A new analysis of those bones concludes that the mastodon was butchered by humans.
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(Read about a related find: “Giant Ice-Age ‘Longhorn Bison’ Unearthed in San Diego“) Among those objects, the team has reported finding previously unreported evidence of butchering, including spiral-cracked mastodon bones, stones that appear to have been used as tools to break them, and flakes from the tools’ use.
And, while no material at the site was dateable using radiocarbon, the researchers measured levels of uranium and thorium that produced the extraordinary date of 130,000 years.
“The authors don’t cite any of these, perhaps because they have been so thoroughly discredited.
“When all the evidence is weighed objectively, I doubt that many archaeologists will be convinced by this case, either.” For its part, Holen’s team maintains that the evidence deserves a closer look.
“This discovery is rewriting our understanding of when humans reached the New World,” said Judy Gradwohl, president and CEO of the San Diego Natural History Museum, in a statement to the press.
“The evidence we found at this site indicates that some hominin species was living in North America 115,000 years earlier than previously thought.
For some observers, these claims are extravagant enough to require substantially more evidence. Jon Erlandson is an anthropologist at the University of Oregon who specializes in researching the earliest inhabitants of North America’s Pacific Coast.
His recent studies have focused on camps and tool-making sites on the Channel Islands that date back as much as 12,000 years, traces of seafaring people who were some of the first occupants of southern California.
Many believers in nature’s capacity for evolutionary innovation think the sky’s the limit—yet their allegedly ‘naturalistic science’ writings betray a faith in the abilities of ‘Nature’ that borders on paganism.