AMERICAN ORIGIN OF HOMO SAPIENS?

I just read an interesting book “IN PAYTAGONIA”/Bruce Chatwin,1977. In it he relates a conversation he had with a Saliesian priest in Argentina, I quote"(Chatwin): Upon what continent did the human species emerge-Africa?" (Father Palacios" Totally false!Here in Patagonia, sentient beings witnessed the formation of the Andes.An ancestor of man lived in Tierra del Fuego BEFORE the African Australopithecines!" My question: is there any evidence for this? I recall reading that archaeologists in Chile found the remains of a 100,000 year old human settlement-kinda throws the “African Origin” theory to the wind! Anybody know any more about Father Palacios and his unusual theories?

I haven’t heard of this Palacios, but I can promise you it is imposible. The only claim for really old, possibly pre-human remains in the new world is a site in California that produced what looked to some to be very primitive tools, of the type accociated with early species of Homo in Arica. The Problem with this is that the we are talking about VERY primitive tools, and rocks that have fallen off a cliff often look the same. There have been no, not one, fossil remains of anything nearly as old as what has been found in Africa; without any fossils on the whole continent (and believe me, people have looked) we have to assume that the “tools” in California are natural formations.

The sight you mention in Chile is called Monte Verde; it is one of the most important finds of the century, undoubtably, but that is because it is firmly dated to 13,500 years ago, not 100,000. (To be fair, their are signs of a layer underneath the 13,500 layer that someone has cautiously dated at 34,000. Only time will tell if this will pan out, but right now it is very inconclusive and the odds are it won't stand up under further scrutiny.)

As of two years ago, when my wife completed her bachelor’s thesis (her degree is in paleoanthropology), there were four American sites dated earlier than 12,500 years ago, all in the less-than-45,000 range, and all subject to dispute for one reason or another. (E.g., at the Santa Catalina Island site, human remains near ashes and bones of late-Pleistocene animals, ashes date to ca. 34,000 BC, some animals of species extinct by 20,000 years ago, but nothing conclusively linking the three finds as non-coincidental.)

While human origins can be really complex to sort out, there’s fairly good evidence for a sequence (with side branches) straight through the gracile Australopithecines and early Homo to H. erectus in Africa. What happened between H. erectus and Cecil is somewhat more confused owing to finds that apparently contradict each others’ implications, but it would appear that H. erectus spread across Eurasia and eventually gave rise to Neandertals and the crown of creation, H. SDMBposteris. It’s the inbetween steps that are not yet sorted out clearly. I can get inordinately more on this if there’s interest (preferably hitting specific questions).

If you read more in the chapter cited (of Chatwin’s book), Father Palacios makes even more fantastic claims-namely that the Giant Sloth (extinct these 100,000 years) co-existed with early man in Patagonia! Supposedly, there is an archive of this work in the Saliesian college in Argentina. Obviously, if true, this info would upset all of (Richard) Leakey’s work in Africa. 2nd Question: has any human DNA been recovered from the site in Chile? A comparison of this with modern human DNA would be very interesting! Suppose the anthropologists are wrong-man indeed originated in the Americas-this could explain a lot!

100,000 years old? 13,000 years old? Hah! Actually, the species known as “human” has only just got started in the last half of the 20th Century.

so thats what they did to the missing link :slight_smile:

fixed dates are unconfirmed.

bj0rn

This seems to be a general question rather than a debate. You could just input his name into a search engine & you should find the info you seek.

1ho•mo "ho-(’)mo\ noun pl homos [NL Homin-, Homo, fr. L, human being — more at homage] (1596)
: any of a genus (Homo)

How ‘homo’ became slang for gays, though, what a mystery, eh?

Let’s see. The claims of one priest and an “archive” in one college in Argentina. Balance that against the molecular studies that show that our closest relatives are the African apes and that no New World primate is closely related to ANY Old World primate. And the fact that the bones of bipedial apes have been found in Africa and not anywhere in the Americas.

Seems clear to me. The Conspiracy has done its usual excellent job of keeping the Truth ™ from the masses. Next we will have to make sure that no one makes the obvious link to the REAL ORIGINS of Mankind, Emus, and Wildebeests on Atlantis.

Dr. Fidelius, Charlatan
Associate Curator Anomalous Paleontology, Miskatonic University
“You cannot reason a man out of a position he did not reach through reason.”

While I agree that the alleged claim by “Father Palacios” is pretty absurd, I would ask a different question:

What is the context of the story in the book? I’ve only read a couple of chapters of In Patagonia, but my memory of Chatwin is that he is a story-teller, first and foremost. The book is a great read, but much of it is invented out of whole cloth by Chatwin. (I even have a vague memory of a review that criticised its republication on the grounds that several Argentinians were protesting stories he got from them, then re-wrote in an unrecognizable form.)

