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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9 Mar 2011
Going back to Pygmy and Bushmen origins?

At www.bbc.co.uk/science-environment-12665643 we learn that 'modern humans' may have originated in southern Africa according to a genetic study and a paper in PNAS. It seems that hunter gatherer populations such as the Bushmen possess a greater degree of genetic diversity than, shall we say, Bantu subsistence farmers, or cattle raising and herd based cultures. Why is this novel? - it was being said years ago (see Jean-Pierre Hallet, Pygmy Kitabu, Souvenir Press:1974).

9 Mar 2011
Horus

Gary Gilligan's web site www.gks.uk.com/Horus-falcon-god/ has an update on the Egyptian god Horus - and he disassociates it from the Sun. Horus is generally depicted in the shape of a hawk, a sky god that presumably swooped downwards, and was attached to the idea of divine kingship - protector of the reigning pharaoh. He was apparently an  omnipresent sky god - but was sun-like rather than being the Sun. Even as the winged disk Horus was not the Sun, or Horus in the dual form of Re-Horakhty (Horus of the Horizon).

8 Mar 2011
Enceladus (heat from the Poles) and ET life in a meteorite

At www.jpl.nasa.gov/news March 7th ... heat from the south polar region of Saturn's moon Enceladus has been found to be much greater than previously deduced. The new information is derived from the Cassini spacecraft and has been written up in a paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research (March 4th, 2011). At the south Pole there are a number of linear fissures which seem to indicate the heat is internal - but this is guesswork.

8 Mar 2011
Aurignacian mystery?

At http://adhominin.com/index.php?id=9102845726448426623 ... most textbooks and internet sources such as Wikipedia or Britannica define the Aurignacians as the first Homo sapiens to enter Europe, appearing on the scene around 40,000 years ago. It is essentially a tool repertoire that is common to Europe and south west Asia.

5 Mar 2011
Pastoralists in Africa

Redefining the entry into North Africa by pastoralists from Asia, via Sinai, Mathilda (at http://mathildasanthropologyblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/15/eurasian-y-chromosome-R1b-in-africa/) we find they migrated there some 8000 years ago. In other words, in the window after the 6200-6000BC event, the most severe of the Holocene climate glitches. In all likelihood the migration was driven by that event and there is every reason to think the Sahara has the same Semitic root as Sarah.

4 Mar 2011
Sun Spots - mystery solved?

At www.physorg.com/print218294599.html (and see also http://wattsupwiththat.com March 3rd for the same story but with lots of comments). Scientists think they have solved how the Sun works - and have produced a computer model on its past performances. The real meat is yet to come - can they predict how the Sun will behave in the future?

4 Mar 2011
Orion in the Ice Age

Any subject such as this spawns all kinds of strange ideas and web sites. However, at http://mathildasanthropologyblog.wordpress.com/2008/05/06/stone-age-star-chart-of-orion/ the subject is dealt with in a sober manner, and the story is all about a small piece of mammoth ivory found in the Ach Valley of Germany and dating back over 30,000 years ago.

4 Mar 2011
Proto-semitic languages

Another interesting article I picked up from Mathilda (see http://mathildasanthropologyblog/2010/05/16/bayesian-phylogenetic-analysing-of-semitic-languages-identifies-an-early-bronze-age-origin-of-semitic-in-the-near-east/ which may also interest SIS members - who were the semites and where did they come from?

3 Mar 2011
New Paper - Arctic Sea Ice Rebounds

At www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110204092149.htm ... a paper in Geophysical Research Letters 2011: 38 claims that recovery mechanisms of Arctic summer sea ice shows that no tipping point is likely to exist as far as the loss of Arctic sea ice is concerned. In the summer it melts by varying amounts, sometimes more and sometimes less. However, each winter the sea ice recovers - and always will.

3 Mar 2011
Fish - builders of the chalk?

A joint UK/US study of ocean sediments off the coast of the Bahamas has come up with some surprising facts. See www.physorg.com/print218289668.html .. published by the PNAS it says that fish are responsible for a lot of the fined grained carbonite in sea bottom sediments, particularly in shallow sea situations. Until now it was thought they were derived primarily from sea-water absorbing C02 or the breakdown of the skeletons of tiny marine invertebrae and algae.