30 million years ago

Nov 17, 2020
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Is it possible that Earth has been spinning and compacting dust and debris and if we dug down and removed 30 million years of the debris and meteors we would find human bones?
 
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rod

Oct 22, 2019
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Trithinium, when do you think humans arrived on planet Earth? 30 million years sounds like a long time. Consider the layers visible at Grand Canyon. I hear that some one billion years of strata is exposed according to certain dating methods. Also missing layers of time too at GC.
 
Nov 17, 2020
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Trithinium, when do you think humans arrived on planet Earth? 30 million years sounds like a long time. Consider the layers visible at Grand Canyon. I hear that some one billion years of strata is exposed according to certain dating methods. Also missing layers of time too at GC.
Interesting
 

rod

Oct 22, 2019
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Trithinium, when do you think humans arrived on planet Earth?

I asked this in post #2, it is important. In archaeology we have records of Sumer and Babylon showing the Zodiac and some constellations, none earlier than about 3,000 BC or 5,000 years ago. See The Ancient Circle of Animals, Sky & Telescope 135(1):66-71, 2018, and "The Sun lay in Taurus on the first day of spring when our Western zodiac was invented, about 4,000 to 5,000 years ago.", Northern Hemisphere's Sky, Sky & Telescope 121(1):42, 2011

How much earlier do you date the arrival of humans in relation to the ancient tablets showing Zodiac and some constellations?
 
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Nov 17, 2020
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Trithinium, when do you think humans arrived on planet Earth?

I asked this in post #2, it is important. In archaeology we have records of Sumer and Babylon showing the Zodiac and some constellations, none earlier than about 3,000 BC or 5,000 years ago. See The Ancient Circle of Animals, Sky & Telescope 135(1):66-71, 2018, and "The Sun lay in Taurus on the first day of spring when our Western zodiac was invented, about 4,000 to 5,000 years ago.", Northern Hemisphere's Sky, Sky & Telescope 121(1):42, 2011

How much earlier do you date the arrival of humans in relation to the ancient tablets showing Zodiac and some constellations?
I'm not sure you can measure in time when humans first arrived here.
 

rod

Oct 22, 2019
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Using geologic dating methods, I am not aware of any human riders dated back 30 million years ago to ride those fossil record horses :) Thanks for clarifying here where the 30 million year time frame came from.
 
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Using geologic dating methods, I am not aware of any human riders dated back 30 million years ago to ride those fossil record horses :) Thanks for clarifying here where the 30 million year time frame came from.
Maybe for some reason our bones didn't turn into fossils that far back. Now I need to rethink this. Thanks! Ha.
 
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rod

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Okay, start with the earliest recorded accounts, written down as history. Only about 5,000 years or so, including Sumerian records and the Zodiac, including Babylon. I like to start there, using astronomy as the anchor for the dates :)

Trithinium, here is an example of what I consider reliable, astronomical anchored dates for humans on the planet, "Ugarit Eclipse One of the earliest solar eclipses recorded, the Ugarit eclipse darkened the sky for 2 minutes and 7 seconds on May 3, 1375 B.C., according to an analysis of a clay tablet, discovered in 1948. Then, a report in the journal Nature in 1989 suggested, in fact, the eclipse actually occurred on March 5, 1223 B.C. That new date was based on an historical dating of the tablet as well as an analysis of the tablet's text, which mentions the visibility of the planet Mars during the eclipse. Mesopotamian historians in Ugarit, a port city in Northern Syria, recount that the sun was "put to shame" during this total eclipse.", ref - Ugarit Eclipse, http://www.livescience.com/57865-famous-solar-eclipses.html
 
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Nov 17, 2020
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Okay, start with the earliest recorded accounts, written down as history. Only about 5,000 years or so, including Sumerian records and the Zodiac, including Babylon. I like to start there, using astronomy as the anchor for the dates :)