Enjoy the book, but take it with large chunks of sand–grains won’t do.


Tom~

handy:

Our confusion of Greek and Latin strikes again.

Latin - homo = man (The Linnaean system uses Latin at the Genus/species level)

Greek - homo = same: homophone - same sounding, homosexual - same sex association


Tom~

I am astonished by the heavy criticism displayed here! We are supposed to be searchers for the truth! So maybe homo americansis (my invention) is NOT related to that half-man-half-ape partial skeleton found in Olduvai Gorge in Africa. What does that prove? Perhaps mankind arose at different time, on different continents? There have been surprises before (remember the supposedly extinct coelecanth fish?). Anyway, has any more work been done recently on the site in Chile? Hpow did those folks manage to trek ALL THE WAY from ALaska, through California, central america, without leaving a trace?

About them giant ground sloths… there were three different families, with substantial distinctions between them.

The Megatheriidae have not been around since late in the Ice Age; I don’t have a date, but it seems more recent than 100,000 years ago. The other two families, Mylodontidae and Megalonychidae, were definitely around into pluvial (post-Ice Age prehistoric) times. Florentino Ameghino, the great Argentine paleontologist, discovered subfossil remains in Patagonia coexistent with paleo-Indians. There are also still caves down there filled with nonfossil ground sloth dung. (Footnote: the cryptozoology site has, or had, an article on supposedly surving ground sloths; not impossible, but to be taken with substantial amounts of salt.) Megalonychids survived in the West Indies (Haiti IIRC) well into historic times; there are some remains that radiocarbon date to close to Columbus’ time.

It seems highly unlikely that one species would evolve more than once, unless from a closely related species in separated but near-identical environments. The latter is the basis for the “multiregional hypothesis” for the origins of H. sapiens, promoted by Australian anthropologist Alan Thorne. To posit an American evolution for H. sapiens, either as sole source or as a convergence, would assume pre-H. sapiens migrations to America for which there is no evidence.

Dr. Fidelius said:

That would really be Gnus!! :wink:

The context of the story:
Chatwin was visiting the Argentine city of Comodoro Rivadavia, in the northern end of the area referred to as Patagonia. He stopped at the Salesian College, and interviewed (Father) manuel Palacios (who held a Ph.D in Anthropology, as well as graduate degrees in mathematics, geology, and biology. As well, he spoke 10 languages! So, whatever your impression, Fr. Palacios was no slouch. I would like to verify this, however I don’t know of any way to contact this college.
I seem to recall that there was a time (when Dr. Leakey)was laughed at!!

The Chile site–Monte Verde–reveals a very primitive culture. The remains were so well preserved only because they were covered by a swampy, bog-like enviroment that preserved everything to an amazing degree–but that is amazing the way anthropologists look at it, which means that they found post holes, and some wooden tools, not Pompeii. The concensus is that such a primitive culture probably did not leave many traces anywhere less suited to preserving such fragile remains.

Polycarp, I am sure your wife knows more about thins than me, but it is my understanding that Monte Verde, unlike the other “likely suspects” is considered to be a pretty firm date. The guy who excavated the site spent 20 years doing it exactly by the book. I’d like to know her opinon of the site.

On a side note, I think our original poster needs to understand his Chronology a bit better. 13,500–the Monte Verde date–is a hell of a lot closer to Sumeria than to Lucy.

I won’t doubt the Monte Verde figure; if the 12,500 figure I recall is B.C.(E.) rather than years ago, it would even fit what I said (or should have said :o). I am certain the others, while not necessarily thrown out as invalid, are questionable because they don’t “fit” the picture of the remaining dates and are insufficiently documented to be “firm.”

The point I was making with the ground sloths, which I didn’t express well, is that a lot of the Pleistocene megafauna that was supposedly “extinct before man” actually was not. There were surviving mastodons in South America when Constantine was Emperor (admittedly a relict population, but any survivor means “not extinct yet”).

Constantine was Emperor of South America? When was that?

He arranged for Madoc to claim it for him when the latter crossed the Atlantic (a dangerous trip, what with the plesiosaurs and the shoals left from Atlantis!).

Posters and lurkers: All are invited to attend a lecture in progress from DrFidelius as he and I discuss whether evolution can indeed be true. It is in the thread, The earth is flat, I read in the paper. Come and comment or just watch. In other words, for a real good time call http://www.straightdope.com/ubb/Forum7/HTML/000488-8.html

:wink:

Phaedrus


That which a man had rather were true he more readily believes.

Posters and lurkers,

be warned that people are starting to give up on the flat earth thread (after 360+ posts!) as Phaedrus continually refuses to give any evidence to back up his claim that ‘evolution is crumbling’.

I also doubt if even the patient DrFidelius would describe the thread as a discussion.


In the bathtub of history, the truth is harder to hold than the soap… (Pratchett)