Real Science Under Attack - The Dirty Tricks of Rex Dalton
Scientific Establishment recently turned up the heat on scientist Allen
West and the rest of the Younger Dryas Impact Event researchers by unleashing their attack dog,
Rex Dalton, whose hitpiece is being used to smear West's good name and
the Younger Dryas Impact Theory by proxy. While this is an unfortunate
turn of events, we are not entirely surprised here given what we've seen
of psychopaths in other quarters of society. If there is one
overarching point that we wish SOTT readers to understand, it's that
psychopaths do control our world - all of it. While
this should be plainly obvious when it comes to corrupt governments,
corporations and religious institutions, the world of science and
academia is no exception to this fact.
The assumption of Uniformitarianism underpins many if not all scientific
disciplines. Its proponents argue that the "present is the key to
understanding the past," that the slow gradual processes we see in
nature today have been constant throughout history. An enormous number
of scientists across many fields have staked their careers (whether
they're aware of it or not) on this fundamental assumption. This
Uniformitarianist, or gradualist, approach is used to explain things
like geological features, celestial events, species evolution,
civilization advancement, technological progress and so on. When it
comes to catastrophic events, the Uniformitarian-dominated sciences
permit only consideration of those which may have happened on a
timescale of millions of years, like the Cretaceous - Tertiary
extinction event 65 million years ago that supposedly wiped out the
dinosaurs. To admit that catastrophic impact events occur on the timescale of human history
would mean surrendering the comfortable notion we live in a safe and
stable world that has evolved in splendid isolation, shielded from
cosmic intervention. Few people, even scientists, are prepared to
examine the overwhelming data indicating the reality of cyclic
catastrophism. The elite of our world have gone to enormous lengths to
prevent the masses from knowing this, so it's not difficult to see how
today's Uniformitarianist approach serves a lot of interests.
Just a little background: The group of researchers composed of
Richard Firestone, Allen West and Simon Warwick-Smith (usually referred
to as Firestone et al) put forth the evidence in their book The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes
for a significant impact event around 13,000 BCE. Such a timeframe
would, of course, place the event well within the context of human
history, an event that may be the source for myths about the destruction
of an antediluvian civilization. If you've been a regular reader of
SOTT, you'll know that we consider the evidence gathered by Firestone et
al to be of vital importance in understanding the reality and magnitude
of impact events. Even if we may disagree with their stance on how the
comets arrived in the Solar System courtesy of a supernova explosion
(we assign higher probability to alternative hypotheses
explaining the origin of comet clusters), the impact evidence they
describe is very good. Rather than the present being the key to the
past, as Uniformitarianists believe, understanding the past as described
by Firestone et al. becomes the key to understanding our future.
With Firestone et al making waves in the scientific community, along comes establishment lackey Rex Dalton, a former writer for Nature, to attack Allen West, a retired geologist, co-author and field researcher of the aforementioned book, in a completely ad hominem manner. We published our own heavily commented version
of this slimy article, pointing out how Dalton sought to kill the
message by attacking the messenger. Dalton chastised West for not being
a formally trained geologist (Dalton himself is only a journalist, mind
you) and latched onto a little run-in West had with the California
authorities over a decade ago, before negating the majority of impact
evidence gathered by Firestone et al. by focusing on questions that have
since arisen about a tiny sliver of evidence cited in their book.
Unfortunately, many scientists won't see it this way, and instead spread
Dalton's article around as if it were gospel (this is already
happening). Dalton's piece is a perfect example of the disdain the
Scientific Establishment has for real science - the kind of science that could help humanity escape from the shackles of history.
Now that readers understand a little bit of the background and context
of this sorry tale, let's recap with some of the accusations made by
Dalton in his original article. Here's how the article begins:
An elegant archaeological theory, under fire for results that can't be replicated, may ultimately come undone.
It seemed like such an elegant answer to an age-old mystery: the
disappearance of what are arguably North America's first people. A
speeding comet nearly 13,000 years ago was the culprit, the theory goes,
spraying ice and rocks across the continent, killing the Clovis people
and the mammoths they fed on, and plunging the region into a deep chill.
The idea so captivated the public that three movies describing the
catastrophe were produced.