Trithinium, here is an example of what I consider reliable, astronomical anchored dates for humans on the planet, "Ugarit Eclipse One of the earliest solar eclipses recorded, the Ugarit eclipse darkened the sky for 2 minutes and 7 seconds on May 3, 1375 B.C., according to an analysis of a clay tablet, discovered in 1948. Then, a report in the journal Nature in 1989 suggested, in fact, the eclipse actually occurred on March 5, 1223 B.C. That new date was based on an historical dating of the tablet as well as an analysis of the tablet's text, which mentions the visibility of the planet Mars during the eclipse. Mesopotamian historians in Ugarit, a port city in Northern Syria, recount that the sun was "put to shame" during this total eclipse.", ref - Ugarit Eclipse, http://www.livescience.com/57865-famous-solar-eclipses.html
I'm not sure all information can be dated. I know there was a philosopher named Oscosolties from 10,000 years ago. I asked a really smart man around 90 years old if he had heard of him and he's the one that gave me the info when Oscosolties lived. 😉
 
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There is a new book out called "Fossil Men" which is an enjoyable story of the struggles of scientists (paleoanthropologists, especially Tim White and his team members) as they unearth fossils that help connect us to our distant past. [It's amazing how they find so much just on the surface, without much digging.]

Evolution theory predicts that we will discover transitional fossils that connect us with physical forms that were more primitive to what our forms are now. This is indeed what they have found. "Lucy" was one of the most famous, if not the most famous with the public, but "Ardi" is older still and, apparently, shows more a connection to our tree-loving ancestors. [I'm still reading this book.]

I don't think "human" forms are expected past perhaps 5 or 6 million years ago, but, as I said, I'm still reading this book, and partly because I am quite ignorant on this topic.
 
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Critics of evolution relish in emphasizing the complexity and unsolved problems surrounding its mechanisms. They point to errors made by earlier researchers, and enthusiastically conclude from all of these difficulties that evolution is “only a theory.” They routinely misinterpret or ignore the repeatable, observable, measurable scientific evidence that overwhelmingly supports evolution as a fact. This evidence is abundant. It is the worldwide, sum total of the fossil record. Sedimentary rocks and the fossils preserved in these rocks, even though an incomplete paleontological record, are primary, factual evidence of what has happened back through time. One thing apart from all others presents a compelling case for evolution that is independent of its weaknesses. It is the simple, repeatable observation that deeper, older rocks contain fossils of more primitive, less-evolved organisms than do the younger rocks that rest above them. Consider the magnificent Grand Canyon in Arizona. The rock layers at the base of the gorge are undeniably older than those at the top. No matter how much time was involved in cutting the gorge through all these rocks, there is no way of reasonably denying that as one takes the winding path down the gorge and passes across the layers of rock one also goes back through recorded time. Today we can observe the same thing, obviously on a vastly smaller scale, in the layers of trash at waste disposal sites. The old newspapers, bottles and cans, the less “evolved” cameras and telephones, 78-rpm records, and vacuum-tube radios are preserved among the layers found toward the bottom. The younger more evolved “fossils” are among those found near the top. In the vast Grand Canyon geological “dump” the deeper flat-lying rock layers contain the simpler, more primitive fossils. Gaps in the record notwithstanding, there are shells buried there that record the presence of species not found in the younger rocks above, and no bones of any kind are to be found. The rocks at the top contain fossil remains of still more evolved (developed) animals. All of these thousands of feet of flat-lying rocks rest directly on still older layers. Those below are set at a steep angle. Obviously, substantial time must be allowed for these even older sediments to have been deposited, hardened, turned on edge by mountain-building processes, and later cut down by erosion. In these much older rocks there are precious few fossils of any kind. There are neither shells nor bones. Only a few fossils of simple, microscopic life forms have been found. Geologists find similar rock sequences in many regions of the globe. While these may not have the grandeur and ease-of-visibility that the deeply cut Grand Canyon offers, their included fossils exhibit the same upward changes. I find it hard to escape the conclusion that from this overall geological and paleontological evidence there has been an increase upwards through time in the complexity and sophistication of life. The global fossil record does not present a jumbled mixture of large and small, older and younger, as would be the case after a giant flood of some kind. This record is repeatable, undeniable factual global evidence for a long process of evolution…of biological change over time. The total fossil record reveals these same upward changes, irrespective of the mechanisms that caused them.
 
