H/T Lloyd Pye
First a brief overview:
From the discovery in 1929 of a special style of stone spear point outside Clovis, NM until 1997. The consensus among archeologists and anthropologists was that no humans came to the Americas before the ‘Clovis Man’ about 13,000 years ago. Ignoring evidence of earlier Americans and sweeping it under the carpet was the rule. The ‘Brahmins’ of Clovis controlled who got funding, who got taught, who was hired, pretty much everything regarding the late Pleistocene influx of humans into America. Many of you probably know something about it, how at about 13,000 years ago an ‘ice-free corridor opened up from Alaska down between two ice sheets that were covering most of Canada, allowing Asians to walk across Beringia, because the ice sheets lowered the sea levels enough that the Bering Strait was dry land. According to the consensus, no other time, ever, could humans have gotten to the Americas, because they had no boats and the land route was blocked every other possible time. Well, in 1997 a site in Chile, Monte Verde, was proven and fully vetted as being a human settlement about 1,000 years before the ice-free corridor was open. The ‘Clovis First’ dogma had – after almost 7 decades – been toppled. Since then much progress has been made, and the previously anathema progress continues. It has turned out that genetics has played a large part in it, showing that FIVE incursions of humans came, from at least four areas – one of them Europe, and one of them Polynesian. And yes, boats were used. (End of overview)
So, on with the show!
I think anyone here can read the following and substitute ‘global warming’ in place of ‘Clovis First’ and ‘the Hockey Team’ for ‘Paleo experts’. . .
What inspired this theoretical hardness that permitted nothing outside the boatless Isolationist box? Was there a mass conspiracy to defraud the public by a cabal from the original skull and bones society? Are the secrets buried next to The Ark in some Pentagon-subsidized Smithsonian warehouse and kept out of public hands because we cannot handle the truth?
Dream on. It was the Paleo experts themselves who could not handle the truth. Clovis First/Isolationism was guided by a consensus mentality, a groupthink that reason could not penetrate. What’s the use of wasting time and money trying to prove yourself wrong when you know you are right? In the end it was nothing but wishful thinking, an obsession that stunted the development and maturation of First American research.
– Christopher Hardaker – 2007 ‘The First American: The Suppressed Story of the People Who Discovered the New World’ (p. 246) Kindle Edition
Prior to 15 years ago, Clovis First was THE consensus among academics, so much so that Hardaker could and did write,
The idea of water travel in any Pleistocene migration theory was strictly taboo, except for Australia. In the Americas, it was land or nothing. Now everyone is a diffusionist by definition. That means Pandora’s box has opened for good, and Isolationism is clearly dead. Now we must reconsider more recent immigrants, such as [George] Carter’s chickens, Japanese sailors, and Chinese Olmecs. No! No! Clovis just got lucky, that’s all. Nice try. The Pleistocene coastal approach to the New World had been discussed decades earlier by the enlightened Canadians. The gringos, however, claimed that the northwest Pacific coastline was blocked by glaciers, and that immigrants could not walk around them, so they didn’t. Silly? You bet. [Ibid, page 244 Kindle edition]
In my first upper division archaeology class at San Diego State in 1973, my professor warned us all not to visit Carter’s Texas Street site. Carter had apparently returned to do some more excavations at his infamous site, and my professor must have feared we might be “infected” with his madness if we got too close. The professor made a point of not telling us where the site was. His final words: If you visit the Texas Street site, you will be kicked out of the department. This was essentially a death sentence for any aspiring California archaeologist … if you got caught. It meant your curiosity would never be tamed, disciplined, nor aligned with the scientifically credible. It meant you had a yen for the incredulous. Such interests would only tarnish the good name of archaeology in the future. [Ibid, pg 146, Kindle edition]
From: Dan Josselyn Alabama Archaeological Society University of Alabama
To: Dr. Cynthia lrwin-Williams Eastern New Mexico University Portales, New Mexico…
…I’m accused of “theories”, which I detest. My only point is that we have overlooked an amazing and abundant lithic technology – let’s see what it means! I wish all archaeologists could see the ton of “crude stuff” spread all over my tables, floors, spare beds. Wormington, Krieger, Desmond Clark, Dragoo, Vertes, Bordes, Leakey, Muller-Beck, Stirling, etc., agree with me that we must investigate this matter thoroughly.’ (Emphasis in original.)
In Josselyn’s last paragraph we find that just asking questions about early assemblages brought a lot of heat, regardless of the luminaries who felt the same way. This heat came from the dogmatic Clovis First folks. By merely acting on his interest and curiosity, Josselyn was accused of “theories.” “Theories,” specified in this way, resemble the modem accusation of conspiracy theories.
In the “you’re with us or against us” world of Clovis-Isolationism, every question, no matter how innocent, was regarded as an allegation against the Brahmin, who would then turn around and let you have it. When they accused Josselyn of “theories,” it was his thinking abilities that were being attacked. It carries the notion that you suffer from a gullibility toward the fantastic, that you cannot discern science from fantasy. The fact that he lists so many others sharing the same curiosity strengthens Josselyn’s position. His frustration was evident, but he was not alone. In the end, it did not matter one bit. Clovis First was just too entrenched to let facts get in the way. [all emphases in the originals] [Ibid, p. 141. Kindle Edition.]
Does this kind of idiocy and stone walls sound familiar?
Though shalt not put facts before the altar of our consensus.
But archeology and anthropology are now out of the control of a consensus and back in the hands of open inquirers who will follow the evidence wherever it leads – at least until the next consensus gets in the way.
I found the book to be a terrific read on how entrenched ideas stifle researchers, even when no one is directly leaning on them. The story is mostly about a Mexican site near Puebla was the equivalent of Dr Louis Leakeys’ Olduvai Gorge in Africa, but since the science didn’t fit with the archeologists’ expectations, some nasty things were done. I won’t give away the story, but it had some shockers in it, and is one of the best science stories I’ve come across.