How early were humans in America?

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How early were humans in America?

Postby vivian maxine on April 26th, 2017, 1:42 pm 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nat ... eakingnews

Ancient humans may have reached Americas 100,000 years earlier than thought. Evidence was found in California but is controversial as of now.

Whenever I read of such discoveries, I start asking myself - and never dig into it as I should - how close are new finds to a time when our continents were attached to Europe and Africa? I am guessing that the separation took place long, long before 130,000 years ago. Yes?
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Re: How early were humans in America?

Postby Forest_Dump on April 26th, 2017, 2:15 pm 

First, yes the seperation of the continents happened tens of millions of years ago - long enough ago for the monkeys to have evolved in somewhat different directions and before there were apes.

As it happens I read about that "site". Far, far from convincing in any way. What little was included in the report I read left me far from convinced there is any evidence of human behavior at the site at all. In fact the evidence of anything there, other than mammoth bones, is so thin that I don't expect anyone big will even bother to comment, let alone closely scrutinize or critique this one.
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Re: How early were humans in America?

Postby SciameriKen on April 26th, 2017, 2:32 pm 

Here is an article that raises the skepticism of that study:
https://www.buzzfeed.com/danvergano/mas ... awnJ2mMEMl
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Re: How early were humans in America?

Postby Forest_Dump on April 26th, 2017, 2:51 pm 

Well that shows I was wrong. Grayson and Haynes are bigger names than I woud have expected to come out and dump on that story. And I do agree with them - that story proposing it to be an archaeological site was pretty crappy. One or two real fringe types trying to grab a moment of fame.
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Re: How early were humans in America?

Postby SciameriKen on April 26th, 2017, 3:07 pm 

Forest_Dump » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:51 pm wrote:Well that shows I was wrong. Grayson and Haynes are bigger names than I woud have expected to come out and dump on that story. And I do agree with them - that story proposing it to be an archaeological site was pretty crappy. One or two real fringe types trying to grab a moment of fame.


They did do that by getting this study into Nature - but Nature always was more about shock value than diligent work...
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Re: How early were humans in America?

Postby vivian maxine on April 26th, 2017, 3:43 pm 

Forest_Dump » April 26th, 2017, 1:15 pm wrote:First, yes the seperation of the continents happened tens of millions of years ago - long enough ago for the monkeys to have evolved in somewhat different directions and before there were apes.

As it happens I read about that "site". Far, far from convincing in any way. What little was included in the report I read left me far from convinced there is any evidence of human behavior at the site at all. In fact the evidence of anything there, other than mammoth bones, is so thin that I don't expect anyone big will even bother to comment, let alone closely scrutinize or critique this one.


All right. If the continents separated before humans appeared, that answers that. Thanks. We do know there is evidence of animals that may have migrated from one side to the other before the continents separated. No doubt, early and now extinct but with an evolutionary trail?

Didn't David Attenborough go into that on his television program and then in his book which I do have? I'll take a look. Thanks.

By the way, I agree that there isn't enough evidence. I think they brought out that point.
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Re: How early were humans in America?

Postby Forest_Dump on April 26th, 2017, 4:44 pm 

Yes some animals were "shared" before the continents broke up and then diverged. Later when North America became connected to South America, other animals crossed between the two. Much more recently, during heights of the Ice Age beginning about 1.8 million years ago and off and on since up until about 10,000 years ago, there was a land bridge between Alaska and Russia and some animals crossed that land each way including, for example, horses that evolved in North America, crossed to Asia and beyond during the Ice Age and then became extinct in North America around 10,000 years ago.
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Re: How early were humans in America?

Postby vivian maxine on April 26th, 2017, 5:00 pm 

Forest_Dump » April 26th, 2017, 3:44 pm wrote:Yes some animals were "shared" before the continents broke up and then diverged. Later when North America became connected to South America, other animals crossed between the two. Much more recently, during heights of the Ice Age beginning about 1.8 million years ago and off and on since up until about 10,000 years ago, there was a land bridge between Alaska and Russia and some animals crossed that land each way including, for example, horses that evolved in North America, crossed to Asia and beyond during the Ice Age and then became extinct in North America around 10,000 years ago.


