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Typical: Boslough ignores LeCompte
George Howard event February 9, 2013 comment 67 Comments


 [See comments: Boslough responds!]

Boslough et al’s recent paper gives no less than nine separate citations to Todd Surovell’s 2009 publication: An independent evaluation of the Younger Dryas extra-terrestrial hypothesis. The multiple references are not surprising given that the Surovell paper has become a totem of Boslough and other’s crusade to end research into the Younger Dryas Boundary Hypothesis.

What is surprising (if you are not already consumed by cynicism:) is that Boslough finds no space in his whitewash to provide a full and truthful review of Surovell’s work. Most disturbingly, he entirely ignores LeCompte et al’s 2012 PNAS publication: Independent evaluation of conflicting microspherule results from different investigations of the Younger Dryas impact hypothesis  In LeCompte’s paper — peer-reviewed and published in the one of the world’s top journals — Surovell’s 2009 work is left in tatters.

Making reference and citation to conclusions that present a challenge to your position is certainly a difficult and personal experience. Here at the Tusk, for instance, it always pains us a bit to post the work of YDB critics. But we do so because it maintains our intellectual integrity to present both sides of the story. To do less, like Boslough — a funded scientist publishing in the literature regarding a controversial subject — is simply detestable.

Mendacious presentations of his type are telling. Authors who do not have the courage to confront their critics with their critic’s words, but rather cherry pick (at best) what they care to share of the other side, are intellectually worthless — and particularly so in science. Unfortunately, once you have reached Action Figure status concern for the integrity of your argument must become secondary to the attention you can manage to bring to yourself.

From LeCompte et al, 2012:

Comparison of Protocols Used by Surovell et al. and Firestone et al.

Surovell et al. purportedly used the same protocol as Firestone et al. yet were unable to find a single spherule in YDB sediments at three previously reported sites. They concluded that the “discrepancy between the two studies is particularly troublesome.” Our investigation reveals the abundant presence of YDB spherules at all three widely separated sites, consistent with the results by Firestone et al. Because of this difference we now examine the methodology of Surovell et al. who reported their methods in detail. Comparing the methodology of each, we find Surovell et al. deviated substantially in several critical aspects, and we suggest that this departure resulted in their finding no YDB spherules at these three sites. A summary comparison of the three protocols is in SI Appendix, Table S4.


From Boslough, Surovell et al., 2013:


airburst black mat clovis comet LeCompte mark boslough Sandia Labs spherules todd surovell younger dryas