, if their previous natural ecosystem was still functioning the same. (That would imply one thing and one thing only: That the post-YDB environment was NOT the same as the pre-YDB environment.) The previous natural ecosystem was the Bölling-Allerod, when temps peaked somewhat near to the Holocene’s climate. Prior to that was a SIMILAR climate to the YoungerDryas cold stadial, the “Last Glacial Maximum”, which lasted from ~30,000 years ago to ~19,000 years ago. The mammoths on Wrangle survived THAT climate for that duration – about the same duration as the pygmy mammoths survived after the YDB. BUT: The other mammoths didn’t make it out of the WARM Bölling-Alleröd.

    That last fact obviously does not match up with any of the other facts. Why would mammoths be dying off when the climate was approaching and nearly equal to today’s climate (i.e., a warm climate)? Did the end of the LGM make ALL megafauna into N America Dead Clade Walking clades for the duration of the Bölling-Alleröd warm period?

    Perhaps? Perhaps not? If so, what kind of mechanism could even be proposed? Too much warmth? After all, after the end of the YDB the rest of the Holocene was warm. Yet on the other hand, elephants today are found in environments FAR warmer than the climate at Wrangel Island, as well as warmer than almost any part of the U.S. In addition, an Egyptian hieroglyphic pictograph shows an image of what to all intents and purposes looks exactly like a mammoth, but only about 4-5 feet tall at the shoulder. So, clearly mammoths can live well enough in warm Egypt. So why would warm N America or frozen Wrangel island be too warm? The easy answer is that, No, maybe the climate of the warm Bölling-Alleröd was not the problem for them.

    But maybe the LGM itself reduced their numbers to not quite sustainable levels? If so, then why would they have been able to survive it and live not only INTO the Bölling-Alleröd, but also THROUGH its 6,000 years? With the better climate, wouldn’t they have thrived? Why would they have made it right to the END of the warm 6,000-year period and then die just as it is getting cold?

    No, it just doesn’t seem to hold water that the climate alone was the culprit. None of that makes sense with climate as the sole killer, not with them dying off right when the cold began again. They should have been stronger.

    But IF the Dead Clade Walking conjecture is included, then the LGM might be seen as the first extinction “event” – one that weakened the megafauna – and then with their numbers at low levels the Bölling-Alleröd may POSSIBLY not have been long enough for them to recover, and then when the YD began, IT became the second extinction event, the one that finished off all of the megafauna EXCEPT the two island refuges of the mammoths. That all COULD make sense, but only if one can picture the megafauna being SO debilitated by the LGM that they teetered TOTALLY on the brink 19,000 years ago.

    For ALL the 33 or so species to have been on the edge, climate-wise at ANY time seems outrageously ridiculous statistical nonsense. Why would Saber-Toothed Tigers in Los Angeles or Mexico City be at risk the same time as Mammoths in the utter north of Siberia or in Michigan? No one with half a brain could see such a possibility as feasible. There is no evidence that the climate in Mexico City or L.A. was frigid. Even if the coming ice of the YD shifted temps colder by several degrees C, it wouldn’t have taken ALL the mammoth regions to equally cold levels.

    So, even though SOME aspects of climate (alone) might point to climate as being a possibility, the overall history that includes the 6,000-year-long Bölling-Alleröd cannot be made to make sense – even with TWO cold whammies, the LGM and the YD onset. The two are simply too far apart, with too many generations for the megafauna to be able to recover. Even in 6,000 years there were about 350 generations – certainly enough for them to procreate and eat heartily and to thrive. They should NOT have been weaker at the END of the Bölling-Alleröd than at its beginning. They would instead have been stronger, meaning that a second whammy would have hit when they were 350 generations stronger.

    So, for the OTHER 33 megafauna species Dead Clade Walking does not seem to make sense. It MIGHT make sense for the two island pygmy mammoth populations, though. It is only ONE species. It is conceivable to think that their locales and isolation COULD HAVE spared them the immediate doom of the rest of their species. And it is conceivable that the YD onset – whatever its non-climate cause – could have been the extinction event that put their island populations into a bottleneck situation that was so squeezed down that they weren’t going to make it. The known history supports making a connection between the YD onset and the subsequent Dead Clade Walking situation: Their numbers globally dropped to nothing everywhere else, plus they only lasted another 8,000 years. That seems to exactly match the Dead Clade Walking scenario to a ‘T’. Especially if one takes out the “few million years” timing and replaces it with a much shorter time span.