So far, so good here. Now Dalton steps up and shows his real agenda:
But now, four years after the purportedly supportive evidence was
reported, a host of scientific authorities systematically have made the
case that the comet theory is "bogus." Researchers from multiple
scientific fields are calling the theory one of the most misguided ideas
in the history of modern archaeology, which begs for an independent review so an accurate record is reflected in the literature.
As we'll see below, many of these "researchers from multiple scientific
fields" have only looked at isolated evidence gathered by Firestone et
al. Some of these researchers Dalton quotes have no connection to any
part of this area of study. Their biases seem to be just thrown into
the mix just to give the impression of a united front against the Impact
Theory. The researchers who do have expertise in this area of study
don't appear to have looked at all the evidence; they instead seem
fixated on isolated aspects of the theory with no consideration of the
bigger picture. Could anyone from this crowd ever really give the
Impact Theory an independent review? Notice the double-speak here too.
The phrase "independent review" is implied to mean "Uniformitiarian
bias" by Dalton. Further down Dalton states:
Yet, the scientists who described the alleged impact in a hallowed U.S.
scientific journal refuse to consider the critics' evidence - insisting
they are correct, even though no one can replicate their work: the
hallmark of credibility in the scientific world.
This Impact Theory isn't a single experiment which can be readily
"replicated" and quickly verified. Think of the theory as a long list
of clues, or independent findings and data-points, all facing inwards at
the likely culprit - that Earth did collide with some large space rocks
sometime around 13,000 BCE. Reading the Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes
is almost like reading a detective novel, you really feel the
excitement of this team of researchers piecing together the clues to
find out who (or what) 'dunnit.' Admittedly, parts of this theory can
and should be verified or refuted by other open-minded researchers; it's
possible that some pieces might have to be thrown out and others added
in or explained in a different way. All healthy scientific theories go
through modifications over time as new data comes in. But overall,
there has been a lot of work put into this Impact Theory and there are
many more groups besides this Firestone group working on similar
problems which deal with geologically recent impact events. Despite
Dalton's deceptive presentation of a 'united front' of scientists
raising their 'concerns', none of these scientists have refuted all the
facts in favor of the Impact Theory, and some haven't even looked at the
data at all!
The primary authors of the theory are an unusual mix: James Kennett, a
virtual father of marine geology from the University of California,
Santa Barbara; Richard Firestone, a physicist at Lawrence Berkeley
Laboratory in California; and Allen West, an unknown academic from the
mining industry who lives in Dewey, Ariz.
"We are under a lot of duress," said Kennett. "It has been quite
painful." So much so, that team members call their critics' work
"biased," "nonsense" and "screwed up."
Such intransigence has been seen before in other cases of grand
scientific claims. Sometimes those theories were based on data
irregularities. Other times, the proponents succumbed to self-delusion.
But typically, advocates become so invested in their ideas they can't
publicly acknowledge error.
Perhaps instead of explaining away the Impact Theorists' duress as being
"intransigence" and "self-delusion", it might be useful to give their
side of the story fair play here? In other words, what sort of guff
have they had to put up with from the other side? Dalton doesn't seem
to be at all interested in that, however. That would be too much to ask
of Dalton who has already revealed his agenda at this point.
Next Dalton moves in for the kill on one of the co-authors, Allen West:
...Indeed, the team's established scientists are so wedded to the theory
they have opted to ignore the fact their colleague "Allen West" isn't
exactly who he says he is.
West is Allen Whitt - who, in 2002, was fined by California and
convicted for masquerading as a state-licensed geologist when he charged
small-town officials fat fees for water studies.
After completing probation in 2003 in San Bernardino County, he began
work on the comet theory, legally adopting his new name in 2006 as he
promoted it in a popular book. Only when questioned by this reporter
last year did his co-authors learn his original identity and legal
history. Since then, they have not disclosed it to the scientific
West's history - and new concerns about study results he was integrally
involved in - raise intriguing questions about the veracity of the comet
Here Dalton makes West out to be a common crook and thus nowhere near
the level of an 'objective' scientist. But does Dalton really have his
In his defense of Allen West, George Howard of The Cosmic Tusk blog writes:
Allen West was employed 13 years ago as a consultant for a company in
California that contracted with several cities for water studies.
Geophysicists can work without a license in California under some
conditions. He thought they were following the law, but in this case, he
needed a license.
