Old World Presence in B.C. America

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A Mimbres Indian ceramic that has a catfish depicted with the Libyan word of catfish drawn on it.

A Mimbres Indian ceramic that has a catfish depicted with the Libyan word of catfish drawn on it.

After my last post, a reader commented that Old World explorers were here thousands of years ago. He referenced a book by Barry Fell as evidence. Well, I never heard of Barry, who the hell Fell anyway. But wanting to be evenhanded, I decided to read one of his books before I laughed him off.
When you check into it, you find Fell was a formidable scientist in his own right, howbeit, in biology not anthropology or archeology. However brilliant one may be, he should never underestimate the level of sophistication of experts who have spent their lives in an area of study. Thus, one might rightly regard Fell as pompous to step into another field and declare the work of experts there to be inexact, illogical, and predisposed to a blindly accepted mythology about the ancient world.
On the other side, one also should never underestimate the ability of a well-honed scientific mind to step into a new field of endeavor and explore it in a precise and insightful manner.
So whose side am I taking? I would say, that I understand both points of view, but lack sufficient knowledge in this field to take a rational stand. Instead, I’ll just waver in the middle. By the way, I tend to waver toward those who have spent their lives studying the this niche of knowledge.
But, if you did that in the field of biology prior to the 1850’s, then you would have staunchly supported spontaneous generation, i.e., the idea that maggots formed, poof, from rotting material not from fly eggs laid in that putrefaction.
The fact is, mainstream science has been wrong, particularly when applied in a biased, predisposed manner, even more so when a deficiency of facts prevailed.
Back to Barry Fell, Frank Joseph and others. Unfortunately, they point from site to site, etched stone after etched stone massing evidence to support their thesis. Then they hit on a place you saw on TV, or visited, one you have always found suspect. Next you wonder, “If I knew more, would I view all of these places with suspicion?”
However, Fell and Joseph and others sometimes point to something, that if true, is absolute proof of Old World influence in the New World, things such as cocaine in the belly of an Egyptian mummy, or the depiction of a catfish on Mimbres pottery (the Mimbres River is just south of Silver City, New Mexico) with the ancient Libyan word of catfish written on it. IF either of these is NOT A HOAX then there was Old World contact long before Leif Ericson. The probability is too steep to support an alternative.
It is interesting, that the Mimbres catfish draws the attention of those who want to debunk Fell. Check this article.
But figure the odds of an accidental use of the Libyan word for catfish. Start with the number of symbols available for human communication. Let’s make a very conservative guess, say there are only 200 distinct symbols in all human languages, past and present. Surely there are many more than that, but we are setting a safe “low ball” boundary. For the three Libyan symbols to have appeared together without Libyan contact the odds would be 200 to the third power, 8 million to one. For said symbols to spell “catfish” on a catfish adds one more dimension. We might ask, how many animals were available for a Mimbres Indian to depict? The Mimbres tended to stick to fauna including insects and birds. A low ball guess would be 100. Surely there were more. Our model, could be strengthened by adding more factors, but I think it proves the point as is: i.e. the odds have now become 800,000,000 to 1 that this object is not the result of Libyan influence.
In the face of those numbers, arguments about catfish barbs, decorative use, and reverse images, all fade into non-relevance. They are trivial and just obfuscate the key issue, which is:
The Libyan culture existed, according to Fell, around 1200 B.C. The Mimbres culture existed around 1100 A.D. How did this arcane writing get carried through time from one to the one?
Fell says the Libyan culture continued to thrive here for 2000 years. If so, where are the many, many other Libyan artifacts that demonstrate this longer than any other civilization’s existence?
I would also find it odd that the Libyans would end up in the Mimbres Valley, about as far from an ocean as one can get. At that time, the Anasazi culture dominated central New Mexico and had trade routes into the jungles of southern Mexico where they acquired turkeys (the modern American wild turkey is said to be the descendent from feral Anasazi turkeys) and macaws. How come they didn’t acquire bits of the Libyan culture, particularly if it coexisted with them for 2000 years.
In short, the catfish can neither be Libyan, nor can it not be Libyan. I believe that Sherlock Holmes would say whatever is left, regardless how unbelievable, is the truth–that is, this object must be a fake. Now if only Sherlock would step forward and prove it.

More on this topic next time.

Life on Mars

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This article caught my eye. The Mars rover Opportunity discovered signs that Mars once had water “you could drink” and probably was “much more favorable in its chemistry, in its pH, in its level of acidity, for things like prebiotic … Continue reading

Junk Reporting on Junk DNA

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A week and a day ago we returned from a month long trip to Turkey and Greece. The tour in Turkey, called Magical Hideaways, run by OAT, was fantastic. Given the quality of the hotels, plus all the other amenities, … Continue reading

Red Rover, Red Rover, Come On Over

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Erosion on Mars as seen by the Mars Rover Photo by NASA

Erosion on Mars as seen by the Mars Rover

NASA photo of Mars with ice (dry ice?) cap
NASA recently announced that the Mars Rover (Red Rover, get it?) had dug up something of historic significance. Not a Buffalo nickel, not Jimmy Hoffa, and not Ylla’s gun that shoots demon bees as this article said in an attempt at humor [article link].
The answer is we don’t know what they will say because NASA is vetting its data so that when it states that it has found life, or signs of life, or more likely, signs of past life; then it will be in a scientifically defensible position.
Remember NASA got shot down by the origins of life theorists when it threatened their grant acquisition status with the declaration that aspects of meteorite ALH84001 “… considered collectively… are evidence of primitive life on early Mars.”
This statement was targeted in a barrage of challenges, when considered collectively, caused NASA to lose face and withdraw its claim. I remain unconvinced that NASA was wrong, but like in a court of law, it was expected to prove beyond a doubt that it was right.
Unfortunately, much of scientific truth is determined by the rhetoric of key figures as received by a jury of their less creative and insightful, possibly even politically motivated, peers. Ultimately the truth wins based on irrefutable evidence. Up until then, the detractors will dig in and go for one more government grant to strengthen a position that they may already see is a loser, but someone has to keep bread on the table, right?
The Mars Rover depicted on a Martian-like landscape

The Mars Rover depicted on a Martian-like landscape

Given the number of loser programs sponsored with our government money, don’t you think NASA would continue to be funded? The mission to Mars is to our future like Lucy climbing down out of the tree was to our present. And just like Lucy, some of what they learn will be critical to our survival.
There are a ton of wonderful discoveries about Mars that NASA could announce and any one of them would be historic. Heck, the fact that the rover is there and functioning as planned is historic, but they are going to announce life on Mars aren’t they? After all, this is a grudge match isn’t it?
Link to We’re NASA and We Know It

5 Inhabited Planets

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This article, says 700 planets have been found outside our solar system, and five, were within the habitable zone of their stars and are candidates for life. Projected across the galaxy, there are a huge number of such habitable planets, … Continue reading