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Mammoths in Alaska 8,000 years ago, detected through DNA

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  • I didn't think of it this way before, but the author points out that fossils are extremely rare. They represent a tiny, tiny fraction of the past population that died in a specific way in a specific place, and as such they are poor indicators of "events". (Especially in the way humans define "events" as being a point in time, rather than a large range of time.)

    The oldest fossil may be 13,000 years old, but that doesn't mean the last mammoth died 13,000 years ago. It's hard to see the pattern of millions

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp

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