In Part 1, I suggested that the discovery of ‘cultural’ evidence of early humans in the Americas at sites such as Calico, Hueyatlaco, Caltrans, etc., was more important and
more trustable than anything the public has been taught by the physical
anthropology community and that famed anthropologist Louis Leakey’s
work at Calico was just as valid, if not more valid, than his work in
Africa (Fig. 1).|
Fig. 1. The late Dr. Louis Leakey, Project Director at Calico Early Man Site from 1963 until his death in 1972. Leakey’s expertise as the single most recognizable name in early human archaeology and paleontology is being undermined by destruction of the evidence from Calico.
This is because Leakey’s Africa work was prompted by standard Darwinian training which is not known for engendering critical thought like true sciences but instead for its pre-commitment to a single belief system—that humans evolved from ape-like ancestors and that Africa would be the most natural place to find such ancestors, with ‘hominids’ moving out from that origin and making it to the Americas a mere 12-15 thousand years ago.
With conflicting cultural evidence blocked from normal scientific discourse the public has no idea that this evolutionary paradigm is not as secure as they’ve been taught.
Calico, a site near Barstow California, with evidence of an early human cultural presence in the Americas was a risk for Leakey but he thought outside the box to assess new evidence—a normal practice in normal science.
As mentioned in Part 1—and important to repeat—one of Leakey’s motivations for excavating Calico (Fig. 2) was his observation that there were too many indigenous languages (not to mention civilizations) in the Americas to have developed in the short time humans are supposed to have been there.
It was interdisciplinary thinking. Most evolutionary anthropologists are preoccupied with physical appearance (obvious or genetic) and care very little about how ideas spread, how human creativity actually works, or how to ‘objectively’ assess levels of creativity represented in artifacts from the Pleistocene. This limits their views of the past and encourages development of ape-man mythologies. For these reasons anthropologists view sites such as Bilzingsleben in Europe (Homo erectus c. 400,000 years BP) as ape-man sites despite evidence of modern-level creativity; and similarly-dated sites in the Americas such as Calico or Hueyatlaco are simply ignored.
Leakey’s openness to Calico is what makes him stand out in anthropology—being willing to change his opinions if the evidence warrants it. By doing so, however, he garnered the ridicule of the mainstream and their pre-commitment to a slow migration out of Africa which made the early dates of Calico automatically unacceptable, i.e. “too old,” as archaeologist Chris Hardaker explains in The Abomination of Calico, part 1 (PCN #6, July-August 2010). Anthropologists focused on physical traits can’t think outside the box. Later accusations included psychological instability in Leakey for his interest in Calico. Weak science goes after the messenger.
Such blinkered thinking has caused anthropologists to publish one science blunder after another yet all are presented to the public as facts supporting evolution while blocking from the public evidence conflicting with these “facts.” They are trained to never question evolution and readily ridicule those who do. It is not how normal science works (Fig. 3).
Fig. 3. Dr. Leakey may have been incorrect about a purported hearth at Calico but this is how “normal” science works. What is not normal is to regard a researcher who looks at evidence as a fool or to question their stability. Evolutionary anthropology commonly does this because all conflicting evidence is seen as a threat.
Normal sciences train one to be a critical thinker and if new evidence arises that stirs a question it is looked into as Leakey did with Calico; and if it challenges prior ideas then researchers are open to moving in a new direction. This is what Leakey did when he committed to excavating Calico.
To keep some continuity in this Part 2, before the rest of Leakey’s talk, here again are the relevant PCN articles:Articles by co-founder Chris Hardaker
|“I know that there are those who believe it is so old that it couldn’t contain artifacts… But a great age… should not interfere with the interpretation of facts.”
