Friday, March 25, 2011

Extended Comment on Yesterday's Newslink

This is the same watershed as the Gault site, which I've mentioned here before, and it's a sign of the state of science reporting that it is not mentioned and the team there was not asked anything, probably because the reporter didn't know to do so. And yet, it's the totality of evidence from a number of related sights that's going to get us as close as we're going to get to the truth.

It drives me batty that popular sources are still talking about "Clovis First" as the default model and single sites as if they are going to be the revolutionary discovery that changes everybody's mind. That's already happened - Dillehay's Monte Verde site in Chile. The number and quality of Preclovis sites grows steadily and they are all important.

The Clovis First model is not true. The people who believe it's true are the people who are simply too old to change their minds. We'll stop getting articles presenting the underdog Preclovis vs. the Clovis First folks when we get enough information about the people who preceded Clovis to create a coherent picture of a culture and give that culture a proper name. The term Preclovis defines a people by what they're not, which makes them hard to hold onto.

If, as seems likely, the "Preclovis" were not a single cohesive culture (why should they be, with sites as far apart as Chile, Alaska, and Pennsylvania?) but a number of wildly disparate ones, many of the traces of which were drowned at the end of the Ice Age, we could be at this a long time. It may be that the Central Texas Preclovis documented at Gault and Friedekind were cultural outliers who will in time become entrenched in textbooks as The Definitive First Culture, a view which will be pitched by future reporters as the Orthodox one against which the revolutionary information being discovered via new offshore digging technology is pitched in an underdog battle.

1 comment:

  1. The topic on a segment of Science Friday this afternoon was the Clovis point and artifacts predating them just as you've described. You should check out there site if you didn't get a chance to listen to the interview today.

    Alberto Ramirez Jr.