That inadvertent mistake led to a misdemeanor and a $4500 fine. The
District Attorney acknowledged that there was no intent to defraud and
allowed the misdemeanor to be reduced to a simple infraction that was
subsequently removed from his record. Allen West's record in the State
of California is completely clean, and he has no "criminal record,"
contrary to the claim by Rex Dalton in his article (see 1).
Dalton disparaged the quality of the work in question despite
the fact that he is aware that West's California geophysical work
continues to be referred to positively in 10 reports by four Federal and
State governmental agencies, the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S.
Bureau of Reclamation, the California Department of Water Resources, and
the California Energy Commission (see 2).
In 2005, seven years after Allen completed that work, he retired and
contracted to write the Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes. Preferring
privacy, he chose the pseudonym "West" instead of his given name
"Whitt," and filed the name with the State of Arizona as a legal tradename under the designation "author"
(see 3). He continued to use the new name in his scientific career and
changed his name legally, meaning it is not an "alias" as erroneously
reported by Dalton. People often change their names for various
reasons, as for example, Isaac Asimov, who changed his name from Ozimov
- nobody accused Asimov of deception.
As we pointed
out in our original commentary on Dalton's article, documents show that
West/Whitt had no intention of wrongdoing. In fact, it's pathetic that
West even needs to defend himself here at all. Wasn't Dalton's article
supposed to be about the shortcomings of the Younger Dryas Impact
Theory and not West's bureaucratic tangles from his previous employment?
The fact that Dalton, himself only trained as a journalist with no real science credentials, mockingly criticizes West's lack of credentials is the height of hypocrisy. This ad hominem
attack really shows Dalton's true colors, especially when we consider
that this attack forms the centerpiece of his article. Adding insult to
injury, Dalton again hits West with this false accusation further down
in his article. For a former writer of Nature, one might
expect more civilized behavior. This is a desperate, underhanded
attempt to tarnish the truly Earth-shattering findings of Firestone's
and West's work.
The remainder of Dalton's article is mostly a hack job, giving the
reader the impression that there is this 'growing concern' among
scientists that Firestone and West are just making up all this impact
evidence as they go along. Although still quite deceptive, it's really
the only part of his article that touches on anything even close to
actual science, albeit very selectively. He quotes a number of his
buddy scientists who have attempted to refute some aspect of the Impact
Theory, giving people the impression that all these 'scientists' should
have some working knowledge of the Impact Theory itself (which doesn't
appear to be the case). Here are their claims:
Wallace Broecker - 'Climate' Researcher: "Those who don't believe in human-produced global warming grab onto it [supposedly means the Impact Theory]."
(Huh? What does "global warming" have to do with anything here? I
love how Dalton tries to tie 'global warming' deniers together with
Impact Theorists. Classic!)
Todd Surovell - Archeologist: "Couldn't find magnetic spherules at 7 clovis sites"
Tyrone Daulton - Materials Scientist: "Reported that supposed nanodiamonds formed by the impact were misidentified"
Mark Boslough - Physicist: "Reported
that radio-carbon dating of a carbon spherule sample shows it is only
about 200 years old - an "irregularity" that indicates is it not from
the alleged 12,900-year-old impact time."
Vance Holliday - Archeologist: "Such
mixing of spherules from different eras could invalidate any conclusion
that higher spherule counts represented evidence of a comet impact." (Referring here to the finding by Boslough above.)
Nicholas Pinter - Geologist: "'[The
Impact Theory] is so far beyond the pale - outside of normal experiences
in conducting science - you can't ignore it'... Asked if he would
collaborate with West, he said, 'I would run screaming away.'" (More defamation against West.)
Jeffrey Severinghaus - Chemist: "Asked
if he would seek [a public inquiry of the Impact Theory], he said,
'Absolutely. It is really important to maintain the public trust in
science. That means if there is a bad apple, it is rooted out and
exposed.'" (If there should be any inquiry, they should look into
the last 60 years of academia and root out all the bad apples holding up
real progress in the sciences. It's very telling that these bozos want
inquiries into Firestone et al, but were either too afraid or just
downright arrogant to get to the bottom of 'Climategate'.)
