The Dark Side Of Archaeology? Or, What happens when Evidence And Theory Conflict?

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posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 11:20 AM
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reply to post by Harte
 



What's with all these hyphenated women anyway?

That's a professionalism.




posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 12:19 PM
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reply to post by Klassified
 

(I'm always so much brighter in the morning after coffee.)

I realized what it was that bothered me about the diatom analysis and the soil -- it's that diatoms are aquatic creatures, so the soil from the bed where the things were found was created while that part of Mexico was underwater (possibly a large freshwater lake... I'm not that familiar with the geology of the area.) I am dubious about a sudden influx of mer-people in the far distant past (since there are no other evidences of them.)

In any case, I suspect that eventually other sites in the area will come up with more acceptable dates and the assemblage will eventually become part of the evidence for that particular range of dates (30,000 years wouldn't surprise me, actually.) But I'm doubtful that the eventual findings will be that the Americas have been inhabited by hominds for over 100,000 years.



posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 07:55 PM
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I flagged this thread a while ago, and didn't get round to watching the video until tonight.

It was definitely worth 1hr 25 minutes of 'Youtube Time', and I learned some interesting stuff. I have a moderately scientific background, but I am a generalist. I was impressed by the way the film concentrated on establishing the scientific basis of its argument, and for a long while didn't overhype the connivances of certain people/ groups who appeared to be 'getting in the way of the science' at various times since the site in Mexico was first dug. There were a couple of 'cringeworthy moments' towards the end of the film where the apparent magnitude of the conspiracy appeared to resemble the plot of an Indiana Jones movie; but then, with everything that was on the table - all the work that certain people & groups had put in to establishing an acceptable hypothesis re: the entrance of mankind into the Americas - it would be overturned by 'the wrong dates'. It could be that there is even more to it than that.. If Mankind was around in America 450,000 years ago, and that trashes 'the theory', then what else of the fragile world of prehistoric archaeo-anthropological theory might be targeted for trashing..? What professional prestige would remain to protect (largely contrived) theories based on tiny fragments of physical evidence..? And what MASSIVE evidences that are generally ignored - or fitted roughly into the contrivances which pass for theories - might now have a moment in the Sun, to be seen for what they really are..?

A momentary aside: I have fairly good 'intuitive discernment' - by which I mean that I find it extremely easy to determine the truthfulness, or non-truthfulness of a person speaking before me. That's not to say that I can determine the definitive statement "He/she is telling the truth/ is a liar" with absolute clarity at all times - just that I can determine very easily when a person is, within the parameters of the very best of their knowledge, abilities & character, being truthful - and when he/she is not being entirely truthful. It could be better expressed as the discernment of honest intent. It is either there, or it isn't. People can have it and yet still be wrong - but it is rarer for people not to have it and yet still be right; because its absence is usually highly indicative of an agenda. The best actors in the world cannot totally cover over an absence of honest intent, in live scenarios, because it is something that can be sought and found by persons with sensitive 'gauges'.

The key proponent of the 'mainstream position' in the video, a guy called Michael (I forget his second name, maybe will ETA) - lacks the 'honest intent'. His general demeanour, choice of words, choice of strategy for argument, posture, tactics of deflection & adoption of pseudo-authoritative statements to defend his increasingly untenable position (in the face of the increasingly convincing & sophisticated physics-defined chronological dating methods) - eventually makes his roughshod approach to 'being right' seem laughable, and shows him up to be everything that is wrong with 'establishment science'. Forcing data to fit the theory, in essence - twisting data/ baseless speculations around in loops to contrive an outside contender for an 'alternative solution' that lends itself more readily to his pre-established theories.

Personally, I believe Mankind in all his forms, including sophisticated forerunners, has been around in a civilised capacity for a lot longer than mainstream science concedes. The term 'antediluvian', for all the negative connotations associated with the word itself, lends itself quite nicely to conceptions of civilisations stretching back into the mists of time... The archetypal 'golden age' of gods & men, to my mind not consisting a truly globalised society as we have now, but rather consisting small pockets of tightly controlled societal groups widely spread and in contact with each other - 'gods' with singularly advanced, wide-function, portable & wireless technologies, having a long-term plan, carefully controlling interactions with primitive humans - then mysteriously 'vanishing' (though I believe some actually stayed quite close..)

