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Late Pleostocene Human Population Bottlenecks. . . (Toba)
The Bradshaw Foundation ^ | 1998 | Stanley H. Ambrose

Posted on 12/16/2005 11:33:44 AM PST by blam

Professor Stanley H. Ambrose Department of Anthropology, University Of Illinois, Urbana, USA

Extract from "Journey of Human Evolution" [1998] 34, 623-651

The last glacial period was preceded by 1000 years of the coldest temperatures of the Late Pleistocene, apparently caused by the eruption of the Mount Toba volcano. The six year long volcanic winter and 1000-year-long instant Ice Age that followed Mount Toba's eruption may have decimated Modern Man's entire population. Genetic evidence suggests that Human population size fell to about 10,000 adults between 50 and 100 thousand years ago. The survivors from this global catastrophy would have found refuge in isolated tropical pockets, mainly in Equatorial Africa. Populations living in Europe and northern China would have been completely eliminated by the reduction of the summer temperatures by as much as 12 degrees centigrade.

Volcanic winter and instant Ice Age may help resolve the central but unstated paradox of the recent African origin of Humankind: if we are all so recently "Out of Africa", why do we not all look more African?

Because the volcanic winter and instant Ice Age would have reduced populations levels low enough for founder effects, genetic drift and local adaptations to produce rapid changes in the surviving populations, causing the peoples of the world to look so different today. In other words, Toba may have caused Modern Races to differentiate abruptly only 70,000 years ago, rather than gradually over one million years.

Volcanic Winter

The Mount Toba eruption is dated to approximately 71,000 years ago. Volcanic ash from Mount Toba can be traced north-west across India, where a widespread terrestrial marker bed exists of primary and reworked airfall ash, in beds that are commonly 1 to 3, and occasionally 6 meters [18 feet] thick.

Tambora, the largest known historic eruption, displaced 20 cubic kilometres of ash. Mount Toba produced 800 cubic kilometres.* It was therefore forty times larger than the largest eruption of the last two centuries and apparently the second largest known explosive eruption over the last 450 million years.

*Mount St Helens produced a tiny 0.2 cubic kilometres.

Volcanic Winter, and Differentiation of Modern Humans

Mount Toba's eruption is marked by a 6 year period during which the largest amount of volcanic sulphur was deposited in the past 110,000 years. This dramatic event was followed by 1000 years of the lowest ice core oxygen isotope ratios of the last glacial period. In other words, for 1000 years immediately following the eruption, the earth witnessed temperatures colder than during the Last Glacial Maximum at 18-21,000 years ago.

For the volcanic aerosols to be effectively distributed around the earth, the plume from the volcanic eruptions must reach the stratosphere, a height greater than 17 kilometres. Mount Toba's plume probably reached twice this height. Most solar energy falls at low latitudes between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, so eruptions that happen near the Equator cause much more substantial cooling due to the reflection of solar energy. Toba lies 2 degrees north of the Equator, on the Island Sumatra.

The reduction in atmospheric visibility due to volcanic ash and dust particles is relatively short-lived, about three to six months. Longer-term global climatic cooling is caused by the highly reflective sulphuric acid haze, which stays suspended in the upper atmosphere for several years.

Ice core evidence implicates Mount Toba as the cause of coldest millennium of the late Pleistocene. It shows that this eruption injected more sulphur that remained in the atmosphere fo a longer time [six years] than any other volcanic eruption in the last 110,000 years. This may have caused nearly complete deforestation of southeast Asia, and at the same time to have lowered sea surface temperatures by 3 to 3.5 degrees centigrade for several years.

If Tambora caused the " The year without a summer" in 1816, Mount Toba could have been responsible for six years of relentless volcanic winter, thus causing a massive deforestation, a disastrous famine for all living creatures, and a near extinction of Humankind.

The Volcanic Winter/Weak Garden of Eden model proposed in this paper. Population subdivision due to dispersal within African and other continents during the early Late Pleistocene is followed by bottlenecks caused by volcanic winter, resulting from the eruption of Toba, 71 ka. The bottleneck may have lasted either 1000 years, during the hyper-cold stadial period between Dansgaard-Oeschlger events 19 and 20, or 10ka, during oxygen isotope stage 4. Population bottlenecks and releases are both sychronous. More individuals survived in Africa because tropical refugia were largest there, resulting in greater genetic diversity in Africa.

