Inside science news

Lynn Rose and Halton Arp

Lynn Rose and Bob Bass have recently died and now we have news that Halton Arp has also passed away. At the ... there is a short biography of his career. He was a professional astronomer and worked with Edwin Hubble, winning a couple of awards. He was a staff astronomer at Mt Palomar and Mt Wilson observatories for some 28 years and produced a catalogue of 'Peculiar Galaxies'. He found that quasars may not be all they are cracked up to be.

The collective mind and the shuffling of feet

Velikovsky's 'Mankind in Amnesia' claimed that humans shut out facts they are not happy to dwell on and when it came to catastrophic events that involved large numbers of people being killed there was a kind of collective amnesia that set in, a desire not to court the nightmare of a world in upheaval.

Closed Minds

The power of closed minds is illustrated in a post at    ... The consensus theory for a long time was that Clovis culture people were the first group of humans to enter the Americas, colonising the continent by using the Bering Land Bridge at the end of the Ice Age. This consensus was so strong that even when evidence to the contrary was dug out of the ground the archaeological establishment and history academics of the mainstream simply disbelieved it.

Queering the Debate

At ... we have a piece on sea floor methane hydrates, a potential energy source - but also a potential source of global warming (if released as a result of rising sea temperatures, or used as a fossil fuel source). At the same time microbes are eating the methane - and apparently it involves a microbial tungsten enzyme that thrives in low temperature eco systems (such as the bottom of the oceans). The study appear in Environmental Microbiology. The microbes excrete carbon dioxide and this reacts with water to form calcium carbonate.

Fodder and the Flock

At ... Steve McIntyre illustrates how the climate scientists assembling the IPCC report go out of their way to revise items they see as 'fodder to the sceptics' (in their words). In this instance, he illustrates the absence of one particular graph, SOD figure 1.5 which has been used in the two previous reports but was considered too near the nuckle to use in the most recent offering from the priesthood. Neither do they think there is anything wrong in removing data that might be embarrassing.

Dowsing and Chemtrails

At ... is a bit on the light side and not at the cutting edge of science. Dowsers are of course regularly accused of being pseudo- scientific, a bunch of frauds, and magicians akin to witchdoctors. Doug Proctor is a geologist by profession - and a dowser. He can locate water pipes and underground streams and aquifers with a rod or a piece of hazel.

Having fun with geologists

This is a bit of a slapstick posting by Tim Cullen at ... but sometimes funny haha can be close to the knuckle. He looks disparagingly at standard geology and various things geological such as the Ice Ages, interglacials, morainnes and drumlins - and periglacial lakes (formed by ice dams during the retreat of melting glaciers). Is it  all its is cracked up to be - or a bit of a craich?

Peer review in investigative archaeology?

The monthly magazine, British Archaeology, May 2013, has an interesting editorial by archaeologist Mike Pitts (he also has a website - see and It concerned the discovery of Richard III duirng the excavation of a medieval friary in Leicester - and digging up a car park. He wondered why it excited the general public. However, that question might be somewhat ambiguous as it was the likes of the BBC and other media sources that popularised the story by making such a song and dance about it.

Charles Fort

In Fortean Times (FT302) June 2013 ... Bob Rickard reports on the TED affair, the furore that developed around Rupert Sheldrake and Graham Hancock, saying that such activity by scientists, in the past, had sharpened the barbs of Charles Fort's wit. His particular target of ridicule had been those scientists and pundits that sought autocratically to suppress evidence, data, or discussion, for the sole reason they personally disagreed with what was being said.

The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse

Another new book. French intellectual and philosopher Pascal Bruckner, The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse - see the review at