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"Though scientists have long believed that complex organic molecules couldn’t survive fossilization, some 350-million-year-old remains of aquatic sea creatures uncovered in Ohio, Indiana, and Iowa have challenged that assumption."
That's not exactly true--see here for 417 MY chitin found in a eurypterid: http://carnegiescience.edu/news/unexpected_exoskeleton_remnants_found_paleozoic_fossils
One explanation offered by the researchers is that calcite precipitated into the pores, sealing the organic matter within the rocks.
Maybe--and maybe the fossils simply aren't that old.
Are you sure you want to delete this scoop?
In geological terms, a contact is the place where two different types of rocks come together. This ezine is a place to find content from my favorite web sources on the the creation-evolution issue, with a focus on the subject of geology. Just as the layers of a rock can be composed of many different materials, so my sources often differ in their assumptions and in their views on the issue, but their common intersection is the belief that this is an important subject.
(Image source: Glyn Baker, http://www.geograph.org.uk/reuse.php?id=167895)
"There is a saying in California that “whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting.” The modern fighting over California water is punched-out by making political donations and retaining high-priced lobbyists to influence appreciative friends on K Street and Capitol Hill."
An interesting behind-the-scenes look at what goes into determining water policy in the state that supplies nearly half the nation's fruits, vegetables and nuts.
"With Russia menacing Ukraine and Europe with its natural gas heft, the cry has gone out from British Prime Minister David Cameron, the Wall Street Journal and even (implicitly) President Barack Obama: more fracking! If only the European Union would stop importing a third of its natural gas from Russia, the argument goes, it would be easier to impose sterner sanctions and go beyond grandly booting Russia from the G-8.
Fracking sounds like a simple and smart solution. Not only can the United States export liquefied shale gas to Europe, but Europe can also help itself diversify by embracing a technology that taps homegrown reserves.
The trouble, of course, is that much of Europe, especially the western half, doesn’t want to frack."
Well-researched plea, not for an end to fracking, but for more comprehensive, objective studies of the technique.
"Ice age fossils found in strange climes point to a single post-Flood Ice Age."
To me, one of the most fascinating implications of the YEC model is a single, post-Flood Ice Age due to a heightened amount of aerosols in the atmosphere and post-Flood volcanism.
Here, Mike Oard discusses how that model is supported by the contemporaneous association of animals from both warm and cold habitats in Pleistocene fossil assemblages.
"The LOTR Project's interactive Map of Middle Earth is a beautifully drawn map of J.R.R. Tolkein's fantasy world, which allows you to follow The Fellowship's journey from The Shire all the way to Mordor."
"How far below Earth's surface can we find water? There is no way to drill hundreds of miles down, so researchers must wait for evidence to surface from the depths. An international science team recently reported in Nature their find of a unique Brazilian diamond inclusion that indicates plenty of water at great depth. How does this compare to biblical descriptions of Earth's structure"
An example of how evidence can be interpreted differently, depending upon the preconceptions of the interpreter.
"Shale is a rock type defined by its high clay content and thin layers that flake apart. Layers without much organic content appear grey, tan, or a number of other colors depending on their mineral makeup, while shales bearing organic compounds like oil look blackish. The organics were once living creatures, perhaps marine algae like those that supplied the world's largest oil reserves. At some point, they became intermixed in clay-rich mud."
Brian Thomas gets to the heart of the problem: Where did all the shale come from? And why do they still contain hydrocarbons, if the rocks are hundreds of millions of years old?
"Shale is defined by breaks along its bedding planes. Fracking merely accelerates the retrieval of oils that would ordinarily escape much more slowly, but not slowly enough to still be down there after millions of years."
"April Fool's Day is here, so here are a bunch of chemistry jokes to celebrate. Enough said."
Chust for fun.
Observations show stellar dust disks fragmenting into smaller dust, not growing into planets.
Nibbles at the edge of a popular hypothesis.
"Some critics have described the film as biblical fantasy—a fantasy story developed around a biblical theme but only loosely constrained by the biblical account. Even still, there is enough in the film to generate new ideas for those who like to think outside the box. "
Tas Walker provides a detailed critique quite different from the other reviews I've seen, neither deprecating the Noah movie completely nor lavishing unquestioning praise.
