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 Feb 2010
Evolutionary Enigmas

Rancho La Brea tar pits ... these are found in the heart of Los Angeles and are a rich source of fossils - over 565 species were caught in the tar (asphalt) over tens of thousands of years and fossilised. However, the uniformitarian explanation is not accepted by everyone - and why should it be? The official attitude is a bit like damage limitation - we know it is hard to believe but we simply will not accept this was a sudden and rapid event and fossilisation took place in a geological blink of an eye.

4 Feb 2010
Biological Enigmas

Science Daily, November 20th 2009 ... palaeobiological researchers have found evidence that during mass extinction events that punctuate the history of life, open ocean marine life was more susceptible. The research involved an analysis of fossils from the palaeo biology database and concluded that different marine environments responded differently to whatever the agents of mass destruction might be - in other words there were more deep sea fossils than shallow sea life forms.

31 Jan 2010
Younger Dryas Event Update (January 2009)

George Howard, on his web site/ blog http://cosmictusk.com is reporting on the Fall Meeting of the AGU which included a session on the Younger Dryas boundary event. In the first of what will be several reports George begins with two speakers, Wally Broecker on the sceptics side, and Allen West, on the pro.

22 Jan 2010
The Tree that Refuses to Die

Discovery News, 23rd December 2009 ... a tree in southern California, stranded in a suburban environment, has the appearance of a gnarled thicket of stunted oak trees wedged between a heap of stones and boulders - but it is a biological wonder. The centre grove of trees is actually a single plant that is estimated to be 13,000 years old. Genetic analysis has revealed each of its 70 stems, or truncated branches, a few feet tall, are genetically identical - they are one and the same plant.

22 Jan 2010
The Sun and the Planets

http://tallbloke.wordpress.com ... tall bloke's web blog is all about a thesis that the solar system is an integrated system in that as well as the sun influencing the planets the planets themselves also effect each other. In fact, he suggests their effect on the sun causes its complicated motion around the centre of mass in the solar system - which modulates solar magnetic activity and the production of sun spots.

22 Jan 2010
Post YD History

Associated Press 29th November 2009 ... the geography department of Northern Michigan University has spent three years on the shoreline of Lake Superior and have been able to define the boundaries as they existed around 2500BC. They found the water at that time was 30 to 40 feet higher than it is today and had features such as shallow water lagoons and enbayments rich in fish and plants.

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22 Jan 2010
Vikings

The BBC History magazine volume 10:12 December 2009 ... has an article on the Vikings and what may have drove them to attack the monasteries of Britain, Ireland, and NW Europe. Robert Ferryman suggests one motivation might have been a desire to defend their own culture which was under threat from Christian missionary activity in which Britain, Ireland and the Frankish Kingdom played a prominent role. In 782AD Charlemagne's army forcibly baptised and then executed four and a half thousand German Saxons.

22 Jan 2010
Hebrew Script

Science Daily January 8th 2010 ... a researcher has decyphered a Hebrew inscription on a pottery sherd from the Elah Valley and dating to the time of David and Solomon, the 10th century BC. This makes it possible that some Biblical scripture was written down during the united Monarchy period which is many years before conventional research allows.

9 Dec 2009
Flood mystery solved

Researchers believe they have found evidence of the formation of the Mediterranean Sea, five million years ago. Their findings suggest a 200km channel from the Atlantic Ocean, and carved out through the Gibraltar Stait, could have filled the low-lying land in just two years, raising the water level by 10 metres per day.

Source: "Ancient Mediterranean flood mystery solved", BBC News, 9 December 2009

8 Dec 2009
On the Perils and Pleasures of Confronting Pseudohistory

In the journal Historically Speaking, Ronald H. Fritze writes:

"The controversy surrounding the ideas of Immanuel Velikovsky is a case study of how not to debunk incorrect and fantastical theories. [..]"

"Worlds in Collision was Velikovsky’s first book to present these planetary and cosmographic hypotheses while rejecting the orthodox concept of gravity. Astronomers and physicists responded with outrage. Professors threatened to boycott the textbooks of Velikovsky’s publisher Macmillan. That resulted in Macmillan moving the book over to Doubleday, a publisher not in the textbook business, where it continued to experience brisk sales. Article after article appeared in newspapers and magazines stridently attacking Velikovsky, but the effect was counterproductive. To the uncommitted, it appeared that the experts were simply asserting their superior knowledge to the public without bothering to prove Velikovsky wrong. The attacks on Velikovsky came across as arrogant and bullying. As a result, they aroused sympathy for the author, making him something of a martyr."

Source:
"On the Perils and Pleasures of Confronting Pseudohistory" by Ronald H. Fritze in:
Historically Speaking, Volume 10, Number 5, November 2009
E-ISSN: 1944-6438 Print ISSN: 1941-4188