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Silvia Gonzalez, a geoarchaeologist at England's Liverpool John Moores University, and a team of colleagues first discovered the features in 2003. The researchers found them embedded in basaltic lava on the floor of an abandoned quarry near Puebla in central Mexico.
If the new dates are correct, the footprints could be among the most incredible hominid traces ever discovered—or, more likely, not footprints at all.
"One-point-three million years is a lot older than I expected," said Paul Renne, director of the Berkeley Geochronology Center at University of California, Berkeley.
"I repeated the experiment nine times using different samples, usually single chunks of this basaltic rock, and they all gave the same unambiguous results."
"We can't definitely rule out that these are footprints," he said. "I'm a geologist and not an anthropologist. But if that's true, it would be one of the most remarkable discoveries in centuries."
"My conclusion is that this is a deeply disturbed surface," he said. "It's been walked on, driven on, walked on by animals. Sleds carrying building stones have been driven over it.
"It has a lot of indentations, and some of them are what has been interpreted as footprints. We found a huge variety of those of different shapes and depths."
said Paul Renne, director of the Berkeley Geochronology Center at University of California, Berkeley.
As if to confirm their findings they also discovered that the rock grains in the volcanic ash had polarity opposite to the Earth's polarity today. Since the last magnetic pole reversal was 790,000 years ago, the rock must be at least that age. Because the Earth's magnetic polarity changes, on average, every 250,000 years, the argon/argon date is consistent with a time between 1.07 and 1.77 million years ago when the Earth's polarity was opposite to that of today.
Originally posted by DangerDeath
So, what is actually the job of science? To support existing theories?
I say, there's so much sacrificed to that. And the reason is obvious, such new evidence threatens the authority of science and those who are financing it.
Kandinsky: Choice 1 is in conflict with every known piece of evidence regarding human evolution....
Same link as above
As hominid tracks as old as 1.3 Ma seems remote on the American continent, an alternative interpretation suggests that the intermediate polarity of the Xalnene ash and the reverse polarity of the volcanic lava both originated during the Laschamp geomagnetic event, 45 ka to about 39 ka ago.
SC: Within the currently accepted consensus opinion of evolution.
There is every reason to consider the polyphylogenetic evolutionary model as having been the likelier model in which case all bets are off as far as evolution providing a reliable chronology of hominid evolution and activity on Earth.
Kandinsky: If you mention Steen-McIntyre, you're going on ignore
SC: There is every reason to consider the polyphylogenetic evolutionary model as having been the likelier model in which case all bets are off as far as evolution providing a reliable chronology of hominid evolution and activity on Earth.
Kandinsky: There isn't any reason to think your polyphylogenetic model is a likelier model.
Kandinsky: You have a reason, because it makes some of your unusual theories less problematic. I would not be surprised if, on balance, you opted for 'Choice 1.'
Originally posted by Mozzy
i'm having a hard time understanding how testing a rock's age is the same as the age of a footprint on it? does anyone know how that process works?
Kandinsky: Do you believe the footprints are from 1.3 million years ago? If so, why?