Bahamas Coral Reef Chart

BLOMBOS CAVE : 77,0000 YEARS OLD

Small and portable, this red ochre stone is engraved with what must be "tally" marks. It is one of two such stones recently found in the Blombos Cave in South Africa and have been dated as being 77,000 years old, making them the oldest form of recorded counting ever found.

The stone is worn which probably indicated that it was constantly handled over a period of time, how long is impossible to tell. It looks as though the stone has been reused at least once before as the lighter marks appear to have been erased rather than worn away naturally.

If the dating is accurate this stone was used 5000 years before the Mount Toba eruption of 71,000 years ago. The evidence from the Toba eruption indicates that the world's population of Modern Man was reduced to a total of around 10,000 adults.



TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bottlenecks; catastrophism; godsgravesglyphs; helixmakemineadouble; human; late; maunderminimum; pleistocene; pleostocene; population; solarflares; toba; youngerdryas
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Some place the worldwide human population after the Toba explosion as low as 2,000 people.
1 posted on 12/16/2005 11:33:46 AM PST by blam
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To: SunkenCiv
GGG Ping.

I expect that we'll eventually find that humans were stranded in South America during the Volcano Winter caused by the Toba explosion and were not re-united with the world's other humans until thousands of years later.

2 posted on 12/16/2005 11:36:39 AM PST by blam
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To: blam
More good stuff ===> Placemarker <===
3 posted on 12/16/2005 11:39:56 AM PST by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: blam

I grabbed Kwares Erupt program.
Tried to simulate Toba.
To get the amount of volcanic gunk to erupt that Toba did, you have to simulate an eruption lasting over one year.

Toba erupted its load in less than that.


4 posted on 12/16/2005 11:40:02 AM PST by Darksheare ("Keep it just between us..." she said, and then she faded into the mist.)
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To: blam

I have heard speculation that during the last third or so of the last great ice age, worldwide population fell to the 10-20K range.

I guess we're talking about 12-15 K years ago.


5 posted on 12/16/2005 11:41:36 AM PST by djf (Bush wants to make Iraq like America. Solution: Send all illegal immigrants to Iraq!)
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To: blam
20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet. 21 Every living thing that moved on the earth perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. 23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.

Last I checked, ice was water.

6 posted on 12/16/2005 11:43:14 AM PST by naturalized (Some folks look at me and see a certain swagger, which in Texas is called walking.)
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To: blam

Incredible thesis.


7 posted on 12/16/2005 11:47:02 AM PST by Luke Skyfreeper
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To: Darksheare

I seem to recall Toba was a Caldera.. like the one sitting under Yellowstone... does Kwares Erupt even have the capacity to simulate a Caldera eruption?


8 posted on 12/16/2005 11:47:56 AM PST by HamiltonJay
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To: naturalized
Problems with a Global Flood, Second Edition, by Mark Isaak
9 posted on 12/16/2005 11:48:35 AM PST by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: djf
"I guess we're talking about 12-15 K years ago."

I think you're thinking of the Last Glacial Maximum(LGM), 18-23,000 years ago. That was an extremely cold period and this Journey Of Mankind shows an extreme shrinkage of humans worldwide during that period. I've not seen any population figures associated with that period though.

10 posted on 12/16/2005 11:52:56 AM PST by blam
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To: HamiltonJay
"I seem to recall Toba was a Caldera.. like the one sitting under Yellowstone."

Yes. Super Volcano status.

I've seen some discussion on up-grading the Thera eruption some...not to super volcano status though.

11 posted on 12/16/2005 11:55:16 AM PST by blam
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To: blam

The above looks like a moderne style menorah. Very nice design.

Placemark, I look forward to reading this.

12 posted on 12/16/2005 11:59:00 AM PST by Sam Cree (absolute reality) - "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein)
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To: blam

i have a question for you...how does the author know that those lines on the rock are tally marks and not just the grooves left when someone sharpened a stick or arrow head on that rock?


13 posted on 12/16/2005 11:59:07 AM PST by willyd (No nation has ever taxed its citizens into prosperity)
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To: willyd
i have a question for you...how does the author know that those lines on the rock are tally marks and not just the grooves left when someone sharpened a stick or arrow head on that rock?