Thank you, Forest. You may have saved me from staying up until midnight. :-)

Just a bit of fancy fun for a moment? Assume (only an imaginative assumption) for a minute that the splitting up of the continents happened fast enough for humans (assuming their presence) to be aware of it. Can't you imagine the wild state they'd have been in? "The gods under the sea are playing games with us."

Or, given that Caledonia has never yet closed, blame it on the Loch Ness monster. He's still out there!

All right. Back to the serious. It just struck me.
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Re: How early were humans in America?

Postby Forest_Dump on April 26th, 2017, 6:11 pm 

Well humans weren't around when most of the splits between continents happened with a couple of semi exceptions. The Great Rift Valley in eastern Africa is slowly pulling away and the San Andreas fault in California is also pretty much the same thing. But it happens very slowly relative to our sense of time. More dramatic might have been the draining of glacial Lake Aggazis in northern Canada followed by the upper Great Lakes then flowing south through the lower Great Lakes. That would have created quite the sidden flood in the lower Lakes where Lake Erie was created almost over night. Similar kinds of floods also happened as Niagara Falls cut back draining some big lakes in Ontario and New York and raising the level of Lake Ontario quickly. A similar kind of flood, possibly also caused by post-glacial land changes, was certainly talked about for a long time before being written down in slightly different versions one of which became known as Noah's flood.
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Re: How early were humans in America?

Postby BadgerJelly on October 29th, 2017, 11:54 pm 

It is interesting, although I am deeply skeptical, how Plato referred to Atlantis as sinking below the sea, which coincides with the dates of these glacial floods.

I am mostly skeptical because the kind of people around today pushing these ideas are amateurs, and amateurs with very patchy records (Graham Hancock I am referring to here!)

Personally I am not entirely convinced actual geological floods are the only reason for the survival of mythological tales about such events. If we take the myth to represent an actual physical event rather than a metaphorical representation, then we will have to start looking for the Garden of Eden and Atlantis. To me it makes more sense to navigate between both the physical history and the mythical history with caution.

I would even argue that the discovery of Troy was not particularly significant compared to the epic and mythological representation of Homer's tale. The humanity described by Homer is far more telling than believing whether these people and places existed or not. The significance should be in our realization that the physical remains would never have been regarded with great passion if they had not been connected to the human mythos and tales of gods and heroes.

In this respect discovery of a "flood" taking place does not make the "flood" important in and of itself. The event would merely have been a convenient marker for the development and explication of the human condition through oral tradition. No doubt such events can pull more in one direction than another.
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Re: How early were humans in America?

Postby wolfhnd on October 30th, 2017, 4:31 am 

The wisdom contained in the flood myths seems lost on us as we keep building in flood plains. The ark I would suggest is a metaphor for industriousness, conscientiousness, and good planning. We can see from current events how a decadent, hedonistic culture is poorly prepared for any natural disaster. How many people have even a week of food and water or some way to care for their pets in an emergency.
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Re: How early were humans in America?

Postby zetreque on October 30th, 2017, 3:42 pm 

wolfhnd » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:31 am wrote:The wisdom contained in the flood myths seems lost on us as we keep building in flood plains. The ark I would suggest is a metaphor for industriousness, conscientiousness, and good planning. We can see from current events how a decadent, hedonistic culture is poorly prepared for any natural disaster. How many people have even a week of food and water or some way to care for their pets in an emergency.


There are documentaries on this. People keep building along eroding coast lines, along muddy slopes that regularly get land slides. Where I live we have had several years of drought. People bought up private land along the shores of dry and small desert lakes. Of course we had a good winter last winter and now these people are under water. lol
Who is to blame? They will try to blame the county or city, or do we blame the realtors, or do we blame the home buyer for being ignorant?
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Re: How early were humans in America?

Postby mitchellmckain on October 30th, 2017, 8:36 pm 

There is, of course, no evidence of a worldwide flood -- making it contrary to the evidence since such evidence should be there, if such a thing happened. There is however good evidence that the species was reduced to a remnant (down to hundreds only) in Africa around 123,000 to 150,000 years ago during a glacial period. Significance? Well any flood happening to the majority of humanity at some time no matter how small the area would be experienced as "worldwide" by those people and then the story of this event would spread as human beings spread to cover the globe (100,000 to 15,000 years ago).


