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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4 Sep 2010
Dancing Electrons

At a report on a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science that was prompted by physicists who struggled to understand the dance between electrons that create magnetic fields. A new model was formulated to learn more about quantum quirks of high temperature super conductors that has apparently had the side effect on the understanding of ferromagnetism.

4 Sep 2010
Life on Mars (?)

At we have a report that seems to suggest that NASAs Viking Mars Lander mission in 1976 may actually have examined soil that contained carbon based building blocks of life. Organics and perchlorate may have been present in the soil  although it is quite possible the organics had an origin in meteorites - and the ability of perchlorate to break down organic material was not realised at the time.

4 Sep 2010
Mass Extinctions and Evolution

Again, at this story is a repeat - but worth repeating. A reappraisal of the fossil record, it is thought, reveals that global mass extinction events are not actually short term diversions along life's uniformitarian course but such events send life careering down wholly new avenues.

4 Sep 2010
A coral reef is evidence of an extremely rapid change in sea levels during the Holocene

At there is a story on a relic coral reef 600km off SE Australia - 20 times bigger than the modern coral reef nearby. It thrived between 9000-7000 years ago - or that is when it was submerged and now lies 20+m below the sea surface.

3 Sep 2010
Near Earth Update - NASA report

This story from NASA (see September 2nd) has popped up all over the blogosphere, with various angles to the headlines. NASAs Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed  a lot of new information about near earth objects orbiting in near space - mainly asteroids, or defunct comets. However, the composition of these bodies turns out to be highly varied. Some are dark and dull and others shiny and bright (the Astronomical Journal September issue).

3 Sep 2010
Another city under the sea

At September 2nd ... BP aims to drill some exploratory oil wells off the Libyan coast and this has alarmed French archaeologists who are worried about some ancient sites that exist below and at sea level in what was once Cyrenaica and Tripolitania in the Classical period - quite apart from anything that may date from before the Grreks and Romans. For example, the ancient town and harbour of Apollonia is now submerged, under 5m of water.

2 Sep 2010
... and after the diamonds we have red rain ...

At - an interesting post sent in by Gary Gilligan that moves seamlessly into juxtaposition  to the extraterrestrial impact debate - and red rain clearly has analogies with the Biblical Exodus event which was decyphered by Velikovsky as derived from a comet passing relatively close to the earth. The authors of the paper, Rajkumar Gangappa (University of Glamorgan), Chandra Wickramasinghe (Cardiff University), Milton Wainwright (Sheffield University), S.

2 Sep 2010
.. and a red comet ...

There is an image of a red comet at September 1st, being Comet Sidling Spring, which is named after the Australian observatory where it was first seen in 2007. It was visible in binoculars until January of this year (2010) and the post goes on to describe the idea of panspermia - the seeding of life by comets. Life on earth seems to have appeared soon after the termination of a massive bombardment event at around 3.8 billion years ago (so it is said).

2 Sep 2010

Associated Press September Ist ... archaeologists have found an Iron Age temple in Jordan believed to date back to the Kingdom of Moab. Figurines and clay vessels have been found but the nature of the rituals has yet to be defined. The interest in the site will arise when evidence of contact with the outside world is found - Assyria, Egypt, the Babylonians etc. It seems Moab was primarily located laong the spine of mountains and hills on the eastern side of the Dead Sea - not far from modern Amman (which presumably has a link with ancient Ammon).

2 Sep 2010
Bronze Age surgeons

New Scientist 2775 August 31st ... the discovery of what looks like a scalpel at an Early Bronze Age settlement at Ikiztepe in Anatolia (dating between 3200-2100BC). The site consisted of single storey houses made of logs of wood with a courtyard and oven in front. The scalpels are thought to have been used for surgery rather than ritual as some skeletons found in a graveyard exhibit evidence of skulls being cut open as if with a surgical instrument.