Stones used for sharpening tend to have more, and deeper scratches, and they are generally more central. Sometimes they have a single deep "V"-shaped groove.

This stone matches the world-wide pattern you find with non-sharpening (i.e., ceremonial, counting, etc.) stones.

Check out a book title "Patterns that Connect: Social Symbolism in Ancient & Tribal Art" by Schuster and Carpenter for illustrations.

14 posted on 12/16/2005 12:05:12 PM PST by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: blam
From this site, lots of super caldera info. http://www.solcomhouse.com/yellowstone.htm
15 posted on 12/16/2005 12:07:56 PM PST by Slicksadick (Go out on a limb........Its where the fruit is.)
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To: blam

Proud member of Haplogroup G2 :^)


16 posted on 12/16/2005 12:10:16 PM PST by add925 (The Left = Xenophobes in Denial)
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To: HamiltonJay

Yes, but only up to a point.


17 posted on 12/16/2005 12:12:10 PM PST by Darksheare ("Keep it just between us..." she said, and then she faded into the mist.)
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To: Coyoteman
"Stones used for sharpening tend to have more, and deeper scratches, and they are generally more central. Sometimes they have a single deep "V"-shaped groove."

Whew! I was hoping you'd step forward and answer that one, lol.

18 posted on 12/16/2005 12:16:36 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

ping for great discussion topic


19 posted on 12/16/2005 12:19:13 PM PST by Toadman
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To: HamiltonJay

Looking back into the program, it simulates only two types of caldera, Valles type, and Mazama type.


20 posted on 12/16/2005 12:22:27 PM PST by Darksheare ("Keep it just between us..." she said, and then she faded into the mist.)
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To: willyd

"i have a question for you...how does the author know that those lines on the rock are tally marks and not just the grooves left when someone sharpened a stick or arrow head on that rock?"

Sharpening stones do not have regular geometric patterns on them. A stone used for sharpening wooden tools generally has a single groove in it, making it easier to put a point on a wooden shaft.

Arrow heads are made by flaking, not grinding, so they're irrelevant. Ground stones, such as some other common tools were ground on a large stone, which will have fairly large depressions, not lines, worn into it.


21 posted on 12/16/2005 1:06:15 PM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: MineralMan

Well you have at least described a few things that it isn't. I see your point on arrow heads. Are they all made only by chipping? What about bone? Is it possible they were sharpening bone and the lines cross because they switched from the left hand to the right hand? If it is a numbering system...what number is it? How do you prove that those triangles were used as a counting system? How do you know that someone wasn't trying to groove scales on a rock that looked like a fish? It is interesting...I just don't understand how archaelogists say things with such certainty some times.


22 posted on 12/16/2005 1:40:58 PM PST by willyd (No nation has ever taxed its citizens into prosperity)
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To: willyd

"Well you have at least described a few things that it isn't. I see your point on arrow heads. Are they all made only by chipping? What about bone? Is it possible they were sharpening bone and the lines cross because they switched from the left hand to the right hand? If it is a numbering system...what number is it? How do you prove that those triangles were used as a counting system? How do you know that someone wasn't trying to groove scales on a rock that looked like a fish? It is interesting...I just don't understand how archaelogists say things with such certainty some times."

I can't fully answer your question. I'm not an archaeologist. But tally stones are pretty common items, archaeology speaking. I assume that they've been related to some form of tallying or counting based on other information.

I don't normally just automatically reject something just because I don't have all the information myself. If a journal article refers to an object by its use, then I assume they have reason to do so.

If I waited until I researched everything that interests me somewhat, I'd have to drop a lot of things from my life. So, I generally work with what the specialists in an field have to say. If they're wrong, then I'll find some other explanation at another time.

What I don't do is assume the information is incorrect, based on nothing but my very limited personal knowledge. I do know about some toolmaking items, since I have a small collection of my own. Beyond that, I pay attention to the experts.


23 posted on 12/16/2005 1:46:47 PM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: blam

Given how benign nature has been over the last 20,000 years, people forget how awful things can get. All it would take is another of these things to wake up, and there goes civilization down the drain for another hundred centuries.


