Grand Canyon: How Do You Get a River Over a Mountain?

One would think that the Grand Canyon, one of earth’s most prominent geological features, studied by geologists for 140 years, would be well understood.  Wrong.  “The Colorado River’s integration off the Colorado Plateau remains a classic mystery in geology, despite its pivotal role in the cutting of Grand Canyon and the region’s landscape evolution.”  That’s […]

Life Is Earth’s Waste Dump

Exclusive  Most evolutionists and philosophers recognize the origin of life as one of the most difficult questions to broach from a materialist standpoint.  Dr. Michael Russell, however, made it sound very easy to a large audience gathered in JPL’s auditorium on February 4.  In a talk titled confidently, “How Life Began on our Water World […]

Titan Is Old-Age Problem, Despite News Media Coverage

A paper in Geophysical Research Letters1 about Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, reads like a good-news, bad-news joke.  The good news is that Titan appears to have more hydrocarbons than Earth.  The bad news is that it is not enough to save the assumption that Titan is 4.5 billion years old.     Several science news […]

Are Long-Term Climate Models Trustworthy?

Everything from global warming policy to evolutionary history depends on long-term climate models.  Textbooks make it seem like earth keeps reliable recordings that allow scientists to simply read off the record of years, decades, centuries, millennia and millions of years objectively.  It’s not that simple, wrote Maureen E. Raymo and Peter Huybers in Nature last […]

Deep Sea Hydrocarbons Don’t Require Life

Remember the “Lost City” deep sea vents that were discovered by surprise in 2000 (12/13/2000)?  It appears that they are producing large quantities of hydrocarbons (methane, alkanes, ethene, acetylene, propene, propyne) without the help of living organisms (cf. 08/13/2002).  A team of scientists deduced that abiogenic reactions like the Fischer-Tropsch process and others may be […]

The Geologists Were Wrong

More examples of collapsing theories have appeared in the literature this week (compare last week, 01/21/2008): Dirty Comet:  The Stardust spacecraft that collected comet samples in 2006 was so named because it was believed comets contained pristine material from the birth of the sun.  That has all changed.  National Geographic News summarized a paper in […]

Life Influences Dating Method

The rate of calcium carbonate precipitation can double if microbes are present, says an article in PhysOrg.  Scientists studying hot spring deposits in Yellowstone made this “surprising discovery about the geological record of life and the environment.”  The article adds, “Their discovery could affect how certain sequences of sedimentary rock are dated, and how scientists […]

Zatta Fact?  “Scientific Facts” Evolve

Every once in awhile it is good to be reminded that “scientific facts” are in a constant state of revision.  Here are some recent examples of scientists with surprised looks on their faces: Cholesterol for health:  Surprise, says EurekAlert: cholesterol may actually pose health benefits.  “… don’t push aside bacon and eggs just yet,” it […]

Comet Woes Lamented posted an article on “The enduring mysteries of comets.”  The mysteries include: Where did earth’s oceans come from?  For a long time, scientists expected comets delivered the water, until measurements showed a discrepancy in the hydrogen/deuterium ratios.  It’s also highly improbable there was enough wet stuff in those assumed delivery vehicles.  No secular scientist […]

Geology Sinks in the Mud

Question: what is the most abundant sedimentary rock in the world?  Follow-up question: what would happen to the science of geology if the consensus theory of how this most abundant sedimentary rock was deposited turns out to be wrong?  Prepare for a paradigm shift: experiments have shown mistakes in long-held assumptions about mudstone formation. Here’s […]

Who Knows the Age of Grand Canyon?

“In spite of over a century of work on the Grand Canyon, there are still fundamental questions about the age of the canyon and the processes that have formed it.”  Thus begins a paper in the November GSA Bulletin of the Geological Society of America.1  To re-evaluate the date of Grand Canyon, a team dated […]

Pangea Stuck at Square One

Students in their physical science classes learn all about Pangea, the supercontinent that broke up 200 million years ago and ended up with today’s familiar continents after millions of years of continental drift.  What they don’t often learn is how scientists come up with these ideas, and how they pull their hair out when observations […]

Mt. St. Helens Rebuilding Fast

Could Mt. St. Helens grow back to its pre-1980 size in just 180 years?  That’s what an article in the Tacoma, Washington News Tribune says.  The lava dome is growing fast, and so is a glacier inside the crater.  It is growing 3 feet per day.  The lava dome split the glacier because it was […]

Exceptional Preservation: Can It Last Hundreds of Millions of Years?

What can happen in 460 million years?  A lot, according to the standard geological timescale.  In this diagram of geological and biological evolution, accepted by nearly all geologists, all the continents came together 260 million years ago, broke up 200 million years ago, and broke into our familiar continents 100 million years ago (mya).  In […]

Upsets: Assumptions About Genes, Atmospheres Challenged

It’s not fun when a whole superstructure of scientific theories and models is found to rest on a shaky foundation.  That’s just what may be happening in two very different fields: genetics and planetary science: Lateral pass to the opposing team:  Building evolutionary trees by comparing genomes was supposed to be simple.  Sure, geneticists knew […]
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