June 14, 2015
[Blog note: This is a great technical discussion on current issues in the dating of the complex Ksar Akil site by the world renowned dating lab at Oxford.]
"We have had a lot of feedback and interest about our blog post from a couple of weeks ago and the issue of the dating of early modern humans at the site of Ksar Akil, so we thought we would look a bit more at the recent modeling in the PNAS paper of Bosch et al. We should say from the outset that we are hoping to write a reply to the paper but after discovering that PNAS will allow only 500 words and no images, we are thinking that it will have to be somewhere else!! In the meantime we think that it is important to discuss our thoughts now and that if there is a problem with a paper, people should know about it sooner rather than later. Some people will say why not wait, publish a response and go through peer review? Why write up something on a blog like this? Well, our feeling is that waiting months and months to submit to go through a review process is not good enough, especially since that review process is often so poor (as in the PNAS case, where we are told that 'a radiocarbon expert' was involved in the reviewing, but clearly did not know anything about modelling). There is a very interesting discussion at the moment over the merits of publishing online responses to papers where something is seriously wrong and which undermines the conclusions of the paper."