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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8 Mar 2012

The Mariana Trench in the Pacific has been mapped (mentioned in an earlier piece) with ultrabeam sounding technology and scientists, subsequently, have measured the depth - roughly 11000m. However, it is the discovery of four bridges spanning the trench that is most surprising and they are thought to be caused by one plate descending into the hole and becoming snagged when the sea plate subducting has sea mounts. There are lots of sea mounts on the Pacific plate and are as much as 2500m high.

7 Mar 2012
The fightback cometh ... all of a quiet

Not CAGW magic tricks this time but the YD boundary impact hypothesis has suddenly made a comeback - in PNAS (see or Further articles from new authors on the subject, including scientists from a variety of disciplines, are due to publish shortly, a surprising and unexpected bounce back after all the angst of last year.

7 Mar 2012
The Greeks in Egypt

Al-Ahram (published in Cairo - see has been running some nice pieces on the Greek period in Egypt which will interest members coming from various angles - a revised chronology for instance, or dating systems and their impact on the anno domini dates we take for granted in the modern world. Alexandria now largely squats on the sea bed offshore of the Nile delta, drowned by an earthquake and land subsidence.

7 Mar 2012
Pilgrimage ... and human behaviour

The Ohio Archaeology Blog, another excellent site - see comments on a paper in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology that claims that 'religiously motivated co-operation in the form of pilgrimage is a neglected element in discussions of co-operative behaviour among humans' and goes on to propose how to evaluate it in the future (but I won't bore you with details).

7 Mar 2012
A bright streak and a pale red dot

The police received a number of calls concerning a huge fireball that crossed the sky from Scotland to Devon around 21.40 on March 3rd, escribed as incredibly bright - see and This follows several fireballs seen over North America during February - but where do they come from? It is only a matter of weeks since the passage of an asteroid that came relatively close to the earth, in astronomical terminology that is, but might there be a connection? Was the asteroid a defunct comet?

5 Mar 2012
A little bit of local history ... and everywhere in Britain has something similar to say

The Slough Observer last week had a report on the history behind the Montem Mound at Salt Hill in Slough. In various sources this was associated with a mysterious trade in salt that in some way involved Eton College, which until the 20th century owned much of the land to the south of Salt Hill, down to the Thames in the valley below. In the early medieval period this was a watery landscape and the line of the Roman road to Bath takes the high point along a ridge above the Thames valley, including Salt Hill.

5 Mar 2012
Easter Island statues and a lesson in misrepresentation

The Times (Feb 23rd, 2012) has a report by correspondent Tom Whipple on the famous statues of Easter Island and the current excavations taking place there by a team under the guidance of Colin Richards. It seems he is critical of recent environmentalist whoppers that have blamed the islanders for the plight they find themselves in - rather than loot hungry westerners in sailing ships. The term the environmentalists that re-write history use is ecocide (Jared Diamond, Collapse, 2005).

5 Mar 2012
The Moon and Tidal Rhythmites

Gary has sent in details of a paper that can be found at which has the subject of 'tidal rhythmites' - an interesting subject from a uniformitarian and a catastrophist angle.

5 Mar 2012
Isostasy and Mean Sea Level

An interesting guest post at Anthony's site - see ... a look at all the things that might affect global sea level - and whether or not it has been rising in the recent warming period. For the moment, sea levels appear to have settled down, possibly due to cooler sea surface temperatures as a result of two years of La Nina dominancy. However, there is more to it than simply thermal expansion of sea water. Lots more.

4 Mar 2012

The Cassini spacecraft has detected a thin atmosphere that includes oxygen and ozone on Saturn's moon, Dione - see Admittedly, it is a faint atmosphere but enough to get news of it published in Geophysical Research Letters. Oxygen, it seems, is common in the Saturn system, already detected on the moon Rhea and in the rings around the planet.