  • Steve Garcia

    One more thing…

    The Dead Clade Walking situation for the island populations of pygmy mammoths would have been 1300 years of Younger Dryas cold and then over 6500 years of warm Holocene warmth. THAT 6500 years is essentially the same duration as the Bölling-Alleröd warm period.

    The Wrangel Island mammoths are the ones who survived the longest – 60% of the way through the Holocene – even though they lived well above the Arctic Circle with its super-cold climate. If cold was what did them in, then why would the Channel Island mammoths in California have died off first? It is (at the least) counter-intuitive, if not downright illogical. Yes, the numbers on the Channel Islands could have been lower, perhaps a LOT lower. And the climate is a near desert climate, so the mammoths not only were in a region with impeded plant growth, but also the islands there may have had long droughts like the one in California going on now. Being isolated on a small island, it would only take one extended drought to starve them to death.

    No matter WHAT others may think, the YD impact hypothesis seems to be the only scenario that could fit both the instantaneous characteristic of the YD onset and have had the ability to kill the megafauna in so many climate zones and in such a vast area.

    1. Climate fails for the various reasons argued in the previous comment.
    2. Overkill by Clovis has absolutely NO explanation for mammoths dying off in far northern Siberia at the same time as in then temperate N America down all the way to Mexico City.

    What else IS there? Nothing. By a process of elimination the cause of the YD onset is whittled down to a very large impact. So even without the lab test results on the impact materials the YD is left standing as the only possible cause. When put together WITH the impact materials, the three lines of evidence – the pygmy mammoth history plus the materials examinations, and then plus the process of elimination – support each other. SOMETHING caused the extinctions and it happened right at the time if the instantaneous climate shift.

    If not climate and not Overkill, what is left? Nothing.

  • Steve Garcia

    Pardon my being almost the only one commenting at present. Sorry ’bout dat.

    I believe someone here commented not long ago about a large number of scientific papers that had to be retracted from one journal. The number that comes to mind is 60 or so papers.

    Here is an article about a parallel, but realted, issue: Over half of psychology studies fail reproducibility test As is common, all we have is the Abstract.

    How it applies to what we’ve got with the YDB and with the history of comets and asteroids is that AT LEAST THE PSYCHOLOGISTS CAN EFFECTIVELY TEST THE IDEAS TO SEE IF THEY DO HOLD WATER OR NOT.

    This for the most part is not possible with much of astronomy and even geology. Not only can others in astronomy, geology, and modern physics not often be able to try to reproduce the work done by the original scientists, but often there is simply nothing to test, nothing to replicate. If you read enough papers you will begin to find that, there is about 1-5% fact (often from someone else’s earlier work) and a lot of conjecture. HOW THESE PAPERS GET PUBLISHED IS BEYOND ME. Most of it is in the interpretation. In that, astronomy, modern physics, and geology are not far at all from psychology and have much more in common with psychology than with chemistry or Newtonian physics, the really hard sciences. When we get to cosmology, forget it – there is absolutely no requirement that empirical science even applies.

    That is one reason why the YDB team continues to impress me. Not only did they start out by trying to work out the most physical evidence they could find and do massive amounts of REPLICATABLE lab tests – true empirical science. And the seem to even INVITE others to test their results, by specifically spelling out the methods and protocols, so that others can both vet the results and question the methods and protocols.

    And it is also why it is so egregious that Surovell and Pinter et al continue their onslaught against the lab science, and do so with nothing more than their different interpretations – often going to great lengths even to FIND some perceived loophole in the YDB team’s work.

    Interpretations are not empirical science. When the Royal Society was founded in 1666, Robert Hooke and Newton were the driving forces behind it. Hooke’s specific aim was to get completely away from the many hypotheses and interpretations and to make everything empirical. He wanted scientists to actually physically come in and SHOW the Society their experiments and results, right there on the stage. Hooke and Newton hated each other with a passion, however, and Newton eventually out-office-politicked Hooke, and Hooke’s aims were essentially discarded. Hardly had the Society meetings began before non-empirical science was allowed in the meeting hall. Boom! Down came the guillotine on science as solely empiricism.

    Because of this sand-bagged start, it doesn’t take much to become a science, as long as it doesn’t include astrology or palm-reading. Psychology – the weak sister of the article linked to – is one of the so-called “soft sciences”, along with psychiatry and sociology. But from my readings I would at the very LEAST look to include archaeology, paleontology, deep Earth geology, astronomy, climatology, quantum physics, and especially cosmology.