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Those that are bothered with evolution are better seen as those that aren't so much as being anti-science but rather should be seen as taking a pro-religious stance. But this only really happens when science is in a contradictory overlap with religion. Most of the times science and religion are not in conflict and often there are overlaps that support religion, especially in the field of archeology, for instance.

Any given theory has a varying degree of strength to its arguments. When Darwin first introduced his theory, along with Wallace, his brilliance in introducing a couple of new tenets was not respected among other evolutionists of his day because he gave no reason that could explain how traits would be passed to offspring. His second addition of his Origins did include a supposed mechanism but there was no objective evidence this mechanism was valid. [Thus his first edition is often more respected, apparently, than the 2nd edition.] It took genetics to push Darwin's model into becoming the mainstream view. Of course, it has been tweaked from there, but the tenets remain the same, I think.

The fossil evidence, or lack thereof, was also problematic for Darwin. Even today, ancient fossils aren't measure by the ton. Only certain parts of the anatomy have much chance of surviving millions of years. The enamel on teeth is the hardest substance we have, thus teeth are perhaps the most common parts discovered. Hands and feet are like our chicken wings when it comes to things to eat, so these are quite rare in full form.

Better evidence, I suppose, for evolution is, like all theories, that the predictions of the model have been verified, even remarkable ones. The list is long and his Origin's book enumerates so many that it wore me out and I barely got more than half way through it. But many other lines of evidence have been found since.

Evolution is a passive process where tiny changes take eons to get amplified to create new varieties, with some eventually becoming new species. But breeders accelerate all this with by using their active process, which force changes to produce new varieties. This further supports evolution, of course.

Although evolution is not "just a theory" it's still a theory and it is not a "fact". What I mean by that is that I regard facts as specific objective evidence. A theory is based of facts so it gives us so much more than an aggregation of facts, namely it offers a unifying model of phenomena and it makes predictions of what we should find. This makes a theory falsifiable; facts, if obtained correctly and taken in a general sense, aren't exposed to falsification.

Most religions, I think, aren't opposed to evolution. Most Catholics, for instance, follow the papacy that is unopposed to evolution and, for that matter, Big Bang. There are some few others (e.g. YEC) that first hold a position of faith then, secondly, find that some science exists that conflicts with their interpretations. So here, their religious views trump the science, even when it shouldn't.

But when science becomes strong enough, it will eventually force religious interpretations to take this "truth" into consideration. Science is just understanding Nature, after all, and Nature comes from God. I suspect that it may be better stated that when a certain view looks down-right silly, than a change will come. I have found that this simple outlook (silliness) is critical to understanding when change will occur. "Sillyville" is the place that failed arguments must go when they fail. [They can come back if found to be non-silly.]

The bigger problems are when scientific claims conflict with religious tenets. Tenets aren't easily changed, and justifiably so. That's why they are tenets. These are the pillars that support the religion, or a scientific theory for that matter. Destroy a few pillars, and it collapses.

It's very rare to see science conflict with tenets. Christianity, regardless of denomination, has some very clear tenets that science not only doesn't conflict with but likely can't conflict as they are claims of faith.

It's hard for me to say if, for instance, evolution conflicts with religious tenets. Those that are set on a fixed young age for the Earth, for instance, certainly are in conflict with a host of scientific fields of endeavor, but their viewpoint, again, is a matter of their own interpretations of their religious texts and should not be seen as being in conflict with their tenets so much. Very few interpretations are tenets. They may see it otherwise, and I would be curious if they do. I should know since I know some of these folks, and they are often great folks to know, btw. But I don't see them as much as before and our wives like us to converse in areas we enjoy rather in those that cause friction. :)

Sorry this is so long, but it may be something I can reference for future threads since this is an on-going topic that won't be going away soon.
 
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Helio says: "Although evolution is not "just a theory" it's still a theory and it is not a "fact". What I mean by that is that I regard facts as specific objective evidence."

