Including Original "Paul H. Letters" Copyright © 1996-2017 Paul V. Heinrich - All rights reserved.



Sunday, 27 November 2005

Odessa Crater (Texas) Determined to be About 63, 500 Years Old

Odessa Crater (Texas) Determined to be About 63, 500 Years Old

Paul bristolia at yahoo.com
Sat Nov 26 10:37:28 EST 2005

In December 2005 issue of “Geology” the below article about
the Odessa Crater in Texas has been published.

Holliday, Vance T., Kring, David A., Mayer, James H., and
Goble, Ronald J., 2005, Age and effects of the Odessa
meteorite impact, western Texas, USA., Geology. vol. 33,
no. 12, pp. 945–948.

This article noted that optically stimulated luminescence
dates of sediments filling it demonstrate that this crater was
created about 63,500, plus or minus 4,500, thousand years
ago.

Its full abstract can be found at:

http://www.gsajournals.org/gsaonline/?request=get-current-toc&issn=0091-7613

The same issue of Geology also has the following articles:

Collins, Gareth S., and Wunnemann, Kia, 2005, How big was
the Chesapeake Bay impact? Insight from numerical modeling.
Geology. vol. 33, no. 12, pp. 925–928.

They concluded that the original transient crater was only 40
km in diameter. The full abstract can be found at:

http://www.gsajournals.org/gsaonline/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1130%2FG21854.1

and

Sephton, Mark A., Looy, Cindy V., Brinkhuis, H., Wignall,
Paul B., de Leeuw, Jan W., and Visscher, Henk, 2005,
Catastrophic soil erosion during the end-Permian biotic
crisis. Geology. vol. 33, no. 12, pp. 941-944.

Its abstract can be found at:

http://www.gsajournals.org/gsaonline/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1130%2FG21784.1

Best Regards,

Paul

Wednesday, 2 November 2005

Correction to "Re: Last Word (from me) on the Crackpot Theory, I Think..."

Correction to "Re: Last Word (from me) on the Crackpot Theory, I Think..."

Paul bristolia at yahoo.com
Tue Nov 1 12:32:57 EST 2005

In my last post at
http://six.pairlist.net/pipermail/meteorite-list/2005-November/178653.html ,
my thinking and argument drifted from TL dating to OSL dating.
My paragraph concerning the TL dating should have read:

"One significant problem here is that thermoluminescent dating
presumes a steady level of radiation damage over time by the
decay of radioactive elements trapped in the chert. Irradiation
strong enough to have altered the isotopic composition of the
uranium in chert would have also caused extensive radiation
damage to the microcrystalline quartz composing the chert.
Therefore, had what Firestone and his colleagues claimed to
have occurred, actually happened, any thermoluminescent
dates from the effected site should have also been altered to
the point of providing apparent dates considerably older than
the associated Paleo-Indian artifacts. The fact, that the
thermoluminescent dates are only slightly older, which is
common due to incomplete thermal resetting of the chert,
than age of the culture affiliated with the Paleo-Indian
artifacts, strongly refutes the idea that these sites were
irradiated at all. Had these sites been irradiated as much as
proposed by Firestone, then the ages given by the
thermoluminescent dates would have given apparent dates
significantly older than the artifacts actually are, which was
not the case."

I apologize for this brain fart.

Best Regards,

Paul

Re: Last Word (from me) on the Crackpot Theory, I Think...

Re: Last Word (from me) on the Crackpot Theory, I Think...

Paul bristolia at yahoo.com
Tue Nov 1 12:05:13 EST 2005

Sterling Webb wrote:

" The clustering I mentioned came from a
complete list of dated carcases. Most dates
were single and isolated times, but there
were several dates clustered around the
two time periods Firestone found (elsewhere)
anomalies for. It was a very weak association
and I probably shouldn't have even suggested it
supported even vaguely the isotopic timetable.
And it was the one from the "talkorigins"
website you recommended, Paul."

The fundamental problem. as I pointed out in my last post in
detail, is not that the clustering is "weak". This problem is that
given few number of dates available, it is impossible to know
at this time if it exists at all. A few data points selected from
a larger population of data points can be and usually is quite
misleading. In case of the 30,000 to 35,000 BP period is
absolutely no clustering of dates in that time period.

Sterling Webb wrote:

"When I referred to the megafauna extinction
at 13,000 to 11,000 years ago, I was referring
SOLELY to North America and said so. I
specifically mentioned that the extinctions took
place at other times on other continents. What
Paul called this "old misstatement of the facts,
which has been endlessly recycled on various
catastrophist web sites despite having been
long known to be quite false" was mostly taken
from the web site of the American Museum of
Natural History in New York, New York..."

