Catastrophism news

Mesolithic star gazers

We have had cave artists from the Palaeolithic era (during the Ice Age) obsessed with the Pleiades and the Hyades. Now we have evidence of early Holocene interest in the sky - go to ... a site in Pomerania dating back 9000 years or so, in effect a series of huts that have been preserved intact with their contents, is being excavated. One of the huts is thought to have belonged to a shaman as so called ritual objects were found there - including a meteorite..

The Gulf Stream in the Ice Age

At ... an article in the journal Geology claims the Gulf Stream still flowed into the Nordic seas during the coldest parts of the Ice Age. Is this possible?

The nanodiamond debate

At ... which is a reference to the recent Younger Dryas event. The same story is at ... where the first comments become somewhat heated. However, the very first comment is somewhat reflective in that it says that if you ignore the Younger Dryas event the warming after the Ice Age is a straight line right into the Holocene (at 11,500 years ago).

On a Plait

George Howard takes another pop at Phil Plait and his 'consensus science rules' blog after he had a go at Chandra Wickramasinghe and the theory of Panspermia. George considers Panspermia to be a friendly cousin of neo-catastrophism and worthy of defence on the same grounds. Both subjects endure a lot of criticism, especially by people such as Plait who instinctively disapprove and oppose new ideas as if it is an affront on them personally rather than a different way of looking at things, in the spirit of science.

Climatic blips from Egypt

At ... a paper in PNAS (Sept 8th 2014) sets out to assemble a record of large mammals living in the Nile Valley - over the last 6000 years. Therefore it doesn't seek to catalogue the fauna of the early Holocene when the Sahara was a much wetter environment. The arid climate appears to have set in as a result of a series of step changes - periods of very dry climate that correspond with low growth tree ring events.

New paper on the Younger Dryas

I was sure there had been a pre-publication version of this paper in the Journal of Geology but I can't find it now. Another paper on the Younger Dryas event just emphasizes the insistence of the YDB team in keeping their theory afloat - in spite of a series of critical papers that have attempted to debunk the claims.

Aurochs in Mesolithic Britain

Bones of aurochs have been found in plentiful quantities at Blick Mead (as reported a couple of weeks ago). This site was used for a long time, over 3000 years, and it seems that periodically, possibly at certain points in the calendar, aurochs were hunted down on Salisbury Plain and brought to what is now Vespasians Camp, cooked and eaten - in a grand communal feast. This may have a connection with ancient representations of the bull that go way back into the Palaeolithic period, surviving into the modern European world with such folklore and games as bull fights.

Thousands of Late Pleistocene animals in a deep cave in Wyoming

At ... how did they all get there is the big question. The bones of tens of thousands of animals are piled at the bottom of what is a sinkhole rather than just a cave. Did they fall down into the abyss accidentally or were they chasing another animal, looking for a meal - or were they washed inside by a great wave of water.

The Battle of Clontarf, 1014AD

1014AD is marked by a large ammonium spike (Mike Baillie, New Light on the Black Death) and in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a huge sea flood was responsible for killing many people in England. The latter occurred on September 28th of 1014 - and the Viking colony of Dublin appears to have largely been abandoned in the same year. Now, it would be nice to link the sea flood with the Viking abandonment of Leinster - but according to tradition, Brian Boru, High King of Christian Ireland, defeated the Vikings in April of 1014 - and the survivors fled.