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If it looks like a dino and walks like a dino, it's not necessarily a dinosaur

If it looks like a dino and walks like a dino, it's not necessarily a dinosaur | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

Bird-like tracks in Argentina that were previously attributed to an unknown group of theropods are now assigned to Aves, simply on the basis of radiometric dating.

 

Here's the problem--if morphology is not sufficient to identify tracks as theropodian, how can we possibly decide which of the hundreds of thousands of Mesozoic tracks are birds and which are theropods?  Obviously, it doesn't matter what they look like, only what their age is.

 

And if birds and dinosaurs both existed at the same time, and morphological characteristscs are insufficient for identification, as this article implies, then there's no way to tell for certain which tracks are from birds and which are from dinosaurs.

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Conformable Contacts
Notes from the intersection of faith, reason and geology
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Raison d'etre

Raison d'etre | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

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)

YEC Geo's insight:

While my interests are wide-ranging, as even a cursory glance at this site will show,  a subject of great personal interest to me is the preservation of biological material in fossils presumed tens to hundreds of millions of years old.  In my view, the increasing pace of discovery of such material is one of the strongest evidences in support of a young age for the earth.

 

Below is a continuously updated archive of articles I've found on the subject:

 

Jurassic squid ink: http://sco.lt/7nbAVV

550 million year old tube worms: http://sco.lt/8xwAJl, http://sco.lt/4xoX6v

23 million year old lizard:  http://sco.lt/5qDwpt

46 million year old mosquito: http://sco.lt/8AQAuf

46 million year old beetle scales: http://sco.lt/68OHA1

70 million year old hadrosaur skin: http://sco.lt/8SaVEn, http://sco.lt/9L5UDB

160 year old mollusk melanin:  http://sco.lt/6QYbU9

Brian Thomas’ overviews:  http://sco.lt/92v9t3, http://sco.lt/5H0JSj

Archaeopteryx feather:  http://sco.lt/70tG8P

190-197 million year old sauropod egg proteins: http://sco.lt/7J3aSX

250 million year old coloration on trilobites: http://sco.lt/4xixrV

Cretaceous triceratops horn: http://sco.lt/6a9nlZ, http://sco.lt/5FtIBd

Bachelor’s thesis on fossil pigments: http://sco.lt/5mbfv7

350 million year old crinoids & 417 million year old eurypterid chitin: http://sco.lt/5Y3cVl

C-14 in dinosaur bones, a presentation at an AGU-AOGS conference that was later stricken from the conference records:  http://sco.lt/5OIu25

Soft tissue overview from Answers in Genesis: http://sco.lt/666kpl

Dr. Mary Schweitzer’s dinosaur tissue research: http://sco.lt/5VIvnl

Preserved coloration in 70 million year old mammal teeth: http://sco.lt/5H0JSj

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UC Davis Report on Expanding California’s Water Supply Finds You Can’t Store What Isn’t There

UC Davis Report on Expanding California’s Water Supply Finds You Can’t Store What Isn’t There | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
“Reservoir storage does not equate to water supply,” said Jay Lund, lead author of the report and director of the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences. “Reservoirs cannot supply water without a water supply to fill them first.”
YEC Geo's insight:

Seems kind of a, well, duh, conclusion.

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Massive 30-metre-wide sinkhole opens up in Russia after flooding at nearby salt mine

Massive 30-metre-wide sinkhole opens up in Russia after flooding at nearby salt mine | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

An immense hole opened up in the ground on Tuesday in a large Russian city near the Ural Mountains. The 30- to 40-metre-wide sinkhole looks to have swallowed several homes.


Via Stéphane Bisaillon
YEC Geo's insight:

More holes in Russia.  Look closely at the picture--that thing appeared smack dab in the middle of a subdivision.

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Continents may not have been created in the way we thought

Continents may not have been created in the way we thought | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"For 60 years the orthodoxy has been that these processes gradually form supercontinents, such as Gondwana or Laurasia, where a vast land mass is brought together before slowly breaking up and drifting away in pieces again. This has happened a number of times in cycles since the Earth was formed, collecting and then separating land over and over again.

 

Now we have new information that suggests that the process is more complex than we had thought. When supercontinents break apart, small pieces of so-called “exotic continental crust” sometimes splinter off and get set adrift in newly formed oceanic crust (which is generated in places where continents break up)."

YEC Geo's insight:

A really well-done blog that I just found, by Nick Rawlinson, the Chair in Geophysics at the University of Aberdeen.  Clean, modern style, and he knows his stuff.

 

My takeaway from this post is that we don't really know what we think we know about plate tectonics.

