I posted some long time ago how the interpretation of these scientist's was awfully bad. Maybe NOVA can only film scientists these days provided the scientist is free to make any zany conclusions.
On last week's NOVA of Decoding Neanderthals, they announced that the first modern humans to enter Europe from Africa was 60,000 years ago, and here, Daniel Fisher is speculating that a mastodon fossil with a few scratches is due to ancient human meat cache in a lake some 45,000 years ago. So in last week's NOVA, they had humans coming out of Africa into Europe to battle Neanderthals some 60,000 years ago and then showing up in North America for Daniel Fisher to make meat caches in a Colorado Lake. According to my math, that would give those traveling African Homo sapiens just 15,000 years to get across the Atlantic Ocean and out to Colorado to make meat caches.
Can you see why I belittle NOVA for not having a "editor of logic"? Because if you allow scientists like Daniel Fisher to waffle on about their pathetic speculations, NOVA may as well host Ed Conrad with his "man as old as the Devonian coal theory".
Most scientists are not required to take a course in logic when in school, and that is a pitiful shame and it shows on NOVA programs that most scientists are very weak in logic. Let me enumerate many errors of logic of this particular show:
1) Occam's Razor says the easiest solution is usually the true solution. You have an alpine lake which probably was dammed up by beavers or beaver like creatures and the water is frozen in winter time. Much like what Jackson Lake in Grand Tetons at the dam usually has about 3 or 4 or 5 moose fall into the thin ice near the dam in winter and drown. So Occam's Razor would say the easiest solution is a frozen lake and thin ice and entire groups of mastodons breaking the ice and falling in.
2) Now Dan Fisher is worried that there are no predator bones, only mastodons, giant sloths, and a few prehistoric bison. Just like at Jackson Dam there are only moose fallen in, no bears since they are hibernating and no predators for they could probably swim and climb out.
3) Now Dan finds a few bones at another site of the lake that is surrounded with boulders that appear out of place. Well, in natural lakes, some years they have flooding from mountain streams and those boulders fit the profile of those 1 in a 1,000 year flooding stream carrying boulders. Instead, Dan does not like natural explanations and so he imagines 45,000 years ago that Homo sapiens had been there. Another possible explanation is that there used to live giant beavers, whether in North America, I am not sure, and whether a giant beaver could have rolled a large boulder to his dam construction.
4) Dan sees some markings on a mastodon bone and ascribes that to man with a meat cache in the lake water. Someone with commonsense would ascribe the situation of boulders among bones as the boulders tumbled over the bones that they would leave a mark on the bones. Or to the frozen bones with ice making the marks.
5) Science and Hollywood imagination is not usually compatible, but Dan seems to prefer the glitz and glammor of Hollywood rather than the need for science to "get it correct". I speak of the silly theory of "Shake and Kill followed by Shake and Bury" proposed by Daniel Fisher and demonstrated by Eugene Schwieg and Kirk Johnson. I am guessing that they came up with this theory because the plain truth of a frozen lake and animals falling in and drowning is not Hollywood glitzy enough. Perhaps being a Colorado Museum director requires glitz and glammor to allure the crowds rather than the honest science truth of what happened. Why were those bones not showing evidence of predators eating them while stuck in the mud or sand? The answer is that they were never stuck, and Earthquake Liquefaction never killed them, but rather the lake was frozen over and when you have too many mastodon on the ice they break it, fall in and drown and there are no evidence of predation.
6) Since the last time I saw this NOVA show, a year ago, maybe longer, they reported some new findings. Fisher had the mastodon tusks analyzed for when they died at Snowmass and not to my surprise it was between winter and spring season that these animals died. Further supporting the idea that they simply fell through the ice.
It is my opinion that if NOVA continues to show science shows where they fail miserably in logic, that the best scientists will begin to refuse to be on a NOVA show, because the quality of NOVA is no quality at all, but just the fanning of silly opinions and speculation.
-- Google's archives are top-heavy in hate-spew from search-engine- bombing. Only Drexel's Math Forum has done a excellent, simple and fair archiving of AP posts for the past 15 years as seen here: