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Crying Wolf (Life Sciences)
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Mick Harper
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You are our resident expert. You are already adopting the correct AE posture eg

You might assume, from a casual read, that the (human or hominid) bones themselves were being dated.

Always remember that 'careful ignoral' is first and foremost applied by the professional practitioners to their own brains. One can easily put together a scenario in which somebody or other pulls out a bit of 'stuff' and then gets (an entirely objective and no doubt entirely accurate) 100,000 BP reading. Even though it might be the fiftieth bit of 'stuff' tested none of which produced the required dates. After that bit of supportive 'science' the Chinese whispers can start.

But always remember, everybody from then on in the band-of-transmission, from archaeologists through editors of learned journals to writers of books-what-end-up-on-Claire's-bookshelf, are Chinese.
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Grant



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Mick wrote
But just in case you think I am not playing fair you are permitted one 'special plead', that is humans are allowed to change their behaviour once to account for the one-time change from having their fossils destroyed to having their fossils not being destroyed.

If we were semi-aquatic at this stage (some time before 100,000 years ago) would this prevent fossilisation? But if this is the answer, why did we come on land in the north? When I read Elaine Morgan I imagined it all taking place in some tropical swamp or beach, not a cold Northern shore. But perhaps it wasn't cold then.
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Mick Harper
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No, not aquatic since fossils would still be found. On the subject of Morgan, I too pictured it all hazily tropical when I was being converted but polar seas actually make more sense. The cold is neither here nor there so long as you've got a fair amount of blubber.
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Chad


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Mick Harper wrote:
On the subject of Morgan, I too pictured it all hazily tropical when I was being converted but polar seas actually make more sense. The cold is neither here nor there so long as you've got a fair amount of blubber.


Presumably, the initial plunge of our ape-like ancestor would have been into tropical water and he gradually evolved the ability to endure the cold along the journey...before emerging as proto-Cro-Magnon in the Arctic.

But how (if I've got this right) did he get from the Indian Ocean to the Arctic Ocean? If it was via the Pacific, wouldn't that have involved getting out of the water and climbing several thousand feet to reach the High Ocean?

If he took some other route, how did the various Hominids (who were partly aquatic-adapted) achieve their range of distribution? Did they take an entirely different bus, rather than just getting off the same bus, at an earlier stop, as I had imagined?
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Mick Harper
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Presumably, the initial plunge of our ape-like ancestor would have been into tropical water

Why so? It is entirely a modern affectation that 'primates' have to be tropical species. Have a look at them. Do they look tropical to you? Don't they survive perfectly well in...well, Japanese snow for starters. But northern zoos with minimal intervention in general. Actually you could prolly put together a thesis that hominids drove them out of the colder bits but I digress (from my thesis).

But how (if I've got this right) did he get from the Indian Ocean to the Arctic Ocean? If it was via the Pacific, wouldn't that have involved getting out of the water and climbing several thousand feet to reach the High Ocean?

Well, if it happened at all, it happened zillions of years ago when modern geography didn't exist. There's no problem in principle, once 'humans' enter the water, to follow any and every coastline (they are all stuffed with fast food emporia). And then increasing blubber as you go polewards.

If he took some other route, how did the various Hominids (who were partly aquatic-adapted) achieve their range of distribution? Did they take an entirely different bus...rather than just getting off the same bus, at an earlier stop, as I had imagined?

Look, none of this is part of my thesis which merely requires anatomically-modern-humans to be in Northern Canada before 40,000 BP and nowhere else. Feel free to extemporise on their travails before this date. (Though remember, whatever you posit, all their fossil and archaeological remains must be destroyed.)

I do accept though that for Cro-Magnon to pop out of Northern Canada he must have got there somehow and "aquatically along the coast" would be highly convenient!
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Hatty
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Grant wrote:
The last ice age started about 100,000 years ago and ended about 11,000 years ago. But there were warm periods during the ice age when the ice retreated. There were also sudden freezing events when it got much colder.

This is widely accepted now though until relatively recently ice ages were presumed to have lasted for millions, rather than thousands, of years (it may appear to be challenging credulity but geologists don't have the same view of time as the rest of us). These advancing and retreating ice sheets every few thousand years would fulfill the brief of destroying fossil evidence periodically. Just a tentative suggestion.
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Mick Harper
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Yes, yes, we are agreed that advancing glaciation destroys fossils but one other factor (so obvious that nobody ever sees it) is required to make sure all fossils are destroyed.
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Hatty
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It could be that fossils don't have to be destroyed to be 'non-existent', just inaccessible, in places too far down perhaps or even in places where no-one's yet thought to excavate.
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Mick Harper
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Yes, dear, I am sure you are right in a self-defining way. Please tell us where these places are. We normally find fossils in places like the Affar Desert and the Beringian badlands so I am all agog to hear of places even more inaccessible.
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Hatty
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How 'bout volcanic eruptions? Layers of molten ash would pulverise anything as effectively as ice sheets.
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Chad


In: Ramsbottom
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Prior to 40,000 BP or whenever, Cro-Magnon exclusively inhabited areas where his fossils would later be destroyed by glaciation...he simply didn't exist in other areas where his fossils might have survived.
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Mick Harper
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Most ingenious, Hatty, but this is special pleading since it would involve volcanic eruptions in just the places required. Not very likely.

So, Chad, what is the implication of your (correct) conclusion?
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Hatty
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he simply didn't exist in other areas where his fossils might have survived.

He lived in the unglaciated Middle East where fossils have survived. The cradle of civilisation?
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Chad


In: Ramsbottom
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So, Chad, what is the implication of your (correct) conclusion?


The main implication is that Cro-Magnon must have made his debut as a fully terrestrial animal at about that time.

Before that he must have been permanently located in the sea and on its shoreline. - - Had he ventured far inland, he would have left a fossil trail...so the sea was his environment and he never left it, until he was forced to do so by the advancing ice following the first of Mick's pole shifts.

In fact, if Mick's pole positions are correct, not only can we be positive that Northern Canada was the location of this momentous event, but I believe only Hudson Bay would have fulfilled all the criteria.
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Chad


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He lived in the unglaciated Middle East where fossils have survived.


Not scientifically verified prior to 40,000 BP....unless I'm much mistaken.
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