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Scientists have finally climbed to the bottom of one of Siberia’s mysterious holes

Scientists have finally climbed to the bottom of one of Siberia’s mysterious holes | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"What they found at first is that temperature in the hole is higher than expected. This has significant implications, because the area is also at a tectonic edge. The extra temperature could be caused by the friction and stress, but it could also be caused by gas explosions – which many believe are responsible for the holes’ creation."

YEC Geo's insight:

What an awesome experience this must have been!  And it's looking more likely that, as I've postulated before, methane explosions are the culprit: http://sco.lt/65MbxJ 

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Preserving scholarly information: LOCKSS, CLOCKKS, and portico

Preserving scholarly information: LOCKSS, CLOCKKS, and portico | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

 "While the switch from print to digital publishing has been embraced by younger researchers and students, older faculty are a little more nervous about the impact of this (nearly complete) transition. This is somewhat related to the loss of print copies to hold in their hands and read, but for many, there is a larger issue. "

YEC Geo's insight:

 A few good reasons not to go gently into that good digital night (with apologies to Dylan Thomas).

 

Image credit:  Burning of the library of Alexandra, by Hermann Goll

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Bárðarbunga volcano update, Wednesday 12-November-2014

Bárðarbunga volcano update, Wednesday 12-November-2014 | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"A lava lake has now formed that is around 400 meters long and 100 meters wide. This is the first lava lake in Iceland in a long time. I don’t know when last a lava lake existed in Iceland, but that was a while ago."

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Preserving an Accident, the Salton Sea in California, for the Good of Nature

Preserving an Accident, the Salton Sea in California, for the Good of Nature | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
In some ways, Salton’s fate is like that of other disappearing saline lakes, such as the almost-vanished Aral Sea in Central Asia and Lake Urmia in Iran: They are slowly getting saltier and disappearing because people have purloined the water that flows into them.
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Gulf Coast island again whole 9 years after Katrina thanks to rock project during BP spill

Gulf Coast island again whole 9 years after Katrina thanks to rock project during BP spill | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
Nature and a multimillion dollar rock pile built in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP oil spill have healed a large barrier island nine years after it was sliced in two by Hurricane Katrina.
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Swarm of earthquakes in Nevada desert is intensifying

Swarm of earthquakes in Nevada desert is intensifying | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
A swarm of hundreds of earthquakes that has been striking a corner of the Nevada desert near the Oregon border for months has intensified in recent days, prompting new warnings from seismologists.
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Lots of NASA data for Google Earther's

Lots of NASA data for Google Earther's | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

Welcome to NASA Earth Observations, where you can browse and download imagery of satellite data from NASA's Earth Observing System. Over 50 different global datasets are represented with daily, weekly, and monthly snapshots, and images are available in a variety of formats.

YEC Geo's insight:

A very cool website, from which you can download data straight into Google Earth.  Data also available as Geotiffs, jpegs & csv files.

 

Above is the average land surface temperature for the month of December 2001, rendered as a kml in Google Earth.

 

Found this while browsing a NASA site scooped by Geography Education: http://sco.lt/5K825p

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Bardarbunga and SO2 emissions: Comparison with Laki eruption of 1783

Bardarbunga and SO2 emissions: Comparison with Laki eruption of 1783 | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"Gas-spewing Icelandic volcano stuns scientists." So reads the headline in Nature/News on October 28. Bardarbunga, about 250 km from Reyjkjavik, has been erupting for over two months (see previous posts on this blog). The reason that scientists were "surprised" is that they had been expecting Bardarbunga to mimic the 2010 Eyjafjallajokull eruption that spewed ash high into the flight paths of airplanes, and instead, they are getting lava flows and gas.

YEC Geo's insight:

Including emissions of sulfur.  I bet it doesn't smell pretty around there.

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Glaciers Sing

Glaciers Sing | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
Researchers using seismic recordings, collected near Lake Gornersee in the Swiss Alps, to look for signs of water moving through fractures near the glacier bed, have found that that harmonic tremor occurs within mountain glaciers and that individual icequakes at the glacier base can exhibit harmonic properties.
YEC Geo's insight:

Very cool.  I think Roger Payne should get in on this (http://www.animalsinourhearts.com/store/cds/songs-humpback-whales.html).

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Record Drought Reveals Stunning Changes Along Colorado River

Record Drought Reveals Stunning Changes Along Colorado River | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"Fifty miles (80 kilometers) up from the Colorado River confluence, on what is commonly known as the San Juan River Arm of Lake Powell, we kept poking our paddles-cum-measuring sticks toward the shallow river bottom, shouting: "Good-bye, reservoir! Hello, San Powell River!" In a four-mile-per-hour, opaque current, always hunting for the deepest river braids, we breezed past fields of still-viscous, former lake-bottom silt deposits. Stepping out of the boat here would have been an invitation to disappear in quicksand.

