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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5 May 2010
Mammoth Blood

The New York Times (at www.nytimes.com ) May 3rd (see also Science Daily and www.physorg.com ) all have a story about research on mammoths, claiming they have adapted to living in a cold environment. Scientists have managed to reconstruct mammoth hemoglabin. Mammoths originated in a tropical climate but diverged from elephants some 7 million years ago. They adapted to a cold environment by developing smaller ears, a thick coat of fur, and glands in their skin to keep the fur well oiled.

4 May 2010
The Jordan River

At www.physorg.com/print192044027.html May 2nd ... the Jordan river is nowadays little more that a polluted stream a few metres wide that is on the verge of drying up according to environmentalists. Although it is easy to say this is another example of the dripping effect of AGW alarmist stories it is not strictly climate change - but pollution. Mind, they do pull the correct strings as they use Christian pilgrims to milk the apocalyptic tenor of the alarmist preacher.

4 May 2010
Iron Age overlap with Bronze Age

Bene Israel: Studies in the Archaeology of Israel and the Levant during the Bronze and Iron ages, Leiden: 2008. This book is dedicated to Israel Finkelstein, archaeologist and teacher, and is a collection of 12 contributions from his former students. It concerns Bronze and Iron age chronology, stylistic pottery peculiarities, land use, resettlement distribution, the formation of states, and economies etc. From a brief look it is clear that some of his students do not agree with Finkelstein's chronology.

3 May 2010
Rainforest regeneration

Will Gosling of the Open University (talk at Aylesbury Museum) says recent research into past climate change in the Amazon basin via ancient pollen preserved in lake sediments, has shown that climate differed in the Ice Ages - and the rainforest was not as extensive as it is now. Pollen analysis also showed the extent of human impact on the rainforest in the 1000 years preceding Columbus - and it was considerable. There are distinct layers of charcoal in lake sediments which appear to denote human activity - as well as evidence humans worked soils (agriculture).

3 May 2010
Lizards on islands

At www.physorg.com/print191781096.html April 29th ... a genetic study of lizards isolated geographically on islands, sometimes for thousands of years, possibly even millions of years, do not appear to have evolved into separate species as demanded by conventional evolutional theory. They remained stubbornly like their predecessors. They were also capable of reproducing with similar species from elsewhere. However, the PLoS Genetics paper says that research was ongoing.

3 May 2010
Early Earth

At www.dailygalaxy.com April 30th it asks, 'Were Comets incubators of Life on Earth?'. The fact that life apeared soon after the termination of a long bombardment from space some 3.8 billion years ago suggests incoming comets and asteroids may have delivered the compounds necessary for life on earth to develop. However, the origin of life theory favoured by scientists depends on their field of speciality. Oceanographers like to think it began in a deep sea thermal vent, biochemists prefer a warm tidal pool, and astronomers looks towards comets.

3 May 2010
Electric Earthquakes

At http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/hardware/earthquake-alarm there is an article by Tom Bleier and Friedemann Freund but dates back to December 2005. It refers to the October 2005 Kashmir/Pakistan earthquake in which 70,000 people died and 3 million were left temporarily homeless - and asks, what happened in the weeks and days leading up to the EQ?

3 May 2010
Ancient Aurorae

At www.thunderbolts.info April 28th, 'Picture of the Day', ... 'Amun - an Ancient Aurora filled sky' by Gary Gilligan. He claims the Egyptian god Amun wears a crown that is the aurora - sacred colours that have been eroded or flaked away from stone monuments over the millennia. The parallel is of course with the bright tail feathers of the quetzal bird, cognate within the Mesoamerican god Quetzalcoatl. Such stone statues and monuments, even temples and buildings, were once colourful affairs.

3 May 2010
Nigel

At http://calderup.wordpress.com ... another wrinkly has set up a blog, Nigel Calder, a former editor of New Scientist and co-author with Henrik Svensmark of The Chilling Stars. He is too obviously a sceptic - and a welcome addition to a motley band of pensioners determined not to let the AGW frenzy run amok. He intends to embrace all kinds of science subjects so this is a site worth a regular visit. For example, he begins with a study on the way flocks of pigeons switch and change leaders - no single bird is dominant.

3 May 2010
The Science of Doom

At http://climateaudit.org May 3rd Steve McIntyre tells CA readers to look at the blog Science of Doom (see earlier posts on In the News for this interesting site) at http://scienceofdoom.com . It policy, as Steve notes, unlike that of Real Climate or Climate Progress and other sniffy pro AGW blogs, is not to criticise the heretics (or even pensioners) or use vacuous venom against sceptics, but it is committed to engaging with the general public.