· (The Abomination of Calico, parts 1-3, starting PCN #6, July-August 2010);
· copy editor Tom Baldwin who worked at Calico since Louis Leakey was its Director (Lake Manix, PCN #3, Jan-Feb. 2010; Reassessing American archaeology, PCN #12, July-Aug. 2011; Breaking the Clovis barrier, PCN #16, March-April 2012);
· archaeologist Fred E. Budinger Jr., former Director of Calico Early Man Site in the years after directors Leakey and Ruth D. Simpson (Protecting Calico, parts 1 & 2, PCN #17, May-June 2012);
· co-founder and tephrochronologist Dr. Virginia Steen-McIntyre (The collapse of standard paradigm New World prehistory, PCN #14, Nov-Dec. 2011; To clean or not to clean, PCN #16, March-April 2012); Early man in northern Yukon, PCN #20, Nov-Dec. 2012;
· co-founder and geologist, the late Dr. Sam L. VanLandingham (VanLandingham responds to Calico destruction, PCN #18, July-Aug. 2012);
· co-founder Dr. James B. Harrod (Out of-Africa revisited, PCN #3, Jan-Feb. 2010);
· Dr. James L. Bischoff, geochemist USGS (Upholding the 200,000-year old dates for Calico, PCN #13, Sept-Oct. 2011),
· copy editor David Campbell (Solutrean solutions, PCN #19, Nov-Dec. 2012;
· and John Feliks (Reviving the Calico of Louis Leakey, Part 1, PCN #21, Jan-Feb. 2013).
Leakey Calico talk, Part 2
All emphasis in italics represent emphasis by Leakey. Words in [brackets] are uncertain. Louis Leakey speaking:
“Now, the next thing I wish to say to you very briefly as prelude is a very important one indeed and that is the problem of age. I have consistently refused to say more about Calico than that it is over 50,000. And I have consistently warned the crew that it may be a great deal more than over 50. But the safe thing is to say that it is certainly over 50—beyond the range of carbon dating.
I know that there are those who believe it is so old that it couldn’t contain artifacts; but I don’t believe because the artifacts are there! But a great age should not disturb or should not interfere with the interpretation of facts. And you are going to see facts presently after lunch on the tables that I don’t think anybody can bypass.
I have done stone tool making, experimental flaking—as Hazeldine Warren did—I have done it now since 1923. And different types of bulbs on flakes are the result of use of different techniques. You have the typical cone of percussion using a certain type of technique which is common in the Clacton cultures and some of the others. You have the very wide diffuse bulb type that you get in some of the [vulva] cultures and each requires a different technique to produce it. And some of the types of bulb you will see later on today are such that I have never seen in any of the many natural-context pseudo-sites that I have ever investigated. I do not believe that they could be done by nature.
With the age, supposing in fact this site is infinitely older than 50,000, and it could well be. What does it mean? Does that mean that the site is impossible? Are we therefore going to write off the other evidence, the factual evidence? Remember, it’s not so long ago we thought the earliest known stone tools in the world were about 50,000 or 500,000, I mean [Leakey’s correction]. And then we pushed it back to a million. And then we pushed it back to 1.8 million. And now, and published, and accurately documented we have sites—five or six of them—at 2-point, more than 2.6 million with flakes and stone tools not very different from those you are going to see here. In fact when my wife Mary first looked at some of the artifacts that Richard brought in from the first site at 2.6 million, said, “Those would go with the Middle Stone Age stock!” But they were not. They were in situ at 2.6 million.
It’s true that so far as eastern Asia is concerned we know man mostly by so-called Pithecanthropus erectus or Homo erectus. At Choukoutien there were very, very, few poorly-made tools and Java with no tools. And there was a time, or so the textbooks tell you, that Choukoutien and Java Man are the ancestors of present day men. But that’s been long since exploded because we have a much more truly man-like creature more like ourselves back at 1.8 and now at 2.4 million. The fact that the other types of men have not been found in eastern Asia doesn’t mean that they aren't there to be found. The fact that other sites with simple cultures have not been found doesn’t mean they won’t be found. We are just at the beginning of archaeological study. The amount to be done is fantastic. And we must not allow ourselves to be prejudiced the way that prejudice has worked in the past.