 

We paddled downstream, looking for the edge of the reservoir. We passed caterwauling great blue herons, a yipping coyote, and squawking conspiracies of ravens. By late afternoon, dehydrated by the desert sun, we stopped at one of the few quicksand-free tent sites above the newly emerged river: a sandy yet dry creek bed draining the sacred Navajo Mountain."

YEC Geo's insight:

Wow, look at the difference in the two photos.  Kayakers rejoicing, farmers and ranchers probably not so much.

 

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Giant’s Causeway geology clarified for "Earth Science Ireland"

Giant’s Causeway geology clarified for "Earth Science Ireland" | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"Northern Ireland's only World Heritage site has become something of a battleground where believers in long-age evolution are fiercely resisting geological interpretations of the Giant's Causeway based on biblical history. Recently the geological magazine Earth Science Ireland published a fiery attack against biblical geology. Angus Kennedy, a geologist working in Northern Ireland, has responded in an open letter to the editor, Dr Tony Bazley, presenting geologic evidence that does not support the long age beliefs but is consistent with creation geology."

YEC Geo's insight:

Wow.  A young earth geologist who's worked extensively in the area publishes a polite rebuttal to an article in "Earth Science Ireland," using objective empirical data to show how the article's old age interpretation for Giant's Causeway laterites doesn't work.  Hopefully it will get published--this is the kind of give-and-take that should be going on.

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Science Graphic of the Week: Nighttime Satellite Maps Show Increasing Flood Risks | WIRED

Science Graphic of the Week: Nighttime Satellite Maps Show Increasing Flood Risks | WIRED | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
There’s a lack of information about flood risk worldwide, and it leaves people in flood-prone areas unaware of their danger, and less likely to take precautions. The image above comes from a study published last month in Geophysical Research Letters that used nighttime satellite imagery to see where waterfronts are in danger.
YEC Geo's insight:

Interesting combination of remote sensing imagery with GIS processing.

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How do I become … a flood forecaster

How do I become … a flood forecaster | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

Rather aIt's a seemingly restful job done alone in a large seventh-floor office overlooking the river Thames. The only movement is from the coloured lines and digits flickering across a row of computer screens and the only sound the occasional phone ring. But if Victoria Kettley allows her mind to drift and ignore the warnings, whole areas of London could be submerged.

YEC Geo's insight:

Rather a unique job.

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Listen to a Glacier, Forecast a Flood

Listen to a Glacier, Forecast a Flood | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
They’re not as catchy as Vanilla Ice’s self-aggrandizing single, nor as funky as the pioneering blues of Muddy Waters. But tuning in to the harmonies produced as water courses through icy cracks in a glacier could eventually come as life-saving music to the ears of their neighbors.
YEC Geo's insight:

More on the singing Gornergletscher of Switzerland, including an audio file.

 

Image credit:http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a8/Grenzgletscher_%26_Gornergletscher.JPG

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The origin of Ayers Rock

The origin of Ayers Rock | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
To the tourist industry, it’s a real money spinner. To its European discoverers in the 1870s, it was a rock that appeared more wonderful every time it was viewed. To the Australian Aborigines, it was a place of shelter and special ceremonies. In some of their legends it came into being as a result of 40 days and 40 nights of rain. To the geologists, however, it has been a perplexing puzzle, so they have largely ignored it.
YEC Geo's insight:

For some cool images of unusual erosional features on the rock itself, including caves and flared slopes, see http://freeaussiestock.com/free/Northern_Territory/uluru/index.htm

 

For an interesting discussion on Uluru's origin between a creationist and two prominent secular geomorphologists, see: https://answersingenesis.org/geology/natural-features/geomorphology-of-uluru-australia-discussion/ and https://answersingenesis.org/geology/natural-features/geomorphology-of-uluru-australia-reply/

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T. Boone Pickens says U.S. producing too much oil

T. Boone Pickens says U.S. producing too much oil | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
While Saudi Arabia and other Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries have been given some of the blame for sparking the recent price drop, oilman T. Boone Pickens said American producers are victims of their own success.
YEC Geo's insight:

Not something you would have heard 10 years ago from the Peak Oil people. 

