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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8 Feb 2019
Panama Geology Again

Loks like a case of a dog with a bone. At ... mainstream don't seem to want to abandon their cherished views on North America crashing into South America - but some geologists are being stubborn. This is another story about the isthmus of Panama. How did it come into being. In a study in Scientific Reports we are told that not only were tectonic process involved but volcanoes also played a significant role. Mainstream opinion is that it formed 2.8 million years ago as the Caribbean plate bumped into the South American plate.

4 Feb 2019
Does Dark Matter exist

William sent in this link to ... dark matter may not actually exist. There is an alternative theory and it can be tested, we are told. Dark matter is theoretical. It is required to account for the fact that galaxies do not seem to obey the laws of physics as currently understood. The alternative theory seeks to explain the behaviour of galaxies - by tweaking the role of gravity. The study is published in the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticles Physics.

1 Feb 2019
Ultra Luminous

Japanese astronomers have discovered an 'ultra luminous' (in infra red) galaxy in a search of optically faint objects. It exhibits a strong ionised gas flow, it is said, which is an interesting observation. The details are available in a paper at the open access forum arXiv - go to ... and see also ... where we learn the team is led by Xiayang Chen (at Tohoku University).

1 Feb 2019
Polar Vortex

What is the polar vortex and how does it influence the weather? Go to ... the polar vortex is a term that has eagerly been taken up by the media - and by numerous people who know little about climate. Is it fake news? The term is used in the literature to explain two different features of atmospheric circulation - one in the troposphere and the other, in the stratosphere. This has caused what we might call a little confusion - and hot air.

1 Feb 2019
Archaic Human Spread

At ... humans colonised diverse environments in SE Asia and Oceania during the Late Pleistocene. This is just a news release but the actual article should be worth getting hold of. Do we have evidence of humans active in the region during the last Ice Age, and in particular, during the Late Glacial Maximum. What was the vegetation like - and what evidence of migrations have been found.

28 Jan 2019
Ancient Javelins

The Daily Telegraph of 26th January (2019) had a piece by Henry Balkin on Neanderthal spear throwing prowess. As the science correspondent he was citing an article in Science Reports (January 2019). For years, anthropologists and archaeologists, and just about everybody has been of the opinion that Neanderthals were a sixpence short of a shilling (or a dime short of a dollar). However, once scientists had begun to investigate them more completely views have begun to change. They were little different to modern humans in many ways.

28 Jan 2019
Veins of Gold

At ... earthquakes make veins of gold in an instant. Pressure changes can cause precious metals to form when the crust moves. Geologists have long known veins of gold are formed by mineral deposition from hot fluids flowing through cracks deep below the surfacve. A study in Nature Geoscience has found the process can occur virtually in an instant - even within a fraction of a second.

28 Jan 2019
Moon Rock

William sent in the link to ... Earth's oldest known rock has been found - on the Moon. The story is also at ... a rock found on the Moon, it has been shown, may have originated on the Earth. We are talking about a very small rock sample - examined minutely by scientists. It is just 1.8 grammes. It has a minerology similar to granite but this is thought to be rare on the Moon - so it must have originated elsewhere (and the Earth is closest).

28 Jan 2019
Fusion development

At ... fusion has just had a boost. Researchers at the US Dept of Energy (Princetown Plasma Research Laboratory) and the University of Washington, have devleoped a proto type device to control runaway plasma - or fusion reactions. An electro magnetic particle injector. It is a sort of nail gun we are told, that is able to fire high velocity projectiles from a pair of electrified rails into a plasma on the verge of disruption. It releases material into the centre of the plasma that radiates or spreads outwards.

27 Jan 2019

At ... a new book, 'Revealing Greater Cahokia, North America's First Native City' which says it had a population between 10 and 30,000 between 1050 and 1200AD (its hey day). Temples, cemeteries, an assortment of houses, storage buildings, mounds and monuments in and around what it is now St Louis and East St Louis. This is the product of a long archaeological investigation in a little known part of Cahokia. It's demise came around 1300AD, during a period of climate change (in Europe as well as in America) and conflict.