Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Transhumanism Has Arrived

Science Daily: Real-time Control Of Wheelchair With Brain Waves.

ScienceDaily (June 29, 2009) — Japan's BSI-TOYOTA Collaboration Center has successfully developed a system that controls a wheelchair using brain waves in as little as 125 milliseconds.

BTCC was established in 2007 by RIKEN, an independent Japanese research institution, as a collaborative project with Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota Central R&D Labs, Inc., and Genesis Research Institute, Inc. Also collaborating in the research were Andrzej Cichocki, Unit Leader, and Kyuwan Choi, Research Scientist, of BTCC's Noninvasive BMI Unit.

Recently technological developments in the area of brain machine interface (BMI) have received much attention. Such systems allow elderly or handicapped people to interact with the world through signals from their brains, without having to give voice commands.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Paleocene Dragons

Fassett, J.E., New Geochronological and Stratigraphic Evidence Confims The Paleocene Age of the Dinosaur-Bearing Ojo Alamo Sandstone and Animas Formation In The San Juan Basin New Mexico and Colorado, Paleontologia Electronica, Jan 2009

Dinosaur fossils are present in the Paleocene Ojo Alamo Sandstone and Animas Formation in the San Juan Basin, New Mexico, and Colorado. Evidence for the Paleocene age of the Ojo Alamo Sandstone includes palynologic and paleomagnetic data. Palynologic data indicate that the entire Ojo Alamo Sandstone, including the lower dinosaur-bearing part, is Paleocene in age. All of the palynomorph-productive rock samples collected from the Ojo Alamo Sandstone at multiple localities lacked Cretaceous index palynomorphs (except for rare, reworked specimens) and produced Paleocene index palynomorphs. Paleocene palynomorphs have been identified stratigraphically below dinosaur fossils at two separate localities in the Ojo Alamo Sandstone in the central and southern parts of the basin. The Animas Formation in the Colorado part of the basin also contains dinosaur fossils, and its Paleocene age has been established based on fossil leaves and palynology.

Magnetostratigraphy provides independent evidence for the Paleocene age of the Ojo Alamo Sandstone and its dinosaur-bearing beds. Normal-polarity magnetochron C29n (early Paleocene) has been identified in the Ojo Alamo Sandstone at six localities in the southern part of the San Juan Basin.

An assemblage of 34 skeletal elements from a single hadrosaur, found in the Ojo Alamo Sandstone in the southern San Juan Basin, provided conclusive evidence that this assemblage could not have been reworked from underlying Cretaceous strata. In addition, geochemical studies of 15 vertebrate bones from the Paleocene Ojo Alamo Sandstone and 15 bone samples from the underlying Kirtland Formation of Late Cretaceous (Campanian) age show that each sample suite contained distinctly different abundances of uranium and rare-earth elements, indicating that the bones were mineralized in place soon after burial, and that none of the Paleocene dinosaur bones analyzed had been reworked.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dinosaur Petroglyphs

Mysterious Anomalies: Walking With Dinosaurs (and Humans)?

The most substantial piece of evidence that dinosaurs once lived along side humankind are prehistoric petroglyphs and paintings found throughout the world that clearly resemble the appearance of various dinosaurs. For example, one of these petroglyphs in particular can be found at Natural Bridges, National Monument Utah. Its creation is attributed to the Anasazi Indians who lived in the region approximately between the fifth and fourteenth centuries. It is apparent that the Anasazi Indians are representing a dinosaur, specifically a Brontosaurus (now referred to as Apatosaurus). However, we seem to forget that the species Brontosaurus excelsus was not discovered until 1879, hundreds of years after the creation of this petroglyph. Thus, it seems nearly impossible that a group of ancient Indians would accurately depict a dinosaur without ever making any contact. Ultimately, we are left with three options: Either the Anasazi Indians were sophisticated archeologists, capable of mind-traveling into the past, or simply put, they coexisted along side at least one dinosaur species at some point in history. At this point, the later is currently the most rational explanation.

Dinosaur Petroglyph Replica

This is a 1:1 scale reproduction of a petroglyph (rock art) that was originally discovered in 1879 in the Havasupai Canyon in Arizona. In 1924, a scientific expedition was sent to the canyon to document the artifacts and petroglyphs left behind by the Native Americans.

The director of that expedition, Samuel Hubbard, said the following about the above petroglyph, "The fact that some prehistoric man made a pictograph of a dinosaur on the walls of this canyon upsets completely all of our theories regarding the antiquity of man. Facts are stubborn and immutable things. If theories do not square with the facts then the theories must change, the facts remain." (Discoveries Relating to Prehistoric Man by the Doheny Scientific Expedition in the Hava Supai Canyon Northern Arizona, Oakland Museum, Oakland California, October and November 1924, p. 5)

There is a very heavy desert varnish on this petroglyph, which authenticates its antiquity and thus its authenticity. This is not a modern forgery.

Ancient Dinosaur Depictions.

There are stories of a plesiosaur-like creature seen in Queensland, Australia. Both aboriginal peoples around Lake Galilee and tribes farther up to the north tell of a long-necked animal with a large body and flippers. "Elders of the Kuku Yalanji aboriginal tribe of Far North Queensland, Australia, relate stories of Yarru (or Yarrba), a creature which used to inhabit rain forest water holes. The painting [left] depicts a creature with features remarkably similar to a plesiosaur. It even shows an outline of the gastro-intestinal tract, indicating that these animals had been hunted and butchered." (CEN Technical Journal, Vol.12, No. 3, 1998, p. 345.)

Draco Volans Arabicus

"I went once to a certain place in Arabia, almost exactly opposite the city of Buto, to make inquiries concerning the winged serpents. On my arrival I saw the back-bones and ribs of serpents in such numbers as it is impossible to describe: of the ribs there were a multitude of heaps, some great, some small, some middle-sized. The place where the bones lie is at the entrance of a narrow gorge between steep mountains, which there open upon a spacious plain communicating with the great plain of Egypt." -- Herodotos, historian, Book II, 440 B.C.

"... the spice-bearing trees are guarded by small Winged Snakes of varied color, many around each tree; these are the snakes that attack Egypt. Nothing except the smoke of storax will drive them away from the trees ... So too if the vipers and the Winged Serpents of Arabia were born in the natural manner of serpents life would be impossible for men; but as it is, when they copulate, while the male is in the act of procreation and as soon as he has ejaculated his seed, the female seizes him by the neck, and does not let go until she has bitten through. The male dies in the way described, but the female suffers in return for the male the following punishment: avenging their father, the young while they are still within the womb gnaw at their mother and eating through her bowels thus make their way out. Other snakes, that do no harm to men, lay eggs and hatch out a vast number of young. The Arabian Winged Serpents do indeed seem to be numerous; but that is because (although there are vipers in every land) these are all in Arabia and are found nowhere else." -- Herodotos, historian, Book III, 440 B.C.

"...there are said to be certain flying serpents in Ethiopia...." -- Aristotle, philosopher, 350 B.C.

"The ibis, a very large bird, with strong legs and a horny long beak, destroys a great number of serpents. These birds keep Egypt from pestilential diseases by killing and devouring the flying serpents brought from the deserts of Lybia by the south-west wind, which prevents the mischief that may attend their biting while alive, or any infection when dead." -- Marcus T. Cicero, philosopher, 1st century B.C.

"They [winged serpents] are now found (only) in the islands of the Malay Archipelago, but when the land to the west was covered with trees and the climate was not so dry, they migrated in immense swarms as far as Egypt and the Caucasus. They never got actually into Egypt, but died in the ravines leading to the Egyptian plane." -- Reginald A. Fessenden, inventor, 1923

"... the Egyptians thought that they [winged serpents] were killed by the ibis, but it was really due to the changes in the temperature and humidity, though the ibis may have been contributary by halting the migration." -- Reginald A. Fessenden, inventor, 1923

"Herodotus describes them [winged serpents] correctly as having membranous and not feathered wings and of different colors. The authorities say that the colors are very vivid, blue, red, and yellow, and one naturalist says they look like immense butterflies, soaring through the air." -- Reginald A. Fessenden, inventor, 1923

"... the ancients were extremely afraid of them [winged serpents]." -- Reginald A. Fessenden, inventor, 1923

"No skeletal remains [of Draco Volans arabicus] have been discovered for the simple reason no one has taken the story seriously." -- John Sweat, historian, December 2004

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Could Pterosaurs and Plesiosaurs Breathe Fire?

