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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29 Sep 2011
An exoplanet that gobbles the light but glows in the dark ... and freshwater springs feed the Dead Sea

Yes, at astronomers at Princetown University and the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics have found a distant exoplanet that absorbs 99.9 per cent of the light that strikes it - why? The planet is non-reflective, it seems, high in hydrogen and helium. It is thought to be a hot planet, however, in spite of being very dark and very alone, as it glows 'thermally' - or that is the explanation. The little light it emits, the glow, is compared to a burner on an electric stove.

26 Sep 2011
Jordan 20,000 years ago

One of the major planks of Ice Age theory is that the climate during the Last Glacial Maximum was bot hot and dry in the Levant and in the process restricted human activity. There is evidence of this during the Younger Dryas episode (see Steven Mithen, After the Ice) and most probably during the earlier Heinrich events (well known as periods in which dust levels in the atmosphere were much higher than normal). Now, the occurrence of dust is assumed to imply drier environments - extensive desert conditions in North Africa and the Near and Middle East, for example.

25 Sep 2011
That Speed of Light dispute

The subject pops up at as it threatens Einstein's 'Relativity Theory' - but as we heard at the last SIS member meeting in Luton, that theory may not be quite as sound as supposed by consensus physicists. Naturally, mainstream scientists are sceptical of the results of the experiment - and so they should be. That is their function. The assumption is that there is something wrong with the experiment rather than with Relativity.

25 Sep 2011
A nice kind of aurorae ... and the case of the missing planet

At an image of sea green aurorae - one click away. Have a look. It was taken near Yellowknife in northern Canada.

23 Sep 2011
Human Movements

At  ... the human genome of Australian Aborigines has been collated and the results published in the journal Science - which will have repercussions on Out of Africa. It seems they represent the descendants of an earlier human expansion.

23 Sep 2011
The Higgs Boson ... and faster than light particles found at CERN

At it begins by saying the universe would not be the same without the Higgs Boson. The search for this elusive particle would help scientists understand the birth of the universe from the Big Bang. It can explain the speed and magnitude of the expansion ... and there follows an outline of the calculations that were made to arrive at this article of belief.

23 Sep 2011
All at Sea

At ... archaeologists from the University of Liverpool have been out in boats with marine archeologists from Southampton University, poking around a few island offshore from the British mainland. The hope is to find some clues on why the Mesolithic became the Neolithic. Most scholars assume the change came about as a result of farmers crossing over from the continent, or by the western sea routes of the Atlantic coastline, bringing with them various skills as well as livestock and cereals etc.

22 Sep 2011
A black hole captured by WISE - on video

Now you can see what is thought to be a black hole on video - or bright flaring activity (see ). Whatever it is emits random bursts of energy and can become then three times as bright in a matter of hours, before fading again. It is orbited by a companion star. See the video link at and a paper published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters by a number of scientists from Japan, India, the UK, Europe and US (see also ).

22 Sep 2011
Eating Information

At ... Chinese researchers at Nanking University have found some unknown effects from eating plants and herbs. The plant miRNAs may get into the blood and tissue of the host species - simply in the process of eating those plants and their fruits. Once inside the host body they can elicit functions by regulating host 'target' genes and then regulate host physiology. In a nutshell, in this godsend research for the traditional Chinese health industry, plants can cause the host community, over time, to adapt in ways beneficial to the plant.

21 Sep 2011
Plain of Jars

At there is a piece on the Plain of Jars, otherwise the Xieng Khouang Plain in Laos, where there are hundreds of gaint stone jars arranged in clusters and dating from between 500BC and 500AD. They weigh in at several tones, are up to 3m in height and are made of very hard stone - such as granite, limestone and sandstone.