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DNA From 12,000-Year-Old Skeleton Helps Answer the Question: Who Were the First Americans?
Smithsonian Magazine ^ | 5-15-2014 | Mohi Kumar

Posted on 05/16/2014 5:30:54 AM PDT by Renfield

ome 12,000 years ago, a teenage girl took a walk in what’s now the Yucatan Peninsula and fell 190 feet into a deep pit, breaking her pelvis and likely killing her instantly. Over time, the pit—part of an elaborate limestone cave system—became a watery grave as the most recent ice age ended, glaciers melted and sea levels rose.

In 2007, cave divers happened upon her remarkably preserved remains, which form the oldest, most complete and genetically intact human skeleton in the New World. Her bones, according to new research published in Science, hold the key to a question that has long plagued scientists: Who were the first Americans?

Prevailing ideas point to all Native Americans descending from ancient Siberians who moved across the Beringia land bridge between Asia and North America between 26,000 and 18,000 years ago. As time wore on, the thinking goes, these people spread southward and gave rise to the Native American populations encountered by European settlers centuries ago....

(Excerpt) Read more at smithsonianmag.com ...


TOPICS: History; Science
KEYWORDS: genetics; paleoanthropology; paleoindians

1 posted on 05/16/2014 5:30:54 AM PDT by Renfield
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To: SunkenCiv

Ping


2 posted on 05/16/2014 5:31:08 AM PDT by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
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To: Renfield

Just think of it….glaciers during the last Ice Age extended to the Yucatan in Central America and then “global warming” occurred to melt all that ice….and there was only a fraction of the human population we now have with no fossil fuel emissions. Amazing.

So-called “scientists” today should be ashamed for trying to foist the hoax of anthropological global warming on us. Though they have the drug-addled and poorly educated youth bamboozled, It is outrageous that they consider adults as so gullible.


3 posted on 05/16/2014 5:41:29 AM PDT by txrefugee
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To: Renfield

Sacrifice. I don’t know why they make it out to be an accident. I guess to preserver the meme that the original humans in the Yucatan was wonderful benevolent people. They actually were into human sacrifice and self mutilation. The kings pierced their privates to get blood for their gods.


4 posted on 05/16/2014 5:41:46 AM PDT by Mercat
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To: Renfield
The following is a comment on the article supposedly from a Christian:

Bull. God created the Earth 6,000 years ago. IT'S A FACT!!! More Satan Obammy lies. Why do you people hate God? What are you afraid of? Repent. Jesus Christ loves you but if you doubt Him, He will cast you into a lake of fire for all eternity.

5 posted on 05/16/2014 5:45:38 AM PDT by luvbach1 (We are finished. It will just take a while before everyone realizes it.)
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To: Renfield

“You know, if I were a single man, I might ask that mummy out. That’s a good-looking mummy” —Bill Clinton, looking at “Juanita,” a newly discovered . . . .


6 posted on 05/16/2014 5:46:22 AM PDT by WilliamofCarmichael (If modern America's Man on Horseback is out there, Get on the damn horse already!)
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To: Renfield

Wouldn’t every bit of carbon 14 be gone after, say, 10000 years?

How can they state with certainty that this skeleton is 12000 years old?


7 posted on 05/16/2014 5:48:07 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Mercat
Sacrifice. I don’t know why they make it out to be an accident.
If so, I would have expected them to have found remains from more than one "victim."
8 posted on 05/16/2014 5:49:35 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: WilliamofCarmichael

Sure, why not? She’s probably more attractive than the wife.


9 posted on 05/16/2014 5:49:53 AM PDT by stremba
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To: MrB

The half life of carbon 14 is 5730 years. Given that, after 12000 years, it’s a pretty easy calculation to determine the amount of C-14 left in the sample. Doing so gives about 23% of the original C-14, which is quite easily measurable.

In any case, C-14 is not the only radioisotope used for dating, but in this case it’s the likely method used.


10 posted on 05/16/2014 5:53:00 AM PDT by stremba
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To: stremba

Thanks for the answer.

Not to be ungrateful, but the handwave

“of the original C-14”

always amuses me.


11 posted on 05/16/2014 5:54:53 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: MrB

BTW,

The upper limit for C-14 dating is generally accepted to be around 50,000 years.