"And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died." -- Numbers 21:6

"Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;" -- Deuteronomy 8:15

"The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them." -- Isaiah 30:6

"Out of his [Leviathan's] mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out. Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron. His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth." -- Job 41:19-21

"There is evidence that pterosaurs may have flown the skies a couple thousand years ago. There are numerous depictions precise enough to identify the pterosaur species, Scaphognathus crassirostris, from several cultures of antiquity. Since that species is the only long-tailed species with a head crest, it is readily identified." -- John Goertzen, zoologist, 1998

"The notion of a 'fire-breathing dragon' is regularly held up to ridicule any relationship between dinosaurs and dragons. Actually, scientists would find it very easy to explain an animal that could literally breathe out flames. Many animals generate methane in their digestive tracts. Methane, or natural gas, is quite flammable, and there's a college prank (which I will not describe) based on setting human methane on fire! Some scientists think that dinosaurs belched so much methane that a 'greenhouse gas' may have helped keep the polar regions of the earth warm! Scientists also know of dinosaurs that had cavities in their skulls with tubular passages leading to the fronts of their mouths. Imagine such chambers contained an enzyme that would accelerate the chemical reaction between methane and oxygen. If the enzyme were injected just as the belching dinosaur opened its mouth, the methane blast would burst into a fiery stream of flame as the methane hit the oxygen in the air." -- Gary Parker, scientist, 2007

"The Parasaurolophus, the 'Crested Lizard,' had a single bony crest rising from it's nostrils and going back over it's head, looking something like a very large horn. The males had a larger crest than the females. Inside the crests were very large nasal cavities, much larger than needed for smell." -- Grady S. McMurtry, theologian, 2009

"Dinosaurs had a lot of vegetable materials in their stomachs and it would have produced a lot of methane gas. Sea dwelling reptiles could have easily had it too, especially if they ate kelp and similar aquatic plants. So, here we would have a source of fuel for a fire breathing dragon." -- Grady S. McMurtry, theologian, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Ark of the Covenant

WorldNetDaily: 'Ark of the Covenant' about to be unveiled? Ethiopian patriarch tells pope he will show artifact to world.

The patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Ethiopia says he will announce to the world Friday the unveiling of the Ark of the Covenant, perhaps the world's most prized archaeological and spiritual artifact, which he says has been hidden away in a church in his country for millennia, according to the Italian news agency Adnkronos.

Abuna Pauolos, in Italy for a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI this week, told the news agency, "Soon the world will be able to admire the Ark of the Covenant described in the Bible as the container of the tablets of the law that God delivered to Moses and the center of searches and studies for centuries."

The announcement is expected to be made at 2 p.m. Italian time from the Hotel Aldrovandi in Rome. Pauolos will reportedly be accompanied by Prince Aklile Berhan Makonnen Haile Sellassie and Duke Amedeo D'Acosta.

"The Ark of the Covenant is in Ethiopia for many centuries," said Pauolos. "As a patriarch I have seen it with my own eyes and only few highly qualified persons could do the same, until now."
Aslo see here.

The story is told in the Kebra Negast (Glory of the Kings), Ethiopia's chronicle of its royal line: the Queen of Sheba, one of its first rulers, traveled to Jerusalem to partake of King Solomon's wisdom; on her way home, she bore Solomon's son, Menelik. Later Menelik went to visit his father, and on his return journey was accompanied by the firstborn sons of some Israelite nobles—who, unbeknown to Menelik, stole the ark and carried it with them to Ethiopia. When Menelik learned of the theft, he reasoned that since the ark's frightful powers hadn't destroyed his retinue, it must be God's will that it remain with him. ...

"Queen Sheba visited King Solomon in Jerusalem three thousand years ago, and the son she bore him, Menelik, at age 20 visited Jerusalem, from where he brought the ark of the covenant back to Aksum. It's been in Ethiopia ever since."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

35,000 Year Old Bone Flute

Christian Science Monitor: World’s oldest instrument found. And boy, could those cavemen rock.

The instrument is a 35,000-year-old bone flute unearthed by a team led by Nicholas Conard, an archaeologist at the University of Tubingen, in Germany.

The flute, which was discovered in the same area as the Venus of Hohle Fels, was apparently made from the hollowed-out bones of a vulture. Writing in the latest issue of Nature magazine, Conard and his colleagues, Maria Malina of the Heidelberg Academy of Science and Susanne Munzel of the University of Tubingen, said the find demonstrated “the presence of a well-established musical tradition at the time when modern humans colonized Europe.”

Conard’s team excavated the flute in September 2008, the same month they recovered six ivory fragments from the Hohle Fels cave that form a female figurine they believe is the oldest known sculpture of the human form.

After all the dust had settled, the scientists found small pieces of four flutes – the vulture bone number pictured above, however, is the only complete instrument. Speaking to Alan Boyle at MSNBC, Conard said the find suggests that “modern humans seemed to have had much larger social networks,” than previously imagined.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

10,500 Year Old Well Discovered

Reuters: Stone age water well discovered in Cyprus.

Archaeologists in Cyprus have found what they believe are some of the world's oldest water wells, dating from the Stone Age 10,500 years ago and containing the skeleton of a young woman.

The wells, unearthed by an excavator at a building site close to the western coastal town of Paphos, adds to another five previously excavated in the region by a team from the University of Edinburgh.

"Radiocarbon dates indicate that these wells are 9,000 to 10,500 years old, which places them amongst the earliest water wells known in the world," the Antiquities Department said in a statement Tuesday.

The cylindrical shaft discovered by the excavator had a number of small niches cut out of its sides to enable those who dug the well to climb in and out. It was silted up, containing animal bones and the poorly preserved skeleton of a young woman, the department said.

"Unfortunately we shall never know how she came to be there," it said.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Battle of Edrei

The ancient city of Edrei (now the city of Daraa in modern day Syria) was once a major city of giants in the land of giants known as Bashan and it is there that Moses and the Israelites defeated the last remnants of the giants at the Battle of Edrei.

"The Emims [giants] dwelt therein in times past, a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims; Which also were accounted giants, as the Anakims; but the Moabites called them Emims.'" -- Deuteronomy 2:10-11

"(That also was accounted a land of giants: giants dwelt therein in old time; and the Ammonites called them Zamzummims;" -- Deuteronomy 2:20

"Then we turned, and went up the way to Bashan: and Og the king of Bashan came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei." -- Deuteronomy 3:1

"For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man." -- Deuteronomy 3:11

"And the rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, being the kingdom of Og, gave I unto the half tribe of Manasseh; all the region of Argob, with all Bashan, which was called the land of giants." -- Deuteronomy 3:13

"And the coast of Og king of Bashan, which was of the remnant of the giants, that dwelt at Ashtaroth and at Edrei," -- Joshua 12:4

"All the kingdom of Og in Bashan, which reigned in Ashtaroth and in Edrei, who remained of the remnant of the giants: for these did Moses smite, and cast them out." -- Joshua 13:12

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ancient Phrygia

Herodotos in Book II of The History tells us of Pharaoh Psamtik I and the alleged "first" language experiment.

Now the Egyptians, before the reign of their king Psammetichus, believed themselves to be the most ancient of mankind. Since Psammetichus, however, made an attempt to discover who were actually the primitive race, they have been of opinion that while they surpass all other nations, the Phrygians surpass them in antiquity. This king, finding it impossible to make out by dint of inquiry what men were the most ancient, contrived the following method of discovery:- He took two children of the common sort, and gave them over to a herdsman to bring up at his folds, strictly charging him to let no one utter a word in their presence, but to keep them in a sequestered cottage, and from time to time introduce goats to their apartment, see that they got their fill of milk, and in all other respects look after them. His object herein was to know, after the indistinct babblings of infancy were over, what word they would first articulate. It happened as he had anticipated. The herdsman obeyed his orders for two years, and at the end of that time, on his one day opening the door of their room and going in, the children both ran up to him with outstretched arms, and distinctly said "Becos." When this first happened the herdsman took no notice; but afterwards when he observed, on coming often to see after them, that the word was constantly in their mouths, he informed his lord, and by his command brought the children into his presence. Psammetichus then himself heard them say the word, upon which he proceeded to make inquiry what people there was who called anything "becos," and hereupon he learnt that "becos" was the Phrygian name for bread. In consideration of this circumstance the Egyptians yielded their claims, and admitted the greater antiquity of the Phrygians.

That these were the real facts I learnt at Memphis from the priests of Vulcan. The Greeks, among other foolish tales, relate that Psammetichus had the children brought up by women whose tongues he had previously cut out; but the priests said their bringing up was such as I have stated above. I got much other information also from conversation with these priests while I was at Memphis, and I even went to Heliopolis and to Thebes, expressly to try whether the priests of those places would agree in their accounts with the priests at Memphis. The Heliopolitans have the reputation of being the best skilled in history of all the Egyptians. What they told me concerning their religion it is not my intention to repeat, except the names of their deities, which I believe all men know equally.
And archaeology confirms the results of this experiment.

Menemencioglu, K., The Sabians of Harran, 2007

When we mention Anatolian civilizations very few of us think of Harran. The city of Harran is virtually a forgotten spot in the geography of Anatolia. Whereas in reality, it is a place of great importance having a very significant role in the development of civilization. It may surprise you to know that a 11,500-year-old temple was discovered in Göbeklitepe, and a 13,500-year-old statue, the world’s oldest, was discovered during an excavation in Balıklıgöl. Assistant Professor A. Cihat Kürkçüoglu of Harran University claims that the history of civilization began in the Urfa (a city just 45 kilometers from Harran). When we consider that civilization began in Egypt in Mesopotamia roughly 5,000 years ago we can have an idea on how these archeological finds have rocked the foundations of our understanding of history.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Democritus and Buddha?

