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Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Quick Frozen Mammoths and The Younger Dryas Impact

Quick Frozen Mammoths and The Younger Dryas Impact

In the post "some choice informed creative responses
from 138 re wattsupwiththat.com blog article New
evidence supporting extraterrestrial impact at the
start of the Younger Dryas" at
http://six.pairlist.net/pipermail/meteorite-list/2012-March/083857.html
Rich Murray wrote,

"some choice informed creative comments from 138 re
wattsupwiththat.com blog article New evidence supporting
extraterrestrial impact at the start of the Younger Dryas:
Rich Murray 2012.03.13

really nice to see so much friendly, cooperative sharing of
ideas and evidence !

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/12/new-evidence-supporting-extraterrestrial-impact-in-younger-dryas/#comment-921464 "

It is nice to see people sharing evidence. Unfortunately,
sharing antiquated, discredited, and even fictional
"evidence" only adds to the general s skepticism among
Quaternary geologists and other Earth scientists about
the Younger Dryas impact. People need to vet the
material, which they are sharing, in order to make sure
that they are not recycling long-discredited pseudoscience
from Young Earth creationists, Velikovskians, and
supporters of Earth Crustal Displacement and Charles
Hapgood, and other fringe sources. Such material only
serves to detract from they credible evidence that is
presented concerning the Younger Dryas impact.

For example, in the text quoted by Richard Murray,
Myrrh wrote on March 12, 2012

“There’s a lot of muck in this. If what’s being said here
about quick-frozen not cold-adapted mamoths and
tropical forests is indicative of the conditions which
prevailed at the onset of the Younger Dryas…”

First, the “tropical forests,” which the above comment
claims existed at the “onset” of the Younger Dryas
are completely imaginary in nature. In the considerable
number of papers, monographs, and abstracts about
the paleoclimatology of Alaska and northern Siberia,
there is a complete absence of any evidence for the
existence of “tropical forests” within the Arctic region
at anytime during entire Pleistocene Epoch and even
during the preceding Pliocene Epoch as documented
in various published papers and monographs, including
Andreev et al. (2004, 2009, 2011), Brigham-Grette
et al. (2007), Ukraintseva (1993), and Velichko and
Nechaev (2005).

Similarly, there is an abundance of published research,
which soundly refute the various claims about “not
cold-adapted mammoths” which is a favorite claim
of Young Earth creationists, i.e. Hans Krause and
Joseph C. Dillow, and various fringe catastrophists,
i.e. Ted Holden, as being quite scientifically illiterate.
This is discussed by Philip R. Burns in “Woolly
Mammoths: Suited for Cold?” at
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/mammoths.html#burns
in http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/mammoths.html

Myrrh also stated,

“Second, the well-preserved mammoths and
rhinoceroses must have been completely frozen
soon after death or their soft, internal parts would
have quickly decomposed.”

If a person reads what has been published about the
mummified mammoths, rhinoceroses, and other large
mammals, which have been found in the permafrost
of Alaska and Siberia, they will find an abundance of
evidence that they are not as well preserved as Myrrh
falsely imagines and incorrectly believes them to be.
In the published literature, i.e. Farrand (1961, 1962)
and Kurten (1986), there is ample documentation and
evidence that the majority of mummified mammoths,
bison, and other large mammals suffered appreciable
decomposition before being entombed in permafrost.
In a number of cases, i.e. “Blue Babe” (Guthrie 1988),
there is solid evidence of scavenging before freezing
and burial. Some examples are;

I. Zimmerman and Tedford (1976), about tissue
recovered from a mammoth mummy in Alaska, stated:

"Abstract. Histologic examination of rehydrated tissue
samples from late Pleistocene Alaskan) mammal
mummies demonstrates that the preservative effect of
freezing and drying extends to remains 15,000 to
25,000 years old. Some muscle and liver retained
identifiable histologic structures. Most tissues were
completely disintegrated and partly replaced by
masses of bacteria, an indication of considerable
postmortem decay before the remains were
entombed beneath the permafrost zone."