    As far as I can tell, NONE of those does any actual lab experiments, with their ability to actually MEASURE things quantitatively. We are all TOLD that such experiments exist, but for the most part the lab results we hear about are them contracting to OUTSIDE labs to do C14 tests or other dating methods.

    The only things they quantify are spectra of stars and comets and such. And as soon as they have the data interpretation rears its ugly head and twists the data to suit the researchers’ pre-conceived ideas.

    These pre-conceived ideas are EXACTLY what underlies the MANY, MANY “discoveries” that force the scientists to discard their notions and incorporate the new, conflicting evidence. “We will have to go back and start over again.” “We will have to see how we can fit this new evidence into our current theories.” NO! NO! NO! If the evidence coming in contradicts your theory, then the theory is not correct – and it doesn’t just need some tweaks; it needs to be re-thought out from fundamentals!

    Psychology and medicine are very fortunate in that replication actually is encouraged and occurs on a regular basis. This allows them to find out which “studies” or ideas are full of sh*t, to discard them, to put a blot on scientists’ records, and to just forget about those crackpot frauds and/or incompetent scientists.

    The another sciences mentioned don’t have that luxury. When someone has a bogus idea, mother of GAWD, the publish and gain STANDING int their communities. Not only can they not DEVISE experiments with which to test their ideas, no one ELSE can devise ways of proving their ideas wrong. There is an increasing voice being raised in these sciences by the few empirical scientists left on those fields, who are screaming bloody murder that, “IT IS NOT SCIENCE IF YOU CAN”T COME UP WITH EXPERIMENTS WITH WHICH TO TEST IF THEY ARE RIGHT OR WRONG.” And that includes those who would try to replicate anyone else’s work – if it can’t be replicated, it ain’t science. To be replicated, there had to have been enough information about how the results were arrived at. But when the results are simply interpretations of a tiny bit of evidence, how do you replicate an interpretation? So – AS IN HOOKE’S DAY and which Hooke correctly perceived – what you end up with is people who side with one idea or another simply because they believe that the interpretation is correct. You get factions, arguing over the words – instead of directly doing the experiments and measuring and reading the micrometers and thermometers and pressure gauges and spectral analyses and recording the numbers that fall out. Facts don’t need interpretation or factions arguing for them or against them. Facts are themselves TRUE; no interpretation will add or detract from the truth of them.

    Interpretation is EXACTLY the same as SPIN. Interpretation is a POLITICAL quality, just like in Washington D.C. Interpretation is all about putting the best light on SOME facts and trying to cover up the existence of other facts, facts that are equally true. (No fact is ever wrong.) Think lawyers and trying to win cases.

    Because of the lack of testability in those non-hard sciences mentioned, ideas in those fields have gotten entrenched – for DECADES – that will never be able to be shown to be right or wrong. Some or most of them will likely be DEAD ENDS, but it may take MORE decades for us to even KNOW that to be the case. When careers are measured in terms of 3-4 decades, then, entire careers will be invested in wrong theories, wherever those wrong theories exist (and they DO). And if you think the intrigues of the medieval Italian courts were hot and heavy and treacherous and vicious, well Hell hath no fury like a scientist who is told his career has been for naught.

    So, Jim, it not just Proportion, Proportion, Proportion. It is also Replicate, Replicate, Replicate. If no one can replicate someone’s work, then the work was CRAP in the first place. Oh, it MIGHT be true. But “might be true” is not what science is about. “Might be true” is for churches and political rallies. When science devolves to “might have been” it has given up the ghost.

    So, if astronomy and geology had such replication capacity, IMHO, the sciences would be so much better served. And, probably more correct. Expect in future decades for much of what is currently thought to be true to go by the wayside.

  • jim coyle

    Steve; P,P, and P go hand in hand with R,R and R. You really can’t judge proportion without replicating your results otherwise it’s just jumping to conclusions. One would think it’s just common sense but: Guess what’s missing??? That rare commodity, COMMON SENSE!!

  • Trent Telenko

    Steve Garcia,

    You might want to read the following.

    There is a new book out trying to keep the Human-mammoth overkill hypothesis going by adding the wipe out of the Neanderthals on top of it…which may wind up killing that hypothesis regard Clovis Man.

    AFAIK, Clovis man didn’t have any dogs, let alone “wolf-dogs,” to hunt Mammoth with.

