In The News

Welcome to our "In the News" page, featuring summaries of Internet news, relevant to Catastrophism and Ancient History.

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11 Apr 2014
La Brea tar pit fossils

At www.sciencenews.org/article/la-brea-tar-pits-yield-exquisite-ice-age-bees ... the image below (at the same link) is of the pupae of a bee (comparing a real life version with the fossilised one). The species still lives in the modern world - but the fossil pupae dates from 35,000 to 40,000 years ago. The presence of bees in the tar pit suggests nearby woodland and river

banks with pollen rich wild flowers or blossom in a fairly cool and moiste climate.

10 Apr 2014
speak of the devil ...

Speak of the devil. I mentioned Neanderthal DNA research two days ago and the very next day spied this story at http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/new-method-confirms... ... Technical objections to the idea Neanderthals interbred with the ancestors of EuroAsians have been overcome thanks to a genome analysis method described in the April 2014 issue of the journal Genetics. The research is ongoing and already thee are two camps in the debate.

10 Apr 2014
Cambrian Surprises

No - not a shindig in Wales but a reference to Cambrian fossils at www.livescience.com/44654-first-fossil-blood-vessel-arthropod.html .... where it has been found that creatures living 520 million years ago had a sophisticated heart and blood vessel system similar to lobsters and other creatures in the modern world. The remarkable fossils come from a site in Yunnan Province in China which preserved intact the blood vessel system.

10 Apr 2014
Galaxies powered by black holes

That is the inference in a story at www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2014/04/young-galaxies-powered-by-massive-... .... and opens with the statement, all matter of fact, 'quasars- are young galaxies powered by massive black holes, extremely bright, extremely distant, and highly red shifted ...'

10 Apr 2014
Feeding a hungry world in the future

Most ethanol produced uses high temperature fermentation to chemically convert corn, sugar cane, palm oil or any suitable plant material into liquid fuel. A new technique has been developed at Stanford University and requires no fermentation - and little raw material from the plant world - see http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/09/making-ethanol-without-the-need-to... ... which must be a good thing in the long run. At the moment it is a lab based experiment - will it be efficient in practise?

10 Apr 2014
The first population explosion

At http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/03012014/article/the-first-great-hu... ... genetic studies, we are told, indicate Palaeolithic people grew in huge numbers between 80,000 and 60,000 years ago. Why this should have happened is not clear - but the idea of growing numbers of people at around that time is very convenient for the Out of Africa theory (and therefore should be treated with a bit of caution).

8 Apr 2014
Humans in South America

At www.nytimes.com/2014/03/28/world/americas/discoveries-challenge-beliefs-... ... which is a piece on discoveries at Serra da Capuara National Park in Brazil (in the NE of the country). Rock art depicts people and animals in various activities - paintings numbered in their thousands. When excavations began, in a rock shelter associated with rock art, they unearthed stone tools going back 22,000 years ago.

8 Apr 2014
Wet and Green in Arabia

At www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2014/140403_1.html ... a team led by the University of Oxford in collaboration with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities has discovered a giant tusk from an extinct elephant - out in the desert. The species is known as Palaeoloxoden and was twice the size of modern elephants - but most Pleistocene animals were much larger than their Holocene descendants. It has been dated 325,000 years ago (by the geology in which it was found).

8 Apr 2014
More on Mercury as a newer member of the solar system

The original research has now reached the pages of New Scientist - go to www.newscientist.com/article/dn25372-volcanic-blasts-hint-that-mercury-i... ... although they aren't calling it a loose canon, or an exo-planet  that has been captured by the solar system, astronomers are thinking in terms of Mercury migrating from elsewhere in the solar system - the how and why is not mentioned. Volcanic blasts have rocked Mercury over a long period of time which seems to contradict the consensus view on the formation of the solar system.

8 Apr 2014
Ptolemy and Astrology

For those interested in Ptolemy and the origins of astronomy, or just astrology, one might be interested in the post at http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/astrology-the-aesthetic-and-th...