Contrast that with the review covered here, which answers the rhetorical question, "Could the tale of Noah's Ark be true?" with a resounding "Duh...no!"; http://crev.info/2014/03/straw-noah/
Not going to see it myself, but not because of the film's well described lapses from biblical authenticity. Good storytellers are allowed license with the original material--I loved, for example, what Peter Jackson did with the Lord of the Rings.
However, Jackson, for the most part, stayed true to the theme of Tolkien's trilogy, while the sense that I get about the Noah movie is that it can be summed up in "Animals: good, Man: bad." (http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/03/noahs_war_on_hu083841.html
Not what it was about, folks.
"A team of Greek and German researchers has shown that the colours of sunsets painted by famous artists can be used to estimate pollution levels in the Earth's past atmosphere."
Artists as de facto citizen scientists.
"Granite is one of the most common rocks on the planet, seen in places like Half Dome in Yosemite and the Devil’s Marbles in central Australia. Inside the granite is radioactive damage, called radiohalos, which is best explained by granite forming quickly during a recent, worldwide catastrophe."
First part of an overview of a controversial topic.
More than 300 earthquakes have shaken Chile's far-northern coast the past week, keeping people on edge as scientists say there is no way to tell if the unusual string of tremors is a harbinger of an impending disaster. The unnerving activity began with a strong magnitude-6.7 quake on March 16 that caused more than 100,000 people to briefly evacuate low-lying areas, although no tsunami materialized and there was little physical damage from the shaking.
"Hundreds of low-level and medium-sized earthquakes have struck central Idaho since last month, puzzling geologists who wonder whether the ruptures portend a much larger temblor to come or are merely the rumblings of a seismic fault previously thought to be dormant."
The mountain above is Borah Peak, whose name was given to Idaho's largest known historical earthquake in 1983. The low brown ridge in the foreground is actually a fault scarp of the earthquake. You can read more about it here: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/states/events/1983_10_28.php
What puzzles geologists about the recent activity is that it's not associated with the Borah Peak fault.
Here's a link to a Google Maps image of Borah Peak, showing how close it is to Craters of the Moon National Monument, an area of extremely fresh-looking lava flows shown in the bottom center of the image: http://goo.gl/maps/B24qh
In Compton last year, police began quietly testing a system that allowed them to do something incredible: Watch every car and person in real time as they ebbed and flowed around the city. Every assault, every purse snatched, every car speeding away was on record--all thanks to an Ohio company that monitors cities from the air.
The product is described by its inventor as "a live version of Google Earth, only with TiVo capabilities," and outfits planes with an array of super high-resolution cameras that allow a pilot to record a 25-square-mile patch of Earth constantly—for up to six hours.
So not quite Google Earth, more like Google Teeny Bit of Earth--for now. Judging from the combox, many are freaked out by this, to put it mildly.
"Granite rocks exhibit mysterious black spheres, known as radiohalos. The only reasonable explanation for their origin is a recent, worldwide Flood. Indeed, the unique conditions required to form such spheres show us that radioactive decay—and granite formation—was extremely rapid in the past."
Andrew Snelling argues that polonium radiohalos are best explained in the context of rapid granite formation.
For another perspective, see the criticism discussed in the lower part of this CMI Q&A: http://creation.com/vredefort-radiohalos
"A viral video titled "ALERT! Yellowstone Buffalo Running for Their Lives!" has attracted over 1 million page views and has prompted hundreds of anxious inquiries via Facebook, Twitter, email, and phone calls to park officials."
Officials note that the two dozen bison in the video were actually running deeper into the park.
Nonetheless, there was a 4.8 Richter scale quake in Yellowstone on March 30. I must admit to a little queasiness myself.
"Scientists have shown that temperature differences deep within Earth's mantle control the elevation and volcanic activity along mid-ocean ridges, the colossal mountain ranges that line the ocean floor."
What I found interesting is that the temperature variations exist not only at the surface, but also many hundreds of kilometers deep inside the earth. If convection is driven by temperature differences, not sure what this homogeneity of temperatures implies.
"Noah's Ark would have floated — even with two of every animal on board, physicists have determined based on the weight of the beasts and the buoyancy of the boat."
Interesting project by students at the University of Leiceister.
In recent decades the state allowed logging — with restrictions — on the plateau above the Snohomish County hillside that collapsed in last weekend’s deadly mudslide.
Great geography lesson on the recent tragedy.
Intersting relevance to Ecosystems at Risk and human activities which impact on ecosystems.
Mijnbouw en aardverschuivingen, een goede combinatie ......