A 'seed society', a colony, an experiment, an ordained task - ultimately gone awry, largely devastated by catastrophism, wiping out all but earthquake-proof megalithic stone outposts & abandoned ziggurats buried in desert sand.

I could explain my beliefs & suggest further thoughts but there's no sense in derailing the thread, I'm a bit off-topic as it is. Someone's bound to take offence, complaining that I have no right to even think about such vastly complex & inter-disciplinarian specialist subjects, let alone blaspheme academia with suggestions that the hallowed establishment is basically hiding from it's own shadows.

What a scurrilous generalist I am. Shame I'll never get the clearance to find out the Truth.



posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 08:00 PM
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reply to post by Byrd
 


Why is the presence of diatoms indicative of 'mer-people'..? Could it not be that there was a body of water there, by which hunting took place, and in which animals floundered & died? Where the remains were washed, butchered & parceled up for transport back to camp?

In fact, don't diatoms exist in temporary bodies of water as well as permanent flows/ pools..?

Just the first few thoughts that came to mind when I read your 'joke'.



posted on Mar, 5 2013 @ 05:28 AM
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I was expecting something by now, but maybe I'm just too wrong for them to bother..







Pleeeease?



posted on Mar, 5 2013 @ 08:36 AM
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reply to post by FlyInTheOintment
 

I think one of the things that always bothers me about our academia is the same thing I also appreciate about them. A staunch refusal to budge on certain theories until the evidence is so overwhelming, they have no choice left. This can be good, and it can be very bad.

Without balance, the whole works gets brought to a screeching halt, and the only discoveries accepted are those that don't challenge present theory. On the other hand, without balance, every "anomalous" theory that comes along changes what we think we know, and we wind up in a one step forward, two steps back scenario. It's a fine line to walk.

His name was Michael Waters btw. I felt his theory was reasonable, but I also felt enough evidence had been given by his peers against it for him to at least seriously re-consider his position. He wasn't budging though. I think it will be interesting to see what he comes up with when he publishes his own work on this.



Personally, I believe Mankind in all his forms, including sophisticated forerunners, has been around in a civilised capacity for a lot longer than mainstream science concedes. The term 'antediluvian', for all the negative connotations associated with the word itself, lends itself quite nicely to conceptions of civilisations stretching back into the mists of time...

I tend to lean this way myself. Admittedly though, I have nothing but my intuition as evidence for that presently. But we'll see what tomorrow brings...



posted on Mar, 5 2013 @ 09:14 AM
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Originally posted by FlyInTheOintment
reply to post by Byrd
 


Why is the presence of diatoms indicative of 'mer-people'..? Could it not be that there was a body of water there, by which hunting took place, and in which animals floundered & died? Where the remains were washed, butchered & parceled up for transport back to camp?

The evidence found is stone tools. Do you suggest they were doing underwater toolmaking?

The diatom argument is spurious, imo.

Diatoms exist in dry soil as well as fresh and salt water. A relic can have ancient diatoms all over it and be only a few weeks old, if it was deposited on dry land that later flooded.

Harte



posted on Mar, 5 2013 @ 12:23 PM
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reply to post by Harte
 


ETA - why would stone arrow/spear-heads (not hand tools, as you seem to be suggesting..) not end up in water if it was a pool near a hunting ground, perhaps used in a manner as I suggested above once the hunt was finished? In fact, why would projectile weapons not accidentally end up in the bed of a pool of sediment-producing water at which animals went to drink? Seems fairly bloody obvious, if you ask me.

In any regard, the diatom method was the weakest of the available chronological dating methods - but in tandem with the other, more 'concrete' dating methods, the argument seemed won in favour of the older date range. I felt that Michael Water's theory was a convolution wrangled in support of his particular viewpoint (sticking with the 'theory' instead of looking properly at what the evidence suggested).

