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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28 Apr 2020

This post was prompted by a question from a member of SIS - what is the progress and current thinking on the Meghalayan? Well, they are still discussing it I suppose, with no agreement as yet. I suspect many geologists are quite happy with the designation of the Holocene without carving it up into smaller segments. The idea of the Meghalayan Age first raised its public face at the IUGS conference of July 2018 (the International Union of Geological Sciences). It caused a bit of a stir at the time but this has since subsided.

26 Apr 2020

At ... this is about an iron meteorite find in Oregon, the so called Willamette meteor. The local Indian tribe, the Clackamas, called it Tomanowos - the visitor from heaven. One would suppose with a name like that one of their ancestors had witnessed it falling out of the sky. It seems logical as there were no geology courses or students back in the day. However, in this post that is not so. We are told instead that 4.5 billion years ago Tomanowos was the core of a proto planet that never quite made it.

25 Apr 2020
Venus Super Rotation

At ... atmospheric tidal waves maintain the super rotation speed of Venus - courtesy of Hokkaido University (Japan). The tidal waves are formed from solar heating on the planet's day side and cooling on its night side. See also ...

25 Apr 2020
Frogs in Antarctica

At ... the discovery of the earliest known modern amphibians in Antarctica suggests, once again, a warm and temperate climate prevailed in the Antartic peninsular - prior to separation from Gondwana Land. The frog fossils date from the Eocene period, 40 million years ago. Geologists found evidence that ice formed across the Antarctic peninsular prior to the break up - but in this new study it would seem the fossils contradict that idea (or the ice was temporary).

23 Apr 2020
Interstellar comet Borisov

At ... ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, has disovered some unusual things about interstellar Comet Borisov, late last year (December 2019). They observed the  chemicals stored inside the comet that is thought to have originated in another solar system. See ... and ... where it seems ALMA detected two molecules in the gas ejected from the comet - hydrogen cyanide and carbon monoxide.

21 Apr 2020
Lopsided Universe

At ... which is another take on the possibility the unverse is not the same in every direction. Recent findings say clusters of galaxies are not the same distance away from each other because some of them are expanding faster than others. The so called qualification for this observation is that some of them are dimmer than others - and must therefore be further into the distance. They propose the universe is anisotropic rather than isotropic. Could it be luminosities of galaxies have nothing to do with distance?

21 Apr 2020
Natural Gas

At ... methane forms under space conditions simulated in a laboratory in Leiden University (the Netherlands). Methane is the main ingredient of natural gas - which is often located alongside oil within the crust of the earth. Methane is also one of the simplest hydrocarbons. It consists of one carbon atom with four hydrogen atoms. On earth humans create methane gas in landfill sites. This is burnt off. You can actually see the flames (controlled) if you drive past a landfill site at night.

21 Apr 2020
Planet 9

Planet 9 is somewhat different to Planet X as it is projected, or was invented, in order to explain anomalies in the orbits of objects beyond Neptune. At ... an alternative to Planet 9. Maybe there is nothing big out there at all and it is an invented problem. I suspect most people that read the original paper promoting the idea of Planet 9 felt the same way - but detractors of the idea have gone back to the drawing board (their computers) to find a way out - by smoothing the data.

17 Apr 2020
Roman boat in Serbian coal mine

With a headline like that it must be click bait. The link is at ... and so it is. It is not a coal mine but an open cast mine and the boat was buried in the mud of an ancient river bed (for 1300 years). A Roman city was in the vicinity.

17 Apr 2020
Trees of Life

ASt ... researchers challenge the accuracy of methods that analyse trees of life. The paper is published in Nature (April 2020). Two scientists argue that long used approaches for reconstructing trees of life are 'deeply flawed'. The findings cast 'serious doubt' over thousands of earlier studies that use phylogenetic trees of extent data to reconstruct the diversification history of taxa - especially those taxa where fossils are rare.