12 posted on 05/16/2014 5:54:57 AM PDT by stremba
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To: txrefugee

Actually, the glaciers didn’t extend anywhere near the Yucatan. What he said in the article is that when they melted after the “ice age”, sea level rose and covered this pit.


13 posted on 05/16/2014 5:58:19 AM PDT by miliantnutcase
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To: oh8eleven

They’re called Cenotes which means “well of sacrifice.” Google it.


14 posted on 05/16/2014 6:00:29 AM PDT by Mercat
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To: MrB

It’s not exactly handwaving; it’s (unlike AGW) fairly well understood science. The abundance of C14 relative to that of C12 is very well measured today. We have no reason to believe that this abundance was much different in the past. If it was, that would likely indicate significant differences in the past in the laws governing nuclear processes. That would be very fundamental differences in areas that are very well understood. It’s possible that this is the case, but if it were, there would be many observable consequences in areas independent of the C-14 abundance. IOW, you can’t just muck around with the C14 abundance without also changing a lot of other stuff. We would certainly notice such changes. Given the nature of science, then, we choose the simplest explanation, which is that the laws of nuclear physics have remained constant and that the relative abundance of C14 hasn’t changed.

Given those conclusions, it’s pretty easy to measure the abundance of C14 in a specimin such as this and compare it to the current C14 abundance. In this case, the abundance in the specimin is about 23% of that currently observed, so this leads directly to the 12,000 year proposed age.

It is true that this is not proven in the strict logical/philosophical sense. However, that’s not a reason to criticize; nothing in science is ever proven in that sense. All the evidence we have, though, leads to the conclusion that this specimin is 12,000 years old, that decay rates don’t change over time, and that isotopic abundances are fairly constant over time. If you disagree, then go out and find evidence to the contrary. If you do so, scientists will listen. If not, the scientific community will not take your objections seriously.


15 posted on 05/16/2014 6:09:39 AM PDT by stremba
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To: Renfield
12,000 years ago, a teenage girl took a walk in what’s now the Yucatan Peninsula and fell 190 feet into a deep pit, breaking her pelvis and likely killing her instantly.

Don't text while walking!

16 posted on 05/16/2014 6:20:14 AM PDT by Fester Chugabrew
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To: MrB
Wouldn’t every bit of carbon 14 be gone after, say, 10000 years? How can they state with certainty that this skeleton is 12000 years old? They had other methods of finding the approximate age in the article. They knew this had to have happened prior to 10,000 years ago. There were mineral formations growing on the skeleton from when it was a dry pit with moisture dripping from the ceiling.
17 posted on 05/16/2014 6:20:41 AM PDT by miliantnutcase
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To: luvbach1

That had to be sarcasm. Either that or one truly ignorant person.


18 posted on 05/16/2014 6:20:50 AM PDT by cuban leaf
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To: luvbach1

So much wrong with that comment:

1. Believing that the earth is older than 6,000 years old hardly makes one an atheist. I would venture to guess that the majority of Christians are not young earth creationists.

2. Trying to scientifically figure out what has happened on earth in the past is hardly tantamount to “hating God”. Why would God give us the intelligence to persue scientific questions and the curiosity to do so if He didn’t want and expect us to use them? The Bible is not a science text. It may be inerrant, but it tells us what we need to know to get along with each other and create a civilized society. I don’t believe it gives a full and complete account of all possible scientific questions. That’s not its purpose. Besides, God helps those who help themselves, right? Isn’t it better for us to find out these answers ourselves rather than rely solely on God to spoon feed us?

3. The essential message of Jesus was that we are all sinners and can all be forgiven because of His sacrifice. Even those who doubt can be redeemed. This commenter is way out of line to presume to know what will happen to anyone who doubts Jesus. Perhaps Jesus will work to overcome their doubt. Perhaps they will be forgiven. This commenter sounds VERY judgemental for a purported Christian.


19 posted on 05/16/2014 6:21:14 AM PDT by stremba
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To: txrefugee

It is outrageous that many adults ARE so gullible.


20 posted on 05/16/2014 6:21:31 AM PDT by ContraryMary (Barack Obama = Neville Chamberlain)
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To: miliantnutcase

See my post above. C-14 dating is reliable for an age of 12,000 years. Upper limit is about 50,000 years.


