Is Science Really Self-Correcting?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by sculptor, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    This was late '70s, circa '78-'80. By then, we had Adovasio and associates publishing about Meadowcroft(a pre-clovis site), and references to Bird's work in south america. There were just a few sites that didn't fit the paradigm back then.
    Also the math just didn't add up for such rapid dispersal on foot. Would you hazard a guess as to just how many miles a hunter-gatherer group would migrate in a generation? I would suppose the pattern to be @ find a suitable location, exploit the flora and fauna found therein, raise a bunch of babies, increase the population. It would then be those babies who would splinter off and migrate further, and repeat the process. I would think it generous to concede a 20 mile migration per generation. And most certainly not the 8000 miles from Alaska to monte verde in anything less than 4000 years.-------------the math just doesn't add up.

    You should be asking yourself, did the "Clovis first" theory withstand the test of time.

    Anyway, we had our tete a tet(I rarely challenged professors in public). So, I went back to the stacks(what were then called the large books with current abstracts of articles and dissertations) and re-found the abstracts which I had just read in passing, got the reference librarian to order the articles and dissertations, then wrote a paper supporting my contentions--------(A+). I had an advantage. I was just a student scholar, with no responsibilities other than scholarship, While the professor had to do lesson plans, teach, grade homework and tests, serve on committees, etc.........etc..

    Read above:
    Have I made any claims concerning the thread starter other than :"I found this today:" ?

    All of my claims were within my field of expertise, and only within my field of expertise.

    Take it for what it is, and not for what it is not.
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Migration along coastal zones from one rich littoral to another, each one abandoned as depleted, might easily average two or three miles per year - or even more, considering that people would be easily capable of sending out scouting parties to find good sites in a hundred mile circle, and move in big steps.

    It's likely, too, that water transport was common.

    If people were following your pattern of finding a good spot, settling, and then moving on when they had populated, but what they were moving to was a series of first class estuaries they had found by scouting, a hundred miles of more in a breeding generation would be fairly easy.

    And if smart hunting people finding North America noticed that newly encountered big game was far easier to kill but only available by traveling to it, and the further south they got in the Americas the better the weather, and so forth, I can see covering the entire North/South range in a thousand years. Even without boats, which they almost certainly had.
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  5. rpenner Fully Wired Valued Senior Member

    No scientific theory survives the test of time when you look at details. That's not the test used in science.

    The question is does the best evidence now give us a concrete reason to reject the hypothesis. All claims are provisional on additional data coming in, because if you have fixity of ideas you aren't being appropriately skeptical.

    For example, in 2013, some 35 years after your anecdote, the issue of the dating of Meadowcroft is still not concretely settled. This suggests that you are focused on ephemera and interpretation rather than robust scientific primary facts. The hypothesis labeled "Clovis first" requires a pattern of sites and datings to reject, and Meadowcroft's (and Cactus Hill's) eventual inclusion in that pattern was not initially unambiguous. This is forensic debate about what is the most likely contingency human history, not something like the quantum Hall effect which can be tested repeatedly in a laboratory.

    If Clovis supporters have acted unreasonably in partisan support of their pet theory, that doesn't lessen the burden of proof for alternative hypotheses one iota.
    Schneibster and Russ_Watters like this.
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  7. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Alaska to monte verde = 8000 miles.
    Let us assume 2 miles per year, the journey then would take 4000 years. If so, then we should be finding 19000 year old sites in north america.
    Also the generational migrations could have (would have?) been in all directions, not just a bee-line to monte verde.
    So, one generation migrates east, the next north, the next east, the next south, etc...360 degrees to choose from, the ods would be against a bee-line south.
    ergo, my conclusion of 4kyrs being generous.

    Which would negate the need of a walking "ice free corridor".
  8. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Last year(2015) Monte Verde was redated to 18,500 bp on new evidence
    way pre-clovis

    curiouser and curiouser
  9. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Perhaps, it was just exactly the ambiguities(chinks in the armor?) that peaked my interest and kept me on my toes as a student scholar?
    38% to 20% thanks for the link, I didn't have any numbers.