As described earlier, the fossil record exposed by erosion in the flat-lying sediments on both sides, and down to the base of the Grand Canyon, is specific and objective evidence of evolution being a fact. No other scientific (non-religious) interpretation makes sense. It does not mean that there is any clear understanding of the mechanisms by which it took place. Those are still controversial.
 

rod

Oct 22, 2019
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Well Helio and Broadlands add some evolutionary details in this thread :) Facts are stubborn things I hear. Take for example Lucy, said to be our ancestor in the fossil record, dated ~ 4 million years ago. In post #10 I cited a specific solar eclipse documented at Ugarit in the Ancient Near East.

Question. Is Lucy dating and *history of evolution reconstructed* as reliable as the solar eclipse record and dating at Ugarit?

I could also ask which is fact vs. theory here too.
 
Nov 17, 2020
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Critics of evolution relish in emphasizing the complexity and unsolved problems surrounding its mechanisms. They point to errors made by earlier researchers, and enthusiastically conclude from all of these difficulties that evolution is “only a theory.” They routinely misinterpret or ignore the repeatable, observable, measurable scientific evidence that overwhelmingly supports evolution as a fact. This evidence is abundant. It is the worldwide, sum total of the fossil record. Sedimentary rocks and the fossils preserved in these rocks, even though an incomplete paleontological record, are primary, factual evidence of what has happened back through time. One thing apart from all others presents a compelling case for evolution that is independent of its weaknesses. It is the simple, repeatable observation that deeper, older rocks contain fossils of more primitive, less-evolved organisms than do the younger rocks that rest above them. Consider the magnificent Grand Canyon in Arizona. The rock layers at the base of the gorge are undeniably older than those at the top. No matter how much time was involved in cutting the gorge through all these rocks, there is no way of reasonably denying that as one takes the winding path down the gorge and passes across the layers of rock one also goes back through recorded time. Today we can observe the same thing, obviously on a vastly smaller scale, in the layers of trash at waste disposal sites. The old newspapers, bottles and cans, the less “evolved” cameras and telephones, 78-rpm records, and vacuum-tube radios are preserved among the layers found toward the bottom. The younger more evolved “fossils” are among those found near the top. In the vast Grand Canyon geological “dump” the deeper flat-lying rock layers contain the simpler, more primitive fossils. Gaps in the record notwithstanding, there are shells buried there that record the presence of species not found in the younger rocks above, and no bones of any kind are to be found. The rocks at the top contain fossil remains of still more evolved (developed) animals. All of these thousands of feet of flat-lying rocks rest directly on still older layers. Those below are set at a steep angle. Obviously, substantial time must be allowed for these even older sediments to have been deposited, hardened, turned on edge by mountain-building processes, and later cut down by erosion. In these much older rocks there are precious few fossils of any kind. There are neither shells nor bones. Only a few fossils of simple, microscopic life forms have been found. Geologists find similar rock sequences in many regions of the globe. While these may not have the grandeur and ease-of-visibility that the deeply cut Grand Canyon offers, their included fossils exhibit the same upward changes. I find it hard to escape the conclusion that from this overall geological and paleontological evidence there has been an increase upwards through time in the complexity and sophistication of life. The global fossil record does not present a jumbled mixture of large and small, older and younger, as would be the case after a giant flood of some kind. This record is repeatable, undeniable factual global evidence for a long process of evolution…of biological change over time. The total fossil record reveals these same upward changes, irrespective of the mechanisms that caused them.
Thank you for the reply.
 

rod

Oct 22, 2019
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FYI. I see in this discussion some interesting thinking about the past. Here are three examples that stand out to me.

1. "a philosopher named Oscosolties from 10,000 years ago" from post #11.
2. "Lucy" was one of the most famous, if not the most famous with the public, but "Ardi" is older still and, apparently, shows more a connection to our tree-loving ancestors. [I'm still reading this book.]" from post #12.
3. "the eclipse actually occurred on March 5, 1223 B.C." from my post #10.

Are all three examples, facts of antiquity and reliably dated or does one example have better dating and a more reliable witness and authentication, i.e. better attested?
 
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Re #18: Only your item 3 can be considered a "fact of antiquity." "Lucy" was from the genus Australopithecus, a predecessor of humans. Writing was invented no more than 6000 years ago, so there was no writing, let alone philosophy, 10,000 years ago. Google "Oscosolties," and see what you find.

