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.
At http://news.ucsc.edu/2014/09/egyptian-mammals.html ... 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.
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.
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.
At http://phys.org/print325391913.html ... 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.
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.
Yes, it seems fire can rain out of the sky - that is what mythology appears to be saying - go to www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2014/07/02/burning-questions-2/ ... another exciting post by Rens Van Der Sluijs. The universality of myths involving fire raining out of the sky is remarkable. Was it actual fire - or great heat as in blast (an exploding bolide). The Egyptian goddess Sekhmet, a variation on Isis and Hathor, specifically caused fire to fall out of the sky - somewhat like the Indian goddess Kali.
Patrick McCafferty was a speaker at an SIS autumn meeting a few years ago - and came across as somebody to watch. It seems he has teamed up with Dallas Abbot over in the States and they have made a programme for the Smithsonian Channel, a documentary concerning the mysterious history of Ireland in the 6th century AD - go to http://cosmictusk.com/irish_history_myth_comet_asteroid_mccaffferty/
Dark matter meets catastrophism - courtesy of Harvard University researchers. At http://phys.org/print322123461.html ... a new theory is being aired and it involves a disc of dark matter at the heart of our galaxy - and presumably every galaxy. A group of Harvard researchers from the physics department have put forward a proposal, a gestating hypothesis, that began with the object that struck the Earth and wiped out three quarters of all species in the dinosaur era. It seeks an answer - where did this object originate.
At www.livescience.com/46312-popigai-crater-linked-eocene-mass-extinction.html .... this is one of those events normally attributed to climate change rather than catastrophism - mainly because joining up the dots between dating and geological chronology is riven with assumptions and elusions of accuracy. Climate did change towards the end of the Eocene - but is that a consequence rather than a cause?