Gutsick Gibbon dated the skull 50,000 to 80,000 years too short

ErikaGutsick Gibbon (Erika) messed up yet again.  She is the most famous YouTube anthropology celebrity.  Her channel now has 100,000 subscribers.

Omo 1 was all over the news last year. Redating of Omo 1 to 230k + years. Indeed, paleoanthropologists said that Omo 1 is likely even older than 230k years.

Omo 1 represents the very first putative (agreed upon) Homo sapien skull.

Jebel Irhoud is another candidate, But the facial features of Jebel may be a bit too non-Homo sapien like say some paleoanthropologists (more Heidelbergensis-ish).  Florisbad is another potential candidate. But that skull too, is loaded with complications and controversy.

And there is Herto Man (Homo Idaltu). But Herto is dated to 160,000 years old. So, that leaves Omo 1 as the undisputed first Homo sapien.

From Science Direct, 2012,

Confirmation of a late middle Pleistocene age for the Omo Kibish 1 cranium by direct uranium-series dating

Omo 1While it is generally accepted that modern humans evolved in Africa, the specific physical evidence for that origin remains disputed. The modern-looking Omo 1 skeleton, discovered in the Kibish region of Ethiopia in 1967, was controversially dated at ∼130 ka (thousands of years ago) by U-series dating on associated Mollusca, and it was not until 2005 that Ar–Ar dating on associated feldspar crystals in pumice clasts provided evidence for an even older age of ∼195 ka.

However, questions continue to be raised about the age and stratigraphic position of this crucial fossil specimen. Here we present direct U-series determinations on the Omo 1 cranium. In spite of significant methodological complications, which are discussed in detail, the results indicate that the human remains do not belong to a later intrusive burial and are the earliest representative of anatomically modern humans. Given the more archaic morphology shown by the apparently contemporaneous Omo 2 calvaria, we suggest that direct U-series dating is applied to this fossil as well, to confirm its age in relation to Omo 1.

Now this, from the Smithsonian, January 2022,

East Africa’s Oldest Modern Human Fossil Is Way Older Than Previously Thought

CelineVidal » Gutsick Gibbon gets her dates wrong for Omo 1 skull for first Homo sapien » Human Evolution News » 1Céline Vidal and colleagues journeyed to this site known as the Kibish Formation to work in scorching temperatures up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, picking through the ashes of ancient volcanic eruptions to learn more about some of the oldest members of our species.

“It was an adventure,” says Vidal, a volcanologist at the University of Cambridge, who studies how ancient eruptions impacted climate and civilizations. “This is the part of science that online life isn’t ever going to replace.”

Vidal is also quoted at NPR:

There was a bit of controversy because the way Oma 1 was first dated was using an ash layer that was supposedly found just below. But it wasn’t found where the fossils were actually found. It was found a bit further away.

The legendary Tim White chimes in, with a philosophical bent:

At what point did these people expand from Africa? What is their technology? What was the environment that they occupied? What was Africa like in those days? All of that depends on a strong geological framework but especially on a chronological framework. And that is what this new work has provided for one of the more complete skeletons from this time period.

Dating from surrounding Volcanic Ash


Using geochemical clues to match the layer of volcanic ash blanketing the fossil to a specific volcanic eruption, they discovered Omo I is 36,000 years older than previously believed. Ash from an enormous eruption of the Ethiopian Rift’s Shala volcano was put down atop the sediment layer containing the Omo I fossil approximately 233,000 years ago, which means that Omo I and her kind lived here at least that long ago.

Erika has a massive following on YouTube and other social media. It is a shame that she is misleading her viewers on such a critical topic as the very first confirmed modern human being. And she did it in a video slamming a rival anthropologist Robert Sepehr. There were other errors that we will be covering in the days to come here at this channel. Stay tuned and be sure to subscribe.


Author Eric

FSU grad, US Navy Veteran. Houston, Texas

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