Re: Discovery puts humans in South Carolina 50,000 years ago

From: deowll (deowll_at_bellsouth.net)
Date: 12/03/04


Date: Thu, 2 Dec 2004 18:47:49 -0600


"John Brock" <jbrock@panix.com> wrote in message
news:cojkfj$963$1@panix2.panix.com...
> In article <c70365ef.0411301736.2295b70f@posting.google.com>,
> Daryl Krupa <icycalmca@yahoo.com> wrote:
>>jbrock@panix.com (John Brock) wrote in message
>>news:<cog9e1$fj9$1@panix3.panix.com>...
>>> In article <9b937279.0411241123.349f7b2b@posting.google.com>,
>>> George <gblack@hnpl.net> wrote:
>
>>> >Also since the dates at Monte Verde show a population at 12,500 BP
>>> >those people had to have entered the Northern Americas considerably
>>> >earlier...
>
>>> I have no fundamental philosophical objection to the idea that
>>> humans could have entered the Western Hemisphere as early as 50,000
>>> years ago. What I can't get my mind around is the distribution of
>>> evidence. How would it be possible that almost no trace of humans
>>> appears for tens of thousands of years, and then, bang!, after
>>> around 12,000BP the evidence is everywhere? Isn't the expected
>>> pattern an *immediate* population explosion, as humans enter a
>>> virgin continent full of animals that have absolutely no experience
>>> with them? What could account for tens of thousands of years of
>>> population suppression, and only then the long delayed explosion?
>>> I'm prepared believe otherwise, if someone can present a convincing
>>> case, but intuitively it just doesn't make sense to me.
>
>> Then you should look at this pdf, which I cited earlier in the
>>thread,
>>and one reason should immediately become obvious to you:
>>
>>http://www.geo.oregonstate.edu/people/faculty/clark_publications/Dykeetal-QSR2002.pdf
>>
>> Examine the difference between Fig. 3 (extent of ice sheet 30 ka BP)
>>and Fig. 1 (extent of ice sheet at 20 ka BP.
>> What do you think will happen in the areas that become white between
>>30 ka BP and 20 ka BP?
>> Will any trace of humans survive there?
>
> But the ice sheets never covered all of North America, so why are
> remains elsewhere so hard to find? As I said, the expected pattern
> is a population explosion; a fast increase quickly filling all of
> North and South America within at most a few thousand years (not
> hard at all, given human birth rates), followed by population
> stabilization, as carrying capacities are reached.

You might want to do some research on what little is known of human remains
dating back to the end of the ice age. Things may have been better in other
places but in regions just south of the ice sheets the oldest men found were
in their mid forties and were wrecks. They lived extremely active and
violent lives and had the injuries to prove it. I think the oldest female
was in her early 20s and if I recall right they would all have qualified for
the Little People of America being less than 4' 10" with a slender build.
The women's bones all showed frequent times of arrested growth suggesting
life was brutal.

>The hypothesis
> that humans arrived just a few thousand years prior to Clovis is
> consistent with this pattern. The hypothesis that they arrived
> tens of thousands of years prior is wildly inconsistent. That's
> what I see as being the problem. I don't think I will be confident
> of early entry until we find a well preserved 40,000 year old
> skeleton, like in Australia.
>
> Of course, I am also puzzled by the evidence (and here we *do* have
> skeletons) that the earliest inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere
> were rather dissimilar from the people who were here when the
> Europeans first arrived. Once a people gets entrenched on a
> continent I don't see how they can be displaced, unless the later
> arrivals either have a much higher technology, or unless they arrive
> in very large numbers. With the Europeans both conditions were
> met (and even so some countries in Latin America remain majority
> American Indian). But how could such a thing happen when everyone
> involved was a hunter/gatherer?

Dogs, spear thrower, better a lot of things, needle and thread, woven
cloths. I don't think I've talked to many people who have a clue about how
important taylored cloth are during an ice age in a frigid climate. Not sure
when some of these made it into the America's.

>
> Of course, something similar seems to have happened in Southeast
> Asia and Indonesia, so probably I am missing something...
> --
> John Brock
> jbrock@panix.com
>