II. Kurtn (1986), about one Siberian mammoth
mummy, wrote:

"Various legends exist about frozen mammoths. It as
been said, for instance, that the scientists who excavated
the Beresovka mammoth, discovered in the year 1900,
enjoyed a banquet on mammoth steak. What really
appears to have happened (as I was told by Professor
Anatol Heintz) is that one of them made a heroic
attempt to take a bite out of the 40,000 year old meat
but was unable to keep it down, in spite of a generous
use of spices."

and III. Kurtn (1986), about another Siberian
mammoth mummy, noted that Otto Herz, a zoologist
at the Imperial Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg,
published an account about the expedition to the
Beresovka River to salvage the mammoth carcass
that had been discovered there in 1900. In this
account, Otto Herz clearly stated that only the
superficial part of this mammoth mummy had been
preserved and that its internal organs had rotted
away before the animal had become frozen.

Kurten (1986) provides a detailed explanation about
how the frozen mummies of mammoths formed
without the need to invoke an extraterrestrial
catastrophe of some sort.

The idea that these mammoths were "flash-frozen
at 150 below", as suggested by both Myrrh and
in another post by "Caleb" is nothing more than
Young Earth creationist pseudoscience as pointed
out by Farrand (1961, 1962) and other paleontologists
and Earth scientists.

Finally, they also overlook the fact that the various
mummies of mammoths and other large mammals
range in age from 9,700 BP to greater than 39,000 BP.
The majority of mummified mammoth and other
mammal remains are far too old to have any
association to a hypothetical Younger Dryas impact
event. Some of the dates for mummified remains
found in the permafrost are reported in Ukraintseva
(1993) and “Woolly Mammoths Remains: Catastrophic
Origins?” by Sue Bishop at
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/mammoths.html

From "Frozen Mammoths", Myrrh quoted,

"Muck. Muck is a major geological mystery. It covers
one-seventh of the earth’s land surface all surrounding
the Arctic Ocean. Muck occupies treeless, generally
flat terrain, with no surrounding mountains from
which the muck could have eroded. Russian
geologists have in some places drilled through 4,000
feet of muck without hitting solid rock. Where did
so much eroded material come from?"

As with the mummified mammoths, the "Frozen
Mammoths," has its facts either wrong or grossly
misinterpreted. The so-called " muck," which this
article talks about is permafrost that is developed
in a wide variety of sediments ranging in age from
Holocene and Pleistocene to Cretaceous and a large
variety of sedimentary deposits well-documented
to have been deposited by a wide variety of
depositional, i. e. alluvial, deltaic, lacustrine, Aeolian,
and other processes. The age and origin of what Walt
Brown, the author of this article, calls "muck" is
well known and documented and not a mystery. The
"tropical forest" described in the quote is not tropical
and is Cretaceous in age and unrelated to any younger
Dryas impact as many studies of the regional
geology have demonstrated.

It is important to note that the article, “Frozen
Mammoths,” which is found at
http://www.grahamkendall.net/Unsorted_files-2/A312-Frozen_Mammoths.txt
and is quoted by Myrrhis, is a direct reprint of a
chapter from the Young Earth creationist book
"In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for
Creation and the Flood," by Dr. Walt Brown at:
http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/FrozenMammoths2.html
Both “Frozen Mammoths” and other chapters in
Walt Brown's book consists of Young Earth
creationist pseudoscience which was fabricated to
support Walt Brown's hydroplate "theory." Citing
such scientifically illiterate writings certainly does
absolutely nothing to enhance the credibility of
the Younger Dryas impact theory.

In another post, which Richard Murray quoted, Steve
Garcia stated:

“Accounts from early expeditions exist, if not exactly
journals. In 1829 German scientist G.A. Erman went
there to measure the magnetic field. Here is some of
what he said:

In New Siberia on the declivities facing the south, lie
hills 250 or 300 feet high, formed of driftwood, the
ancient origin of which, as well as the fossil wood of
the tundras, anterior to the history of the Earth in its
present state, strikes at once even the most uneducated
of hunters. . . .”