21 posted on 05/16/2014 6:22:18 AM PDT by stremba
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To: Mercat
I don’t know why they make it out to be an accident.

How dare you question the Smithsonian! Why do you hate history and science? /s

22 posted on 05/16/2014 6:23:31 AM PDT by Fester Chugabrew
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To: oh8eleven

It’s possible that there were other victims at this location, but that their skeletons, for one reason or another, did not survive to the present day. I would imagine that a well-preserved 12,000 year old skeleton would be the exception rather than the rule.


23 posted on 05/16/2014 6:23:53 AM PDT by stremba
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To: Fester Chugabrew

I actually love watching Smithsonian on Demand although as a rule I take it all with a grain of salt.


24 posted on 05/16/2014 6:27:26 AM PDT by Mercat
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To: stremba
I agree that the commentor was mocking what he considered creationists to be.
25 posted on 05/16/2014 6:30:51 AM PDT by luvbach1 (We are finished. It will just take a while before everyone realizes it.)
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To: WilliamofCarmichael

Mummy mia!!


26 posted on 05/16/2014 6:31:26 AM PDT by luvbach1 (We are finished. It will just take a while before everyone realizes it.)
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To: oh8eleven

Good point in your post #8.


27 posted on 05/16/2014 6:33:28 AM PDT by luvbach1 (We are finished. It will just take a while before everyone realizes it.)
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To: Mercat
Sacrifice. I don’t know why they make it out to be an accident.

A teenage girl? Could be an accident if she's the only one in there. (you'd expect there would be more than one if the sinkhole was used for sacrifices)

Some teenage girls seem to be in their own world, and ditty-bopping around in the boonies and karst topography with their head in the clouds could well lead to tragedy.

Human nature is pretty much human nature, whenever.

Even today, people get run over by trains and vehicles, just not paying attention to their surroundings.

28 posted on 05/16/2014 6:34:00 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: Smokin' Joe

I don’t think that they had cell phones back then.


29 posted on 05/16/2014 6:54:03 AM PDT by Mercat
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To: txrefugee
The climate knew the Reagen tax cuts were coming in the 1980’s so warmed to send warning to all right thinking liberals
30 posted on 05/16/2014 7:17:50 AM PDT by Manta (Obama to issue executive order repealing laws of physics)
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To: Renfield

Proves nothing. If the asian migration occurred 13-15000 years ago then the idea that in 1000 years some of those peoples migrated into south america is not at all surprising. I don’t subscribe to the PC concept that the asian migration was the first into North and South America. The evidence of possible earlier migrations from the Pacific areas as well as the Solutrian migrations some 15-20K years earlier are gaining ground.


31 posted on 05/16/2014 7:33:26 AM PDT by RJS1950 (The democrats are the "enemies foreign and domestic" cited in the federal oath)
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To: Renfield
Who Were the First Americans?


32 posted on 05/16/2014 7:36:19 AM PDT by JRios1968 (I'm guttery and trashy, with a hint of lemon. - Laz)
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To: Mercat

I antedate the cell phone by quite a bit, myself. This is a teenage girl, in the throes of physical metamorphosis, replete with raging hormones. No cell phone required to have low situational awareness.


33 posted on 05/16/2014 7:42:58 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: Renfield

Radio carbon dating assumes background radiation is a constant and what would the standard deviation be at a 12000 year dating? If background radiation was less than assumed wouldn’t the dating appear older? The hole is littered with other fossils of different beast. The other dating metioned said it’s results were inconclusive but the dating was about 12000. Hmmmm! someone needs a grant?


34 posted on 05/16/2014 7:53:56 AM PDT by the_daug
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To: Mercat
They’re called Cenotes which means “well of sacrifice.” Google it.
So they only used the well one time - or - the conditions were such that only one victim's remains survived?
I doubt either is true and I'm sticking with accident.
35 posted on 05/16/2014 8:17:43 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: stremba

I saw that, I was just mentioning to him they used other methods besides carbon dating to narrow down the time frame.


36 posted on 05/16/2014 8:34:07 AM PDT by miliantnutcase
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