In fact.... This points to another problem with the idea of humans in the Americas 130,000 years ago. What happened to them? Why wouldn't South America provide refuge for humans during this glacial period just as well as South Africa? Why didn't humanity spread from this source instead of from Africa? Why didn't those coming to the Americas around 15,000 years ago not find the Americas already occupied?
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Re: How early were humans in America?

Postby BadgerJelly on October 31st, 2017, 12:04 am 

I was looking more at the theme of some large flood being taken on to express moral stories. A fear of water in general seems reasonable considering how important it is for survival and how dangerous it is if you cannot swim.

We know a number of floods were well known such as at the Nile, Tigris and Euphrates, and no doubt the flooding of The Black Sea would have been a major event for the peoples of the region. Big enough to spread further afield.

In reference to South Americas I would imagine the evidence we have for the first humans there is likely some time after the actual first arrivals (unless by some miracle we've happened to stumble on evidence of the very first peoples to step foot in the Americas.

I am going to have to study more about the amazon. Many early reports of the area say there were large kingdoms along the amazon river. I would imagine if these cultures had not died out due to disease we'd have a slightly better understanding of the past in that region through their mythology.

mitch -

I remember an article a while ago I posted here (I think?) about the "exploratory gene". They showed that in the US those that lived in more remote areas had more propensity toward exploration. From this I can easily imagine that sheer curiosity would drive people to inhabit all the lands they could, and that challenge was something that people would take up as easily as they would steer away from it. People arriving in the Americas 100,000 bc seems more than a conservative estimate to me. If there were a few hundred people, and we can imagine form this the gene pool was driven in one direction (likely those that avoided the danger survived - the exploratory people survived), we could think about people traversing the globe quite quickly, say within a hundred generations? (which would amount to a minimum of around 1000-2000 years; if we're being more forgiving we could then suggest something more like 10,000 years - either way we're looking at people leaving Africa and possibly getting to the Americas in as little as 10,000 years.)

Also, the largest global cataclysm would have been Danau Toba (roughly 75,000 BC, and I would be surprised if such an event didn't produce some kind of cultural mark. Although the event may have simply been a trigger, or likely partial source, of bottlenecking many species, it was certainly felt. The problem is there are numerous possible explanations and it may well have been some disease that passed from apes to other species? Something certainly happened and many species were dramatically effected.

Basically I am suggesting that humans, given greater genetic diversity, could have burst out of Africa more quickly that we may think? I do think we're inclined to think about human movement around the globe with modern bias. With small populations need we assume mass competition? Life may well have been short and brutal, but I doubt outside inner social conflicts they'd be any need to fight over resources if they were so plentiful, and if so then I would imagine people would push further into the unknown. Was this gradual in some ways and explosive in others?

I am no expert in the field, just find the origins of humanity and its development fascinating.
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Re: How early were humans in America?

Postby mitchellmckain on October 31st, 2017, 8:52 pm 

100,000 years ago looks possible (after 120,000 years when glacial period ended), although this is not what those in South America are claiming (i.e. 130,000 years ago). But 100,000 years ago is still very unlikely since it doesn't fit the overall pattern. It would suggest that people made a beeline for the Americas as if they knew it was there and before the glaciers would have fully receded and thus through frigid conditions. The current timeline makes much more sense with the majority of migrations going along the southern coasts to begin with and only much later after the glaciers retreated more fully did they cross the Aleutians around 15,000 years ago.

Then there is the genetic evidence which tells us that the natives and asian people were part of the same population 21,000 to 42,000 years ago. A more recent discovery (2013) found remains with DNA linking the native Americans to a population in Siberia 24,000 years ago. The oldest human DNA found in the Americas dates to 14,300 years ago.

Another interesting observation is how civilization arose nearly simultaneously, relatively speaking. Though perhaps this just raises more questions. Does this support the 15,000 year migration to the Americas, so that all the preparatory developments were in place because of this? Does it imply an earlier migration to the Americas to give people the same period of development there? Or does it imply a continuing intercontinental cultural exchange?
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