Sunday, February 09, 2014

Not impressed by pseudoarcheology

Sharon Hill's Doubtful News here dismantles the absurd claims that cranial deformation in South American skulls indicates some are nonhuman, or only partly human.  All we have are claims to the press and YouTube videos that the DNA is unusual - without the kind of details a real scientist would provide so others can check the work.  Dr. Melba Ketchum is one of the "geneticists" involved, which makes me automatically consign the thing to the trash heap, but one of the commenters on Hall's blog, a person with the screen name Spookyparadigm, actually gives the most important information by pointing out that real science has already given us our answers. He or she provided the following links:

Diseases of the Skull in Pre-Columbian South American Mummies

Intentional Cranial Deformation: A Disappearing Form of Self‐mutilation

Effects of different kinds of cranial deformation on the incidence of wormian bones;jsessionid=48B1AFB06CE805CDA5C244F5354C2961.f03t03?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false

Exploring artificial cranial deformation using elliptic Fourier analysis of procrustes aligned outlines

Cranial Vault Modification and Ethnicity in Middle Horizon San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

New World Cranial Deformation Practices: Historical Implications for Pathophysiology of Cognitive Impairment in Deformational Plagiocephaly

Others point out that the specimens in question are apparently only shared with Ketchum and other believers, not with independent scientists -and that the specimens may have been exported from Peru illegally after being uncovered by tomb robbers, not scientists.

No comments: