Sunday, December 5, 2010
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
"It's not that most of the matter and energy in the universe is dark, but that most cosmologists are totally in the dark about the real nature of the universe." -- Wallace Thornhill, physicist, October 2006
"In summation, Dark Matter and Dark Energy add up to the blank cheques that postpone the falsification of bankrupt theories." -- Ralph Sansbury, physicist, May 2009
"Dark matter is an excuse for the failure of gravitational theories." -- Stephen Smith, author, June 17th 2010
Science Daily: Dark Matter Could Transfer Energy in the Sun.
ScienceDaily (Dec. 3, 2010) — Researchers from the Institute for Corpuscular Physics (IFIC) and other European groups have studied the effects of the presence of dark matter in the Sun. According to their calculations, low mass dark matter particles could be transferring energy from the core to the external parts of the Sun, which would affect the quantity of neutrinos that reach Earth.
"We assume that the dark matter particles interact weakly with the Sun's atoms, and what we have done is calculate at what level these interactions can occur, in order to better describe the structure and evolution of the Sun," Marco Taoso, researcher at the IFIC, a combined centre of the Spanish National Research Council and the University of Valencia, explains.
"According to electric star theory, neutron stars belong in the same category with invisible pink unicorns." -- Stephen Smith, writer, November 2008
"It is claimed that the LIGO and LISA projects will detect Einstein's gravitational waves. The existence of these waves is entirely theoretical. Over the past forty years or so no Einstein gravitational waves have been detected. How long must the search go on, at great expense to the public purse, before the astrophysical scientists admit that their search is fruitless and a waste of vast sums of public money? The fact is, from day one, the search for these elusive waves has been destined to detect nothing." -- Stephen J. Crothers, astrophysicist, August 2009
Break out your tinfoil hats. Gravitational pseudoscientists make more grossly inaccurate predictions based upon make believe.
Science Daily: Distribution of Gravitational Wave Sources Predicted.
ScienceDaily (Dec. 3, 2010) — A pair of neutron stars spiraling toward each other until they merge in a violent explosion should produce detectable gravitational waves. A new study led by an undergraduate at the University of California, Santa Cruz, predicts for the first time where such mergers are likely to occur in the local galactic neighborhood.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
300 sextillion stars. That's 200 sextillion more than previously thought.
ScienceDaily: Discovery Triples Number of Stars in Universe.
ScienceDaily (Dec. 1, 2010) — Astronomers have discovered that small, dim stars known as red dwarfs are much more prolific than previously thought -- so much so that the total number of stars in the universe is likely three times bigger than realized.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
This rediscovery was correcty predicted by post-Velikovskian Saturnist models.
National Geographic: Saturn Moon Has Oxygen Atmosphere.
An oxygen atmosphere has been found on Saturn's second largest moon, Rhea, astronomers announced Thursday
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Liberty, M., Cheyenne Primacy: The Tribes' Perspective As Opposed To That Of The United States Army; A Possible Alternative To 'The Great Sioux War Of 1876', Nov 2006
The Sioux have been given star billing in “The Great Sioux War of 1876” on the basis of greater visibility and higher total numbers than other tribes. There has in fact been a kind of tunnel vision if not megalomania concerning Sioux prominence -- due in part to their great number of subdivisions and bands, all identified often simply as “Sioux.”
The opinion of other tribes that it was a Cheyenne war in 1876 rather than "The Great Sioux War" is made more plausible by the "Body Count" of seven Cheyenne camps destroyed by the army before 1876 -- more than those of all other tribes put together. Three more were destroyed that year, making a total of ten. According to historian Jerry Greene, the total number of camps of other peoples so destroyed was six (four before 1876) divided among the Shoshone, Arapaho, Piegan, and Lakota as listed below (Greene, personal communication, 1999.) ...
Even with the seven instances of Cheyenne camp destruction by US troops before 1876 (or six, if the first Platte Bridge fight is not counted) compared to four such instances of all other tribes combined before 1876, it is easy to see how the opinion may have prevailed among the tribes in general that the Cheyennes had been singled out for special and unusual punishment. ...