There are two questions on Calico, and the two, if they are both true, must fit each other because truth cannot conflict with truth. You have
Fig. 4. This figure shows the steps necessary to create the Calico artifact known as “Whitie.” It is from George Carters’ book, Earlier Than You Think. See Chris Hardaker’s, The Abomination of Calico, part 1, PCN #6, July-August 2010 for explanation of the steps and Tom Baldwin’s, Reassessing American Archaeology: The Legacy of Professor George F. Carter, PCN #12,
July-August 2011. Carter was former Professor of Geography and
Anthropology at Texas A&M University. As Dr. Leakey noted in Part 1, “Nature pushes off flakes at random...man pushes off flakes, knocks off flakes for a specific purpose.”
|“And now... we have sites [in Africa]—five or six of them—at 2-point, more than 2.6 million with flakes and stone tools not very different from those you are going to see here.”
to find some way where the two things fit. The first truth is that you have a fan which is, according to the geology, it’s a very considerable age. It may possibly be of more than one age. I can conceive of fanned bodies coming down from the Calico Mountains behind and then a change of climate and no fan and then further fan deposits coming down at a later age but even the younger part of the true fan is not young in terms of American prehistory. And, therefore, one problem that we have to solve is what is the probable age of that part of the fan that is yielding the artifacts, artifacts which are to some extent in a concentration of two peaks in the fan in the area that we’ve dug but also have a vertical distribution as happens always in cases like Swanscombe, Acheul, or Abbeville because it started coming in from the side over a long period as rain washes from the living floors and living sites on the banks into the fluviatile deposit.
The age is just one question; and the other is, “Are these specimens truly manmade?” And I don’t think anybody who sees a total assemblage or the assemblage even—not the total of the [“several assemblages”?]—on a representative assembly, that’s why I had about 190 for you yesterday: flakes ranging from flakes as big as that to tiny, tiny, flakes; flakes with several different types of bulbs, cones of percussion, wide diffuse bulbs; bulbs subsequently trimmed away; flakes with previous flakes knocked off the other surface so that you have a main flake to serve as one side and other flakes off the top of the other [See Figs. 4 and 5]. You’ve got to consider all of these [factors] and see what it says to you. And I told you I believe it says these are unquestionably evidence of man once living at the time that this particular part of the fan was accumulating and being built up. What that means in terms of the age of man in the Americas we’ve got to resolve. But there cannot be conflict between geological truth and artifact truth; and, consequently, we’ve got to find how to accommodate the two.
Fig. 5. Left: 7 photographs of the Calico artifact known as 'Whitie' compiled by archaeologist Chris Hardaker including two images at left from Calicodig.org. It shows the bulb of percussion where the flake was struck from the core (see Fig. 4). Right: Line drawing showing the steps by which similar objects were created during the European Paleolithic by striking a flake from the core; H.F. Osborn, 1914, Men of the Old Stone Age, Fig. 84. Compare also with Fig. 4. Again, like the Part 1 comparison of a Calico blade with a European blade, the Calico object is automatically regarded as “nature-made” by mainstream scientists while identical objects from Europe are regarded as “human artifacts.” Normal sciences do not promote double-standards in the interpretation of evidence but it is a common practice in evolutionary anthropology because objectivity is secondary to preserving the paradigm. The training that archaeologists receive at university is that if the evidence doesn’t match the evolutionary or migratory paradigms then there is something wrong with the evidence. Calico is too old to match the idea of a late migration to the Americas and so, as Hardaker says in The Abomination of Calico, part 1, “all” of the evidence has to be debunked or ignored.Ten years ago you would have just laughed, everybody would have laughed at the idea of tool kits—tool kits, choppers and scrapers and many things at 2.6 million—[up to there]. You would have laughed at the idea of contemporaneity of several different types of hominid in one area; but it’s true. We are just at the beginning of archaeological investigation not at the end; and all I ask you, my colleagues—you’ve seen the site; you’ve seen the geology; you’re going to hear more of the information about what is being done, how the excavation is being carried out, what was found, some of the charts and plans, some of the photographs and specimens in situ, and then you’ll hear more details about the geological evidence; and finally my colleague Rainer Berger is going to present to you evidence about the hearth. I don’t say ‘what we call the hearth’ about the hearth because it is a hearth. And on that I say form your judgments. But please, in this age and year when we are doing such fantastic things and finding such incredible new things everywhere all the time, don’t be influenced by anything except the truth. Thank you.”
[Leakey’s talk ends at 13:01 on the .mp3 counter followed by great applause]
Transcriber’s note: The .mp3 files will be placed on the Pleistocene Coalition homepage at the nearest possible convenience.
John Feliks has specialized in the study of early human cognition for nearly twenty years experiencing strong resistance and censorship from the evolutionary community. He encourages students going through standard science training to question the ideology they are being taught in anthropology, biology, and paleontology with full confidence that evidence is there to support them.