Skepchick Quickies 3.2


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. I’d thrown into the mix of fantasy literature that won’t alienate feminists “Brimstone and Lily” by Terry Kroenung. It is a lively intelligent novel set about the time of the American Civil War. The protagonist is a teenage girl, but in spite of her name, is no delicate flower.

  2. I am having a brain fart moment. I’m pretty sure this is YA fiction, but it was lovely and I really enjoyed it. It’s a 3-part series. It involves a young girl. And different worlds. And talking, roaring bears. And witches. And demons (but they are a part of who you are, and are always by your side, and not the evil kind).

    Anyway, the protagonist is a young girl, and she is awesome. Flawed but tough. Loved that series, and I’m not all that into fantasy, or YA novels.

    1. Sounds like ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy by Phillip Pullman made up of ‘The Golden Compass,’ ‘The Subtle Knife,’ and ‘The Amber Spyglass.’

      I really enjoyed it as well.

  3. My wife and I read Dark Materials to each other. I enjoyed most of it, but it was a touch on the grim and bloody side for my taste.

    1. And that’s one reason why I liked it. It wasn’t too happy-shiny. :)

      The fact that you and your wife read to each other is too cute.

  4. Ugh, the Solutrean stuff.

    a) People from the European landmass 20K years ago should not be called “Europeans”, as it falsely equates them with modern ethnic groups

    b) The Solutrean stuff is so frequently used as an attack on Native peoples in North America that I have a hard time accepting its merit, especially given it’s such a fringe position among archaeologists.

    1. Yeah, I’m with you on both accounts. Even calling them “the first Americans” is problematic to me.

      When I took an Archaeology of North America course a few years ago, we discussed the Solutrean stuff, with the caveat that it’s such a radical hypothesis with so little evidence to support it that it’s worth knowing about, but it’s nowhere near being enough to change current thinking about how the Americans became populated.

  5. Amanda,

    I think I heard hypnosis that the first Americans were of European origin before.

  6. Wow, thanks for linking to my new site! I wondered where the huge traffic explosion came from and was super excited to see a link from Skepchick!

    It’s very new and there aren’t many books on it yet, but I want it to grow to THE go-to list on the web. Thanks to everyone who suggested books in the comments!

    [email protected]

  7. Hasn’t mitochondrial DNA testing established pretty conclusively that humans entered North America over the Bering Strait? And hasn’t that hypothesis been corroborated with lots of archaeological evidence?

    I don’t see how two isolated artifacts are anywhere sufficient enough to overturn that notion. What would even lead the archaeologist to believe that the stone knife was dropped with the mammoth rather than simply dropped later?

    1. Jack_Gladney,

      I’m not sure if mitochondrial DNA testing established pretty conclusively that humans entered North America over the Bering Strait or not.

  8. Peopling of the Americas is not my particular area of expertise, but from what I understand, it is clear that there were multiple waves of migration through the Bering land bridge, with the most recent being Athabaskan speaking peoples, the ancestors of the Navajo and Apache groups. The most wide-spread early (10,000+ years old) artifact type is the Clovis spear point, which has a characteristic flake scar down the middle referred to as a “flute” (making them “fluted points”). These tools have been found very widely distributed across North America, and maps showing the location of finds suggest that the tools spread into what is today the U.S. along the eastern side of the Rockies.

    These pro-Solutrean theorists are saying that before that (or those) migration(s) from what is today Siberia, there was a group who traveled along the ice from the east. They can see similarities in the way these very early East Coast stone tools and the Solutrean ones were made. The question is, are these similarities a function of style, which might suggest (though not prove) a connection between groups, or are the similarities a limitation of the material? It is an extraordinary claim, and the “proof” is not yet extraordinary, in my opinion.

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