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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18 Feb 2012
Stone Age people under the water

At www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-english-hampshire-17046338/ ... there is a video of the stone age boatyard found on the bottom of the Solent - since flooded by rising sea levels.

18 Feb 2012
Windy Energy

At www.physorg.com/print248597825.html ... we learn that a paper in Nature claims the extraordinarily high energy emissions at the heart of the Crab Nebula come not from a pulsar at its core but from wind. The pulsar is what is left from after a large supernovae event, theorised as being a neutron star that spins 30 times a second - and appears to pulse in the process. Until now scientists have assumed the energy comes from the pulsar - as it arrives in bursts.

18 Feb 2012
Language and Out of Africa

At www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120215143001.htm .. anthropologists have said the cradle of language could, or it that 'should', be traced back to Africa. A recent paper that received lots of press attention claimed language could be traced back to specifically, SW Africa, but a new paper has provided a dash of cold water to the fanfare - see Science 335 (no 6069), 2012.

16 Feb 2012
Wikipedia and the Maunder Minimum

It seems too recent but it was only in 1976 that JA Eddy had an article published in Science 192 (no 4245) that established the Maunder Minimum as a fact (see www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/citation/192/4245/1189 and http://bill.srnr.arizona.edu/classes/182h/Climate/Solar/Maunder%20Minimu... ) and see also www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/science-obituaries/5595750/Jack-Eddy... and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_A._Eddy .

15 Feb 2012
The Earth ... spinning faster?

At www.physorg.com/print248347427.html ... tells us that a NASA JPL research team in league with French scientists have written a paper for the Geophysical Review Letters that claim that for a couple of weeks in 2009 the Earth was spinning faster, and days were shorter - by a fraction of time. This was all because the ocean current that encircles the Antarctic changed rate in response to a down step in wind speed. The change in speed of rotation was a self correcting motion in order to conserve angular momentum.

13 Feb 2012
Solar Cycle

At  http://en.wikipedi.org/w/index.php?title=Solar_cycle&oIdid=476364656 the Wikipedia entry on the solar cycle is interesting - it looks at the history of the subject and notes that as long ago as 1908 sunspots were shown to  be strongly magnetised, and a bit later, the magnetic polarity of sunspot pairs was recogised - and the 22/11 years sunspot cycle. Now, as science doesn't proceed as agreeably as it is suggested at Wikipedia we can imagine there was some scepticism of this new finding.

13 Feb 2012
Clams and African iron smelting

At www.physorg.com/print248086305.html ... clams have been found at hydro-thermal vents in the deep ocean - in the Mariana Trench. This is located in the western Pacific, east of the Mariana Islands and the trench is around 1580 miles in length - a sort of underwater Rift Valley and created, it is thought, by one plate moving beneath another (paper published in PNAS, Feb 9th 2012).

13 Feb 2012
How contrary views are suppressed

At www.newgeology.us/presentation36.html there is an article by a scientists who has worked at the US Geological Survey for over 40 years and is the author of 100 refereed articles from 1950 to the present etc. He accepts Plate Tectonics as a working hypothesis but he now realises one component of the theory, mantle plumes, is quite wrong (in his opinion, I should add). He was surprised at the antagonism his scepticism produced - and clearly it is not just climate science that generates bad feeling or brickbats instead of honest evaluation of new ideas.

11 Feb 2012
Venus ... variable day lengths

An unusual story can be found at www.esa.int/export/esaSC/SEM0TLSXXXG_index_0.html (hat tipped towards member Gary Gilligan) from the European Space Agency web site, 10th February 2012. ESAs Venus Express spacecraft has discovered Venus is rotating a little slower than when it was previously measured in the 1990s by NASAs Magellan Orbiter spacecraft. The measurements are said to be precise and detailed and the idea appears to be to find out if Venus has a liquid or a solid core. What might cause it to slow? It has a dense atmosphere which could influence the rotation rate, it is argued.

11 Feb 2012
Magnetic Stripes on the Sea Floor

One suspects that many things have been factored into the uniformitarian scientific model not because they are inherently more likely than alternative ideas that are discarded but merely because they fit the pattern of the uniformitarian hypothesis. One of these is the discovery in the early 1960s of magnetic stripes on the sea floor, firstly in deep Atlantic waters, and then in other ocean basins such as the Pacific. In one of those Eureka moments several strands of science came together and locked in Plate Tectonics with the Milankovitch cycle of eccentricity.