    Did Dog-Human Alliance Drive Out the Neanderthals?

    With the help of wolf dogs, early humans out-hunted—and outlasted—Neanderthals.
    By Simon Worrall, for National Geographic

  • CevinQ

    You have opened a giant can of worms now, evolution of domesticated dogs is a seriously sticky wicket. There are lots of papers out there making all kinds of contradictory statements about how dogs affected modern human development.
    A few things to remember, depending on which study, all dogs descend from a dog(not wolf) in central east asia 32kya(tiawanish area) or all dogs are descended from west Asian wolves<10kya(rubbish) or all dogs are descended from a Siberian wolf,25kya?.
    am at work so cant go into any great detail, except that canid domestication is far older than is given credit for, and happened at several times and places, separately.
    One theory has been put forth that, the gravettians, those dog using mammoth hunters, successfully domesticated canids on several occasions in widely separated times and places, only to lose all animals during extreme privation, and start over in a new area with a new breeding stock.
    There is circumstantial evidence from HSN burials in spain, that they might have semi domesticated the wolf, a HSN young adult was buried with the remains of a wolf.
    And in a very obscure paper, from about 20 years ago, researchers in Alaska indentified one specimen of what they called a "short faced wolf".
    This canid, found in what would have been beringia, sated to about 60-70kya and exhibited all the signs of domestication.
    A wider more robust jaw set, a shorter snout and shorter blunter teeth, all of these are seen in early domesticated wolves, as the diet changes from hunting or scavenging prey, in which the entrails and muscular meat are the primary meats, while domesticated canids are given the scraps of the hunt, ie bones with which the meat has to be scavenged, leading to the changes in jaw, skull and tooth morphologies. Bigger blunter teeth and wider jaws for crushing bones.

    Then there is the nagging question of who had dogs in central cal 17kya.
    Another interesting thing about predmosti, is that the humans ate mammoth, while their dogs ate caribou, both nearly exclusively.
    Here is a very good discussion on ancient dogs
    and another discussion on dogs and Neanderthals

    Here is something to chew on, one of the areas proposed to be a place of origination of dogs central east asia, is also the area that has modern humans with one of the highest levels of Neanderthal ancestry.

  • CevinQ

    A little more on dogs,

    “The new research published today evaluates the relationship of a 33,000 year old Siberian fossil to modern dogs and wolves based on DNA sequence. The researchers found that this fossil, named the ‘Altai dog’ after the mountains where it was recovered, is more closely related to modern dogs and prehistoric canids found on the American continents than it is to wolves.”
    and a new paper

    “Dinets’ overview shows that domestic dogs are descendants of two interbred species: a small extinct wild dog of Asia and the grey wolf. Different breeds have different proportions of wolf blood, and that can explain a lot about their personalities and behavior.

    There are four to five wild species of Canis in North America, according to the overview. In addition to the well-known grey wolf and coyote, there is a secondary wild population of the domestic dog known as the Carolina dog, plus a few populations of hybrid origin with different proportions of wolf and coyote genes. Two of these hybrid populations, the red wolf of the eastern U.S. and the Algonquin wolf–also known as the Eastern or timber wolf–of southeastern Canada, have already evolved into full species. What is still unknown is whether they should be considered two different species or one species with two living subspecies.”

  • Steve Garcia

    Trent –

    Thanks! I can’t get to that article just now. Out of town and busy. First reaction, though:

    The Cro-Magnon/”Modern man” (CMMM) killed off Neadertals has only one fact behind it – Neandertals aren’t around anymore. The rest is all total speculation and always has been. Unlike Clovis mammoth kill sites, there are NO CMMM-Neandrtal kill sites. And even WITH the 12 provable CM-Mammoth kill sites, that one is dead in the water. What does that do to the CMMM-Neandertal kill scenario?

    The reason that the headline ends in a question mark is SPECIFICALLY because it IS speculation. And dammit! speculation in science is just f-ing WRONG. These popular science writers and editors are the WORST of the worst, in terms of getting anything science out to the public. It would be better if it were done by the universities themselves. Those sycophants have no place in the equation.

    The fact that about 200 years on, they are still asking how Neandertals died out should be seen as evidence that they don’t know what they are DOING.

    And being professional guessers is not anything I would ever side with.

  • Steve Garcia

    CevinQ –

    Wow, thanks for the thorough info on dogs.


