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It is stated in the article (as at 1 Jan 2007) that "Some scientists claim that the Finke River is the oldest river of the world", clearly taken from the quote that follows. However, while scientists (like Vic Baker) have said that this river is very old, I very much doubt that any scientist has ever said in the published scientific literature that the Finke River is the oldest river in the world. I grew up on the banks of the Finke River and am now a geologist, and have read most of the geological literature on the area, but I have never seen this stated in the professional scientific literature. However, it has been a popular tour bus driver story since as long as I can remember, and most locals assume it is scientific fact (something said often enough has a habit of becoming "fact"). Can anyone cite a credible reference? I'm planning to modify the article to reflect what I believe are the verifiable facts, though I think it's important to retain a mention to the oldest river myth because it is so widely known are believed.
PeterWH 13:02, 1 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK, the rewrite is done with the best references I could find. If anyone finds the ultimate source of the 'oldest river' claim, I'd love to know. PeterWH 16:00, 9 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Peter's point (that the Finke is unlikely to be the world's oldest river) may be correct, but the edit has two problems. The first is that it is original (unreferenced) research, which wikipedia is not supposed to contain. The second is that the argument is flawed. The Todd and other rivers nearby may be as old, but there is no obvious evidence of this - no clear incised meanders. And more generally, a river isn't necessarily old just because the mountain range it traverses is old, so the existence of older mountain ranges is irrelevant. What is required is evidence that the river is older than the mountain range. I would suggest that the article should instead simply state that the river is very old (which is clearly true and supported by the references) and that locals claim that it is the oldest in the world - which is also clearly true (that the locals claim this, not that it actually is) and supported by the references. Written that way, it will cast sufficient doubt that any sensible reader will recognise the obvious unlikelihood that anyone has the means to go off and date the age of every river in the world. 188.8.131.52 16:19, 10 January 2015 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) Reply[reply]