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 May 2020
Celtic Language

Chris Gatling's column in Current World Archaeology 101 June 2020 (see www.world-archaeology.com ) ... takes a brief look at a study carried out by geneticists back in 2009. It discovered that 30% of the 500 people who volunteered to provide a DNA sample on the island of Anglesey in NW Wales had a segment of a gene common to the eastern Mediterranean (the Levant). It is otherwise rare in other parts of Britain - just 1% have it. It was something of a surprise and naturally they have looked around  for why and how it came about.

23 May 2020
Carbon Dating 2020

Another re-calibration of C14 dating is underway. It could shift prehistoric dates by hundreds of years. Why? Well, just look at what it is going to be partnered with. Not just tree rings and lake varves but ocean sediment cores, stalagmites from caves, shells, corals etc. as well as comparisons between different dating systems. A hoge potch if you like. One might wonder if they have recruited some climate scientists to create fog. Go to www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01499-y ...

22 May 2020
Lake Baikal and the Tooth

At https://phys.org/news/2020-05-oldest-native-americans-lake-baikal.html ... which has its origins in a paper in Cell - see https://doi.org.10/1016/j.cell.2020.04.037 ... using genetic data, ancient pathogen genomics, as well as isotope analysis, we have a new take on the population history of the area around Lake Baikal in Siberian Russia. The region is said to have the densest connection between ancient Siberians and modern native Americans. Modern humans have lived near Lake Baikal since the disappearance of the Neanderthals and Denisovans.

22 May 2020
Lake Baikal and the Tooth

At https://phys.org/news/2020-05-oldest-native-americans-lake-baikal.html ... which has its origins in a paper in Cell - see https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.04.037 ... using genetic data, ancient pathogen genomics, as well as isotope analysis, we have a new take on the population history of the area around Lake Baikal in Siberian Russia. The region is said to have the densest connection between ancient Siberians and modern native Americans. Modern humans have lived near Lake Baikal since the disappearance of the Neanderthals and Denisovans.

22 May 2020
Super Computing the Neanderthal Demise

At https://phys.org/news/2020-05-supercomputer-simulations-reveal-neanderth... ... opne for the fairies. Perhaps. It involves climate scientists. Not a good start. Then we get into supercomputers and simulations. The idea of the research was to pin down how the Neanderthals became extinct. The choices are limited it would seem - and therefore the input into the supercomputer is threadbare. Apparently, it was either because of abrupt climate shifts or a failure to compete with the incoming modern humans.

22 May 2020
Filling the Niche

At https://phys.org/news/2020-05-ancient-giant-armored-fish-fed.html ... another example of evolution reproducing similar niche feeding habitats as a result of similarities in niche environments. These concern different geological periods. A reptile in one period is superseded by a mammal in a later period but similarities in behaviour and feeding habits remain - simply because a niche environment has become vacant. In this instance we begin with modern basking sharks. No sharp teeth and predatory hunting here as they feed by opening big mouths that filter plankton and small sea creatures.

22 May 2020
Comet Swan and a tail

At https://phys.org/news/2020-05-sky-comet-swan.html ... the image below was taken by a UK astrophotograper, Damian Peach ...

   ... unfortunately, it won't be easy to see the comet by naked eye observation. Binoculars or telescopes are recommended. This is because of the bright twilight sky and the low altitude of the comet. There is a short video at the link above, a guide to seeing the comet from the UK and northern latitudes in general.

17 May 2020
The Monster Walk

At www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-05/uom-trl051320.php ... long legs make for good runners as any schoolboy knows. The chap with the long hairy legs is always going to win at the school sports day. What about long legs on a monster - such as Tyrannosaurus Rex. Paleontologists assumed the longs legs made for short bursts of speed in order to capture prey. A new study begs to differ. They evolved long legs in order to walk long distances. Longs legs = endurance and efficiency.

17 May 2020
Humans on the Move

At https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2020/05/15/global-cooling-event-4200-yea... ... a global cooling event 4200 years ago spurred the evolution of rice which then spread across Asia, we are told. The cooling event is the well known 2300BC event with a low growth tree ring anomaly at 2345 and again, at 2200/2150BC. Moe Mandelkehr in one of his SIS articles catalogued a considerable amount of long distance migration that occurred at this time. In the new study the crisis led to the development of improved rice varieties.

17 May 2020
Black Holes Neutron Stars

This subject is up on the Thunderblogs this week, presumably pre-emted by the new study. At https://phys.org/news/2020-05-black-holes-neutron-stars-merge.html ... mergers between black holes and neutron stars. They say they occur in dense star clusters. The hope is that by studying this phenomenon they will find info on gravitational waves. Thunderblogs didn't put it in quite the same way.