    “A few things to remember, depending on which study, all dogs descend from a dog(not wolf) in central east asia 32kya(tiawanish area) or all dogs are descended from west Asian wolves<10kya (rubbish) or all dogs are descended from a Siberian wolf, 25kya?"

    REALLY? It is bad enough that they have humans "evolving" in less than 200,000 years. WAAAY to short a time! Now they have dogs developing into hundreds of distinct breeds in 32kya or 25kya????

    WTF kind of science is that?

    If ANY of that is what they think, then they need to change their job titles to "Professional Speculator".

    And it's not like Darwin's birds out on the Galapagos, which varied because of differences in the environments. WHY would domesticated dogs have varied environments? They eat, shit, and grovel before their human masters. Only a few actually worked, and most of the work was the same – hunting. While hunters might change over time (but shouldn't within 32kya), true domesticated dogs – Pekinese, etc. – should not change. Unless specifically bred for traits, as now.

    This is mind-bogglingly odd information. If ANYTHING it should be turning Darwinism on its head. For MANY millions of years, evolution is slow, plodding, and nothing happens. But on every side, the paleos and arkies claim that HUMANS – and now dogs – changed vastly over only a few tens of thousand of years.

    How stupid can these yokels BE?

  • Steve Garcia

    CevinQ –

    Wow. That Altai dog thing….

    Altai is SPECIFICALLY the only place in central or east Asia where haplotype X is found. X is found in the Orkneys, the Irooquois, the Druse in the Middle East, in a small part of the Caucasus, and one other place (which my brain can’t recall just now). And NOWHERE IN BETWEEN.

    This is THE most mysterious thing in science – or should be. HOW does a DNA haplotype skip over ALL the intervening distances and in ALL these directions? It is as if someone had airplanes – and airplanes that didn’t land anywhere but at the end terminations.

    Now, one things about X haplotype that science will never allow into the discussion is that in the 1930s and 1940s the psychic Edgar Cayce talked in several score of his “readings” about Atlantis and its demise. He said that – interesting in its own right – that the Atlanteans KNEW their destruction was coming, and that they had time to send out groups to what he labeled “safe lands”. And guess where Cayce put the Atlantean “safe lands”? VERY CLOSE to where X haplotype is found now. And how did they get there? Cayce specifically said that the Gobi (Altai) group had “airships”. Well, if ONE of the Atlantean evacuee groups had airships, then one would guess that all of them might have.

    Just saying…

    And now they put MODERN dogs in the Altai, too. WAAAY freaking cool.

    But one interesting things about Cyce and his human history:

    At the time he said it all, it was all so far out in left field that it, of course, was written off as silliness. But as time has gone on Cayce’s account has been the direction which the new evidence points to, more and more. And this direction is exactly in the OPPOSITE direction of where the arkies’ thinking was then. Cayce’s becomes more and more like what the evidence shows, and the arkies (especially the arkies of the ’30s and ’40s) has proven time and time again to have been wrong.

    Science move closer and closer to Cayce every decade.

    When I read Cayce, his stuff was internally consistent (which to me is necessary to get my attention). it was out in left field, even in the late 1960s when I read it. But it was interesting enough for me to keep it in the back of my mind, wondering if any of it would prove out in any way, or if it would – like almost 100% of New Age “information” – be shown to be total crap. Amazingly, next to NONE of what he said has been shown to be categorically wrong.

    As opposed to what archaeology’s “facts” and interpretations were – in the ’30s, or the ’40, or the ’50s, or the ’60s, ora nytme since. It is the ARKIES who keep moving the goalposts.

    And when people move goalposts, I lose respect for them.

    Cayce is long since dead – before I was ever born. So his people have not been able to move any goalposts.

    When the term “Altai” comes up, my ears perk up. Cayce called it “Gobi”, but the Gobi is immediately adjacent to the area we call Altai (and I believe he talked about the safe area being in the mountains of the Gobi – which IS the Altai region). The X haplotype there drops off VERY quickly with distance. Even the “next-door” neighbors barely have any X.

