Thursday, November 18

How early were humans in North America?

I've been meaning to post about this for a month. Last month I went to the meeting of the Christian Faculty Forum at USC. Al Goodyear spole about his findings at the Savannah River Topper site. He said he thought the radio carbon dating was going to place the site earlier than 30,000 years ago.

Well, they had a press conference yesterday to say the dating was 50,000 years plus.

Goodyear is now in trouble for challenging the prevailing orthodoxy. You can read some representative comments in the article.

I have a lot of thoughts about this:

1. Not all of us Christians are 'unscientific, 7-literal-day, young-earthers'. Many of us contribute in the field of science.

2. I'll be watching this debate with great interest. So far it's shaping up to be a showcase for how science does have biases that can result in people getting locked out of the debate.

3. Yes, both of these comments demonstrate my defensiveness over the creation/evolution debate.

Here's an article from the USC website.

It's important to note that other sites have indicated human inhabitation in North America:

"Topper is the oldest radiocarbon dated site in North America," Goodyear says. "However, other early sites in Brazil and Chile, as well as a site in Oklahoma also suggest that humans were in the Western Hemisphere as early as 30,000 years ago to perhaps 60,000."

Two other pre-Clovis sites include Meadowcroft Rockshelter, Pa., and Cactus Hill, Va.

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