It seems to me likely that Democritus and Buddha met eachother in India in the 5th century B.C.

Hippolytus says Democritus met with the gymnosophists, naked gurus, in India, which in the 5th century B.C. was none other than Gautama Buddha.

Having gone all the way to India, it is unlikely that Democritus wouldn't have sought out the Buddha himself.

"I have roamed over the most ground of any man of my time, investigating the most remote parts. I have seen the most skies and lands, and I have heard of learned men in very great numbers. And in composition no one has surpassed me; in demonstration, not even those among the Egyptians who are called Arpenodaptae, with all of whom I lived in exile up to eighty years." -- Democritus, polymath, 4th century B.C.

"One need hardly mention Pythagoras, Plato, or Democritus. We are told that their desire for knowledge propelled them to the four corners of the earth. Those who cannot understand this have never loved any great and worthy object of knowledge." -- Marcus T. Cicero, philosopher, 1st century B.C.

"This was Democritus of Abdera, son of Damasippus, who met with many gymnosophists [naked gurus] among the Indians and with priests and astrologers in Egypt and with the Magi in Babylon." -- Hippolytus, priest, Refutation of All Heresies, 2nd century

"He [Democritus] said that the ordered worlds are boundless and differ in size, and that in some there is neither sun nor moon, but that in others, both are greater than with us, and yet with others more in number. And that the intervals between the ordered worlds are unequal, here more and there less, and that some increase, others flourish and others decay, and here they come into being and there they are eclipsed. But that they are destroyed by colliding with one another. And that some ordered worlds are bare of animals and plants and all water." -- Hippolytus, priest, Refutation of All Heresies, 2nd century

"Some also say that he [Democritus] made acquaintance with the gymnosophists [naked gurus] in India, and that he went to Aethiopia." -- Diogenes Laertius, historian, 3rd century

"And Aristoxenus, in his Historic Commentaries, says that Plato wished to burn all the writings of Democritus that he was able to collect; but that Amyclas and Cleinias, the Pythagoreans, prevented him, as it would do no good; for that copies of his books were already in many hands. And it is plain that that was the case; for Plato, who mentions nearly all the ancient philosophers, nowhere speaks of Democritus; not even in those passages where he has occasion to contradict his theories, evidently, because he said that if he did, he would be showing his disagreement with the best of all philosophers...." -- Diogenes Laertius, historian, 3rd century

"... a treatise on the Magnet. These are his [Democritus's] miscellaneous works." -- Diogenes Laertius, historian, 3rd century

"Some authors also give a list of some separate treatises which they collect from his [Democritus's] Commentaries. A treatise on the Sacred Letters seen at Babylon; another on the Sacred Letters seen at Meroe; the Voyage round the Ocean; a treatise on History...." -- Diogenes Laertius, historian, 3rd century

"Expressing this in other terms, the Buddha's period of teaching activity was in the second half of the fifth century B.C. perhaps extending into the first quarter of the fourth century." -- L.S. Cousins, historian, 1996

"As for Democritus, Plato notoriously fails altogether to mention either him or his writings, though (especially in the Timaeus) he arguably betrays knowledge of them, if only indirectly." -- Paul Cartledge, philosopher, 1999

Cousins, L.S., The Dating of the Historical Buddha: A Review Article, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Series 3, 6.1, Pages 57-63, 1996

I took that photograph by the way :P

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Scientists Admit Lightning Exists On Mars

University of Michigan: First direct evidence of lightning on Mars detected.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—For the first time, direct evidence of lightning has been detected on Mars, say University of Michigan researchers who found signs of electrical discharges during dust storms on the Red Planet.

The bolts were dry lightning, says Chris Ruf, a professor in the departments of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences and Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences.

"What we saw on Mars was a series of huge and sudden electrical discharges caused by a large dust storm," Ruf said. "Clearly, there was no rain associated with the electrical discharges on Mars. However, the implied possibilities are exciting."

Electric activity in Martian dust storms has important implications for Mars science, the researchers say.

"It affects atmospheric chemistry, habitability and preparations for human exploration. It might even have implications for the origin of life, as suggested by experiments in the 1950s," said Nilton Renno, a professor in the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences.

The findings are based on observations made using an innovative microwave detector developed at the U-M Space Physics Research Laboratory. The kurtosis detector, which is capable of differentiating between thermal and non-thermal radiation, took measurements of microwave emissions from Mars for approximately five hours a day for 12 days between May 22 and June 16, 2006.

On June 8, 2006 both an unusual pattern of non-thermal radiation and an intense Martian dust storm occurred, the only time that non-thermal radiation was detected. Non-thermal radiation would suggest the presence of lightning.

The researchers reviewed the data to determine the strength, duration and frequency of the non-thermal activity, as well as the possibility of other sources. But each test led to the conclusion that the dust storm likely caused dry lightning.

This work confirms soil measurements from the Viking landers 30 years ago, and it challenges 2006 experiments that suggested otherwise.

Data from the Viking landers raised the possibility that Martian dust storms might be electrically active like Earth's thunderstorms and thus, might be a source of reactive chemistry. But the hypothesis was untestable. In 2006, using theoretical modeling, laboratory experiments and field studies on Earth, a group of planetary scientists suggested that there was no direct evidence that lightning occurred on Mars. This new research refutes those findings.

"Mars continues to amaze us. Every new look at the planet gives us new insights," said Michael Sanders, manager of the exploration systems and technology office at Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a researchers involved in this study.

The new finding will be published in an upcoming issue of Geophysical Research Letters. The paper is called "The Emission of Non-Thermal Microwave Radiation by a Martian Dust Storm."

Friday, June 19, 2009

Gavin Menzies On Chinese Scientific Achievements

Louis (as in Hissink) reminded me I needed to read this guy so I took a brief look and this is what I found.

"Over ten years ago I stumbled upon an incredible discovery, a clue hidden in an ancient map which, though it did not lead to buried treasure, suggested that the history of the world as it has been known and handed down for centuries would have to be radically revised." -- Gavin Menzies, historian, 2002

"I decided to see if there were other charts like the 1424 map, showing continents that had been surveyed before the European voyages of discovery. The deeper I dug, the more bombshells I uncovered. I was astonished to find that Patagonia and the Andes had been mapped a century before the first Europeans sighted them, and Antarctica had been accurately drawn some four centuries before Europeans reached the continent. The east coast of Africa was shown on another chart, with longitudes that were perfectly correct -- something Europeans did not manage to achieve for another three centuries. Australia appeared on another map, three centuries before Cook, and other charts showed the Carribean, Greenland, the Arctic and the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of both North America and South America long before Europeans had arrived." -- Gavin Menzies, historian, 2002

"They [China] had solved the problems of latitude and longitude and had mapped the earth and heavens with equal accuracy." -- Gavin Menzies, historian, 2002

"There was also a wealth of physical evidence: Chinese porcelain, silk, votive offerings, artefacts, carved stones left by the Chinese admirals as monuments to their achievements, the wrecks of Chinese junks on the coasts of Africa, America, Australia and New Zealand, and the flora and fauna transplanted far from their places of origin and thriving when the first Europeans appeared." -- Gavin Menzies, historian, 2002

"A new observatory would be at the epicentre of Beijing. Zhu Di took a personal interest in astronomy, and in the means by which he could build on the wonderful legacy he had inherited in this field. Chinese astronomers had well over two thousand years of experience of recordng events in the night sky. They had noted the appearance of a new star in 1300 BC, had charted every arrival of Halley's comet since 240 BC, and by 1054 were describing the remnants of the supernova explosion known as the Crab Nebula...." -- Gavin Menzies, historian, 2002

"The library of Henry V (1387-1422) comprised six handwritten books, three of which were on loan to him from a nunnery, and the Florentine Franceso Datini, the wealthiest merchant of the same era, possessed twelve books, eight of which were on religious subjects." -- Gavin Menzies, historian, 2002

"The great Chinese fleets undertook scientific expeditions the Europeans could not even begin to equal in scale or scope until Captain Cook set sail three and a half centuries later." -- Gavin Menzies, historian, 2002

"The methods of navigation employed by Zhu Di's admirals are revealed by one of the few documents of the era to have survived, the Wu Pei Chi. These Chinese sailing instructions, essentially a manual of the arts of seamanship and naval warfare, somehow escaped the purges of the mandarins. There were instructions, inscribed on a long, thin strip of paper, for each regular voyage they made, giving detailed directions including star positions, latitudes, bearings and the physical description of islands, prominent headlands, bays and inlets that would be clearly visible along the route. By studying these sailing directions, it is possible to deduce not only the course the Chinese had steered but the accuracy of their navigation and their ability to set a course by the stars. It is an invaluable document." -- Gavin Menzies, historian, 2002

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Maya More Advanced Than Racists Had Assumed

Science Daily: Maya Intensively Cultivated Manioc 1,400 Years Ago.