  • Steve Garcia

    The Orkneys (also an X region) is to me remarkable for two reasons. One is the ruins at Skara Brae, right on the sea coast and having such “modern” things built in as dressers/shelves in bedrooms. One is the Book of Enoch, in which a Jewish guy in the Middle East was taken somewhere in “the utter north” and shown some large, laid out thing on the landscape which he was instructed in how it worked. It was standing stones with “gates” between them that they explained represented seasons. Near to Skara Brea (within about 6 km) is the stone circle called The Ring of Brodgar (one of about 1,000 stone circles in the British Isles). See this image for example:

    I THINK that these stone circles will one day be shown to not only be solar astronomical sites but also observatories used for – among other things – observing comets whizzing around Earth. If Bill Napier is correct about the Encke progenitor, the early millennia after about 30kya (the time of the Altai dog) was a time when MANY fragments were hitting Mars, the Moon, Venus, Mercury, and EARTH. (As well as Jupiter?) It was a time – for a LONG time – when the number of shooting stars was immense, and some of the shooting stars not only made streaks but also hit the surface. Humans LIVED THEN, and it would have freaked them out. And eventually they would have learned enough to begin to figure out that SOME hit and some don’t. I think the stone circle at Brodgar – of nowhere else – was used to tell which could hit and which couldn’t. A useful bit of knowledge in a time of impacts.

    Such abilities were far ahead of their time? Humans are resourceful, and their brains then were as big as ours. Neandertals had even bigger brains. Resourcefulness, big brains, a NEED – all that is necessary for someone to begin to learn from their observations – and devise ways of observing even BETTER. After all, many of the early observatories in Europe and China were done with big courtyard-sized devices in the gardens of wealthy dabblers in science. Until precision telescopes and such were made possible by technology, big was the ONLY way to get precision in astronomical observations. Big as in 20-50 feet across or more. And something 100 meters across could be even MORE precise.

    All that is necessary for us today is to respect the intelligence of our forbears. The principles do not change – logic, need, experience, understanding of the tools at hand. Basically all you had to be was an engineer before engineering was codified and modernized – being practical and undertaking projects for specific reasons. Humans have always done this. And we always WILL.

  • Steve Garcia

    The overall plan of Skara Brae:

    A view of a room at Skara Brae:

    I put it to you that that plan and that room were done by people who KNEW what they were going for, who KNEW what shelving was, what ovens were, what passageways were, what BEDS were – what COMMUNITY was. They knew, and the went out and found materials that they SAW how to include them into a livable – if crude – home and community.

    I think those people had already LIVED in such a community, before they ever arrived at Skara Brae. And that they were trying to replicate what they knew.

  • Trent Telenko

    Steve G,

    Regards this —

    “The Cro-Magnon/”Modern man” (CMMM) killed off Neanderthals has only one fact behind it – Neanderthals aren’t around anymore. The rest is all total speculation and always has been. Unlike Clovis mammoth kill sites, there are NO CMMM-Neanderthal kill sites. And even WITH the 12 provable CM-Mammoth kill sites, that one is dead in the water. What does that do to the CMMM-Neanderthal kill scenario?”

    One doesn’t need to physically kill off the Neanderthals in large numbers to out compete for the same food supply.

    Neanderthals could handily win every physical confrontation with “Cro-Magnon/”Modern man” when they had near even numbers and still lose out as a species. Starvation and lower birth rated from the “Cro-Magnon/”Modern man” plus dog alliance food competition could easily have turned Neanderthal’s into another “Dead Clade Walking” species.

    Once there were too few Neanderthal’s compared to “Cro-Magnon/”Modern man, they would simply have been another cave dwelling big game species for CMMM.

    Heck, once there were too few Neanderthals, Cave bear competition for living space would have been enough to do them in without CMMM.

  • Trent Telenko


    So did Clovis man have dogs or not?

    Those Science Daily articles you linked too was so filled with conservationist pleadings about North American canine species that it provided no evidence either way.

    This passage —

    “Human domestication of dogs predates the beginning of agriculture about 10,000 years ago, but when modern dogs emerged as a species distinct from wolves is still unclear. Although some previous studies have suggested that this separation of domestic dogs and wolves occurred over 100,000 years ago, the oldest known fossils of modern dogs are only about 36,000 years old.

    The new research published today evaluates the relationship of a 33,000 year old Siberian fossil to modern dogs and wolves based on DNA sequence. The researchers found that this fossil, named the ‘Altai dog’ after the mountains where it was recovered, is more closely related to modern dogs and prehistoric canids found on the American continents than it is to wolves.

    They add, “”These results suggest a more ancient history of the dog outside the Middle East or East Asia, previously thought to be the centers where dogs originated.”

    …even implied some sort of North America to Eurasia transport of dog genes.