One problem is that just because something is posted on a web
page does not make it true. Unfortunately, even the web pages
of reputable museums are often **not** peer-reviewed and
sometimes prepared by publicists and other non-scientists, who
repeat what they learned years ago in school and not what is
now known about the subject. As a result, old, outdated
material is recycled with the best of intentions, regardless of
whether the information in it is still supported by the current
research.

Apparently, whoever wrote the Natural Museum of Natural
History web page, like the catastrophists and other people, who
also repeat this claim their web pages, mindlessly repeated
Paul S. Martin and H. E. Wright in their 1967 book "Pleistocene
Extinctions " when they stated:

"A sudden wave of large animal extinction,
involving at least 200 genera, most of them
lost without phyletie replacement,
characterized the late Pleistocene."

Unfortunately for whoever prepared the Museum of Natural
History web pages, they, like various catastrophists, failed to
research what they were writing. Had the done this, they would
have found that in the 38 years since book "Pleistocene
Extinctions " was published, research has conclusively proved
that Paul S. Martin and H. E. Wright were totally wrong about
there being a single and sudden wave of extinctions. They
occurred at different times in different places over a period
of tens of thousands of years as demonstrated by the articles,
which I cited in my previous papers.

The disproved nature of Martin and Wright's "200 genera"
statement is important because, the fact there was **not** a
single wave of extinction greatly contradicts the idea of using
a supernova to explain such extinctions. (Also, it reflects badly
one a person's scholarship to use antiquated and long discarded
and disproved ideas to support a person's hypothesis.) The
multiple waves of extinction, which occurred on different
continents at different times over a period of tens of thousands
of years is **not** the pattern of extinction that would be
expected from a supernova, which would have caused a single
synchronous extinctions event of global extent. An extinction
event associated with a supernova would have more resembled
the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary because of the amount of
irradiation proposed by Firestone and his colleagues based on
his chert data and many other nasty aftereffects of a supernova.

It is impressive that 15 genera of mostly megafauna became
extinct at the end of the Pleistocene in North America.
However, this is far too localized to have been caused by a
supernova. Also, as noted in papers discussed in my previous
post, i,e, Stafford et al (2005) paper in the same conference,
which found that it actually consisted of two waves of
extinction, which is inconsistent with a supernova or any
other instantaneous event. A supernova or similar cosmic
event also cannot explain why horses in Alaska were being
subject increasing environmental stress before they became
extinct in Alaska before elsewhere and why remnant
populations of mammoths survived on St Paul island a
couple of thousand years past 10,000 BP.

Sterling wrote:

"Here is the problem with my attempting
to deal with the data (the isotopic anomalies).
People seem to consider me instead a
supporter of various theories, whacky or
not, Firestone's or any other's, about
extinctions. I have no brief for these
theories. I am interested only in what
exterior astronomical events created
these isotopic anomalies. They require
an explanation."

There is nothing wrong with this. However, a person needs to
carefully vet what they find on web pages to separate fact from
either fiction; antiquated and disproved conclusions; and
misstated and mangled facts. Basing your conclusions on ideas,
i.e. Martin and Wright's "200 genera" statement, which have
been disproved is not the way to this.

...text deleted...

Sterling wrote:

"Marco mentions the vagaries of radiocarbon
dating and so forth. It's obvious nobody is
reading the reference I gave for Firestone's
earlier paper on them:
<http://www.centerfirstamericans.com/mt.html?a=36 >

It derives, among other things, from
trying to calibrate those vagaries.

As a geochronologist, he was (apparently)
called in to examine material from a group of
paleoindian sites that, in varying degrees,
yielded anomalous dates.

Below a strata well-known to date geologically
to 10,000 BP (before present) are artifacts with
thermoluminescent dates of 12,400 BP but with
radiocarbon dates that are almost recent, 2880 BP.
There are a number of these sites, including
one where there is an area with an archaic
cultural items whose radiocarbon date is 160
years old!"

Sterling wrote:

One signifcant problem here is that thermoluminescent dating
presumes a steady level of radiation damage over time by the
decay of radioactive elements trapped in either quartz or
feldspar comprising the sand. Irradiation significant enough
to have altered the isotopic composition of uranium in chert
would have also caused extensive radiation damage to the
quartz and feldspar in the sand surrounding. Therefore, had
what Firestone and his colleagues claimed to have occurred,
actually happened, any thermoluminescent dates from the
effected site should have also been altered to the point of
providing apparent dates considerably older than the
associated Paleo-Indian artifacts. The fact, that the
thermoluminescent dates are only slightly older, which is
common due to incomplete bleaching of the sand, than age
of the culture affiliated with the Paleo-Indian artifacts, strongly
refutes the idea that these sites were irradiated at all. Had
these sites been irradiated as much as proposed by Firestone,
then the ages given by the thermoluminescent dates would
have given apparent dates significantly older than the
artifacts actually are,which was not the case.