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Silicon Valley Mansions, Swallowed Alive

Silicon Valley Mansions, Swallowed Alive | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
So what’s happening to Hollister? “Fault creep” occurs when the underlying geology is too soft to get stuck or to accumulate stress: in other words, the deep rocks here are slippery, more pliable, and behave more like talc. The ground sort of oozes past itself, a slow-motion landslide at a pace that would be imperceptible if it weren’t for the gridded streets and property lines being bent out of shape
YEC Geo's insight:

Really interesting.

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A Trope in the Evolution Debate: The Oh, So Sad Plight of the Poor Creationist Child

A Trope in the Evolution Debate: The Oh, So Sad Plight of the Poor Creationist Child | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

Bill Nye's new book is out this week, "Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation," and while we haven't seen a copy yet, it's interesting to read an interview with Nye by New York Times writer Jeffery DelViscio. Mr. Nye and Mr. DelViscio invoke what has become a familiar trope in the evolution debate: the plight of the poor, sad creationist child.

YEC Geo's insight:

I find it ironic that I, the lone creationist in my family, am also the only parent who has their children read literature from both sides of the aisle on this issue.

 

I find the origins debate to be an excellent venue for practicing critical thinking, and for realizing the importance of basic assumptions and the limitations of science.  Science, by its nature, is only suited for investigation of material phenomena.  If there is an order of existence beyond that of the purely natural, then science, while an important tool in the search for truth, can never be the only source of truth.

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Son Doong: hard choice between mass tourism and sustainable development

Son Doong: hard choice between mass tourism and sustainable development | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
With a potential flood of new tourists, there will be more jobs for locals, thus improving the quality of life of people associated with heritage conservation and making use of the potential of the site for the development of the local economy.

However, can this approach be considered the biggest goal, as Vietnam’s tourism development is already past the point of overexploitation? Is sustainable development still possible in mass tourism?
YEC Geo's insight:

The world's largest known cave, and what to do with it.

 

Image credit to this National Geographic article, which has more information and links to other articles on the cave: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/07/090724-biggest-cave-vietnam/

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Nature Reports Armitage Discrimination Case

Nature Reports Armitage Discrimination Case | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
The leading scientific journal has reported Mark Armitage’s lawsuit against California State University for firing him as a creationist.
YEC Geo's insight:

Mark Armitage published an article, reviewed by Mary Schweitzer and others, on stretchy tissue found in a Triceratops horn.  Then two weeks after the article was published, he was fired from his microscopy position at Cal State Northridge. 

 

He probably won't win his case, but I hope it at least opens people's eyes to the possibility that creationists can do innovative research.  After all, who else would think to spend money looking for stretchy tissue in a dinosaur bone?

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Dartmouth Physicist: When Science Shades Over Into Faith

Dartmouth Physicist: When Science Shades Over Into Faith | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"Marcelo Gleiser is a theoretical physicist at Dartmouth College who treads dangerous ground from time to time. He writes a regular commentary for NPR in which, in the past, he has admitted that even taking the origin of simple life on Earth as a given, the development of complex life poses an additional, extraordinary riddle. With only Darwinian evolution as a resource, to assume that complex biology is out there among the stars as well as on our planet is a tough one to swallow.

Now he provocatively acknowledges that science can shade over into the faith, when scientists cling to ideas beyond the point where the evidence has turned against them."

YEC Geo's insight:

Included here because it makes a very important point about how science works.  Ideas are the coin of the realm in this business, and paradigm shifts do not come from those who have, as Dr. Gleiser so aptly puts it, invested decades of their lives in a professional idea.  It's the young scientists who will seek out new ground, those who do not have a professional stake in the old model, and who in fact see the possibility of a career path in challenging that model.

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Desert geoglyphs’ still shrouded in mystery

Desert geoglyphs’ still shrouded in mystery | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
There are some mysteries that, once discovered, never let you go. In 1976, Harry Casey of Brawley began to explore a desert mystery that fascinates him to this day. 
YEC Geo's insight:

I have heard, of course, of the famous Nazca lines in the Atacama desert of Peru, but I had no idea that there are hundreds of geoglyphs in the southwest United States.

 

Here;s another article about them, with more photos: http://philipcoppens.com/intaglios.html

 

And a September 2014 article about newly discovered geoglyphs in Kazakhstan, discovered using Google Earth of all things: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2014/09/24/nazca-lines-kazakhstan-more-than-50-geoglyphs-discovered/

 

Here are photos of the Kazakh geoglyphs: http://www.livescience.com/47953-geoglyphs-in-kazakhstan-photos.html

 

Another "stan" to add to my geological field trip bucket list in addition to these places: http://sco.lt/620HfV,    http://sco.lt/69F4Yj & http://sco.lt/7eqrzt

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