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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12 Feb 2010
Darwin

New Scientist (online version) January 26th ... an article speculates that Darwin's ideas were only a part of the story of evolution. Darwin's explanation may apply only to recent history of life on earth whereas in the deep history of the earth evolution may have differed in some respects. At the root of the idea is overwhelming evidence for horizontal gene transfer - in which organisms aquire genetic material horizontally from other organisms around them rather than vertically from their parents or ancestors.

11 Feb 2010
Roots

Science News at www.sciencenews.org/view/generic.id/56213 has a story that pops up on other sites and blogs such as http://scienceblogs.com/notrocketscience about people migrating from NE Asia to North America at various times during the Holocene. The story is about an intrusion that passed all the way across Alaska and northern Canada and ended in Greenland.

10 Feb 2010
Climate Tidbits

Science Daily January 2nd ... it is now being claimed Swiss glaciers were melting faster than modern times as recently as the 1930s/1940s warming phase. A couple of years ago Jim Hansen was forced to admit that 1934 was warmer, or as warm as 1998. Three years in the 1930s were as warm as current temperatures (see http://climateaudit.wordpress.com archive for story) but this was confined to the US - i.e. it was GISS data that was found to be faulty and for some reason it never went further than that.

9 Feb 2010
Smoke and Fire

Science Daily ... a paper in Journal of Natural Products claims fire and smoke play a significant role in the rebirth and regeneration of forest and grassland. Smoke seems to affect and promote the germination of seeds of many species following landscape fires. A chemical component in smoke produced from burning plant material has been isolated - and is responsible for the rapid growth that takes place after fires.

9 Feb 2010
Stonehenge Hedge

The Guardian February 4th ... Stonehenge is revealing more secrets. Archaeologists have uncovered evidence of the Great Stonehenge Hedge. Apparently, around 2000BC (a date that may be revised after further investigation) the henge was surrounded by two circular hedges planted on low concentric banks. They are being interpreted by some archaeological commentators as screens to shield secret ceremonies carried out by an elite of priests - but that might just be another conspiracy theory.

9 Feb 2010
Semi-conductors

www.phyorg.com February 5th ... research on semi-conductors caught in the act electrons forming complex patterns, resembling those seen in turbulent fluids. This is said to confirm long held convictions and provides fresh knowledge that might be used as a means to turn semi-conductors into magnets.

9 Feb 2010
Big Heads

http://discovermagazine.com December 28th 2009 ... the cranial capacity of Boskop skulls found in South Africa in the early 20th century are the subject of this article (see archives). The brains of these people was apparently more than a quarter the size of modern brains. In addition, it was found Boskop people had small childlike faces - somewhat like ET (and the popular image of aliens). This is known as pedomorphosis, the retention of juvenile features into adulthood, a phenomenon usually associated with rapid evolutionary change.

9 Feb 2010
Punt

The Boston Globe (online version), January 11th ... the discovery publicised a couple of years ago of the find in a cave at the mouth of the Wadi Gawasis on the Red Sea coast of pharaonic sea-going boats has been followed in December 2009 by an update of the archaeology. A storeroom containing ship's parts, jugs, trenchers, lines and hieroglyphic records has been investigated.

9 Feb 2010
Extra-terrestrial geology from several sources

http://atlas-conferences.com/c/a/j/i/26.htm claims that cosmic activity has been detected in raised bogs in NW Europe and in Siberia (at Tunguska). These traces appear to correspond to episodes of rapid climate change in the Middle and Late Holocene. Lars Franzen of the Earth Sciences Centre at Goteburg in Sweden says raised bogs are an archive of atmospheric deposition in peat over the last 10,000 years (the end of the Younger Dryas Event).

9 Feb 2010
Current Archaeology 239 February 2010

Several items are worth repeating to the wider world. The Clovis culture people are blamed for the extinction of mammoths in North America according to the overkill hypothesis. Research has now shown the mammoth population fell sharply towards the end of the Ice Age and before the Clovis people - though mammoths, in smaller numbers, did continue to exist until the Younger Dryas Event.