Sterling wrote:

"This indicates an large excess of
radiocarbon, which is normally formed
in the upper atmosphere by the solar
wind (protons) and cosmic rays (also
protons) at a relatively constant rate,
but in fact is produced in variable
qualtities. But these excesses are far
beyond mere variation, much larger."

The fundamental problem here is that Firestone and his
colleagues, although they cite texts on geomorphology and
pedology, failed to understand that although Paleo-Indian
archaeological deposits may occur at depth in Wisconsinan
deposits that predate Holocene sediment buildup that it does
not mean that these deposits are undisturbed by pedogenesis,
weathering, and other processes. In case of the Paleo-Indian
sites, which they mentioned, they have greatly misjudged, as
did the archaeologists, who originally dug the sites, by greatly
underestimating the degree to which these sites have been
modified by pedogenesis, including bioturbation. The fact
of matter is that it is quite possible, in fact probable, that
the charcoal and other organic matter, which gave the
anomalous dates was mixed into the Paleo-Indian levels by
bioturbation. The claim that the archaeological sites, form
which he cited C14 data have **not** been altered in any
way by pedogenesis, specifically bioturbation, is simply
false. It is impossible for them to claim that the C14 dated
material could not have been introduced by bioturbation.

Sterling Webb wrote:

"Firestone finds other isotopic anomalies.
The soil itself is radioactively enhanced.
The uranium content of the flint implements
is very abnormal. This whole area of the
upper Midwest US has been, more than
once, irradiated on a massive scale. Go
to the link; read the details.

Everything indicates a massive radiation
exposure. This is not a minor occurrence.
The dose is "comparable to being irradiated
in a 5-megawatt reactor more than 100
seconds," in other words, instantly lethal."

This paragraph states a fundamental problem with the supernova
idea. Such an event would have obliterated entire ecosystems in
an area, if not the entire world. In case of a supernova, the
irradiation would have lasted more than 100 seconds. The initial
burst of gamma rays would have destroyed Earth's ozone layer
by creating massive amounts of nitrous oxide and other
chemicals. As a result, the sky would have turned brown with
the entire Earth shrouded in a brown toxic smog and ultraviolet
radiation, 50 times above normal, powerful enough to killed
exposed life, would have bathed the Earth. Even if the initial
burst of gamma rays was by some mysterious process localized,
such a supernova would cause a global disruption of ecosystems.
More than just mammoths and mastodons would have become
extinct. Not just the Midwest would have been effected.

Just in the Midwest, there are more than a couple dozen cores
from lakes and ponds, which have yielded pollen records
recording environmental changes back into the last glacial and,
in a couple case, the last interglacial. In none of these records is
there indication of the type of catastrophic ecological
disruptions, which such an event would have caused, for the
past 14,000 years, and in a couple of cases, more than the
past 100,000 years.

Although Firestone and his colleagues talk about random
anomalies in Be and other elements as evidence of their having
been a supernova, this proposal makes absolutely no sense in
the fact that the buildup of cosmogenic nuclides, i.e. Be10,
Al26, and Cl36, within the upper one meter of the land's
surface has been and is being used to date various types of
landforms, i.e. glacial moraines, river terraces, and alluvial
fans, which are hundreds of thousands of years old. The fact
that cosmogenic dating works as well as it does, is strong
evidence that the steady accumulation of these isotopes in
the ground's surface, including dates form the Midwest, have
not been disturbed by being irradiated by a supernova event.

For details, look at "Cosmogenic Exposure Dating and the Age
of the Earth" at

http://www.geocities.com/earthhistory/tcn.htm

The fact that Cosmogenic Exposure Dating works as well as
it does indicates to me that the isolated and quite random
isotope anomalies, from which Firestone and his colleagues
base their ideas have a far different cause than they have so
far proposed.

The reason nobody really pays an serious attention to Firestone
is that he has done an extremely poor job of understanding the
consequences of what he proposed and of explaining why none
of the obvious consequences of his hypothesis can be found in
the enormous amount of paleoenvironmental data that has been
published in the scientific literature.

