|One rendition of the putative [and now forever debunked] Younger Dryas Impact theory.|
M. Boslough, K. Nicoll, V. Holliday, T.L. Daulton, D. Meltzer, N. Pinter, A.C. Scott, T. Surovell, P. Claeys, J. Gill, F. Paquay, J. Marlon, P. Bartlein, C. Whitlock, D. Grayson, and A.J.T. Jull (2012), Arguments and evidence against a Younger Dryas impact event, in Climates, Landscapes, and Civilizations, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 198, edited by L. Giosan et al. 13–26, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/2012GM001209.
|A Clovis 'point' |
[or double-edged sword, if you prefer]
Boslough et al. first give lie to the various scenarios that the Younger Dryas impact proponents have erected to explain a) an impact with no impact crater, and b) the impossibility of an 'airburst' of sufficient magnitude to have spread its destructive energy across North America south of the ice margin. Put simply, even if a sufficiently large object had made contact on the waning Laurentide Ice Sheet there would have been impact evidence on the ground in the present. No such exist. As for the 'airburst' idea, physical principles tell us that to have been large enough to create a continent-wide cataclysm it needed to have broken up well above Earth's atmosphere [i.e. in space, fer gawd's sake!] and unless there had been a gigantic explosion inside the offending celestial body, and that even if had broken up through some mysterious, previously unheralded physical laws, such a missile would simply have continued on its course, with the various bits in close formation, and have had the same 'footprint' as if it had been all one piece.
Planet Jupiter. The four brown patches are, give or take, the impact points
of four fragments of the Comet Shoemaker--Levy 9, in 1994. This was the
first time a human being had witnessed the collision of two celestial bodies.
(CREDIT: Photograph courtesy of Claudio Latorre.)
This is the kind of scrutiny that needs to be applied to every [and I mean every] one of the claims of the kind the Subversive Archaeologist is determined to overturn. I've been going to say this for a few weeks now, but couldn't find the right platform. Now I can. With independent and non-partisan examination, could we not---for example---once and for all, address the possibly erroneous early dates for modern human behaviour from the caves of southern Africa? I focus on this one simply because I'm not a physicist. Neither were the YD impacts proponents. And, although the OSL daters of those south African caves are physicists, too, I think their technique [or more correctly, their method] is due for a thorough going over.
As for the other kind of issue---e.g.purposeful burial in the Middle Palaeolithic. I think these can be dealt with just fine, thank you, by unblinkered archaeologists [with a little informed help from geologists]. Early claims for fire use, however, can't be dealt with by us archaeologists alone. Even the much touted record of presumed 'hearths' at Kebara Cave could do with a re-visit [I believe]. Patrick Randolph-Quinney, one of the SA's staunchest supporters, is ready, willing and quite able, I think, to apply forensic science approaches to the early fire question. [Hope ya don't mind me singling you out, Patrick!]
The point is: the work is there to be done. And although several people have asked me to work with them on some of the issues, I truly believe my mind is best applied to my activities at the Subversive Archaeologist. I'm happy pointing you in the right direction.
With that in mind. Get busy! Great things are afoot!
Oh. And. I still have work to do on the "Out of Africa, Out of Africa Again, and Yet Again Out of Africa" business recently posited by Boivin et al.
Thanks for making my day!
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