ScienceDaily (June 17, 2009) — A University of Colorado at Boulder team has uncovered an ancient and previously unknown Maya agricultural system -- a large manioc field intensively cultivated as a staple crop that was buried and exquisitely preserved under a blanket of ash by a volcanic eruption in present-day El Salvador 1,400 years ago.
Sounds catastrophic imo.

Calculations by Sheets indicate the Ceren planting fields would have produced roughly 10 metric tons of manioc annually for the 100 to 200 villagers believed to have lived there. "The question now is what these people in the village were doing with all that manioc that was harvested all at once," he said. "Even if they were gorging themselves, they could not have consumed that much."
You mean ignorant savages can actually trade their surplus? That's impossible.

Since indigenous peoples in tropical South America use manioc today to brew alcoholic beverages, including beer, the CU-Boulder team will be testing ceramic vessels recovered from various structures at Ceren for traces of manioc. To date, 12 structures have been excavated, and others detected by ground-penetrating radar remain buried, he said.
What would a savage need alcohol for?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

10th Brightest Star Shrinks

Science Daily: Betelgeuse, Red Supergiant In Constellation Orion, Has Shrunk By 15 Percent In 15 Years.

ScienceDaily (June 16, 2009) — The red supergiant star Betelgeuse, the bright reddish star in the constellation Orion, has steadily shrunk over the past 15 years, according to University of California, Berkeley, researchers.

Long-term monitoring by UC Berkeley's Infrared Spatial Interferometer (ISI) on the top of Mt. Wilson in Southern California shows that Betelgeuse (bet' el juz), which is so big that in our solar system it would reach to the orbit of Jupiter, has shrunk in diameter by more than 15 percent since 1993.

Since Betelgeuse's radius is about five astronomical units, or five times the radius of Earth's orbit, that means the star's radius has shrunk by a distance equal to the orbit of Venus.

"To see this change is very striking," said Charles Townes, a UC Berkeley professor emeritus of physics who won the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics for inventing the laser and the maser, a microwave laser. "We will be watching it carefully over the next few years to see if it will keep contracting or will go back up in size."

Townes and his colleague, Edward Wishnow, a research physicist at UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory, will discuss their findings at a 12:40 p.m. PDT press conference on Tuesday, June 9, during the Pasadena meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). The results were published June 1 in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Despite Betelgeuse's diminished size, Wishnow pointed out that its visible brightness, or magnitude, which is monitored regularly by members of the American Association of Variable Star Observers, has shown no significant dimming over the past 15 years.

The ISI has been focusing on Betelgeuse for more than 15 years in an attempt to learn more about these giant massive stars and to discern features on the star's surface, Wishnow said. He speculated that the measurements may be affected by giant convection cells on the star's surface that are like convection granules on the sun, but so large that they bulge out of the surface. Townes and former graduate student Ken Tatebe observed a bright spot on the surface of Betelgeuse in recent years, although at the moment, the star appears spherically symmetrical.

"But we do not know why the star is shrinking," Wishnow said. "Considering all that we know about galaxies and the distant universe, there are still lots of things we don't know about stars, including what happens as red giants near the ends of their lives."

Betelgeuse was the first star ever to have its size measured, and even today is one of only a handful of stars that appears through the Hubble Space Telescope as a disk rather than a point of light. In 1921, Francis G. Pease and Albert Michelson used optical interferometry to estimate its diameter was equivalent to the orbit of Mars. Last year, new measurements of the distance to Betelgeuse raised it from 430 light years to 640, which increased the star's diameter from about 3.7 to about 5.5 AU.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Vine Deloria Jr. On Racism In Science

"Watch the newspapers for more startling admissions that all is not right in Western Hemisphere prehistory and ask your local scholar to provide evidence for the fantastic scenarios that are being passed off as 'science.' You will enjoy watching them squirm and change the subject." -- Vine Deloria Jr., historian, 1997

"Like almost everyone else in America, I grew up believing the myth of the objective scientist. Fortunately I was raised on the edges of two very distinct cultures, western European and American Indian...." -- Vine Deloria Jr., historian, 1997

"As time passed I became an avid reader of popular scientific books, wanting to know as much as I could about the world in which I lived. Gradually I began to see a pattern of nonsense in much scientific writing. Scientific explanations given regarding the origins or functioning of various phenomena simply didn't make sense." -- Vine Deloria Jr., historian, 1997

"A good many of our problems today are a result of the perpetuation of dreadfully outmoded beliefs derived from the Near Eastern/European past that do not correspond to what our science is discovering today or to the remembered experiences of non-Western peoples across the globe." -- Vine Deloria Jr., historian, 1997

"More important for our purposes, while not forgetting the horrors of some scientific behavior, is the impact of scientific doctrine on the status of Indians in American society. Regardless of what Indians have said concerning their origins, their migrations, their experiences with birds, animals, lands, waters, mountains, and other peoples, the scientists have maintained a stranglehold on the definitions of what respectable and reliable human experiences are. The Indian explanation is always cast aside as superstition, precluding Indians from having an acceptable status as human beings, and reducing them in the eyes of educated people to a prehuman level of ignorance. Indians must simply take whatever status they have been granted by scientists at that point at which they have become acceptable to science." -- Vine Deloria Jr., historian, 1997

"The stereotypical image of the American Indian as childlike, superstitious creatures still remains in the popular American mind -- a subhuman species that really has no feelings, values, or inherent worth. The attitude permeates American society because Americans have been taught that 'scientists' are always right, that they have no personal biases, and that they do not lie...." -- Vine Deloria Jr., historian, 1997

"Scientists may not have intended to portray Indians as animals rather than humans, but their insistence that Indians are outside the mainstream of human experience produces precisely these reactions in the public mind." -- Vine Deloria Jr., historian, 1997

"This book [Red Earth White Lies] deals with some of the problems created for American Indians by science. We will encounter a number of amazing inconsistencies in the manner in which science describes the world we live in and the role it has chosen for American Indians to play in a largely fictional scenario describing prehistoric North America. It is not enough, however, to demonstrate the fallacies of Western science. I will offer an alternative view of North American history as seen through the eyes and memories of American Indians." -- Vine Deloria Jr., historian, 1997

"Some efforts have already been made in a number of fields to investigate the knowledge of tribal peoples and incorporate it into modern scientific explanations. Thor Heyerdahl was one of the first people to show, by repeating the event, that ancient peoples could well have travelled by sea to various parts of the globe. ... Recognizing that Indians may have been capable of building boats seems a minor step forward until we remember that for almost two centuries scientific doctrine required that Indians come by land because they were incapable of building rafts. Polynesian voyages of considerable distances have now been duplicated, giving credence to the idea that Hawaiian tales of sea voyages were not superstitious ways of discussing ocean currents. Critical in this respect is the fact that Hawaiians would not be believed until a white man had duplicated the feat." -- Vine Deloria Jr., historian, 1997

"In methodological terms there is a major problem in bringing non-Western traditions within the scope of serious scientific perspective, and that is the inherent racism in academia and in scientific circles. Some of the racism is doctrinaire and unforgiving -- for instance, the belief that, for a person and/or community possessing any knowledge that is not white/Western in origin, the data is unreliable. A corollary of this belief is that non-Western peoples tend to be excitable, are subjective and not objective, and consequently are unreliable observers. Other attitudes encompass the idea that non-Western knowledge, while interesting, is a lucky correspondence between what science has 'proved' and what these people discovered by chance." -- Vine Deloria Jr., historian, 1997

"The bottom line about the information possessed by non-Western peoples is that the information becomes valid only when offered by a white scholar recognized by the academic establishment; in effect, the color of the skin guarantees scientific objectivity." -- Vine Deloria Jr., historian, 1997

"Unfortunately, the day of the philosopher in Western society has passed ...." -- Vine Deloria Jr., historian, 1997

"Lying by a scout was a dreadful act punished by death or banishment. A remarkably high percentage of scouts also became the great storytellers and were repositories of the oral tradition." -- Vine Deloria Jr., historian, 1997

"But even labeling a site as astronomical is an improvement, since it partially sidesteps the old stereotype of Indians being primitive and ignorant savages." -- Vine Deloria Jr., historian, 1997

"At the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Chicago in 1992, there was a panel presentation of a new field called 'zoopharmacognosy,' which is a term describing the use of medicinal plants by animals. The panel got a laudatory review in a Newsweek article, which described fearless scientists spying on sick animals and observing them using certain plants to cure themselves. A Duke University primatologist was quoted as saying, 'If these work for primates, then they are potential treatments for humans,' this insight apparently being a startling departure from ordinary scientific logic. The article quoted Harvard ethnobotanist Shawn Sigstedt suggesting that bears may have taught the Navajos to use a species of the Ligusticum plant, just as they had claimed! For Western peoples, the announcemnet of zoopharmacognosy may be an exciting breakthrough on the frontiers of science, but getting information from birds and animals regarding plants is an absurdly self-evident propostion for American Indians. It gives substance to the idea that all things are related, and it is the basis for many tribal traditions regarding medicinal uses of plants. The excitement illustrates a point made above: Why didn't people take Indians seriously when we said that animals and birds give us information on medicinal plants? Why is such knowledge only valid and valuable when white scientists document and articulate it?" -- Vine Deloria Jr., historian, 1997

"... even when Indian ideas are demonstrated to be correct there is the racist propensity to argue that the Indian understanding was just an ad hoc lucky guess -- which is perilously close to what now passes for scientific knowledge." -- Vine Deloria Jr., historian, 1997

"If the tribal peoples actually represented Western origins at a much earlier time, it was exceedingly valuable that they should be studied intensely for clues about the nature and origin of human society. Consequently it was an injury to science and human knowledge to allow the military to simply exterminate them." -- Vine Deloria Jr., historian, 1997

All these quotes are now in the "Scientific Racism" section on the sidebar alongside Newtonian Holocaust denial.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Native American Philosophy

Eurocentric Newtonian and uniformitarian racists have done everything in their power to revise and deny non-Western European history and science.

