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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24 Jul 2019
Duck billed dinosaur

At ... a strange looking dinosaur but apparently a fairly common herbivore. It has a nose suitable for shovelling that resembles that of an eagle - but is described as duck billed. In other words it had what looks like an ornamental head that probably evolved for a specific way of feeding - an arched nasal crest. It is said to be a primitive form of hadrosaurid and yet dates to the middle Cretaceous (fairly late in the dinosaur era). It was a herbovore and they were common - providing meals for the big predators.

22 Jul 2019
3D Quantum Spin

At ... apparently, there is no way to prove that a three dimensional 'quantum spin liquid' exists. Physicists have come up with another way to persuade their fellows of such a discovery - single crystals of cerium zirconium pyrochlore that contained the right kind of stuff to qualify as the first 3D version of the long sought after state of matter.

19 Jul 2019
Expansion of the Universe

At ... we have mysterious radio bursts - first discovered in 2007. Since then 100 or so have been announced - fast and bright flashes of radio waves issuing from space. What they are has yet to be determined.

19 Jul 2019
Bottomonium Particles

One for the birds. At ... a few millionths of a second after Big Bang the universe was so dense and hot that quarks and gluons (that make up protons, neutrons and other hadrons) existed freely in what is known as the quark-gluon plasma. All hypothetical of course. Apparently, they aim to recreate this situation at the Large Hadron Collider (and some early results are said to be promising) via high energy collisions of heavy ions of lead.

17 Jul 2019
SE Asia Humans

At ... SE Asia was crowded with archaic human groups long before modern humans turned up - going back 50,000+ years ago. This is according to a new study in PNAS. The theory is now that the ancestors of modern humans living in the area met and genetically mixed with the various archaic groups by reason they have left behind a small genetic signature. We may note the smallness of that signature is convenient as it allows the Out of Africa mantra to be defended.

16 Jul 2019
Sanctuary at Naxos

This story is at Anne-Marie de Grazia's web site - go to ... an uninhabited island 10km from Naxos in the Aegean has a 4600 structure that is likened by archaeologists to a sanctuary. Quite what that might mean in real life is one of those imponderables as sacntuary and ritual are often used when people don't really know what the function of something might be.

14 Jul 2019
Maltese Temples

At ... the temple culture on Malta began nearly 6000 years ago (roughly 4000BC). This includes the famous Ggantija temple complex - which endured down to 2350BC. Professor Caroline Malone of Queens University in Belfast wanted to understand how the island ecology was able to sustain so many people over a long period of time - and why in the end it failed. Scientists drilled earth cores from 8 to 30m in depth, dating the sediments extracted by C14 methodology.

14 Jul 2019
Hayabasa2 Probe

At .... and ... the Japanese Hayabasa 2 space probe made a 'perfect' touchdown on asteroid Ryugu and has collected samples from beneath the surface for laboratory analysis. An incredible technological feat but we shall have to wait for the results of the analyses.

14 Jul 2019
What is a modern human?

What is a modern human? Does it depend on the cranium - and the old idea skull shape is the primary arbitrator. At ... lately we have had early modern humans turn up in Ethiopia, the Levant, and Morocco. Now we have one in Greece - dating back 200,000 years ago. This is said to be the first example of a modern human outside of Africa. The strange thing is that the modern human skull is dated prior to another skull, at 170,000 years ago, and that one belongs to a Neanderthal.

14 Jul 2019
Amino Acids and Enzymes

At ... peptides, which are a chain of amino acids, are an essential element of all life on Earth. They form the fabric of proteins which serve as a catalyst for biological processes. However, it is thought they require enzymes to control their formation from amino acids. This is described as a chicken and egg problem - how did the original enzymes come into being.