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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14 Oct 2010
Asteroid Phaethon

Asteroid 3200 Phaethon sometimes acts just like a comet - it light up the night sky with meteor showers. However, most of the time it behaves like an asteroid - a piece of rock orbiting in space. University of Central Florida (see October 13th ... scientists have been doing a bit of telescope gazing and a spot of mathematical modelling and they think they have found significant similarities between it and another asteroid, a big one in the asteroid belt, orbiting between Mars and Jupiter. This one is known as Pallas.

13 Oct 2010
Oscillating Sea Levels

At is a report going back to March 2000 on the study of fossil tube worm holes that have been C14 dated (in Australia) and they show that, for example, around 2000BC, sea levels were some 2m higher than modern ones. Indeed, sea levels appear to have risen and fallen on a number of occasions in the last 6000 years. Similar evidence to support the research came from South Africa, Brazil, South Carolina, and New Caledonia.

13 Oct 2010
Bronze Age Caucasus

High in the Caucasus Mountains of Russia a previously unknown Bronze Age civilisation has been discovered - dating back to the 16th and 14th centuries BC. The sites are spread over 60 miles between the Kuban River and Nalchik in the east (see - and it is probably connected to the Kuban civilisation which was discovered over a hundred years ago - but slightly later in date.

12 Oct 2010
Black Death

At ... scientists in Germany have examined the skeletons of plague victims, testing their DNA and analysing protein, and they say they have proved the Black Death was caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis which occurs as pathogens. Skeletons of plague victims were examined in England, France, Germany, Italy and Holland. The next goal is to find the exact route of transmission - how did it get here.

9 Oct 2010
Update on the Sun from yesterday

At Nigel Calder has a post on the Nature paper (see yesterday) about the Sun - and he is like a lot of other commenters, critical of the paper. As co-author, with Henrik Svensmark, of the Chilling Stars, he makes the point the author of the paper has never gone along with the Svensmark hypothesis concerning cosmic rays governing low cloud cover, and has refused to focus on ultra-violet light from the Sun, which does vary more than visible light.

9 Oct 2010
Submerged lands off the coast of Wales

At September 25th ... archaeologists are looking for evidence of the prehistoric past - under the water off the coast of Wales. Dry stone walling and willow fencing has been discovered on the seabed - these features are still common on Welsh hills today. Fossil forests and the discovery of drowned peat bogs have surfaced over the years and it is thought they were submerged around 6000 years ago, environmental archaeologists suggest.

9 Oct 2010
A Colliding Moon

BBC News October 6th ... Saturn's rings may have formed when a large moon with an icy mantle and rocky core spiralled into Saturn in a catastrophic encounter (many moons ago). The theory is an attempt to explain the mainly water ice composition of the rings, some 90 per cent or more. The rest is made of dust - from micro-meteoroids.

8 Oct 2010
Low Sun activity does not diminish warming effects - so it would seem

At ... a paper in Nature shows that recent low activity on the surface of the Sun does not correlate with cooling. In fact, the amount of visible light reaching the Earth increased which by itself was a big enough factor to lead to further warming at the surface of the Earth. Lots of people are a bit bemused as it has been the consensus view for some time that low sun spot activity equals cooling weather on earth.

8 Oct 2010
Graphene and Space Time

At October 6th Casey Kazan asks - will the physics of graphene show that Space-Time is a mirage? Space time, it is thought, is a fabric that can be altered by the gravity of stars, planets, and matter - may be no more than a mirage according to Peter Horava (see earlier post in September's In the News on the subject of Relativity). The new magic ingredient of graphene may shed some light on the problem - if there is in fact a problem?

7 Oct 2010
Deep sea corals in the Mediterranean

At  an underwater coral reef just 40km off the coast from Tel Aviv and some 700m belong the surface has been found. At there is a four page piece on Neanderthals - and how close to modern humans in ability and strategies they seem to have been.