There are several reasons for mudslides--some are purely a result of physical geography and others are related to land use patterns. This last week's mudslide in Washington state was a combination of the two and although this impacts one place (see on map), it is a good teaching moment to discuss the environmental impacts of land use patterns and resource extraction projects. As seen in this interactive, the river was cutting at the base of the hill, while loggers were clear-cutting at the top of the mountain. Trees help prevent erosion as the roots hold the soil in place--a critical piece to the puzzle in a very rainy climate. With $1 million worth of timber on the slope, logging companies persisted despite objections from the Department of Natural Resources and some restrictions (but in hindsight, those restrictions clearly were not enough).
View the impact in ArcGIS online: Before and After Swipe, LiDAR I and II, and Imagery.
Questions to Consider: Other than economic worth, what other ways are there to value and evaluate the environment? How could this landscape have been protected and managed better or was this mudslide inevitable?
Traffic is detoured along a section of Interstate 84 following a landslide Wednesday night. Inevitably rocks will fall on highways along hillsides and mountains, but what triggers a landslide?
More trouble in Oregon.
Southern California has endured a series of moderate earthquakes in the past several weeks, the first of which occurred along a little-known fault beneath the Santa Monica Mountains that had never experienced such a strong tremor since scientists began measuring it. Now, experts tell the Associated Press, there is a danger that a large, 7.5 magnitude quake along a fault discovered in 1999 could cause catastrophic damage in the area.
"Most people are familiar with man-made, diamond-like cubic zirconia (zirconium dioxide), but zirconium silicate, a less well-known form of zirconium, also exists in crystalline form. Called zircon for short, this mineral is found all over Earth's crust.
Dr. John W. Valley and his team recently published an article in Nature Geoscience discussing two surface samples from their continuing analysis of a detrital zircon—one derived from a weathered rock—found in Australia. BBC News cited it as the "oldest scrap of Earth crust." Is this conclusion accurate?"
Questions the conclusions of the study reported here: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-26324968
"Unlike like Emperor Kuzco, I was actually born with an innate sense of direction. If you’re like me, and you use the Sun to navigate, you probably appreciate cities with gridded street plans that are oriented in the cardinal directions. If you know that your destination is due west, even if you hit a dead end or two, you’ll be able to get there. However, not all urban planners settled on such a simple layout for road networks. For some developers, topography or water may have gotten in the way. Others may not have appreciated the efficiency of the grid. This visualization assesses those road networks by comparing the relative degree to which they are gridded."
Interesting--the blogger, whose website is called "Vizual Statistix," collated the road orientations for different US counties and plotted them in rose diagrams.
Lots of other cool visualizations on his site.
"Lake Towuti, an ancient lake on the island of Sulawesi in central Indonesia, has yielded a 60,000-year sedimentary record of Indonesian climate."
What interested me about this re-Scooped article was the following:
“Surprisingly absent from the data, Russell says, is the influence of other processes known to drive climate elsewhere in the tropics. In particular, there was no sign of climate change in Indonesia associated with Earth’s orbital precession, a wobble caused by Earth’s axis tilt that generates differences in sunlight in a 21,000-year cycle.
‘There’s very little indication of the 21,000-year cycle that dominates much of the tropics,” he said. “Instead we see this very big set of changes that appear linked to the amount of ice on earth.’ “
I’ve always been highly skeptical that changes in solar radiation can be tracked in the stratigraphic record, which is what the above statement references. Basically, the “wobble” of the earth around its axis is supposed to affect the amount of sunlight which reaches the earth, which in turn affects climate which then affects sedimentation, which gets recorded in rock layers. It just seems to me that there are too many variables involved in the complex source-to-sink process of sediment deposition to be able to reliably correlate changes in sunlight to thickness of sediment layers.
For an interesting discussion on this topic, see here: http://dynamic-earth.blogspot.com/2008/02/milankovitch-cycles-and-stratigraphy.html . . (and check out the catchy geoblog titles in the blogroll on the right—examples include “Looking for Detachment,” “Magma Cum Laude,” and one of my favorites, “All My Faults are Stress Related”)
A scientist working for the government had warned 15 years ago about the potential for a catastrophic landslide in the fishing village where the weekend collapse of a rain-soaked hillside killed at least 16 people and left scores missing.
Judging from the Google Earth image here (http://sco.lt/78Bvd3), it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure this one out.