24 posted on 12/16/2005 1:57:51 PM PST by Little Pig (Is it time for "Cowboys and Muslims" yet?)
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To: MineralMan

I didn't assume anything. All I did was ask a simple question about the process that archaeologists use to verify the statements that they make. Is it a theory? Are there similar stones being used by indigenous people today? There is a difference between asking someone to describe how they came to a conclusion and just outright dismissing something. Since you said yourself that you are no expert in archaeology perhaps we should leave the question for someone that is. The question was intended to help me understand how much of archaeology is based on science and what part is pure hypothesis.


25 posted on 12/16/2005 2:06:27 PM PST by willyd (No nation has ever taxed its citizens into prosperity)
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To: willyd
Well you have at least described a few things that it isn't. I see your point on arrow heads. Are they all made only by chipping? What about bone? Is it possible they were sharpening bone and the lines cross because they switched from the left hand to the right hand? If it is a numbering system...what number is it? How do you prove that those triangles were used as a counting system? How do you know that someone wasn't trying to groove scales on a rock that looked like a fish? It is interesting...I just don't understand how archaelogists say things with such certainty some times.

Archaeologists deal with patterns and extrapolate from the known to the unknown. Many peoples studied by anthropologists used counting devices, and some are similar to those seen in the past (by archaeologists).

Archaeologists also do replication, and study how various items are made. Projectile points are a good example. I had a course in grad school titled "Lithic Technology" in which we learned to make points of various kinds and studied the debitage which resulted. (Some of us called it elementary finger-bleeding.)

In an earlier post, I recommended the book by Schuster and Carpenter titled "Patterns that Connect." That book is somewhat expensive, but is available at many libraries. Their larger multi-volume set is available at some libraries. In these volumes you will see literally thousands of examples of art from around the world. That is part of the archaeological "database" that lets us make educated guesses about artifacts when them appear in other contexts.

Archaeology is not as easy as it looks, and most of its practitioners are always studying and learning.

26 posted on 12/16/2005 2:18:39 PM PST by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: blam

Bump for later read...


27 posted on 12/16/2005 2:23:21 PM PST by Bender2 (Even dirty old robots need love!)
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To: Coyoteman

I think archaeology is fascinating. It is almost like building a case based on circumstantial evidence. I was reading online somewhere about the distinctly negroid features in some of the mayan carvings as well as what looks like an elephant trunk which obviously begs the question where the hell did they run into an elephant? The author was theorizing that there may have been ancient trade routes that were far more developed than previously thought based on various similarities between artifacts from different countries. Pretty cool stuff.


28 posted on 12/16/2005 2:27:56 PM PST by willyd (No nation has ever taxed its citizens into prosperity)
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To: Little Pig
"Given how benign nature has been over the last 20,000 years, people forget how awful things can get. All it would take is another of these things to wake up, and there goes civilization down the drain for another hundred centuries."

Yup. That's just one of a number of things that could happen. After studying the effects of asteroid and comet impacts onto the earth I'm convinced that catastrophies through out history/prehistory have had a major effect on who we are.

We do appear to be in a quiet period presently for worldwide affecting events.

29 posted on 12/16/2005 3:24:03 PM PST by blam
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To: Little Pig
Did Asteroid And Comets Change The Tides Of Civilization?
30 posted on 12/16/2005 3:26:53 PM PST by blam
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To: willyd

Chaac upon Temple

Chaac is featured again in the Puuc style. This face is part of the Temple of the Magician at Uxmal, a major Puuc city. The face of Chaac appears repeatedly down the sides of the stairway on the temple's western side. Because of the relatively dry nature of the northern Maya Lowlands in Yucatán, rain was a much higher demand than in the wetter highlands in the south. Therefore the price for rain was higher - during times of drought, more sacrifices to Chaac would be performed or the Maya would begin to pray to even more rain deities if necessary.

31 posted on 12/16/2005 3:52:57 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

Isn't it weird how it bears a resemblance to an elephant or the Hindu God Vishnu?


32 posted on 12/16/2005 3:58:59 PM PST by willyd (No nation has ever taxed its citizens into prosperity)
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To: blam; FairOpinion; Ernest_at_the_Beach; StayAt HomeMother; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; asp1; ...
Thanks Blam.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

33 posted on 12/16/2005 10:33:00 PM PST by SunkenCiv ("In silence, and at night, the Conscience feels that life should soar to nobler ends than Power.")
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To: blam
Chaac, Mayan Rain God..