Dalton's only science arguments, based on the claims by this
aforementioned bunch, boil down to evidence from sediment samples
gathered at a certain layer that Firestone and West refer to as the
'black mat'. This is a black layer in the sediment which indicates the
boundary where Clovis culture artifacts appear. Just below this layer
one can sometimes find tools, implements, discarded animal bones from an
ancient people dubbed the 'Clovis people'. Above this layer one
typically finds nothing, at least not for quite some time. This is also
the layer where mammoth fossils and other animal remains of the
Holocene era end, at least in North America. All this implies that this
'black mat' layer may hold some clues about how the Clovis people and
all their animal friends suddenly disappeared. (It's amazing to us that
geologists and archeologists have never made this connection, at least
In fact, that's exactly the line of reasoning which Firestone and West
follow in their book. They hypothesize that this 'black mat' region is
the leftover remains of charred vegetation and other burnt matter which
was buried after 'something' caused a massive conflagration on the North
American Continent. They describe many other sediment and chemical
anomalies from this 'black mat' layer which indicate something more than
your typical uniformitarian, gradualist processes at work during this
time period. So when the folks above quoted by Dalton talk about
nanodiamonds and magnetic spherules, they're talking about the sediment
anomalies that West discovered in this 'black mat', the place where all
Holocene life met an abrupt end. These anomalies are what Firestone and
West believe are the result of an extra-terrestrial impact. The theory
behind why and how nanodiamonds, magnetic spherules could form during
an impact is beyond the scope of this article, but the Cosmic Catastrophes book does a good job of explaining it in layman's terms.
While these sediment anomalies are certainly interesting evidence and
should be taken into account, they by no means represent the entire
Impact Theory as presented by Firestone et al in their book. The big
picture of Earth being impacted by comets really doesn't change with or
without this evidence of sediment anomalies. This is just the "icing on
the cake", one could say. Even if this sediment evidence can be
refuted, as Dalton and the other detractors claim, this still does not
invalidate the mass of other evidence for impacts gathered by Firestone
et al. It's an obvious obfuscation on Dalton's part to imply that the
evidence he's pointing out is 'all there is' to the Impact Theory.
Dalton cites Mark Boslough's radiocarbon dating of micro-spherules in
the black mat sediment layer to just 200 years old, when they obviously
should have been much older to refute Firestone et al's theory that they
could only have formed in super-heated conditions. But the authors
relate several times in their book just how precarious relying on
radiocarbon dating can be. Dalton must have missed this section,
otherwise he would have realized just how weak any dated evidence is
when attempting to confirm or refute the Impact Theory.
Exploring the radiocarbon issue further, Bill discovered that some
Paleo-Indian radiocarbon dates were laughably wrong. For example, dates
from the Paleo-Indian sites at Leavitt and Gainey, in Michigan, came
from layers that scientists knew were 13,000 years old; and yet the
radiocarbon date came back suggesting that, inexplicably, the
long-vanished Ice Age Indians were still hunting extinct camels when the
Egyptian pharaohs were building the Temple of Karnak 2,800 years ago.
Another 13,000-year-old site, at Thedford, Ontario, Canada, seemed to
show that the long dead Indians miraculously came back to life and lived
up until about the time of Jesus. In addition, the most astounding
Clovis-era site of all was at Grant Lake in Nunavut Province in northern
Canad, where the long gone Ice Age Paleo-Indians had apparently been
hunting mammoths during the time of the Battle of Gettysburg in the U.S.
[The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes p12]
So much for Dalton's nitpicking of incorrect dates of sediment samples
to give the impression that the Impact Theory is maligned by
inconsistency! Any evidence that relies on radiocarbon dates needs to
be taken with a lot of salt. Radiocarbon dating might work well for the
last 6,000 years or so, but beyond this the assumption about the rate
of cosmic radiation (which determines the amount of C14
isotope in living things) gets a bit sketchy. It's clear that Dalton is
going after a capillary and pretending it to be the jugular with his
obsessing over sediment sample dates, all the while relying on his
readers' ignorance of the overall evidence for the Impact Theory to fill
in the gaping holes that he leaves in his logic.
So what other evidence do Firestone et al provide, which Dalton has so conveniently omitted from his article?
The Story of the Carolina Bays
The Carolina Bays are the elliptical depressions concentrated along the
Atlantic seaboard. Typically these are not viewable from the ground;
people only begun to notice them after the advent of flight. There are
an enormous number of these 'bays' (over half a million, in fact), each
one rimmed with a layer of sand.