  • CevinQ

    Steve & Trent,

    “Regards this —

    “The Cro-Magnon/”Modern man” (CMMM) killed off Neanderthals has only one fact behind it – Neanderthals aren’t around anymore. The rest is all total speculation and always has been. Unlike Clovis mammoth kill sites, there are NO CMMM-Neanderthal kill sites. And even WITH the 12 provable CM-Mammoth kill sites, that one is dead in the water. What does that do to the CMMM-Neanderthal kill scenario?”

    One doesn’t need to physically kill off the Neanderthals in large numbers to out compete for the same food supply. ”

    A couple of things to consider, we did not “kill off” the Neanderthals, they became us and we became them. All non Africans and some east Africans, north Africans are Eurasians so they fall into the first category, have Neanderthal ancestry. Indigenous central Mexicans have the highest levels of HSN ancestry followed by indigenous Tiawanese. Modern humans inherited the ability process and store fats from HSN, we also inherited type2 diabetes from HSN.
    Oase 1, an early modern human from Romania, approx. 40kya, had a HSN great great grandfather.

    From Dienekes anthropology blog

    “Several important conclusions of the discovery that Oase1 had a Neandertal ancestor 4-6 generations before his time (37-42 thousand years ago):

    This is a smoking gun that modern humans interbred with Neandertals, following up on the publication of the Ust’Ishim and Kostenki-14 genomes; these two had longer Neandertal chunks than modern humans, from which it was estimated that their Neandertal admixture happened more than 50,000 years ago, roughly what one gets when looking at Neandertal chunks in modern humans alone. The Oase1 has even longer Neandertal chunks, and Neandertal admixture happened in its very recent past.
    So, it seems that Neandertal admixture was not a one-off event but is bracketed at least by the period 50-40 thousand years ago and happened in at least two places: Europe and the Near East.
    The fact that the earliest European sample (N=1) has a recent Neandertal ancestor indicates that Neandertal admixture in the earliest Europeans cannot have been extremely rare or non-existent; if it were, the chances of finding one with the first try would be extremely low.
    It is unlikely that Neandertals were killed off by modern humans immediately after the arrival of the latter in Europe, as the Oase1 is dated well after the arrival of modern humans to Europe.
    Modern Europeans don’t seem to be particularly related to the population of Oase1. After one substracts contamination and Neandertal admixture, what is left over is actually closer to East Asians than modern Europeans. But, it’s equally close to East Asians and European hunter-gatherers. This can be explained if modern Europeans have ancestry from the mysterious “Basal Eurasians” via the Neolithic farmers.
    Why did the Neandertals (and the significantly-Neandertal admixed AMH like Oase1) disappear? My bet is on the Campanian Ignibrite eruption.”

    Link to original paper

  • Cevin Q

    The question of Clovis having dogs is very much up in the air, while a later “Clovis” site in Washington has yielded dog remains, I don’t think earlier and more s eastern sites have yielded any dog remains.
    But a hastily excavated site a few miles north of me yielded dog remains dating from 17kya to 23kya. Unfortunately the site was unearthed during freeway construction, and only a weekend was allowed to dig the area, before being covered in 3′ of concrete.
    One of those papers alluded to an extinct “Asian dog” that was crossed with a wolf. That is a very significant statement, because it implies a very early domestication event separate from the domestication of the grey wolf.
    That relates to an interesting situation among modern dogs, there are two basic kinds of dogs, dogs with low hanging straight tails(wolf) and dogs with upright curly tails(“Asian dog”), and all freely interbreeding feral dogs will eventually end up with yellow to tan fur a wide short snout and a curly upright tail.

  • Cevin Q

    The MtDna HG x question is pivotal to the understanding of human dispersal.
    As you noted x is found among certain Native American groups, and certain old world populations.
    A few points are of significance, HG x is found among the Druze, an isolated highland population, it is found in the Caucasus’and the Orkneys, as you noted.
    So, here is where it gets interesting, the earliest examples of salmon fishing is from a Neanderthal site in the Caucuses.
    All of the places that have hgx also have salmon runs. All of the north American native Americans that have hgx, are traditionally salmon fishermen.

  • Steve Garcia

    Trent –
    One doesn’t need to physically kill off the Neanderthals in large numbers to out compete for the same food supply.

    Neanderthals could handily win every physical confrontation with “Cro-Magnon/”Modern man” when they had near even numbers and still lose out as a species. Starvation and lower birth rated from the “Cro-Magnon/”Modern man” plus dog alliance food competition could easily have turned Neanderthal’s into another “Dead Clade Walking” species.

