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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30 Apr 2017
Homo Naledi

It seems Homo naledi remains may be much younger than previously assumed. Much as in very much. Instead of a couple of million years they have been dated to 300,000 years ago - and potentially less than that. This is a significant number to revise the remains as it means the survival of a primitive hominid into the time of the Neanderthals and Denisovans, and the emergence of modern humans in other parts of Africa. Hominid remains are once again throwing a stick in the spokes of the evolutionary tree of humanity.

30 Apr 2017
Burning Houses

At https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/can-houses-die-iro... ... From the Bronze Age to the Viking Age, roughly a period of almost 3000 years, burial mounds were sometimes placed on top of the remains of burnt long houses. It was a way of getting rid of a house that had grown old and weary, and sometimes internal posts that supported the roof were removed for re-use elsewhere, but generally, it was an act of closure. Why was fire involved - and why was the same period associated with a rise in cremation as a means of disposing of bodies?

27 Apr 2017
Americans

At https://phys.org/print412432801.html ... we learn that humans were in the Americas 115,000 years earlier than thought. This is roughly during the last interglacial episode. Where was the equator? Mastodon bones found in southern California are the key. Teeth and bones of mastodon appear to have been modified by human hands - code for being whacked with a big stone (known as a hammer stone). Hammer stones were found at the site, it is alleged, and an anvil (code for a much bigger stone on which the bones were propped before giving a good bashing).

26 Apr 2017
Otzi Froze

We already know that Otzi the iceman froze as he was engulfed in an Alpine mountain glacier - but at www.sciencenews.org/article/otzi-iceman-froze-death ... tells us that this was the main reason why he died, rather than from an arrow wound in his shoulder. It seemed he probably suffered just minor blood loss from the wound and succumbed to exposure. Freezing was the main cause of death.

26 Apr 2017
Bayesian Maths

The Conversation is a news journal well known for publishing gobbledegook articles. It also publishes incisive articles too. I'm not sure what bracket this one goes under - go to https://phys.org/print412240382.html. It seems to be an argument in favour of modelling over common sense. It also seems to criticise science prior to the modern era, even perhaps prior to the 21st century AD. We can see why Bayesian methodology has been used in dating archaeological event as it averages out a raft of C14 dates and settles on particular date.

26 Apr 2017
Hobbit again

It's only a few days but the claim the Hobbit was a remote human ancestor related to Homo habilus is being questioned already - at The Conversation (see https://phys.org/print412232632.html ). The author of the piece likens the Hobbit debate as an ongoing soap opera - never ending quarrels and claims. However, the author, an anthropologist, provides us with some useful information, and the first point to bear in mind is that there is a lack of bones to actually analyse.

26 Apr 2017
Sun's magnetic field

At www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2017/04/new-nasa-discovery-our-sun-and-pla... ... (and see also https://phys.org/print412251784.html ) which informs us that new data from the Cassini mission and beamed back by Voyager spacecraft and NASAs Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX). This indicates the Sun and the solar system are surrounded by a giant 'round' magnetic field. This new discovery calls into question the rpevious view of the solar magnetic field trailing behind the Sun with an elongated, comet like, tail. 

26 Apr 2017
Screaming Clouds

At www.q-mag.org/meteorologists-explain-the-scream.html (see also https://phys.org/print412243519.html ) ... we have a post on Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, and a new interpretation of what it was he actually painted on his canvas. He has posed a mystery to the art world - and made it worse by what he said at the time (which is quoted at the link). Subsequently, various theories have been aired - what was it all about? He depicted a sky filled with blood like clouds and spoke about it feeling like the whole of nature was screaming.

26 Apr 2017
ITCZ Shifting

At https://phys.org/print412240216.html ... it seems HH Lamb is haunting climate science again. At this link we are told the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) can shift, and has done throughout history. The ITCZ is a band of tropical rain. It changes its position in response to the path of the Sun, following its zenith. This determines wet and dry periods in the tropics and sub tropics over the full year. It also affects the monsoon rains over SE Asia and central America.

24 Apr 2017
Poley Bears

Poley Bears is more cuddly than your average polar bears which aren't averse to hunting humans when they feel peckish. A new post at https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/04/23/sea-ice-off-newfoundland-thickest... ... is a guest post by Dr Susan Crockford, a polar bear scientist. It is almost word for word for the same story at https://polarbearscience.com and is written by the same author. She has consistently claimed that polar bears are not under threat and their numbers are in fact increasing.