The scientific goal of the Eurocentric Newtonians and uniformitarians is simply to exterminate all foreign races, culture, history, science, and thought.

Despite their genocidal lifestyle, book burnings, and attempts to eradicate non-white history and science, some ideas have survived the Nuremberg rallies and mass graves of the Eurocentric Newtonian thought gestapo.

My favorite Native American philosopher so far is Black Elk of the Lakota tribe.

On Astronomy

"... I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars." -- Black Elk, medicine man, August 1930

On History Repeating Itself

"Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were." -- Black Elk, medicine man, August 1930

On Mankind In Amnesia

"You can see that it is not the grass and the water that have forgotten." -- Black Elk, medicine man, August 1930

On the Truth of Myth

"This they tell, and whether it happened or not I do not know; but if you think about it, you can see that it is true." -- Black Elk, medicine man, August 1930

On Giants

"I sat there gazing at them, and they were coming from the place where the giant lives (north)." -- Black Elk, medicine man, August 1930

On Comet Venus

"Here you see the Morning Star [Venus]. Who sees the Morning Star shall see more, for he shall be wise." -- Black Elk, medicine man, August 1930

"... the morning star [Venus] lives to give men wisdom ...." -- Black Elk, medicine man, August 1930

On Observational Humility, Time, Age, and Death

"... for what is one man that he should make much of his winters, even when they bend him like a heavy snow? So many other men have lived and shall live that story, to be grass upon the hills." -- Black Elk, medicine man, August 1930

The Peer Review Hoax

The journals are once again demonstrating that scientists have much in common with the worlds oldest profession, the only difference is scientists are less honest: Editor will quit over hoax paper. (Via Physics and Physicists)

The editor-in-chief of a journal is to resign after claiming that the publisher, Bentham Science Publishing, accepted a hoax article for publication without his knowledge.

The fake, computer-generated manuscript was submitted to The Open Information Science Journal by Philip Davis, a graduate student in communication sciences at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and Kent Anderson, executive director of international business and product development at The New England Journal of Medicine. They produced the paper using software that generates grammatically correct but nonsensical text, and submitted the manuscript under pseudonyms in late January.

Davis says he decided to submit the fake manuscript after receiving several unsolicited invitations by e-mail to submit papers to open-access journals published by Bentham under the author-pays-for-publication model. He wanted to test if the publisher would "accept a completely nonsensical manuscript if the authors were willing to pay".

Davis was informed by Bentham on 3 June that his manuscript was accepted for publication. The publisher requested that Davis pay US$800 to its subscriptions department, based in the United Arab Emirates, before the article was published. At this point, Davis retracted the article.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Military: Meteorite Impacts Now Classified

"...the Lord cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died..." -- Joshua, 10:11

"Stones cannot fall from the sky because there are no stones in the sky!" -- Antoine L. Lavoisier, chemist, 1790

The Obama Administration has decided science reality (catastrophism) is now top secret: Military Hush-Up: Incoming Space Rocks Now Classified.

For 15 years, scientists have benefited from data gleaned by U.S. classified satellites of natural fireball events in Earth's atmosphere – but no longer.

A recent U.S. military policy decision now explicitly states that observations by hush-hush government spacecraft of incoming bolides and fireballs are classified secret and are not to be released, SPACE.com has learned.

The satellites' main objectives include detecting nuclear bomb tests, and their characterizations of asteroids and lesser meteoroids as they crash through the atmosphere has been a byproduct data bonanza for scientists.

The upshot: Space rocks that explode in the atmosphere are now classified.

"It's baffling to us why this would suddenly change," said one scientist familiar with the work. "It's unfortunate because there was this great synergy...a very good cooperative arrangement. Systems were put into dual-use mode where a lot of science was getting done that couldn't be done any other way. It's a regrettable change in policy."

Scientists say not only will research into the threat from space be hampered, but public understanding of sometimes dramatic sky explosions will be diminished, perhaps leading to hype and fear of the unknown.


Most "shooting stars" are caused by natural space debris no larger than peas. But routinely, rocks as big as basketballs and even small cars crash into the atmosphere. Most vaporize or explode on the way in, but some reach the surface or explode above the surface. Understandably, scientists want to know about these events so they can better predict the risk here on Earth.

Yet because the world is two-thirds ocean, most incoming objects aren't visible to observers on the ground. Many other incoming space rocks go unnoticed because daylight drowns them out.

Over the last decade or so, hundreds of these events have been spotted by the classified satellites. Priceless observational information derived from the spacecraft were made quickly available, giving researchers such insights as time, a location, height above the surface, as well as light-curves to help pin down the amount of energy churned out from the fireballs.

And in the shaky world we now live, it's nice to know that a sky-high detonation is natural versus a nuclear weapon blast.

Where the space-based surveillance truly shines is over remote stretches of ocean – far away from the prospect of ground-based data collection.

But all that ended within the last few months, leaving scientists blind-sided and miffed by the shift in policy. The hope is that the policy decision will be revisited and overturned. ...

"The fireball data from military or surveillance assets have been of critical importance for assessing the impact hazard," said David Morrison, a Near Earth Object (NEO) scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center. He noted that his views are his own, not as a NASA spokesperson.

The size of the average largest atmospheric impact from small asteroids is a key piece of experimental data to anchor the low-energy end of the power-law distribution of impactors, from asteroids greater than 6 miles (10 kilometers) in diameter down to the meter scale, Morrison told SPACE.com.

"These fireball data together with astronomical observations of larger near-Earth asteroids define the nature of the impact hazard and allow rational planning to deal with this issue," Morrison said.

Morrison said that fireball data are today playing additional important roles.

As example, the fireball data together with infrasound allowed scientists to verify the approximate size and energy of the unique Carancas impact in the Altiplano -- on the Peru-Bolivia border -- on Sept. 15, 2007.

Fireball information also played an important part in the story of the small asteroid 2008 TC3, Morrison said. That was the first-ever case of the astronomical detection of a small asteroid before it hit last year. The fireball data were key for locating the impact point and the subsequent recovery of fragments from this impact.

Link in public understanding

Astronomers are closing in on a years-long effort to find most of the potentially devastating large asteroids in our neck of the cosmic woods, those that could cause widespread regional or global devastation. Now they plan to look for the smaller stuff.

So it is ironic that the availability of these fireball data should be curtailed just at the time the NEO program is moving toward surveying the small impactors that are most likely to be picked up in the fireball monitoring program, Morrision said.

"These data have been available to the scientific community for the past decade," he said. "It is unfortunate this information is shut off just when it is becoming more valuable to the community interested in characterizing near Earth asteroids and protecting our planet from asteroid impacts."

The newly issued policy edict by the U.S. military of reporting fireball observations from satellites also caught the attention of Clark Chapman, a planetary scientist and asteroid impact expert at Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

"I think that this information is very important to make public," Chapman told SPACE.com.

"More important than the scientific value, I think, is that these rare, bright fireballs provide a link in public understanding to the asteroid impact hazard posed by still larger and less frequent asteroids," Chapman explained.

Those objects are witnessed by unsuspecting people in far-flung places, Chapman said, often generating incorrect and exaggerated reports.

"The grounding achieved by associating these reports by untrained observers with the satellite measurements is very useful for calibrating the observer reports and closing the loop with folks who think they have seen something mysterious and extraordinary," Chapman said.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Another Loss For Uniformitarianism

"Stones cannot fall from the sky because there are no stones in the sky!" -- Antoine L. Lavoisier, chemist, 1790

Sky News: Boy Hit By Meteorite Travelling At 30,000mph.

Gerrit Blank was on his way to school when he saw a massive fireball heading straight towards him from the sky.