An interesting feature of these 'bays' is that the angle of their
elliptical shapes all point to one of two general locations. Tracing
these locations back towards the west, one finds that the lines seem to
converge on two central points: one point is at the bottom of Lake
Michigan, and the other is at the lower part of Huron Bay in Canada. It
was later discovered that 'bay-like' depressions exist in the American
West, South-West and around the Great Plains regions too. Many of these
'bays' form 'crater chains', again pointing back to the same two
central locations to the north. It's likely that these locations in
Canada and Michigan were covered with thick sheets of ice at the time
when these 'bays' were formed, so an impact at these locations would
probably have caused an explosion of ice.
is exactly what Firestone and West propose, that these central points
where the tips of the Carolina Bays converge was once covered with thick
glaciers prior to 13,000 BCE. An impact at these ice-covered locations
would have sent massive chunks of ice along Southwestern and
Southeastern trajectories hundreds of miles long, resulting in a
veritable blitz of overhead explosions as half a million pieces of
debris exploded on re-entry into the lower atmosphere to form, thanks to
atmospheric explosion ablation, all these 'bays' we see along the
entire Eastern seaboard and in the Southwest too. An impact might also
explain the washed-out features or sand drumlins found in certain parts
of North America, like the area around Northern Minnesota and Central
Canada. Such an event would have likely caused a sudden surge of melted
freshwater to reach the oceans too, followed by rapid cooling of sea
temperatures, and thus plunging the Earth back into an Ice Age. It
might also explain the sudden rise in sea level around this time, as
shown in studies of coral reefs. There are still a lot of points to be
worked out in this theory, but the general idea of a sudden impact
leading to immediate geological and climate changes is pretty solid.
Black Specs in Mammoth Tusks
It might seem strange to some that evidence for cometary bombardment
could exist in ancient mammoth tusk fossils, but here is another
interesting fact which Firestone et al uncovered. After digging through
boxes of mammoth tusks, they discovered tiny black specs, some slightly
red, indicating embedded iron in some of the tusks. Upon closer
inspection, it became clear that something had sent tiny shards of iron
zipping through the air at high velocities, likely killing these animals
instantly. They also discovered the same black, iron specs in mammoth
skulls as well, indicating that these animals did indeed die by some
sudden, explosive event.
same micro-bullets of iron turned up in mammoth tusks as far away as
Siberia, and in antlers and flint pieces from North America as well.
Whatever caused this blanket of micro-sized iron bullets to spray across
the Northern Hemisphere continents at such incredible speeds must have
been an enormously explosive event. Mammoths have also been found
buried in ice from Alaska to Siberia with undigested food in their
mouths. It's pretty clear that whatever killed these creatures did it
instantaneously. The same event seemed to have frozen them instantly as
well, since many of their remains were discovered in an well-preserved
state. No gradual process can account for this.
These are just some of the major clues followed by Firestone et al in
their book. Dalton's article mentions none of these points.
Rex Dalton really doesn't have a leg to stand on when refuting the
Younger Dryas Impact Theory put forth by Firestone et al. The question
is, why would he sink to such low-ball tactics and risk exposing himself
with such shaky scientific reasoning? We've published other articles
by Dalton on SOTT prior to this one and most seemed fairly balanced and
informative (although you can be sure we will be reading with a very
careful eye from now on). It's interesting that another topic which
Dalton focuses on is Neanderthal research, an area in which we've also taken an interest in
due to its implications for research into the origins of
psychopathology. What twists of the truth are in store for us from Rex
in this other area of study, we wonder? Is Rex getting paid for
services rendered to the Cult of Uniformitarianism, or is he merely
seeking recognition as an attack dog, licking his masters' boots, if you
will? We realise these are strong words, but we feel strongly about
such double standards that prevail in corrupt science. We should also
note that Rex is not unique; there have been many of his ilk to come
along playing the role of disinformation peddlers in the world of
science, and we do our best to point them out here on SOTT.
Whatever his motives, the end result of his efforts is an attack on
catastrophism, at a most sensitive time in history; a time when more and
more people are waking up to the reality that Earth might not be as
safe a haven in the cosmos as we once thought. How will the people look
upon the Rex Daltons of the world when they understand not only that
the Scientific Establishment have no ability to protect civilization
from incoming comets, but that they knew about the threat and covered it up in service to the elite? Only time will tell...