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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1 Jun 2012
Venus Transit

As we approach June 6th the Venus Transit is getting attention - see for example www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2012-150&cid=release_2012-150 and the NASA web page at http://venustransit.nasa.gov/transitofvenus/ and we can expect lots of pictures next week. It seems it was Pythagoras who worked out that the Evening and the Morning Star were one and the same and not two difference objects in the sky - or that is the orthodox view.

1 Jun 2012
Dust from Space

Two thought provoking posts at Tall Bloke's Talk Shop - see http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/is-the-earth-a-cosmic-feather-... and http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/clive-best-the-real-cause-of-i.... These are at the cusp of science and climate research. In the first post Tall Bloke says scientists at Leeds University, where he works, are investigating how dust particles in the solar system interact with the Earth's atmosphere.

1 Jun 2012
The Electric Moon

At http://phys.org/print257617231.html .. we have 'Electric Moon jolts the solar wind' according to the headline - so electricity in space is now recognised as fact. It seems computer simulations and spacecraft observations have revealed the mystery of the Moon and how it interacts with the solar wind (see earlier post on this subject a week or two ago).

31 May 2012
10 million years ... evolution is slow and tedious, according to the latest

At http://phys.org/print257320509.html ... it is being claimed it took 10 million years for the eco-system to recover after the end of the Permian mass extinction event. A recent paper suggested the bounce back was rapid but now the opposite is being said as the basic cause of the extinctions was nothing so dramatic as catastrophism but grim conditions that lingered, global warming, acid rain, ocean acidification and ocean anoxia. All this was enough to wipe out 90 per cent of life forms on Earth. No wonder these scientists scare themselves silly just thinking about CAGW.

30 May 2012
Those absolutely dastardly hunter gatherers

At http://phys.org/print256988782.html ... a zooarchaeological study indicates hominids (early humans) already practised sophisticated hunting techniques in China according to Chinese scientists in a paper in Science China Earth Sciences (2012) 55. Tens of thousands of bone and stone fragments recovered from a site in Henan Province appear to consist of a lot of aurochs and wild horses, although other animals are present, and the odd human skull.

30 May 2012
The Second Law of Thermodynamics

Over at Tall Bloke's Talk Shop, blogger Lucy Skywalker of Blackboard fame, has a post on thermal gradients, going back to a friendly discussion between Maxwell and Loschmidt (see http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/lucy-skywalker-graeffs-second-...). Graeff's paper can be found at http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/graeff1.pdf and http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/gravity-induced-atmospheric-te...

30 May 2012
End of Indus

At http://phys.org/print257415019.html ... a new study, archaeological and geological, says it has the evidence that climate change was a big ingredient in the collapse of the Indus civilisation 4000 years ago. The Indus culture was common right across Pakistan, eastern Afghanistan and NW India for some one thousand years, the third millennium BC - and thrived at the same time as Old Kingdom Egypt and Dynastic Sumeria, and like them had a riverine and irrigation agriculture. Many remains now lie stranded in the desert, on a now dry river bed.

28 May 2012
Gobekli Tepe

World Current Archaeology 53 (June 2012) has a nice piece on the Gobekli Tepe excavations with lots of colour pictures. The D shaped pillars are not strictly a D shape, from the position of one of the photos. Rather, they are tall pillars (often with carvings) with a hat on top, a piece of matching stone slightly wider so that it overlaps the upright pillar. Some of these pillars, it is suggested, represent anthropomorphic characters but are not neccessarily human even though they wear blets, loincloths, and have arms and legs (the carvings).

28 May 2012
Aurochs in Egypt

World Current Archaeology 53 (June 2012) also has some other interesting articles. For example, some fascinating rock art has been found at el-Hosh, Qurta and Wadi Abi Subeira on the east bank of the Nile that is rather similar in style to European cave art (at Lascaux etc). It is at the same time unlike the rock art of the 4th millennium which is symbolic if the celestial boats are anything to go by, and conforms with Pre-Dynastic iconography.

27 May 2012
Weather extremes, the new CAGW punch line

As global warming is stalled and is clearly not happening at the moment but instead the world is getting quite a bit of snow in winters - you know, the stuff our grandchildren would never see in their lifetimes. Quite unlike the last 30 years or so when it seemed the climate really was warming, a bit, there must be something causing the white stuff to drop out of the sky - it can't be low solar activity because the big orb in the sky doesn't really do anything, or so we are told (and co2 is what matters). Hence, we have weather weirding - and co2 is yes, the culprit.