Scientists Late to Recognize Human and Giant Mammal Coexistence | The Institute for Creation Research

Scientists Late to Recognize Human and Giant Mammal Coexistence

Giant mammals roamed North America during the Ice Age, but were humans among them? A site in Vero Beach on Florida's East coast contains mammoth, mastodon, giant ground sloth—and human fossils. The problem is that humans were not yet supposed to have been there, according to the standard story told to generations of archaeologists.

When discovered in the early 1900s, researchers insisted that the Vero Beach human remains washed in long after the large mammals fossilized. But new results, like so many other similar reinvestigations of old sites, show they were made at the same time and that humans lived and died in North America long before believed. What took researchers so long to acknowledge that?

The reason why it took so long for the evidence to come to light may be the same reason why fossil evidence of humans and dinosaurs is so scarce.

Archaeologists at the University of Florida analyzed the concentrations of rare earth elements in the various bones from the Vero site, finding that they all statistically matched.1 This evidence shows that they were buried simultaneously, and it contradicts longstanding dogma that humans had not yet arrived in America.

Supposedly, the earliest Americans were the Clovis peoples, who left tool caches in New Mexico caves that researchers discovered in the early and middle 20th century. However, all this new evidence of pre-Clovis peoples is finally forcing a broad-scale revision of history.

Nature recently reviewed some of the pre-Clovis evidences that include fossil dung from a cave in Oregon, campsite remains from Chile, stone tools from Salado, Texas,2 and "sites in Tennessee and Florida, where evidence of pre-Clovis mammoth hunting was uncovered in the 1980s and 1990s."3 And now, the Vero Beach evidence adds to the "slow avalanche of findings."3

Well, the evidence was not slow, but the willingness to investigate and report the evidence has been very slow, since some of these pre-Clovis sites were discovered decades ago. Has some factor other than archaeological evidence played a role in suppressing the evidence of pre-Clovis peoples?

Adherence to a particular narrative apparently holds a stronger sway than evidence contradicting that narrative. For example, one longstanding narrative that held an iron sway for so long among archaeologists told that ancients migrated across the Bering land bridge during the Ice Age, from Asia to America. But lately, some dare to suggest that the ancients instead travelled by boats along the coast, called "coastal migration." An even more rare dissenting voice suggests that they floated straight across the Atlantic.

Why were these alternative ideas so long in coming? University of Oregon archaeologist Jon Erlandson told Nature, "I was once warned not to write about coastal migration in my dissertation. My adviser said I would ruin my career."3

If a career can be ruined over as trivial a matter as challenging a North American Ice Age migration story, how much more easily would it be ruined by a researcher challenging the story of dinosaur extinction millions of years before man by daring to consider evidence of human and dinosaurs having lived together?

Certainly, for many years dogmatic adherence to the Clovis-first narrative suppressed the most straightforward interpretation of field evidence for pre-Clovis peoples. Similarly, the dogma of human evolution caused researchers to misidentify human foot bones found in Africa as belonging to an extinct ape.4 Who knows what human fossils may have been discovered in even deeper earth layers, but misidentified because they didn't fit the evolution narrative?

References

  1. Torrent, D. New UF study shows early North Americans lived with extinct giant beasts. University of Florida News. Posted on news.ufl.edu May 3, 2012.
  2. Thomas, B. North America's Oldest Inhabitants Found in Texas. Creation Science Updates. Posted on icr.org April 13, 2011, accessed May 14, 2012.
  3. Curry, A. 2012. Coming to America. Nature. 485(7396): 30-32.
  4. Thomas, B. Human Foot Bone Misidentified as Lucy's. Creation Science Updates. Posted on icr.org February 18, 2011, accessed May 14, 2012.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on May 30, 2012.

The Latest
NEWS
Seafloor Spreading Matches Creation Predictions
Evolutionary scientists recently determined that seafloor spreading has been slowing down.1 And they are not exactly sure of the reason. However,...

NEWS
Remembering Patti Morse
But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from...

CREATION PODCAST
What Happened with Washington's Violent Volcano? | The Creation...
How did a 1980 volcanic eruption change our understanding of geology? What impact did this event have on the age assignments of sediments? Join us for...

NEWS
Fossil Insect Predation Shows No Evidence of Evolution
Some recent science news stories have come out describing fossils of insects feeding on plants supposedly many “millions of years ago.” What...

NEWS
Adaptive Genetic and Epigenetic Changes in Plants
Being sedentary organisms, plants are essentially stuck where they are planted and need to dynamically adapt to the conditions around them to not only...

NEWS
Dr. Tim Clarey Awarded Adjunct Professor of the Year
Congratulations to ICR Research Scientist and geologist Dr. Tim Clarey! He received the Adjunct Professor of the Year award from King’s University,...

NEWS
Mars Rover Records Dramatic Solar Eclipse
NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover has filmed the Martian satellite (or moon) Phobos eclipsing the sun, and this short but impressive video may be viewed...

CREATION PODCAST
Darwin or Design? CET Pt. 2 | The Creation Podcast: Episode 22
How does design provide a better explanation for biological functions and adaptations than natural selection? And how can engineering principles help...

NEWS
Resurrecting “Ancient” Enzymes?
The most abundant protein on Earth is probably an enzyme (biological catalyst) called RuBisCO (or Rubisco) designed by the Creator to function in photosynthesis.1...

NEWS
Inside May-June 2022 Acts & Facts
How can Christians stand up to scientific elitism? What does the plant fossil record in Iceland tell us about the global Flood? Does a new bacterium...