Archive for October 28th, 2008

Less Ice in the Arctic Ocean 6000-7000 Years Ago

Science, The Flood of Noah, Uncategorized | Posted by Chris Parker
Oct 28 2008

Photo: Astrid Lyså, NGU

(Astigan.com) — Recent mapping of a number of raised beach ridges on the north coast of Greenland suggests that the ice cover in the Arctic Ocean was greatly reduced some 6000-7000 years ago. The Arctic Ocean may have been periodically ice free.

”The climate in the northern regions has never been milder since the last Ice Age than it was about 6000-7000 years ago. We still don’t know whether the Arctic Ocean was completely ice free, but there was more open water in the area north of Greenland than there is today,” says Astrid Lyså, a geologist and researcher at the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU).

Shore features

Together with her NGU colleague, Eiliv Larsen, she has worked on the north coast of Greenland with a group of scientists from the University of Copenhagen, mapping sea-level changes and studying a number of shore features. She has also collected samples of driftwood that originated from Siberia or Alaska and had these dated, and has collected shells and microfossils from shore sediments.

”The architecture of a sandy shore depends partly on whether wave activity or pack ice has influenced its formation. Beach ridges, which are generally distinct, very long, broad features running parallel to the shoreline, form when there is wave activity and occasional storms. This requires periodically open water,” Astrid Lyså tells me.

Pack-ice ridges which form when drift ice is pressed onto the seashore piling up shore sediments that lie in its path, have a completely different character. They are generally shorter, narrower and more irregular in shape.

Open sea

”The beach ridges which we have had dated to about 6000-7000 years ago were shaped by wave activity,” says Astrid Lyså. They are located at the mouth of Independence Fjord in North Greenland, on an open, flat plain facing directly onto the Arctic Ocean. Today, drift ice forms a continuous cover from the land here. Astrid Lyså says that such old beach formations require that the sea all the way to the North Pole was periodically ice free for a long time.

”This stands in sharp contrast to the present-day situation where only ridges piled up by pack ice are being formed,” she says.

However, the scientists are very careful about drawing parallels with the present-day trend in the Arctic Ocean where the cover of sea ice seems to be decreasing.

“Changes that took place 6000-7000 years ago were controlled by other climatic forces than those which seem to dominate today,” Astrid Lyså believes.

Inuit immigration

The mapping at 82 degrees North took place in summer 2007 as part of the LongTerm project, a sub-project of the major International Polar Year project, SciencePub. The scientists also studied ruined settlements dating from the first Inuit immigration to these desolate coasts.

The first people from Alaska and Canada, called the Independence I Culture, travelled north-east as far as they could go on land as long ago as 4000-4500 years ago. The scientists have found out that drift ice had formed on the sea again in this period, which was essential for the Inuit in connection with their hunting. No beach ridges have been formed since then.

”Seals and driftwood were absolutely vital if they were to survive. They needed seals for food and clothing, and driftwood for fuel when the temperature crept towards minus 50 degrees. For us, it is inconceivable and extremely impressive,” says Eiliv Larsen, the NGU scientist and geologist.

Written by Gudmund Løvø, NGU

Materialists: How Do We Explain Away Mounting Evidence of a “Just So” Universe?

Science, Uncategorized, Unexplained Artifact | Posted by Chris Parker
Oct 28 2008

Why Life on Earth Coincides with a Vital Shift in the Makeup of the Universe
Malaysia Sun
Sunday 26th October, 2008
(ANI)

Canberra, Oct 26 : Scientists have come up with an answer to the puzzling question of why life on Earth coincides with a momentous shift in the makeup of the universe.

According to a report by ABC News, research into finding an answer to this mystery was done by Ph.D. student Chas Egan and Charley Lineweaver from Australian National University.

The conundrum has its roots in the way the universe changes as it expands, explained Egan.

Soon after the Big Bang, some 14 billion years ago, most of the energy in the universe was in the form of heat. Later, as the universe cooled and expanded, matter, such as stars and planets, became dominant.

