Note to Self on Revising Conclusions

A BBC article from yesterday details some of what is driving the revision of the estimated age of Homo floresiensis.


“The Liang Bua cave on the island of Flores where the Hobbit fossils were unearthed continues to be investigated.

The intervening years have seen researchers dig down through new areas, to get a better picture of how the sediments are structured.

It now transpires that the first floresiensis specimens were lodged just below an unconformity – a missing, eroded layer of material.

The absence of this sediment made the context of the 2003 finds appear younger than they actually were.

Various dating technologies have subsequently been applied to the contents of the cave – charcoal, sediments, flowstones, volcanic ash and even the H. floresiensis bones themselves – to help build a new timeline.

This points to the skeletal remains of floresiensis being between about 100,000 and 60,000 years old.”

This is how science and reason proceed; by accumulating data and revising never-completely certain conclusions accordingly. Too bad religionists, anti-vaxxers, anti-GMOers, climate change deniers, and conspiracy theorists seem unable to grasp the concept.

Not that I’m any better overall. I have a ton of (possibly unfounded) opinions about art—all the arts—and philosophy, politics, and economics, for instance, that most probably keep me from a better and deeper understanding and appreciation of them.

About John MacKenzie

I'll mumble for ya. Poetry, plus most things quantifiable: science, neuroscience, memory, epistemology, baseball. And so on.
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