Re" "fact" vs. "theory:" Facts are observable, measurable data. A theory is an explanation of a set of facts. Evolution is a "theory" because it is an explanation--extremely well supported by both observation and experiment--of a particular set of facts about living things.

Edit: I should have explained that I excluded #2 not because I question whether it is factual, but because I regard "antiquity" as referring to human affairs.
 
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rod

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FYI, here is a brief report on Lucy from Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucy_(Australopithecus)

'Age estimates of the Lucy fossil' in the wiki report. Lucy bones were only about 40% complete and came with varied dates too that needed *refining* as I like to call the dating process that settles on a *firm date* :) I concur, only item #3 in post #18 can be accepted as a *fact* of antiquity. The solar eclipse can be cross checked with other written records preserved and cross referenced with the SAROS cycle. I have not seen a SAROS cycle reconstruction showing the cycle when Lucy is dated by the *refined* dating process, and certainly no confirmed solar eclipse visible reported either when Lucy roamed the planet.
 
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As described earlier, the fossil record exposed by erosion in the flat-lying sediments on both sides, and down to the base of the Grand Canyon, is specific and objective evidence of evolution being a fact. No other scientific (non-religious) interpretation makes sense.
Yes, a "fact", by one definition, can mean something that is considered to be indisputable. But things that are indisputable shouldn't be a label for any scientific theory. By definition, a scientific theory must be falsifiable, meaning any prediction of the theory must involve the ability to test those predictions. So if something must be capable of falsification, how can it also be indisputable?

I know what people are trying to say, but the facts you state, to which I agree, don't quite fit the larger and unifying concepts that we have in a scientific model (theory). Evolution is a theory. Many evolutionary models have been falsified. The evidence (facts) are the reason evolution today is so highly plausible.

Also, if we treat any theory or model as a "Truth", we are pushing science into the religious realm, where it will sink.
 
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FYI. I see in this discussion some interesting thinking about the past. Here are three examples that stand out to me.

1. "a philosopher named Oscosolties from 10,000 years ago" from post #11.
2. "Lucy" was one of the most famous, if not the most famous with the public, but "Ardi" is older still and, apparently, shows more a connection to our tree-loving ancestors. [I'm still reading this book.]" from post #12.
3. "the eclipse actually occurred on March 5, 1223 B.C." from my post #10.

Are all three examples, facts of antiquity and reliably dated or does one example have better dating and a more reliable witness and authentication, i.e. better attested?
The dating of fossils seem to be best determined by indirect dating methods. I'm unclear why. In the case of Arid, they were very fortunate to discover that the layer below Ardi and the laywer above Ardi were from ages close to one another, thus Ardi would have to be an age somewhere in between those ages. IIRC, the upper layer was 4.2 million years and the lower layers was 4.6 million years, but I may be off a little here, thus she is about 4.4 million years old.

[It was interesting to learn that C3 and C4 help distinguish the environment Ardi lived as C3 favors more forest regions, and C4 favors grasslands. But it isn't quite this simple so there are debates about how much of each were present. She had an opposing toe (ape-like), which would make sense if trees were part, if not primarily, her habitat, and she wasn't a knuckle walker (human-like). There were many other features favoring the humanin conclusion.]

The accurate dating of an eclipse depends only on how accurate the math model is when accounting for all gravitational anomalies (e.g. planets). Your Starry Night software can go back to 585BC for the event in what is Turkey today. We have accounts of that event since it disrupted a battle, so we have human accounts giving us a location along with the date and approx. time. When I used it to go back to that location and time, it was fun to watch the software portray the solar eclipse accurately.

I haven't tried the 1123 BC eclipse, but if you do, let me know what you find. Going back millions of years, I am confident the equations will be too inaccurate.
 
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rod

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Helio, after reading what you said in post #22, you did not answer which of the three examples were a fact as I asked in post #18 (I go with #3, the solar eclipse record date and witness). So is the solar eclipse record and date from ancient Canaan at Ugarit, a fact, better dated and attested in antiquity than Lucy or Arid?

The earliest known solar eclipse record redated, https://www.nature.com/articles/338238a0

Also, https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1989Natur.338..238D/abstract, March 1989.