Best Regards,

Paul

Tuesday, 1 November 2005

Re: More Work on the Crackpot Theory







The Carolina Bays and the Llandudno flamingo on one leg, or rather Alice trying to play croquet with a flamingo??? Ask the hedgehogs.
Original illustration (1865) by John Tenniel (28 February 1820 - 25 February 1914), of the novel by Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Re: More Work on the Crackpot Theory

Paul bristolia at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 31 11:55:27 EST 2005

t is true that there is a lot of interesting stuff on the
Internet. However, if a person goes back to the primary
literature, they often find that some of this material, as
interesting as it might be, is based a odd collection of
misinformation, urban legends, and outright fiction.
Where documented facts are cited, too often they have
been very badly garbled by the author of the web page
citing them or they have been edited as to specifically
omit the evidence that conflicts with whatever pet theory
is being discussed. Thus, a person has to carefully to
evaluate what is being said on any one particular web
page.

In one example, Sterling K. Webb wrote:

"However, radiocarbon dates from frozen
mammoth carcasses cluster in two groups: one
around 30,000 to 35,000 years ago and another
about 11,000 to 13,000 years ago. Fairly
coincidental. The more recent ones are New
World mammoths; the older group are
Siberian mammoths."

One problem with this is that there exists a substantial amount
of evidence, which refutes any connection between these mammoth
mummies and a single catastrophic event. Unfortunately, various
web authors automatically presume that these mummified mammoths
are clear evidence of a catastrophe without understanding that
their formation is perfectly explainable by conventional processes.

Another problem is that the clustering of mummified mammoths
about 30,000 to 35,000 years ago and 11,000 to 13,000 years
ago is non-existent as can be seen in the dates listed "Woolly
Mammoths Remains: Catastrophic Origins?" By Sue Bishop at:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/mammoths.html

Looking at it, it is quite clear that the dates on mummified
mammoths are spread over a range of radiocarbon dates starting
from greater than 50,000 BP to 32,000 - 34,000 BP. Of these
dates, the only mammoth, which lies in this so-called 30,000 to
35,000 BP "cluster", is a clump of mammoth hair from Alaska.
The other mummified mammoths in the older group predate
this older "cluster". There is also a mummified bison that
dates to 31,000 BP. However, two data points fail to constitute
a "cluster".

There is a group of dates consisting of mummified
mammoths, which fall in the 11,000 to 13,000 BP range.
If a person includes a mummified mammoth from Fairbanks
and one from Yuribe, Siberia, a person can argue that the
cluster actually ranges from 9,700 to 15,400 BP. If dates from
a mummified musk ox is included the range can be extended to
17,000 BP. Such a range would it make it impossible for the
mummified mammoths and other mammals to have been
associated with Firestone's catastrophe since there is a
mammoth mummy,which fromed 2,400 years before this
event is alleged to have happened and they continued to form
long after it was over. In fact, an 8,000 year-old mummified
reindeer is known from the permafrost of the Fairbanks region.
This extends the period during which mummified mammals
were formed into the Holocene Stage and well past the time of
Firestone's proposed catastrophe.

Two recently found Siberian mammoth mummies, the Jarkov
Mammoth and the Fishhook Mammoth both fall well outside
of either the 30,000 to 35,000 BP cluster and the 11,000 to
13,000 BP cluster. They are the Fishhook Mammoth, which
dated at 20,620 BP and the Jarkov Mammoth, which dated at
20,380 BP. Neither of these dates lend any support to the
existence of either cluster. They do show that the formation
of mammoth mummies occurred at times outside of either
alleged "cluster" and there is a lack of any relationship of the
mammoth mummies to any known radiocarbon anomalies.

Sterling K. Webb also wrote:

"The extinction at 11,000 to 13,000 years
ago is not called a mass extinction, but it
involved the loss of more than 200 species,
mostly megafauna (large mammals -- 75%
were heavier than 44 kilos). Because of that,
it is widely suspected that Man The Hunter
was the extincting agent!"

This claim is an old misstatement of the facts, which has been
endlessly recycled on various catastrophist web sites despite
having been long known to be quite false. It is true that more
than many genera of mostly megafauna have become extinct
during the Pleistocene. However, it is quiet false to say that
all of them became extinct between 11,000 to 13,000 BP.
It is now well established that the extinction of these genera
occurred at very different times during different extinction
events on different continents as documented in a number of
published papers including:

Anthony D. Barnosky, Paul L. Koch, Robert S. Feranec,
Scott L. Wing, and Alan B. Shabel, 2004, Science.. vol. 306,
no. 5693, pp. 70-75 , 1 October 2004.