The white-hot meteorite bounced off the schoolboy's hand and hit the ground so hard it left a foot-long crater in the tarmac - as well as a three-inch scar on his hand.

Gerrit, 14, said: "At first I just saw a large ball of light and then I suddenly felt a pain in my hand.

"Then, a split second after that, there was an enormous bang like a crash of thunder."

"The noise that came after the flash of light was so loud that my ears were ringing for hours afterwards.

"When it hit me it knocked me flying and then was still going fast enough to bury itself in the road."

Scientists are now studying the pea-sized meteorite, which crashed to Earth in Essen in Germany.

Chemical tests on the rock have now proved it is from outer space.

Ansgar Korte, director of Germany's Walter Hohmann Observatory, said: "It's a real meteorite, therefore it is very valuable to collectors and scientists."

Chances of being struck by a meteorite are around one in 100 million.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Earth's Transmission Spectrum Measured

Science Daily: Search For ET Just Got Easier: Effective Way To Search Atmospheres Of Planets For Signs Of Life.

The team from the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) used the WHT and the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT) to gather information about the chemical composition of the Earth's atmosphere from sunlight that has passed through it. The research is published June 11 in Nature.

When a planet passes in front of its parent star, part of the starlight passes through the planet's atmosphere and contains information about the constituents of the atmosphere, providing vital information about the planet itself. This is called a transmission spectrum and even though astronomers can't use exactly the same method to look at the Earth's atmosphere, they were able to gain a spectrum of our planet by observing light reflected from the Moon towards the Earth during a lunar eclipse. This is the first time the transmission spectrum of the Earth has been measured.

The spectrum not only contained signs of life but these signs were unmistakably strong. It also contained unexpected molecular bands and the signature of the earth ionosphere.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Alleged "Planetary Disk" Defies Gravitation

"All planets revolve in approximately one plane. They revolve in a plane perpendicular to the lines of force of the sun’s magnetic field." -- Immanuel Velikovsky, cosmologist, 1946

"When first observed by Voyager, the spoke movements [of Saturn's Rings] seemed to defy gravity and had the scientists very perplexed. Since the spokes rotate at the same rate as Saturn's magnetic field, it is apparent that the electromagnetic forces are also at work." -- Ron Baalke, astrophysicist, 1998

Science Daily: Planet-forming Disk Discovered Orbiting Twin Suns.

ScienceDaily (June 11, 2009) — Astronomers have announced that a sequence of images collected with the Smithsonian's Submillimeter Array (SMA) clearly reveals the presence of a rotating molecular disk orbiting the young binary star system V4046 Sagittarii. The SMA images provide an unusually vivid snapshot of the process of formation of giant planets, comets, and Pluto-like bodies. The results also confirm that such objects may just as easily form around double stars as around single stars like our Sun.

These findings are being presented by UCLA graduate student David Rodriguez in a press conference at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Pasadena, Calif.

"It's a case of seeing is believing," says Joel Kastner of the Rochester (NY) Institute of Technology, the lead scientist on the study. "We had the first evidence for this rotating disk in radio telescope observations of V4046 Sagittarii that we made last summer. But at that point, all we had were molecular spectra, and there are different ways to interpret the spectra. Once we saw the image data from the SMA, there was no doubt that we have a rotating disk here."
A disk is in a flat plane and therefore obviously not being formed, affected, or influenced in any way by gravitation.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Astronomers Admit Defeat, Plagiarize Democritus/Velikovsky

Newtonian astrologers and scientologists are now hedging against the ignorance of their 17th century religion by admitting defeat.

Democritus/Velikovsky 1 - Newton/Lyell 0.

BBC: 'Tiny chance' of planet collision. (Hat tip: Anaconda via Wattsupwiththat)

Astronomers calculate there is a tiny chance that Mars or Venus could collide with Earth - though it would not happen for at least a billion years.

The finding comes from simulations to show how orbits of planets might evolve billions of years into the future.

But the calculated chances of such events occurring are tiny.

Writing in the journal Nature, a team led by Jacques Laskar shows there is also a chance Mercury could strike Venus and merge into a larger planet.

Professor Laskar of the Paris Observatory and his colleagues also report that Mars might experience a close encounter with Jupiter - whose massive gravity could hurl the Red Planet out of our Solar System.

Astronomers had thought that the orbits of the planets were predictable.
LOL @ astrologers.

"Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame...." -- Isaiah 37:13-14

But 20 years ago, researchers showed that there were slight fluctuations in their paths.
Worlds In Collision was published in 1950 so that would be 59 years ago, not 20 years ago.

Now, the team has shown how in a small proportion of cases these fluctuations can grow until after several million years, the orbits of the inner planets begin to overlap.

The researchers carried out more than 2,500 simulations. They found that in some, Mars and Venus collided with the Earth.

"It will be complete devastation," said Professor Laskar.

"The planet is coming in at 10km per second - 10 times the speed of a bullet - and of course Mars is much more massive than a bullet."

Professor Laskar's calculations also show that there is a possibility of Mercury crashing into Venus. But in that scenario, the Earth would not be significantly affected.

"If there is anyone around billions of years from now, they'd see a burst of light in the sky and the two planets would be merged," he said.

"The new planet would be a little bit bigger than Venus, and the Solar System would be a little more regular after the collision, but the Earth's orbit would not be affected."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Herd Instinct of Mainstream Science

Thomas Gold: New Ideas In Science (Via: Louis Hissink's Crazy World)

J. of Sci. Exploration, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp 103-112, 1989

A motivation which is in a way more serious and more avoidable than the nonlearning one, a motivation that hones out new ideas, is what I brutally call the "herd" instinct. It is an instinct which humans have. It presumably dates back to tribal society. I am sure it has great value in sociological behavior in one way or another, but I think on the whole the "herd instinct" has been a disaster in science. In science what we generally want is diversity -many different avenues need to be pursued. When people pursue the same avenue all together, they tend to shut out the other avenues, and they are not always on the right ones.

If a large proportion of the scientific community in one field is guided by the herd instinct, then they cannot adopt another viewpoint since they cannot imagine that the whole herd will swing around at the same time. It is merely the logistics of the situation. Even if everybody were willing to change course, nobody individually will be sure that he will not be outside the herd when he does so. Perhaps if they could do it as neatly as a flock of starlings, they would. So this inertia-producing effect is a very serious one.

It is not just the herd instinct in the individuals that you have to worry about, but you have to worry about how it is augmented by the way in which science is handled. If support from peers, if moral and financial consequences are at stake, then on the whole staying with the herd is the successful policy for the individual who is depending on these, but it is not the successful policy for the pursuit of science.

Staying with the herd to many people also has an advantage that they would not run the risk of exposing their ignorance. If one departs from the herd, then one will be asked, one will be charged to explain why one has departed from the herd. One has to be able to offer the detailed justifications, and one's understanding of the subject will be criticized. If one stays with the herd, then mostly there is no such charge. "Yes, I believe that because doesn't everybody else believe that? " That is enough justification. It isn't to me, but it is to very many other people. The sheep in the interior of the herd are well protected from the bite in the ankle by the sheep dog.

It is this tendency for herd behavior that is greatly aggravated by the support structure of science in which we believe nowadays. I will read out just one passage here to show that other people than myself have recognized the herd problems: David Michland writes in the REVIEWS OF ASTRONOMY:

I sometimes wonder if the much encouraged and proclaimed interaction among western astronomers leads to a form of mental herd behavior which, if it does not actually put a clamp upon free thinking, insidiously applies the pressure to follow the fashion. This makes the writings of our Soviet colleagues who have partly developed ideas in comparative isolation all the more valuable.

Yes, I have wondered whether one should in fact pursue subjects with a big wall between two groups that are working in the same field, so that they absolutely cannot communicate, and see a few years later whether they come even approximately to the same conclusion. It would then give some perspective of how much the herd behavior may have been hurting. But we don't have that. Even with our Soviet colleagues, unfortunately, we have too much contact to have a display of real independence, to see where it would have led.

This question of how the support of science - and I don't mean only the financial support but also the journals, the judgment of referees, the invitations to conferences, acknowledgments of every kind - how that interacts with the question of herd behavior, is what I will now discuss.

It is important to recognize how strong this interaction really is. Suppose that you have a subject in which there is no clear-cut decision to be made between a variety of opinions and therefore no clear-cut decision to be made in which direction you should put money or which direction you should favor for publications, and so on. No doubt opinions would need a multidimensional space to be presented, but I will at the moment just represent them in a one-dimensional situation.

Suppose you have some curve between the extreme of this opinion and the extreme of that opinion. You have some indefinite, statistically quite insignificant distribution of opinions. Now in that situation, suppose that the refereeing procedure has to decide where to put money in research, which papers to publish, and so on. What would happen? Well, people would say, "We can't really tell, but surely we shouldn't take anybody who is out here. Slightly more people believe in this position than in any other, so we will select our speakers at the next conference from this position on the opinion curve, and we will judge to whom to give research funds," because the referees themselves will of course be included in great numbers in some such curve. "We will select some region there to supply the funds."