"Abstract AN astronomical event recorded on a clay tablet found in 1948 among the ruins of the ancient city of Ugarit, in what is now Syria, was identified 20 years ago as a description of a total solar eclipse that occurred on 3 May 1375 BC1,2. The dating of ancient solar eclipses provides reference points to fix the long-term evolution of angular momentum in the Earth-Moon system3. We have reanalysed the Ugarit eclipse record4. A new historical dating of the tablet, and mention in the text of the visibility of the planet Mars during the eclipse as well as the month in which it occurred enables us to show that the recorded eclipse in fact occurred on 5 March 1223 BC. This new date implies that the secular deceleration of the Earth's rotation has changed very little during the past 3,000 years."
 
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Helio, after reading what you said in post #22, you did not answer which of the three examples were a fact as I asked in post #18 (I go with #3, the solar eclipse record date and witness). So is the solar eclipse record and date from ancient Canaan at Ugarit, a fact, better dated and attested in antiquity than Lucy or Arid?
First. There are multiple facts for both cases. Are there multiple accounts of that eclipse? Each would be considered a potential fact. Each would need to be tested rather than just assumed. If multiple and reliable accounts argue for a certain date and time for an eclipse, they would be considered facts. Claims that gave a different date would likely be considered non-factual (ie false).

In a sense, the orbital equations are a model in and of themselves. The results from that model are likely considered factual since there is extremely reasonable to treat them as such given the evidence we have that support that model. This only would be true for decreasing accuracy with time. It's possible that the orbital model will produce a false result if, for example, we go back far enough where orbital resonances aren't accounted for and the perturbations produce erroneous results. I think Starry Night, somewhere in their specs., states the accuracy (time frame) of their orbital model.

At 4.4 million years, is the orbital model more accurate than the fossil dating methodology? Maybe, but there are models I think for the Solar system that do go back further in time to help explain how all the planets are where they are. The NICE model comes pretty close, but it fails.

Both involve the scientific method. So, this means we must deal with degrees of accuracy rather than treating something as a Truth (i.e. and absolute).


The earliest known solar eclipse record redated, https://www.nature.com/articles/338238a0

Also, https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1989Natur.338..238D/abstract, March 1989.

"Abstract AN astronomical event recorded on a clay tablet found in 1948 among the ruins of the ancient city of Ugarit, in what is now Syria, was identified 20 years ago as a description of a total solar eclipse that occurred on 3 May 1375 BC1,2. The dating of ancient solar eclipses provides reference points to fix the long-term evolution of angular momentum in the Earth-Moon system3. We have reanalysed the Ugarit eclipse record4. A new historical dating of the tablet, and mention in the text of the visibility of the planet Mars during the eclipse as well as the month in which it occurred enables us to show that the recorded eclipse in fact occurred on 5 March 1223 BC. This new date implies that the secular deceleration of the Earth's rotation has changed very little during the past 3,000 years."
Thanks. That's interesting. Did they explain the ~150 year original error? Was there also an eclipse in 1375 as mentioned, but Mars's location changed the account?

This is how the scientific method works. The 1375 BC claim was falsified by, apparently, one specific piece of objective evidence (fact), namely the location of Mars in the sky. The result is that the science just got better.
 
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rod

Oct 22, 2019
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Helio, interesting methodology in post #24, avoiding the potential that the ancient solar eclipse date and history is better established and better dates than Lucy and Ardi. On a scale of 0 to 10, 10 being the highest confidence for a fact, 0 being the lowest confidence level, what number do you assign Lucy and Arid as the dates and the claim they are your ancestor and what number do you assign for the solar eclipse record redated? I place the solar eclipse event at 9 or 10, Lucy and Ardi at 5 or below.

Something to consider. Ugrait is well attested in archaeology with an abundance of clay tablets translated. There are multiple cross reference points in the tablets like the reference to Mars aiding in redating the solar eclipse record. When I review reports of Lucy, I find reports like this, 'Australopithecus fossils found east of the Great Rift Valley', https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160324082828.htm, "...A. afarensis is believed to have lived 3,700,000-3,000,000 years ago, as characterized by fossils like "Lucy" from Ethiopia."
 
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