Inside science news

Phil Silvia

Crowd funding is becoming an important part of research outside the box. Scientists researching mainstream subjects have no trouble being bankrolled but scientists researching less popular subjects are usually frozen out of public funds. Phil Silvia is seeking backers for his research into the destruction of Sodom. The archaeologists think that Tall el-Hammam is Biblical Sodom but the very idea is disputed by others who consider the Sodom story a myth and completely fabrication. The research has the capability to disprove this negative view.

sequence stratigraphy

I'm not sure why sequence stratigraphy is being questioned but anything that challenges the neat layer cake method is worth taking note of. The link was sent in by Robert Farrar, http://crev.info/2016/03/is-geology-in-a-scientific-revolution/ .., and one can quickly answer the headline by saying, no. It is an intriguing head line and the suggestion is that a paradigm shift might be in the offing. Sequence stratigraphy is an important feature of geological theory - the time sequence of strata between nonconformities.

Oh Dear

At http://phys.org/print376299794.html ... oh dear, the patrollers of the mainstream view of all things have cast a disparaging eye on an article published in the online journal PLoS ONE by three Chinese scientists. It seems they referred to 'creator' - possibly a mistranslation for 'nature' - but the holier than thou, self righteousness reeking from their pores, have jumped loudly on the publishers and the article has been retracted. In another age these same people would have been bible thumpers - funny how things change.

atheism

Seems like some academics have discovered atheism might have been prevalent in the ancient world - particularly during the Greek and Roman classical era. Atheism is not a modern phenomenon we are told - see for example http://phys.org/print374828340.html .. so what is new?

funerals and science

There is an old saying that science only goes forward one funeral at a time. Senior scientists in a position of power over upstart theories are prone to shift ideas they do not like out to grass. Often they are rehabilitated following the retirement or funeral of the senior fellow. Its a nice theory and it seems some people have tried to test out the hypothesis - or the folklore (take your pick). The link was sent in by Brian Sherwood Jones and makes an interesting read - go to http://www.improbable.com/2015/12/14/does-science-really-advance-one-fun...

understanding the past 1

Recommended web site of an SIS member - www.thebookblog.co.uk

dairy good

Over at http://notrickszone.com/2015/10/18/now-dawning-on-the-washington-post-sc... ... Pierre Gosselin is on one of has favourite grouses, having a pop at dietary guru Ancel Keys (now long dead). He was apparently responsible (one of many) for demonising dairy products such as milk, eggs, butter and cheese etc. His views took the medical world by storm, as they say, and traditional breakfasts rich in animal fat went out of the window.

infighting

Blackbirds will stop other blackbirds from getting at a food source and they will expend a lot of energy doing this in order to prioritise their partner and offspring. Pigeons will often squabble at a bird table and infighting among all species is a common attribute - which humans indulge in all the time. At www.impact-structures.com 9th August, 2014, we have a post on exactly this kind of behaviour - between scientists promoting impact sites. Are they shooting themselves in the feet.

deft fingers

At http://phys.org/print352044807.html ... many living things can signal to electric fields, either moving or using them to detect prey or enemies. Weak electric fields may be important to growth and development and in wound healing.

At http://phys.org/print351935410.html ... satellites capture the birth of two volcanic islands.

At http://phys.org/print352023016.html ... the subject is potato blight, the scourge of farmers and gardeners. Wet and humid summer weather can bring about the blight - and attempts are being made to find resistance against the disease.

science hype

At www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2015/5/13/science-is-often-flawed.html ... is an interesting short piece on how science is too often venerated when it should be taken with a pinch of salt - on occasion. It is derived from a much longer article at www.vox.com/2015/5/13/8591837/how-science-is-broken ... but as the Bishop says, I don't suppose it is meant to apply to climate science. The leading comment includes.