All that remained was to dig for proof that there was not / was an inset. The inset theory was weak, a 'last ditch attempt' (LOL - pun not intended) at retaining the established doctrine of the archaeological establishment. I genuinely believed that the question had effectively already been answered, as a variety of reliable testing methods had demonstrated commonality of materials & sedimentation layering across different sections of the site. A minor dig would have resolved it forever - but this is precisely where the conspiratorial elements seem to have come into play. These guys really, really wanted a dig, but everything went against them. Permits refused for a variety of reasons, mainly for no reason - then the drugs war is named as a convenient reason. Yet in spite of the flying bullets & criminality, someone very wealthy (by Mexico standards) - and therefore likely to be well-connected - built a house without planning, slap-bang on top of their prospective dig site.

BAck to the science for a moment: I found it very interesting that the same man can be hailed as a hero of archaeology in Africa for establishing a forerunner of modern man at 1.1 million years ago, and then ignored when presenting results for the presence of tool-using humans in America around 400,000 years ago, based on precisely the same scientific techniques he employed in Africa. I forgot his name now, but he was the guy with the 'uranium fission track' dating method.

Remarkable stuff, really, showing the best and worst of the human scientific mindset in one fell swoop (think about it..)


PS - the nameless, unmarked & inaccessible warehouse was odd too; it reminded me of the show 'Warehouse 13' (which is a crappy show, but an interesting concept..)


PPS - on doing some random related searches, I found this neat little quote from a study on early seafaring by three persons affiliated with the University of Utah (Anthropology Department):



Between Sunda and Sahul lies the 1500 km-wide Wallacean Archipelago. Though falls in sea level have periodically reduced its overall extent and increased Most prehistorians take seafaring — defined as deliberate, place-to-place, open-ocean voyaging — to be a relatively recent phenomenon, dating no earlier than the terminal Pleistocene, 10–15,000 years ago (10–15 kya bp). Others regard this assessment as too conservative, drawing attention to evidence of a more remote origin, associated with the initial colonization of Sahul (Pleistocene Australia-New Guinea) 45–46 kya bp. Solid as this evidence seems to be, it is commonly ignored or dismissed, partly through unfamiliarity with Sahul prehistory, but more importantly because of a narrowly inductive approach to the archaeological record and a reluctance to credit the technological capabilities of early Sahul indigenes.


{emphasis mine}

source

Whaddya know? Another set of archaeological professionals complaining (in a thinly veiled manner) that academia tends to favor the timid, the compliant, the sheep followers - those who don't 'rock the boat''.
(LOL - yet another feat of providential, unintended pun-slamming..)

edit on 5-3-2013 by FlyInTheOintment because: adding new intro paragraph to answer the faux-argument relating to 'hand tools' (the items of evidence were actually non-biodegradable components of projectile weapons, not hand tools at all.




posted on Mar, 6 2013 @ 07:23 AM
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Originally posted by FlyInTheOintment
reply to post by Harte
 


ETA - why would stone arrow/spear-heads (not hand tools, as you seem to be suggesting..) not end up in water if it was a pool near a hunting ground, perhaps used in a manner as I suggested above once the hunt was finished? In fact, why would projectile weapons not accidentally end up in the bed of a pool of sediment-producing water at which animals went to drink? Seems fairly bloody obvious, if you ask me.

The above argument relies on an ignorance of what was claimed to have been found in situ

Randomly placed spearheads is not what was found. It appeared that the site was a campsite or at least an area of frequent occupation.

Not that this matters. Diatoms - even ancient fossilized ones, are present in dry soil. A flash flood would be enough to bury stone tools under diatoms that were thousands - even hundreds of thousands - of years older than the artifacts.

I agree with you on what the evidence suggests, and I have argued here at ATS that there is no reason that Homo Erectus couldn't have been a maritime culture (albeit probably primitive.)

On the other hand, corroboration is sorely needed if dates such as were proposed are to stand. Surely you realize this.

Until said corroboration occurs, the finds are subject to what you refer to as the archaeological establishment and current, proven, knowledge. Obviously, this is subject to change in the future.

Harte





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