    I see that the "new" dates for monte verde have reignited the old criticisms. Poor Tom Dillehay(who didn't want to go back to monte verde) has to go through the same pain he suffered so many years ago. It ain't just the science(maybe that's the easy part?), it's the people who help or hinder. Some have little to add so they are quick to shout liar. There just ain't no pleasing some people.
    fyi: Tom on ted

    Some good humor in there.
    You can take the Texan out of Texas, taking him out of the "cowboy" boots, however is a different matter.................
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Most likely along what was the coast then, currently under water.
    I'd predict following the coast, and preferring south. But that's not necessary.
    No, that's how you slowed it down to 2 miles @yr. The presumptive odds are these people would follow coastlines and rivers and the like, and generally head south - that being their way of life and technology and so forth that brought them in the first place - from river mouth to river mouth.
    Sure. Depending on what the ice looked like along the coast, anyway.

    The point is: it's likely that the early migrants to North America were people were set up, culturally and technologically and every other way, for frequently covering long distances to find rich and new and unexploited colony sites of their preferred kind. That's how they got there. And if their preferred kind was coastal river mouths and the like, as seems reasonable, they could easily have made it from the Bering Straits to Tierra del Fuego in a couple of thousand years (down either coast of SA), and circled NA from the CA crossings up, without leaving a trace we can see now. Likewise if their preferred environment was a fertile Serengeti-like veldt full of semi-tame and completely unwary "hills of meat", as featured inland in California etc., a couple of thousand years would have been enough.

    Under ideal circumstances - which is exactly what these early migrants were finding - a human population can double every 15-20 years (rule of 72, 4% increase). Figure 20. Then a series of initial migrations totaling a thousand people or so could - in a couple of thousand years - easily leave splinter colonies of tens of thousands, totaling even millions of people, all over the Americas.

    That is: no argument (for or against) can be made from speed. Humans spread very fast, in good conditions. Look how far Australian aborigines were walking, as a tribe, every year, just from place to place within their territories. Stretch that down a coast.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016
  11. river

    Science has become based on simple people being scientist ; they like the this or that ology of science but they have no innate capability to accually move any ology forward. And there are thousands of these people.

    Science has become an industry .
  12. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Whatever science has become, none of us can live without it.

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  13. river

    No doubt

    Yet we should question where it will lead us to ; the consequeses ; of .
  14. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    First, a graph of temps during last glacial period:

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    a bit of a reference.
    Monte verde has been re-dated to 18,500ybp. many finds in south america are being dated to as early as 32-35,000ybp.
    Early skulls look Australasian. There are claims of pocket populations which seem more australasian/denisovan from Baha California down to the tip of south america and back up into Brasil. Add in solutrean points in the eastern parts of the USA.
    So, let us assume multiple migration pulses. the early ones being coastal and by watercraft, by australasians and cro-magnons/solutreans.
    And the latter migration by north eastern Siberians.
    Most likely, the early migrants were smaller populations(even with doubling and redoubling.
    Now to the reference graph. during the glacial maxima, the seas were lower/smaller, and the shore exposed in pulses.

    Now to the guess work:
    Warm pulses set populations in motion.
    Cold pulses mean more islands and a tendency to enjoy maritime climates when the inland of continents were colder.
    So, if the early claimed dates in south america are accurate, we have migrations beginning with the warm pulse circa 40-38ka, followed by maritime migrations from 337-36ka down to the lgm circa 18ka, followed by more migrations of larger populations circa 16-12ka.

    Sorry if taking this thread to my passion seems to have derailed it for some.
    Thanks for following.
    On a personal note:
    I got the corroded/leaking transmission line(to the radiator) off the truck yesterday, and this morn we harvested 4 catfish--3 channel cats and a good sized blue from the trot line. Breakfast, then off to the auto parts store using my wife's car.
    Springtime is here, flowers blooming, birds singing, asparagus shoots coming up----morels soon to follow---yippee.
  15. Schneibster Registered Member

    I would say that the eventual rejection of "Clovis first" proves that in fact, even in the less inherently rigorous (I'm talking about how good the evidence we can get is, not about the rigor of the scientists themselves) scientific environment of archeology, the scientific method is really self-correcting. In physics, with far more rigorous data sets, the scientific method can only work better.

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