Xine and Synaptic

So, I can finally go back to using Linux, but I’m having a problem with Xine. Somehow, the upgrade to FC4 caused Xine to go out of whack and when I try to reinstall it with Synaptic, I get an package error about xinelib.so.1 and something called libcurl.so.2 or whatever. I’m using the standard repositories, so perhaps it’s as simple as being directed to the right ones, but anyhow, if anyone has any ideas, let me know.

Falsibility and fraud

From New Scientist magazine, 3 December 2005:

America’s first footprints too old to be human

Silvia Gonzalez of Liverpool John Moores University, UK, surprised the world media in July at a Royal Society exhibition in London by suggesting that markings found in a layer of ancient volcanic ash near Puebla were 40,000-year-old footprints. This would mean that people arrived in the Americas at least 30,000 years earlier than previously thought.

But the markings are unlikely to have been made by humans after all, because new argon dating reveals the rocks are 1.3 million years old. The first humans did not evolve in Afirca until a million years later.

At least they had the honesty to say “unlikely”. But it’s a circular argument. Anthropology and geology claim to be sciences because they are falsifiable. How would one falsify the scientific theory that people arrived in the Americas only 10,000 years ago? Presumably by finding evidence that they had, such as footprints.

But when such evidence is found, it is declared irrelevant because it testifies that the extant theory is false. (It’s entirely possible that the markings aren’t footprints, of course, but it is illogical to argue that they cannot due solely to their violation of one’s theoretical assumptions.) Therefore, this is evidence that anthropology is not a science, for precisely the same reason that it can be argued that intelligent design is not a science, namely, it is not falsifiable.

As I mentioned before, I have a short story dealing with an archeologist who finds fossiles that prove dinosaurs and humans co-existed. I postulated that there would be great temptation, perhaps even external pressure, to destroy the evidence because it would overturn so many “scientific” theories. It seems that in this, too, reality may be capable of coopting fiction.