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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24 Mar 2020
Comet Atlas Getting Bigger

At https://spaceweather.com/ (24th March 2020) ... the size of comet Atlas - nobody knows how big the icy core of the comet is but its atmosphere is huge. New images from amateur astronomers around the world show that Atlas's gaseous envelope has ballooned in diameter to 720,000 km (about half as wide as the Sun).

 

24 Mar 2020
Coprolites in Tar Pits

A research study found fossilised rodent matter in the La Brea Tar Pits in California. In fact, hundreds of fossilised pellets which were C14 dated to at least 50,000 years ago. In other words, to the extremities of the dating methodology - which could mean they were older or that they date shortly before the terminus of the methodology (40,000 years ago in old money). The coprolites (the term for fossilised excrement) will be analysed to find out what the rodents were eating which in turn may give a clue to the climate at the time.

28 Mar 2020
Hallstatt Plateau

According to the post at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallstatt_plateau ... the Hallstatt Plateau is a term used in archaeology that refers to a flat area in radiocarbon dating (as opposed to calendar dates). The C4 methodology is said to be hampered by this huge plateau - the point where the calibration curve swings away from raw carbon dating. This concerns C14 dates clustering around 2450BP (before present), which always calibrate between 800 and 450BC, no matter the measurement precision involved in the laboratory.

28 Mar 2020
Waim

This story is at various blogs and web sites as well as media outlets. Mind you it has got buried underneath the wall to wall news stories on coronavirus but you can read about it at https://phys.org/news/2020-03-artifacts-guinea-neolithic-period.html ... which is derived from https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aay4573 (Science Advances). Agriculture of a kind developed in some parts of New Guinea at least as far back as 7000 years ago - and possibly even further back in time if it is an extension of jungle clearing and the favouring of particular plants.

28 Mar 2020
Koppie Loskop

The image below is a hill in South Africa with exposed strata from before and after the Permian extinction event (in geological terminology, a Member of the Balfour Formation). The upper part contains layers deposited after the extinction event 252 million years ago. According to new research the mass extinction played out differently and at different times on land and in the sea, as a result of redating a fossil bed in South Africa and another in Australia. Obviously, logic would demand that if there was a global catastrophe this could not be so.

28 Mar 2020
The DART mission

At https://phys.org/news/2020-03-powerful-ion-nasa-dart-mission.html ... we have a report on NASAs DART mission which is designed to intercept a possible asteroid strike on Earth at an ill defined point of time in the future. Although it is a back seat mission a trial is due to begin in 2021 in order to test the NASA Evolutionary Exenon Thruster ion engine. A small asteroid has been chose as the target - 6.3 million miles away.

29 Mar 2020
Glucose in Plants

At https://horizon-magazine.eu/article/how-stone-age-humans-unlocked-glucos... ... grinding stones were an evolutionary success story. They allowed people to unlock the energy in plants by making flours. Plants rich in starch helped humans to thrive. Whilst the importance of eating meat has been explored by scientists very little investigation into plant material has been done. One reason for this is that animal bones can hang around a human occupation site for a long time - as long as the soil is not too acidic. Plant remains have a very short shelf life.

29 Mar 2020
YDB scepticism

Anthony's blog is sceptical of global warming and the whole climate change merry go round but it is not necessarily sceptical of the other sciences, which I find somewhat strange. The link below is to a post by a mainstream geologist who works in the oil industry. Mainstream geology is his bread and butter. He is consistently sceptical of the Younger Dryas Boundary event hypothesis - almost to an obsession.

2 Apr 2020
Gas Blob

Sent in by Robert a few days ago. Data from NASAs Voyager 2 flyby of Uranus 30 years ago has been reconsidered and they have found the signature of a massive bubble that may have stolen a blob of the planet's gassy atmosphere. Scientists think it is a plasmoid, a structure that was not properly understand in 1986. Now, plasmoids are reasonably well researched and what they have is a bubble of plasma - a soup of charged particles. The spacecraft actually ploughed its way through the plasmoid - which was as extensive as 250,000 miles across. A big bubble then, from a big planet.

2 Apr 2020
Big Tusk

At www.dw.com/en/german-archaeologists-unearth-massive-mammoth-tusk/a-52947985 ... archaeologists in Bavaria, excavating a medieval settlement, found a bonus - they stumbled upon on older find. Much older. An ice age mammoth tusk ...

  

... some 2.5m or 8 feet from tip to root.