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No. 40: Jul-Aug 1985

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Back To Guadeloupe Again

Just how old are those modern-looking human skeletons in those chunks of Guadeloupe limestone? (Opposing views were discussed in SFs #27 and 34.) The basic problem is the dating of the limestone in which the skeletons are embedded. If the limestone is truly of Miocene age (about 25 million years old), the presence of human skeletons represemts a major scientific anomaly, since modern man appeared on earth only about 5 million years ago. Most scientists say the limestone is only recently formed beach rock a few hundred years old, and that radiometric dating proves this. But doubters have pointed to 3-millionyear-old coral reefs apparently stratigraphically above the limestone. In a recent issue of Ex Nihilo, a few more cans of gasoline have been thrown on the fire:

(1) The radiometric date usually served up actually came from another island in the area. (2) Beach rock is not now forming at the site, rather the skeletons' limestone is being eroded. (3) The skeletons' limestone is harder than marble and not loosely consolidated beach rock. (4) True Miocene limestone does exist in the area. (5) Geologists have carefully described and mapped the rest of Guadeloupe but have omitted the skeletons' site -- presumably because of the anomalies involved.

(Tyler, David J., et al; Ex Nihilo, 7:41, no. 3, 1985.)

Comment. Keep tuned to this station and in the interim read Jacques Barzun's Science: The Glorious Entertainment.

Fossilized human skeleton from Guadeloupe Fossilized human skeleton from Guadeloupe. The Paris specimen.

From Science Frontiers #40, JUL-AUG 1985. 1985-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:

Quotes

  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987