    Once there were too few Neanderthal’s compared to “Cro-Magnon/”Modern man, they would simply have been another cave dwelling big game species for CMMM.

    Heck, once there were too few Neanderthals, Cave bear competition for living space would have been enough to do them in without CMMM.

    All of this is premised on the “competition for living space” idea. This idea I myself don’t accept. In our modern world we might think that way, but the numbers per square mile of either species was almost certainly less than 1.0 on average. The amount of living space was effectively infinite.

    It is similar to the idea that a few hundred or a few thousand Clovis men could scour the entire NA continent of all megafauna. The population density in Eurasia simply was too low – or even just Europe.

    I DO tentatively accept the possibility – even though it almost certainly lacks data – that perhaps Neandertal birth rates were low. Perhaps. That alone might account for the demographic curves going in opposite directions. But on this, I’d stress that solid info on the birth rate will probably never be found, and that there really is no reason to guess at this other than that Neandertals as Neandertals don’t exist anymore. That is flimsy evidence, if that is all there is behind it.

  • Steve Garcia

    CevinQ – “One doesn’t need to physically kill off the Neanderthals in large numbers to out compete for the same food supply.

    CevinQ, as I just responded to Trent, the population density was certainly far too low for there to have been any competition for “the same food supply”. The ratio of food to either (or both groups together) was certainly thousands of animals per individual. It’s not like everyone was ordering mammoth burgers at the nearest Steak-n-Shake and the place missed an incoming delivery. They certainly ate whatever they could catch. (Meltzer covered this in more than one paper as regards to Clovis man.) Game would have been every bit as fecund in Europe and Asia as it ever was in Africa and NA in known times. Deer, rabbits, boar, squirrels, possum, raccoons, etc., should have been out there in HUGE numbers.

  • Steve Garcia

    Trent – “The researchers found that this fossil, named the ‘Altai dog’ after the mountains where it was recovered, is more closely related to modern dogs and prehistoric canids found on the American continents than it is to wolves.

    …even implied some sort of North America to Eurasia transport of dog genes.”

    Two points:

    Once again the Altai/GobiN American connection, as in the X haplogroup (and Cayce)

    The linguistic evidence – specifically the number of NA languages – has suggested the possibility that the movement of humans was not TO the Americas but FROM the Americas. The linguists figure X years for variations to split off, and simply by how MANY languages N America doesn’t fit the <~20,000 year thing. If I remember correctly, no less than 50,000 years was needed for so many separate languages to develop. So, contrary to other sources and our academic inertial teachings, humans may have begun in the Americas. There is nothing "game-winning" about the linguistics, but it certainly doesn't agree with the standard meme.

  • Steve Garcia

    CevinQ – “So, here is where it gets interesting, the earliest examples of salmon fishing is from a Neanderthal site in the Caucuses.
    All of the places that have hgx also have salmon runs. All of the north American native Americans that have hgx, are traditionally salmon fishermen.”

    Now THAT is an interesting fact.

    But: They have salmon runs in the Altai? THAT is a long way for salmon to swim upstream!

  • James

    “My Theory on the Purpose of Higher Consciousness in Humans

    No, I don’t agree on what the main theme of this article is, which seems to be “Let’s all sing Kumbaya” and that will prevent an impact from wiping out humans on Earth.” I would HATE for us to all start chanting and hoping we don’t get hit by THE BIG ONE, and it squashes us like a fly. That is a really dumb idea for an experiment, with all our lives on the line.”

    I am not sure if you read the whole article, but singing Kumbaya was not how the article ends…. The end game isn’t singing, it is gathering the governments and using the destructive tools at hand to destroy an incoming comet or asteroid.
    Thanks for linking my article instead of just the picture though 😉


  • CevinQ

    Yes, there are salmon in some drainages in the altai, the northern flank drains into the arctic ocean,the southern flank drains into lake Baikal. there are landlocked salmon in that drainage (we call them kokanee)and real salmon in the northern drainages. Before the LGM, much of Siberia was drained through the giant west Siberian lake. Ice blocked the Yenisei and Ob rivers from draining into the arctic ocean, that water backed up and flowed south into lake Baikal, then lake balakash, aral sea, Caspian sea into the black then out to the med.
    Another fact to note, the earliest example of modern human fishing is from an altai drainage, and dates to about 40+kya.