vendredi 4 avril 2008

Ancient Sea Scorpion ... (news with comment)

series---see comment for full index

"LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists have found the fossilized claw of a 2.5-metre (8-foot) sea scorpion, a nightmarish creature living before the age of dinosaurs.

The discovery of the 390-million-year-old specimen in a German quarry suggests prehistoric spiders, insects and crabs were much larger than previously thought, researchers at Britain's Bristol University said on Wednesday."


Read on at source.

Comment: how is it dated at 390 million years? Historic dating, i e written record? No, nay, never, that has not been going on for 400 000 000 years or more. Dendrochronology? Nix, that stops short at 20 000 years before present - and if the matches are not all of them absolutely sure, it might even be compatible with Biblical chronology.

Radiocarbonic dating? Nope. In a 390 million old fossile, if such a thing is, there can be no measurable C14, if the method is at all reliable. Which means that a fossile dated at 390 millions cannot contain measurable amounts of C14.

Uranium/lead or thorium/lead proportions? I do not think fossiles contain uranium or lead; thorium or lead, though I might be mistaken.

My hunch is: age was identified by geological layer according to a method not without absurdities.

A: fossiles are divided into layers. Sedimentation lines help, each one being a layer in miniature. Essentially though, the layers that count are divided according to fossiles contained. A fossile out of its typical layer or layers is thought of as accidentally misplaced.

B: the total age of a chronological layer, defined as above, is calculated according to its age where it is thickest. Period is period - and times runs no different on two different places, right? Only, see underlined criterium above. One cannot really know that all fossiles of layer Jurassic was before of all of layer Tertiary all over the world. It is presumed as known, in order to facilitate this age dating. It is not known.

C: the age of a layer, where it is thickest, is calculated according to the slowest known rate of sedimentation, though higher rates are known even today and can be presumed for natural disasters, like deluge.

D: the total age is then caculated by adding the ages of layers, including the ones missing then and there.

Which means that if all the presumed layers had been in place in that quarry, one would have had to dig very much deeper to find anything as old as 390 million years.

Source for this critical explanation of geological dating, with critique on other dating methods: From Nothing to Nature (It was years since I read the book, though.)

Comment: if it is actually younger, have humans seen things like that? Well, heroic legend tells of men confronting monsters, does it not? And Assyrian sculptural art shows monster scorpions, does it not?

Read this too:

"An enormous sea-scorpion more than two metres long once roamed the shallow seas of what is now Germany, according to palaeontologists.

One of the beast's 30-centimetre petrified claws was found at a quarry near Prum, Germany.

The scientists said the claw belonged to a prehistoric relative of the modern scorpion that lived in the sea around 400 million years ago." Source

So, it is not a giant sea scorpion that has been found, only a claw that could belong to one! That is paleontological method in a nutshell.

/Hans Lundahl edited

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