Another view including frontal face shot..

34 posted on 12/17/2005 1:37:13 AM PST by Drammach (Freedom; not just a job, it's an adventure..)
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To: willyd

Arrows are a late invention many thousands of years later than that stone.


35 posted on 12/17/2005 4:55:49 AM PST by ThanhPhero (di hanh huong den La Vang)
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To: zot

Toba near-extinction ping...


36 posted on 12/17/2005 8:06:49 AM PST by Interesting Times (ABCNNBCBS -- yesterday's news.)
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To: Coyoteman

Looking at the stone and living in the mountains, I would have thought it was a map to some important deposit like salt or flint. Go over so may mountains, etc.


37 posted on 12/17/2005 11:25:30 AM PST by marsh2
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To: Interesting Times

Thanks for the ping. The highs and lows on the temperature chart illustrate the fact there have been many extinctions -- but some living things have survived each extinction. Not gradual evolution, but flourishing intervals punctuated by massive extinctions caused by impacts and also by volcanos. Perhaps the axiom should be modified from "survival of the fittest" to include "survival of the luckiest."


38 posted on 12/17/2005 11:47:44 AM PST by zot (GWB -- four more years!)
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To: blam

18 meters of ash is incredible.

I wonder how future generations of mankind could cope with that type of devastation? I think we could -- if enough science types survived the initial chaos.

Another thought - would this not have caused massive extinctions among non-human animals, as well?


39 posted on 12/20/2005 2:13:03 AM PST by CobaltBlue (Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.)
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To: willyd

Humans and mastodons did coexist in the Americas -- I have no idea when.


40 posted on 12/20/2005 2:22:40 AM PST by CobaltBlue (Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.)
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To: H. Paul Pressler IV

read later


41 posted on 12/20/2005 2:24:18 AM PST by H. Paul Pressler IV
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To: CobaltBlue
"Another thought - would this not have caused massive extinctions among non-human animals, as well?"

Yes.

42 posted on 12/20/2005 6:16:32 AM PST by blam
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To: blam
Some place the worldwide human population after the Toba explosion as low as 2,000 people.

I bet they were conservatives. Liberals ("give me half your pie, because I didn't make one") came later, after the conservatives rebuilt the world.

Thanks for this very interesting post. These folks doing the genetic marker tracking are doing great work. It is interesting to note that, if traces of hominid occupation of North America can be traced a far back a 35,000 years, This means that these early people traveled fast, far, and wide. Simply amazing.

43 posted on 12/20/2005 8:24:35 PM PST by Mad_Tom_Rackham (De gustibus non est disputandum.)
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To: Mad_Tom_Rackham
"These folks doing the genetic marker tracking are doing great work. It is interesting to note that, if traces of hominid occupation of North America can be traced a far back a 35,000 years, This means that these early people traveled fast, far, and wide. Simply amazing. "

"I expect that we'll eventually find that humans were stranded in South America during the Volcano Winter caused by the Toba explosion and were not re-united with the world's other humans until thousands of years later."

From my post #2.

44 posted on 12/27/2005 10:09:04 PM PST by blam
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To: LucyT

Ping.


45 posted on 06/11/2006 9:16:33 PM PDT by blam
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To: Slicksadick

ping for Toba and super caldera research


46 posted on 08/28/2006 12:51:36 AM PDT by gleeaikin
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from december 2005.

· Catastrophism ping list · join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark ·

47 posted on 08/31/2006 9:33:44 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (updated my FR profile on Thursday, August 10, 2006. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: djf

Ping.


48 posted on 09/26/2006 4:57:54 AM PDT by blam
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To: blam

btt


49 posted on 09/26/2006 5:04:59 AM PDT by beebuster2000
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To: naturalized
Last I checked, ice was water.

I think ice is considered a mineral whereas water is considered a liquid. I believe in the context of the possible flood, the writers were considering water as a liquid. Also it is pretty tough to float an ark on ice.

50 posted on 09/26/2006 5:06:02 AM PDT by hawkaw
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