The Pit of Bones: A Death Chamber Time Capsule

Fig. 2. Excavation in a portion of The Pit of Bones in Spain.  Image from: http://www.diariouno.com.ar/mundo/Hallaron-el-ADN-mas-antiguo-del-pariente-humano--20131204-0118.html

A small chamber in a deep, dark cave. Tens of thousands of bones. Animal bones and human bones. Buried under dust and dirt and bat dung. Welcome to an ancient chamber of horrors. This is the Pit of Bones (aka Sima de los Huesos). In 1997, scientists discovered this small chamber within a much larger […]

Young Earth Creationism and Ancient DNA

The premise of Jurassic Park was that DNA was retrieved from blood in insects trapped in amber. Repeated tests of amber dated to be millions of years old has thus far yielded no evidence of intact DNA molecules.

So how long can DNA or even cells last in the environment once an organism dies?   This has been a hot topic in the scientific literature the last 15 years.  I have read the majority of the literature on the subject partly because I teach a class called genomics and we spend quite a bit […]

How Similar is Similar? Baramins, Species, and the Identification of Common Ancestors

DNA-double-helix

A recent paper published by the Answers Research Journal, the research publication of Answers in Genesis, reported a comparison of human and chimpanzee genomes and found that they have, on average, a DNA similarity of  only 70%.   This is a very striking number since the usual numbers you hear thrown about as representing the similarity […]

The Toba Super Eruption and Polar Ice Cores

Ice-Core-Greenland

A few months ago I wrote about the significance of recent findings regarding the Toba super volcano in Indonesia (The Toba Super Eruption: A non-Flood Catastrophe – the Artifacts Say Yes).  Briefly,  I explained that the Toba volcano caldera produced the largest eruption in the past 100,000 years releasing an estimated 2800 cubic kilometers of […]

Geological Context II: Neanderthals and the Italian Supervolcano

A cave with sedimentary deposits on its floor.  Exposure to the atmosphere allows for sediments to be carried into the cave by wind, tracked in by animals but most material is feces from bats and other organisms that make temporary homes here including humans.  This particular cave on ?? island of Indonesia is where the skull and some bones of the so-called human "hobit" fossils were found 5.9 meters below the current surface in a pit seen in this picture.  These sediments also contain volcanic ash layers that allow ages to be assigned to different depths.

There are thousands of sites with either human remains or artifacts (stone tools usually) that are known across southern Europe and many are found in locations where they are found in layers stacked on top of each other like in caves or flood plain locations along rivers. But, the exact pattern of Neanderthal and modern human population migrations and changes is not my main interest.

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