There are dangers in relying upon publications and
interpretations, which are over 180 years old. In this
case, Erman's interpretations have been greatly
revised by more recent and detailed research and the
development of absolute dating techniques and in the
understanding of sedimentology and other Earth
science disciplines. In this case, it is now very well
documented that these hills are not formed of
driftwood. Instead, they are composed of highly folded
layers of Cretaceous sand, silt, mud, clay, and brown
coal. These beds contain numerous abundant logs,
leaf prints, other plant debris, and buried forests
of upright tree trunks, which Erman confused with
driftwood (Klubov et al. 1976). The age and
sedimentology of the strata containing , Erman's
so-called "driftwood" refute any possibility that it is
associated with an Younger Dryas impact.

He further quoted G.A. Erman as stating :

“Other hills on the same island, and on Kotelnoi,
which lies further to the west, are heaped to an equal
height with skeletons of pachyderms [elephants,
rhinoceroses], bisons [sic], etc’, which are cemented
together by frozen sand as well as by strata and veins of
ice. . . . On the summit of the hills they [the trunks of
trees] lie flung upon one another in the wildest disorder,
forced upright in spite of gravitation, and with their tops
broken off or crushed, as if they had been thrown there
with great violence from the south on a bank, and there
heaped up.”

If a person consults more recent publications, i.e.
Dorofeev et al. (1999), Makeyev et al. (2003) and
Schirrmeister et al. (2010), they will find that Erman's
descriptions of hills being heaped with skeletons and
trees being flung about in the "wildest disorder" with
"their tops broken off or crushed" are greatly exaggerated
and involved a great degree of misinterpretation and
imagination that lacks any documented basis in reality.
It is true that some of the Pleistocene strata are very
fossiliferous as they contain abundant well-preserved
fossil bones (Dorofeev et al. 1999). This is a result
of them being preserved in permafrost. The majority
of both the deposits and fossil bones predate the
Younger Dryas by tens of thousands of years. Within
Kotelny Island, the Late Pleistocene and Holocene
deposits underlie terraces along streams and river
and lack any evidence of any catastrophic event
(Makeyev et al. 2003, Schirrmeister et al. 2010).

Talking about Edward von Toll, Steve Garcia stated,

“And Edward von Toll visited from 1885 to 1902, and
found them [wood hills] to cinsist of carbonized trunks
of trees, with impressions of leaves and fruits.”

As previously mentioned, the "carbonized trunks
of trees, with impressions of leaves and fruits" of the
wood hills are Cretaceous in age. Thus, it is rather
silly and counterproductive to used these fossils as
evidence of a Younger Dryas impact. Such fossil
trees even predate the Chixulube impact.

That the observations and interpretations of Edward
von Toll, Erman, and other early explorers have been
found in the decades since they were made to be quite
speculative, highly imaginative and in many cases quite
wrong. As a result, it is entirely misleading for a person
to used them as evidence for any type of catastrophe,
whether it be Walt Brown's hydroplate "theory," Charles
Hapgood's Eartrh Crustal Displacement, or a Younger
Dryas impact without mentioning that these observations
and interpretations have been in many cases discredited,
refuted, or significantly revised by later investigators
armed with numerous absolute dates and greater
understanding of geology and paleontology.

Finally, Steve Garcia stated about Edward von Toll,

“On another island Toll found mammoth bones and other
bones, plus fossilized trees with leaves and cones, making
him to write,

“This striking discovery proves that in the days when
the mammoths and rhinoceroses lived in northern
Siberia, these desolate islands were covered with
great forests, and bore luxuriant vegetation.””

Although northern Siberia was populated by abundant
mammoths and rhinoceroses and extensive boreal forests
in places during interglacial epochs, it was quite barren
and sparsely populated by large mammals during the
the glacial stages. During the Last Glacial Maximum,
(LGM) in northern Siberia consisted of rather barren
and depopulated polar desert as illustrated by Adams
(1997) and discussed by Ukraintseva (1993) and
Velichko and Nechaev (2005). This later changed
as the climate ameliorated after the peak of the LGM.