By carefully analyzing available radiocarbon and other dates,
they found that four genera of megafauna became extinct in
Europe between 20,000 to 50,000 years and four more became
extinct between 10,000 and 14,000 years ago. It was after 10,000
years ago that mammoth and Irish Elk became extinct in Siberia.
Also, mammoths became extinct on St. Paul Island in the Bering
Sea after 10,000 BP (Guthrie 2004). In Australia, six of these
genera became extinct more than 80,000 years ago, six genera
became extinct between 40,000 to 51,000 years ago, and one
genera became extinct between 28,000 and 40,000 years ago.
Roberts et al (2001) showed that the last extinction event in
Australia occurred around 46,000 BP, which fits none of the
C14 calibration anomalies. It is clear form the available data
that megafauna extinctions were occurring at very different
places at very different times, which argues against a single,
or even two, global cosmic catastrophes having produced
the extinction events, which occurred at various times during
the Pleistocene.

The most striking of these extinction events is North America
between 10,000 and 12,000 BP when 15 genera of megafauna
became. However, detailed research lead by Dr. Thomas Stafford
has demonstrated that this terminal Pleistocene extinction event
actually consisted that were **two**, not **one**, distinct
periods of megafauna extinction. Stafford et al. (2005) stated

"Direct radiocarbon dates on extinct New
World megafauna are evidence that the
extinction occurred as two distinct events.
Non-proboscidean megafauna species went
extinct ca. 11,400-11,300 RC yr. BP,
whereas Mammuthus and Mammut
survived until ca. 10,900 RC yr. BP."

(Note: Another similar discussion of the complexities of
Pleistocene extinctions can be found in Elias (1999).

Looking at both Stafford et al. (2005) and Elias (1999), a
person has to wonder how a supernova can first wipe out the
non-proboscidean megafauna species and then 400 years later,
wipe out the the last of the mammoths and mastodons and
leave remnant populations of mammoths on Wrangle Island
in Siberia and St. Paul Island in Alaska.

In case of American horses, Guthrie (2003) showed that there
was a rapid decline in body size prior to becoming extinct about
12,500 BP in Alaska. Thus, not only did horses become extinct
in Alaska long before Firestone's proposed catastrophe but were
also being subject to some sort of environmental stress, which
Guthrie (2003) rejected as being human hunting, thousands of
years before it. Given the multiple and diachronous nature of
Pleistocene extinctions, cosmic catastrophes simply do not fit
the facts despite being wonderful and poetic Deus ex Machina
that many people use to explain them.

Reference:

Guthrie, R. D., 2003. Rapid body size decline in Alaskan
Pleistocene horses before extinction. Nature. vol 426, pp
169-171. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature02098.

Guthrie, R. d., 2004). Radiocarbon evidence of mid-Holocene
mammoths stranded on an Alaskan Bering Sea island. Nature.
vol.429,pp. 746-749.

Elias, S. A., 1999, Quaternary Paleobiology Update Debate
continues over the cause of Pleistocene megafauna extinction"
in the The Quaternary Time: Newsletter of the American
Quaternary Association. vol. 29 no. 1, (May 1999) at:
http://www4.nau.edu/amqua/v29n1/quaternary_paleobiology_update.htm

Roberts, R. G., Flannery, T. F., Ayliffe, L. K., Yoshida, H.,
Olley, J. M., Prideaux, G. P., Laslett, G. M., Baynes, A.,
Smith, M. A., Jones, R., and Smith, B.L., 2001, New Ages for
the Last Australian Megafauna: Continent-Wide Extinction
About 46,000 Years Ago. Science. vol. 292, no. 5523,
pp. 1888-1892.

Stafford, T. W., Jr., Graham, R., Lundelius, E., Semken, H.,
McDonald, G., and Southon, J., 2004, 14C-Chronostratigraphy
of Late Pleistocene Megafauna Extinctions in Relation to Human
Presence in the New World. Clovis in the Southwest: Technology
Time and Space October 26-29, 2005, Columbia Metropolitan
Convention Center, Columbia, South Carolina.
http://www.clovisinthesoutheast.net/stafford.html

Also, the claim that conventional scientists, as a rule, regard
humans as the sole cause of these Pleistocene extinctions is
simply not true. In fact, there now exists a wide divergence of
opinion and a lack of any real consensus as to what, if any role,
humans played in any the several extinction events, which
occurred during the Pleistocene Epoch. Good examples of this
are Gutherie (2003), Stafford et al. (2005), and Barnosky et
al. (2004) cited above.

As far as Firestone's claim that the Carolina Bays were produced
by his hypothesized terminal Pleistocene catastrophe, a person
should read through "An Evaluation of the Geological Evidence
Presented By ''Gateway to Atlantis'' for Terminal Pleistocene
Catastrophe" at;

http://thehallofmaat.com/modules.php?name=Articles&file=article&sid=86

Best Regards,

Paul