And so, a year later what will have happened? You will have combed out some of the people who were out there, and you will have put more people into this region. Each round of decision making has the consequence of essentially taking the initial curve and multiplying it by itself.

Now we understand the mathematical consequence of taking a shallow curve and multiplying it by itself a large number of times. What happens? In the mathematical limit it becomes a delta function at the value of the initial peak. What does that mean? If you go for long enough, you will have created the appearance of unanimity. It will look as if you have solved the problem because all agree, and of course you have got absolutely nothing. If no new fact has come to light and the subject has gone on for long enough, - this is what happens. And it does happen! I am presenting it in its clearest form, and it is by no means a joke. If many years go by in a field in which no significant new facts come to light, the field sharpens up the opinions and gives the appearance that the problem is solved.

I know this very well in one field, which is that of petroleum derivation, where the case has been argued since the 1880's. At the present time most people would say the problem is completely solved, though there is absolutely nothing in the factual situation that would indicate a solution. It is also very clear there that the holding-in that has taken place has been an absolute disaster to research. It is now virtually impossible to do any research outside the widely accepted position. If a young man with no scientific standing were to attempt this, however brilliant he might be, the wouldn't have a hope.

I believe that our present way of conducting science is deeply afflicted by this tendency. The peer review system, which we regard as the only fair way we know of to distribute money (I don't think it is, but it is generally thought to be) is an absolute disaster. It is a completely unstable method. It is completely prone to this tendency; there is no getting out of it. The more reviews you require for a proposal - now the NSF requires seven reviewers for a proposal

-the more you require, the more certain it is that you will follow the statistical tendency dictated by this principle. If you had noise in the situation, it would be much better. There used to be in the United States many different agencies, and there was perhaps an odd-ball over here who gave out some money for one agency, and a funny fellow over there for another. This was a noisy situation, and it was not driving quite as hard towards unanimity. But now we have it all streamlined and know exactly to whom we have to go for a particular subject and, of course, it is an absolute disaster.

Why is it thought that the peer review system would work for science? How about trying to make a peer review system work for other forms of endeavor? Suppose we had a national foundation for the arts, and every painter had to apply to it to get his canvas and his brushes and his paints. How do you suppose that would work? I can imagine some of the consequences, but better than that, we can look them up in historical examples. If you want to read such, in the book The Experts Speak , you can do that. There is a long list of them that you can read - it makes marvelous reading.

Eduard Manet wrote to his colleague Claude Monet, of Renoir: "He has no talent at all, that boy. Tell him to give up painting."

"Rembrandt was regarded as not comparable with an extraordinarily gifted artist, Mr. Ripingill."

William Blake spoke of Titian and the Venetians as "such idiots are not artists."

Degas regarded Toulouse-Lautrec" as merely a painter of a period of no consequence." One wonders how art would have fared in a peer review system.

Or would it be different in music? We can read what was said of Beethoven's compositions by musicians of his time:

"An orgy of vulgar noises" was the verdict of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony by Mr. Spore, a German violinist and composer.

On Tchaikovsky's appreciation of Brahms, "I played over the music of that scoundrel Brahms. What a giftless bastard. It annoys me that this jumping, inflated mediocrity is hailed as a genius." But one could go on almost endlessly with such quotations. Music would not have fared any better.

So we see that the herd instinct is a tendency in the human makeup, which is itself a severe handicap for science. Instead of combating it as best we can, we have arranged a method of nurturing science which actually strengthens it enormously - makes it virtually impossible to depart from the herd and continue to have support, continue to have a chance of publication, continue to have all the advantages that one requires to work in a field.

If in a subject there was initially a diversity of opinions, the review system will assure a very short life for that condition, and soon the field will be closed to all but those who are in the center.

Once a herd is established, by whatever historical evolution this has come about, it obtains such firm control that it is extremely difficult to do anything about it. And even if it were appreciated that that is the situation, one just doesn't know how to interfere. Where then is the right to free speech if every journal has to send each article out to a number of people to review, and the bulk of the people are with the herd? Usually with just one-third of the reviewers very negative, the paper does not get published.

So there is no free speech in the sense that you cannot publish diverse viewpoints. There is also no free speech at conferences because the same is true there. Would all those who have a divergent opinion be able to organize their own conference? Very rarely. We (note: meaning the SSE ) represent perhaps an example here showing that it is possible, but it is pretty rare that one can raise funds to run conferences. Essentially once the herd is established, it will interfere in any one of the activities that one would need to further that science.

Would the Dean of a university be willing to promote somebody to tenure who was outside the pack? He can't, because he has to send out letters to the leading persons in the field - he may inquire from 20 people before he gets permission to appoint somebody to tenure - and how can he get that when the pack is running in another direction than this person? It is absolutely hopeless! So you establish the situation more and more.

Once a herd has been established in a subject, it can only be broken by the most crass confrontation with opposing evidence. There is no gentle way that I have ever seen in the history of science where a herd once established has been broken up.

In many subjects such clear evidence is very hard to come by. In the complex subjects, especially I always think of the earth sciences in this respect, there are always different ways of interpreting any one fact; so many complicated things have taken place that any one fact can have three or four interpretations and the crass confrontation is very rare.

So then when you have a herd, all the money that you spent on it may be wasted, or worse than that, it may actually serve to cement further the bad situation. So it is very likely that money is often spent in science in a way that is absolutely detrimental to that science.

What does the refereeing procedure really look like? How does it really go on? If, for example, an application was made in the early 60's or late 50's suggesting that the person wanted to investigate the possibility that continents are moving around a little, it would have been ruled out absolutely instantly without questions. That was crack- pot stuff, and had long been thought dead. Wegener, of course, was an absolute crack-pot, and everybody knew that and you wouldn't have any chance.

Six years later you could not get a paper published that doubted continental drift. The herd had swung around - but it was still a firm and arrogant herd.

Shortly after the discovery of pulsars I wished to present an interpretation of what pulsars were, at this first pulsar conference - namely that they were rotating neutron stars. The chief organizer of this conference said to me, "Tommy, if I allow for that crazy an interpretation, there is no limit to what I would have to allow." I was not allowed 5 minutes of floor time, although I in fact spoke from the floor. A few months later, this same organizer started a paper with the sentence, "It is now generally considered that pulsars are rotating neutron stars."

Biggest Hole In Logic Ever Discovered

"Even mainstream scientists admit that at singularities the ‘laws of physics’ break down. It would be more accurate to say that their own theories break down." -- David Pratt, natural philosopher, 2005

Space.Com: Black Hole Is Biggest Ever Discovered.

PASADENA, CALIF. — The most massive black hole yet weighed lurks at the heart of the relatively nearby giant galaxy M87.

The supermassive black hole is two to three times heftier than previously thought, a new model showed, weighing in at a whopping 6.4 billion times the mass of the sun. The new measure suggests that other black holes in nearby large galaxies could also be much heftier than current measurements suggest, and it could help astronomers solve a longstanding puzzle about galaxy development.

"We did not expect it at all," said team member Karl Gebhardt of the University of Texas at Austin.
They didn't expect the supermassive black hole even though they've been saying there is one there for (at least) 30 years?

Nearly three decades ago, it was one of the first galaxies suggested to harbor a central black hole. Now astronomers think that most large galaxies, including our own Milky Way, have supermassive black holes at their centers.

M87 also has an active jet shooting light out of the galaxy's core, created where matter swirls closer to the black hole and approaches the speed of light, then combines with tremendous magnetic fields. The spat-out material helps astronomers understand how black holes attract and gobble up matter, a sloppy process in which all is not consumed.
So let me get this straight: the black hole is so utterly weak and feeble and gravitation is so non-existent that there are intragalactic Birkeland currents shooting out of it and everything can escape it?

If the material is being attracted towards the black hole at the speed of light why is it being "spat out" in the opposite direction?

How does that work exactly?

Does it require a lobotomy?

Speaking of lobotomies, I'm guessing the mainstreamers will say it has something to do with tides.

Oil Showing Some Life

Bloomberg: Oil Rises for Second Day on API Stockpile Drop, Weaker Dollar.

June 10 (Bloomberg) -- Crude oil rose for a second day after an industry group reported U.S. crude stockpiles dropped and the dollar declined, bolstering the appeal of energy as an alternative investment.

Oil supplies fell 5.96 million barrels to 357.9 million last week, the American Petroleum Institute said late yesterday. Additional support for crude prices came as the dollar fell against the euro.

“The oil market is rallying due to weakness in the dollar and more liquidity in the marketplace,” said Mike Sander, an investment adviser at Sander Capital Advisors Inc. in Seattle. “There is clearly more money moving into the commodities markets with the sharp rises in agriculture, softs, metals, and energy.”