References Cited

Adams, J. M., 1997, Preliminary Vegetation Maps of
the World since the Last Glacial Maximum: An Aid to
Archaeological Understanding. Journal of
Archaeological Science. vol. 24, pp. 623–647.
http://www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/new_eurasia.html
http://www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/euras18k.gif

Andreev, A.A., G. Grosse, L. Schirrmeister, S. A.
Kuzmina, E. Y. Novenko, A. A. Bobrov, P. E. Tarasov,
B. P. Ilyashuk, T. V. Kuznetsova, M. Krbetschek, H.
Meyer, and V. V. Kunitsky, 2004, Late Saalian and
Eemian palaeoenvironmental history of the Bol’shoy
Lyakhovsky Island (Laptev Sea region, Arctic Siberia).
Boreas. vol. 33, pp. 319–348.

Andreev, A. A., G. Grosse, L. Schirrmeister, T. V.
Kuznetsova, S. A. Kuzmina, A. A. Bobrov, P. E.
Tarasov, E. Y. Novenko, H. Meyer, and A. Y. Derevyagin,
F. Kienast, A. Bryantseva, and V. V. Kunitsky, 2009,
Weichselian and Holocene palaeoenvironmental history
of the Bol’shoy Lyakhovsky Island, New Siberian
Archipelago, Arctic Siberia. Boreas. vol. 38, pp. 72-110.

Andreev, A. A., L. Schirrmeister, P. E. Tarasov,
A. Ganopolski, V. Brovkin, V., C. Siegert, S. Wetterich,
and H.-W. Hubberten, 2011, Vegetation and climate
history in the Laptev Sea region (Arctic Siberia) during
Late Quaternary inferred from pollen records.
Quaternary Science Reviews. vol. 30, pp. 2182–2199.

Brigham-Grette, J., M. Melles, P. Minyuk, and Party,
Scientific, 2007. Overview and significance of a 250
ka paleoclimate record from El'gygytgyn Crater Lake,
NE Russia. Journal of Paleolimnology. vol. 37, pp. 1–16.

Dorofeev, V. K., M. G. Blagoveshchensky, A. N.
Smirnov, and V.I. Ushakov, 1999, New Siberian Islands.
Geological structure and metallgeny. VNIIOkeangeologia,
St. Petersburg, Russia. 130 pp.

Farrand, W. R., 1961, Frozen Mammoths and Modern
Science. Science. vol. 133, no. 3455, pp. 729-735.

Farrand, W. R., 1962, Frozen Mammoths. Science.
vol. 137, pp. 450-451.

Guthrie, M. L., 1988, Blue Babe : The Story of a Steppe
Bison Mummy from Ice Age Alaska. University of
Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois.

Klubov, B. A., A. A. Korshunov, and I. G. Badera, 1976,
New data on coal measures of Novaya Sibir' Island,
New Siberian. Transactions Doklady of the U.S.S.R.
Academy of Sciences: Earth Science Sections. vol. 231,
pp. 58-60.

Kurten, Bjorn, 1986, How to Deep Freeze a Mammoth.
Columbia University Press, New York, New York.

Makeyev, V. M., D. P. Ponomareva, V. V. Pitulko, G. M.
Chernova and D. V. Solovyeva, 2003, Vegetation and
Climate of the New Siberian Islands for the past
15,000 Years. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research.
vol. 35, pp. 56-66.

Schirrmeister L., G. Grosse, V. V. Kunitsky, M. C. Fuchs,
M. Krbetschek, A. A. Andreev, U. Herzschuh, O. Babyi,
C. Siegert, H. Meyer, A. Y. Derevyagin, S. Wetterich,
2010, The mystery of Bunge Land (New Siberian
Archipelago) – Implications for its formation based
on palaeo-environmental records, geomorphology
and remote sensing. Quaternary Science Reviews.
vol. 29, pp. 3598–3614.

Ukraintseva, V. V. (1993) Vegetation Cover and
Environment of the "Mammoth Epoch" in Siberia.The
Mammoth Site of Hot Springs of South Dakota, 1800
Highway 18-Truck Route, Hot Springs, SD. 309 pp.

Velichko, A. A., and V. P. Nechaev, 2005, Cenzoic
Climatic and Environmental Changes in Russia. Special
Papers no. 382. Geological Society of America. Boulder,
Colorado.

Zimmerman, M. R., and R. H. Tedford, 1976, Histologic
Structures Preserved for 21,300 Years. Science. vol. 194,
pp. 183-184.

Best wishes,

Paul H.

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