As the expansion continues, it is expected that “dark energy” – a mysterious force that causes the expansion of the universe to accelerate – will become most important.

Over the past 10 years, observations of the universe have shown that the expansion is accelerating, suggesting that the gradual transition from the current matter-dominated phase to the dark-energy era is underway.

“We’re right on the cusp between the matter-dominated and dark energy-dominated epochs,” said Egan.

Astronomers have been puzzled why this shift is happening right now, just when humans are here to observe it.

“When theorists see something like that, that indicates something suspicious. It looks like a coincidence,” said Egan.

Various efforts have been made to explain this coincidence problem over the years, but none of the ideas raised have gained widespread acceptance.

Now, Egan and Lineweaver have taken a pragmatic approach, reasoning that the only time in the history of the universe that it would be possible for us to exist is around now – when stars have been formed, galaxies coalesced and planets have evolved for us to live on.

“It struck us that it’s kind of silly to think that observers could have occurred anywhere during the whole history of the universe,” said Egan.

“If we are tied to terrestrial planets, then we could not possibly have observed the radiation era, and when the universe gets large and diffuse and so on then we could not possible observe that late future either,” he added.

“The results are important for the direction of dark energy research,” Egan said.

“It means we can focus on other problematic aspects of dark energy with some confidence that there is a reasonable explanation for the coincidence problem, regardless of what dark energy turns out to be,” he added.

Edom, King Solomon’s Mines and the Historicity of the Bible

Church of Darwin, Religious, Science, Sophistication of Ancestors, Unexplained Artifact | Posted by Chris Parker
Oct 28 2008

Back in January of 2005, we printed several articles on Thomas Levy’s research in Edom and his finding which suggested that the history presented in the Bible re: David, King Solomon and Edom was correct. Biblical naysayers had been claiming at least from the 1980′s that Biblical chronologies were flawed, made up and/or inaccurate. This article further advances the ball…s8int.com

ScienceDaily (Oct. 28, 2008) — Did the Bible’s King David and his son Solomon control the copper industry in present-day southern Jordan? Though that remains an open question, the possibility is raised once again by research reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Led by Thomas Levy of UC San Diego and Mohammad Najjar of Jordan’s Friends of Archaeology, an international team of archaeologists has excavated an ancient copper-production center at Khirbat en-Nahas down to virgin soil, through more than 20 feet of industrial smelting debris, or slag.

The 2006 dig has brought up new artifacts and with them a new suite of radiocarbon dates placing the bulk of industrial-scale production at Khirbat en-Nahas in the 10th century BCE – in line with biblical narrative on the legendary rule of David and Solomon.

The new data pushes back the archaeological chronology some three centuries earlier than the current scholarly consensus.

The research also documents a spike in metallurgic activity at the site during the 9th century BCE, which may also support the history of the Edomites as related by the Bible.

Khirbat en-Nahas, which means “ruins of copper” in Arabic, is in the lowlands of a desolate, arid region south of the Dead Sea in what was once Edom and is today Jordan’s Faynan district. The Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament) identifies the area with the Kingdom of Edom, foe of ancient Israel.

For years, scholars have argued whether the Edomites were sufficiently organized by the 10th to 9th centuries BCE to seriously threaten the neighboring Israelites as a true “kingdom.” Between the World Wars, during the “Golden Age” of biblical archaeology, scholars explored, as Levy describes it, with a trowel in one hand and Bible in the other, seeking to fit their Holy Land findings into the sacred story.

Based on his 1930s surveys, American archaeologist Nelson Glueck even asserted that he had found King Solomon’s mines in Faynan/Edom. By the 1980s, however, Glueck’s claim had been largely dismissed.

A consensus had emerged that the Bible was heavily edited in the 5th century BCE, long after the supposed events, while British excavations of the Edomite highlands in the 1970s-80s suggested the Iron Age had not even come to Edom until the 7th century BCE.

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