Doomed Worlds: Planets Seen Disrupting, Not Forming
May 23, 2012
Much as astrobiologists would like to see the birth of a new planet, the ones we observe seem to be dying, not being born.
Crater Count Dating Still Unreliable
May 22, 2012
Worries about the crater count dating method, widely relied upon to infer ages of planetary surfaces, began emerging in 2005. Those worries have not subsided; they have only grown worse. Crater numbers may have nothing to do with age.
Written in Ink: No Evolution
May 21, 2012
An ink sac from a fossilized Jurassic cephalopod said to be 160 million years old looks identical to those from living cuttlefish.
Earth's Magnetic Field Less Sustainable than Thought
May 17, 2012
Geophysicists have found that their favored dynamo theory for Earth's magnetic field is less stable than thought, leaving them wondering how our planet sustained its magnetic field for "geologic time."
Dark Matter as an Escape
May 14, 2012
Employing exotic unobservable entities such as dark matter may be an escape from scientific rigor in more ways than one.
Rapid Undersea Geology Observed
May 14, 2012
An undersea volcano near the Cook Islands was observed to grow and shrink rapidly in a fortnight, rivaling the rapid changes in Vesuvius and Mt. St. Helens.
Noah's Ark Claim Not Trustworthy
May 13, 2012
A creationist group in Hong Kong is releasing a dramatic documentary filled with fantastic claims about the discovery of Noah's Ark on Mt. Ararat. Other prominent creationists are warning of fraud and scientific malpractice.
Best Cave Art Is Still the Oldest
May 9, 2012
A new research study confirms that the exquisite cave art at Chauvet Cave is the oldest.
New Chirality Solution Proposed
May 9, 2012
It's long been a mystery why cells use one hand of two-handed molecules, like left-handed amino acids and right-handed sugars. A new proposal solves the mystery, explaining how this phenomenon called homochirality arises naturally. Wait a minute...
Coelacanth: Survival of the Dullest
May 5, 2012
A new fossil species of coelacanth was discovered in Canada. Scientists think from its tail fin shape that it was a fast swimmer–perhaps a hunter. Sadly, it was a "spectacular failure" in evolution. The luck of the evolutionary draw went to today's slow-moving, docile species.
Earth Myths with a Sprinkling of Data
May 3, 2012
Some recent articles on dating methods show that tiny bits of data can be used to generate whoppers.
Planetary Radiometric Dates 1/3 Younger
May 1, 2012
The half-lives of radioactive isotopes may not be as well-known as thought. One decay rate frequently used to date solar system objects had to be adjusted down to 66% of its former assumed value, impacting theories of planet formation.
Animals Have Biological GPS
April 30, 2012
Global Positioning System (GPS): that's a function. Maintaining a suite of satellites is one method for achieving the function. But there are other ways to figure out where in the world you are, and two very different animals show the way – naturally – using Earth's global magnetic field.
Planet Theories vs. the Evidence
April 26, 2012
Planet theorists are putting up a valiant fight against new findings, but in some cases, the evidence seems to be winning.
Paradigm Shift: Impact Didn't Kill Dinosaurs
April 24, 2012
A new study casts doubt on whether asteroid impacts led to extinctions. It's based on re-interpreting geological evidence used to identify impacts. This finding, if sustained, would undermine the theory that an impact killed off the dinosaurs and a later impact led to the extinction of many large mammals. Even more significant, an overturn of the impact hypothesis would illustrate that scientists are capable of going off on wrong tangents for decades.