Crude oil for July delivery gained 62 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $70.63 a barrel at 9:32 a.m. Sydney time in after-hours trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Yesterday, the contract increased $1.92 to $70.01 a barrel, the highest settlement since Nov. 4.

Oil peaked at $147.27 a barrel on July 11 before slumping to $32.40 on Dec. 19 as the global recession curbed energy use.
Oh and get this, the biggest shock of my lifetime: Richard Heinberg, the professional liar and idiot, was Immanuel Velikovsky's assistant towards the end. What went so horribly wrong?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Babylonian Wisdom

"He [Tiamat?] marked the positions of the wandering stars to shine in their courses, that they may not do injury, and may not trouble any one." -- Enuma Elish, Fifth Tablet of Creation

This passage makes absolutely no sense whatsoever unless the wandering stars (planets) actually had caused injury and trouble in the past.

The Babylonians also say Venus was a comet.

"We are told, in the inscriptions, of the fall of the celestial being who appears to correspond to Satan. In his ambition he raises his hand against the sanctuary of the God of heaven, and the description of him is really magnificent. He is represented riding a chariot through celestial space, surrounded by the storms, with the lightning playing before him, and wielding a thunderbolt as a weapon. This rebellion leads to a war in heaven...." -- George Smith, archaeologist, 1876

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Pelasgian Air Cavalry?

"At the temple of Seti I in the ancient city of Abydos, part of the plaster overhang crumbled, revealing some most remarkable underlying hieroglyphs. This is a very unusual frieze depicting what appear to be modern machines. This photograph is discussed on the internet, and shows what appear to be a helicopter in the upper left, a submarine in the upper right, a flying disc in the middle (right) and a plane in the lower right. These photographs and glyphs reveal that the Egyptian civilisation was far more mysterious than we have been led to believe." -- M.M. El-Gamili, archaeologist, et al., 1999

El-Gamili, M.M., et al., Geoelectric Resistance Scanning on Parts of Abydos Cemetery Region Sohag Governorate Upper Egypt, Archaeology Prospection, Volume 6, Pages 225-239, 1999

"For these histories tell of a mighty power which unprovoked made an expedition against the whole of Europe and Asia, and to which your city put an end. This power came forth out of the Atlantic Ocean, for in those days the Atlantic was navigable; and there was an island situated in front of the straits which are by you called the Pillars of Heracles; the island was larger than Libya and Asia put together, and was the way to other islands, and from these you might pass to the whole of the opposite continent which surrounded the true ocean; for this sea which is within the Straits of Heracles is only a harbour, having a narrow entrance, but that other is a real sea, and the surrounding land may be most truly called a boundless continent. Now in this island of Atlantis there was a great and wonderful empire which had rule over the whole island and several others, and over parts of the continent, and, furthermore, the men of Atlantis had subjected the parts of Libya within the columns of Heracles as far as Egypt, and of Europe as far as Tyrrhenia. This vast power, gathered into one, endeavoured to subdue at a blow our country and yours and the whole of the region within the straits...." -- Sonchis of Sais, priest, ~594 B.C.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Sumerian statuette, British Museum

"And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose." -- Genesis 6:1-2

Sego Canyon, Utah

Wandjina Petroglyphs, Kimberley Australia

"The case in point is the origin of the human race. By either Von Daniken's approach or by Sitchin's, Occam's Razor argues that the single hypothesis of earlier alien contact with extraterrestrials to explain the wonders of the ancient world and the remarkable agreement among ancient texts in speaking of visitation by "the gods" should be prefered to the multitude of separate and ad hoc explanations others have offered. If mainstream science were not so preoccupied with avoiding extraordinary hypotheses, it would surely be agreed by most parties that the evidence, severely lacking though it is, mildly favors the extraterrestrial visitation hypothesis over most others. However, it cannot be argued that the evidence is anything approaching compelling, especially since it is all indirect (i.e., no definite extraterrestrial artifacts have been found). And since the hypothesis is certainly extraordinary, science prefers to reject it until and unless some extraordinary proof comes along. But what if the hypothesis were true, but most of the evidence has been destroyed?" -- Tom Van Flandern, astronomer, 1993

"As is well known in all sciences there have been many important events which have not left any trace." -- Hannes O.G. Alfvén, physicist, 1954

Was Homo sapiens genetically engineered from Homo erectus?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Book of Baruch

"Where are the princes of the heathen become, and such as ruled the beasts upon the earth; They that had their pastime with the fowls of the air, and they that hoarded up silver and gold, wherein men trust, and made no end of their getting? For they that wrought in silver, and were so careful, and whose works are unsearchable, They are vanished and gone down to the grave, and others are come up in their steads. Young men have seen light, and dwelt upon the earth: but the way of knowledge have they not known, Nor understood the paths thereof, nor laid hold of it: their children were far off from that way." -- Baruch 3:16-21

"There were the giants famous from the beginning, that were of so great stature, and so expert in war. Those did not the Lord choose, neither gave he the way of knowledge unto them: But they were destroyed, because they had no wisdom, and perished through their own foolishness. Who hath gone up into heaven, and taken her, and brought her down from the clouds? Who hath gone over the sea, and found her, and will bring her for pure gold? No man knoweth her way, nor thinketh of her path. But he that knoweth all things knoweth her, and hath found her out with his understanding:" -- Baruch 3:26-32

"When God caused the deluge upon earth, and destroyed all flesh, and four hundred and nine thousand giants, and the water rose fifteen cubits above the highest mountains, then the water entered into paradise and destroyed every flower;" -- III Baruch 4:10

Ancient Electricity and Computing

"Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it." -- George Orwell, writer, 1945

Ancient Electricity

Keyser, P.T., The Purpose of the Parthian Galvanic Cells: A First Century AD Electric Battery Used For Analgesia, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Volume 52, Number 2, Pages 81-98, Apr 1993

Von Handorf, D.E., The Baghdad Battery: Myth or Reality?, Plating and Surface Finishing, Volume 89, Number 5, Pages 84-87, 2002

Riddle of 'Baghdad Batteries', BBC, Feb 2003

Pilkington, M., Ancient Electricity, The Guardian, Apr 2004

Kanani, N., The Parthian Battery: Electric Current 2000 Years Ago?, VINI, Number 7, Pages 167-204, 2004

Corder, G.W., Using an Unconventional History of the Battery to Engage Students and Explore the Importance of Evidence, Virginia Journal of Science Education, Volume 1, Number 1, Pages 33-36, 2006

Ancient Computers

Charette, F., Archaeology: High Tech From Ancient Greece, Nature, Volume 444, Pages 551-552, Nov 2006

Freeth, T., Decoding the Ancient Greek Astronomical Calculator Known as the Antikythera Mechanism, Nature, Volume 444, Pages 587-591, Nov 2006

Ball, P., Complex Clock Combines Calendars: Antikythera Mechanism May Have Timetabled Ancient Olympic Games, Nature, Volume 454, Page 561, Jul 2008

Wilford, J.N., Discovering How Greeks Computed In 100 B.C., The New York Times, Jul 2008

Marchant, J., Was Ancient Greek 'Computer' an Astronomical Tool?, New Scientist, Issue 2667, Jul 2008

Marchant, J., Archimedes and the 2000-Year Old Computer, New Scientist, Issue 2696, Dec 2008

Sorrel, C., World's First Computer Rebuilt: Rebooted After 2000 Years, Wired, Dec 2008

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Remembering Comet Venus

Minerva (Athena) the Roman goddess of wisdom.

I wondered why Min, the founder of Egypt, and Minerva have similar names.

Where does the Latin word Minerva come from?

From the Greek μνῆστις meaning memory, remembrance, or recollection.

"There is no teaching, but only recollection." -- Plato, philosopher, 380 B.C.

And where did Athena come from?

From the city of Sais, the sacred site built upon the "Great Pit" meteorite impact crater in Sa el Hagar, Egypt.

"Furthermore, the Egyptians (they said) first used the names of twelve gods (which the Greeks afterwards borrowed from them); and it was they who first assigned to the several gods their altars and images and temples, and first carved figures on stone. Most of this they showed me in fact to be the case. The first human king of Egypt, they said, was Min." -- Herodotos, historian, Book II, ~440-420 B.C.

"She [Minerva] founded your city a thousand years before ours, receiving from the Earth and Hephaestus the seed of your race, and afterwards she founded ours, of which the constitution is recorded in our sacred registers to be eight thousand years old." -- Sonchis of Sais, priest, ~594 B.C.

"Afterwards, when most of the inhabitants of Greece were destroyed by flood, and all records and ancient monuments perished with them, the Egyptians took this occasion to appropriate the study of astrology solely to themselves; and whereas the Grecians (through ignorance) as yet valued not learning, it became a general opinion that the Egyptians were the first that found out the knowledge of the stars." -- Diodoros, historian, ~1st century B.C.

"And so even to the Athenians themselves, though they built the city of Sais in Egypt, yet by reason of the flood, were led into the same error of forgetting what was before." -- Diodoros, historian, ~1st century B.C.