The Human Journey
a time sequence
March 15th, 2008 The educational potential of the Internet is without bound. From time to time we come across sites that go beyond the ordinary. One of these we present you with now. There is always a danger in doing this because we like to keep articles online for as long as possible. If the source of the link disappears, then what we say is meaningless, just like an old newspaper used to wrap the trash. We don't want to do that. Since we don't have editions or issues and are 'moment to moment', we run the risk of links going bad over time, if we do not control them on our site... here we risk just that.
Furthermore, the link that we are so interested in uses Flash Technology from Adobe. Most computers have it, but many don't, so you may be asked to download it from Adobe, if you try to activate the link we direct you to
If you like what you see, then read our past article
Response to a Question from a Reader
Isn't there new evidence to suggest much earlier migrations to North and South America other than the Bering land crossing?
Yes, you are correct, but this study is just using the DNA and NOT the more tenuous archaeological evidence which requires very accurate carbon dating and can be contaminated and does not have the advantage of the direct mitochondrial and chromosome information, which is more and more understood.
It works on decay of an unstable isotope of Carbon into a more stable form. It's used very well in concentrated sites, less so in ice cores (some extraction of matter has been made from bone cores in what was thought were inert fossil animal remains in Alberta, I think. They are interested in the DNA there and not the Carbon dating because gross dates are known. That's all new and needs work.
It is hoped that dinosaurs will be looked at in this way... also amber (captured insects)
" ... the decay rate is logarithmic, radiocarbon dating has significant upper and lower limits. It is not very accurate for fairly recent deposits. In recent deposits so little decay has occurred that the error factor (the standard deviation) may be larger than the date obtained. The practical upper limit is about 50,000 years, because so little C-14 remains after almost 9 half-lives that it may be hard to detect and obtain an accurate reading, regardless of the size of the sample."
So carbon dating has a 'sweet spot' and also they look at cultural in situ artifacts too.
Sample size is important due to the process which requires some distilling and also worry about contamination by more recent remains being mixed in... so it's hard to do and hence the nagging arguments of the archaeologists.
Even if the west/east coast of South and North America may have been visited, the mass migration might be better looked at by DNA. If it can be shown that the landing on the west coast of South America produced the pooling and moving on effect noted below, the two methods might work well together within the limits of the C14 decay. (Pooling idea is just our way of visualizing things and is not used as far as we know.)
Strangely, these routes can be found using DNA, which is neat. There can be 'short cuts' of course
Now here is the key things to look at in that video are the population centres which are shown with little red balls. These indicate 'clumps' of humanity which have very strong DNA ties. You'll note that that tentacles emerge from them.
As you go along the routes these strains tend to winnow out and then concentrate again. It would be like water pooling in a hollow, filling up, spilling over and moving on and on.... The ultimate move will be off the planet.
We don't know much about this, but it's all very interesting from an observer's standpoint.
This might be a good subject for some educational insights for children up to about 13 because it is so visual and you don't need the base science, which is very hard. All you need is the gross facts about it