My premises are that:
1) The Cheyennes preceded the Sioux into the Black Hills, and thence into the Powder River Country south of the Yellowstone including Powder River, Tongue River, and the Littlehorn-Bighorn drainages. And they were arguably the prime force in all wars of the northern plains after 1860. (Contemporary Cheyenne remarks to this effect include that of late tribal historian Bill Tallbull, who said “The Sioux were just at the Fetterman fight to hold the Cheyenne horses,” and another, “The Crows did the scouting, the Cheyennes did the fighting, and the Sioux got the credit” (Mary Ellen McWilliams and moccasin telegraph to author, 1999.)
2) The Cheyennes preceded the Sioux in getting horses, later passing them on to the Oglalas with whom they were closely allied and intermarried (Grinnell 1956: 36-37 ; Stands in Timber and Liberty 1998: 116-118; Porter 1986:61; Moore 1996:94).
3) The Cheyennes were first to conduct tribal-level warfare, rather than that of individual bands or war parties -- “horse and scalp raids” in Utley’s terms. This happened against the Bannocks-Shoshonis in 1817, the Crows in 1820, and in four subsequent fights including two against the Pawnees as late as 1853 (Grinnell 1956: 25, 72. ) The tribal Sacred Arrows were carried by the tribe as a whole against these enemies in six recorded moves of the Arrows in 36 years, 1817- 1853 (Grinnell 1956: 72). Such attacks featuring the Arrows had to be made by the tribe as a whole.
It is not clear that any of the seven Lakota groups (Oglala, Hunkpapa etc.) ever went to war as entire societies in this way.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
"Grandfather, Great Spirit, you have been always, and before you no one has been. There is no other one to pray to but you. You yourself, everything that you see, everything has been made by you. The star nations all over the universe you have finished [created]." -- Black Elk, medicine man, Black Elk Speaks, August 1930
Friday, November 12, 2010
According to mainstream science:
1. Gravity answers all metaphysical questions (instead of 'God did it' just substitute gravity): gravity did it.
2. Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and Dark Flow explain all astronomical observations.
3. Tidal Forces explain all geological topography and falsifications of gravitation and plate tectonics.
Science Daily: Formation of Bulge on Far Side of Moon Explained.
ScienceDaily (Nov. 12, 2010) — A bulge of elevated topography on the far side of the moon -- known as the lunar far side highlands -- has defied explanation for decades. But a new study led by researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, shows that the highlands may be the result of tidal forces acting early in the moon's history when its solid outer crust floated on an ocean of liquid rock.LOL. Nevermind the fact that this is utterly impossible.
"Below we will show some of the simple physical reasons why the present geodynamic and geotectonic paradigms are so dramatically wrong, and why continents cannot move like 'rafts' on a 'sea' of convecting semifluid hot mantle." -- Stavros T. Tassos (seismologist) and David J. Ford (geologist), 2005
Thursday, November 11, 2010
New Scientist: Tropical Forests Thrived in Ancient Global Warming.
South America's tropical forests flourished when temperatures skyrocketed 56 million years ago. Could this mean that climate change will spare the Amazon?Abderite LOL.
Carlos Jaramillo of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Balboa, Panama, and colleagues excavated pollen and other plant remains from three sites in Colombia and Venezuela.
Their samples span the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), when soaring levels of greenhouse gases caused global temperatures to rise by 5 °C in about 10,000 years.
The tropical forests then faced average temperatures up to 34 °C, compared with 27 °C today, yet contrary to expectations the pollens suggest plant diversity increased.
Each sample of 150 grains of pollen from the PETM contained an average of 36 species, compared with just 24 species in samples from older, cooler times. And the rate at which new species formed was significantly higher in the PETM than before it.
The trends are puzzling because models predict that the Amazon will burn and be reduced to savannah with future climate change
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Wired Science: All Life on Earth Could Have Come From Alien Zombies.
Life on Earth could have grown from the broken remains of alien viruses that, although dead, still contained enough information to give rise to new life.
Scientists have speculated that life could have come to Earth from space — a notion called panspermia — since the 1870s, when Lord Kelvin suggested microbes could have ridden here on a comet or meteor. Others have suggested tiny organisms could cross the galaxy embedded in dust grains, which could be nudged from one planetary system to another by the slight pressure of stars’ radiation.
However, most astrobiologists think that same radiation spells a death sentence for delicate microbes.
“That essentially kills panspermia in the classical sense,” said astrobiologist Rocco Mancinelli of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California.
But maybe not, says astronomer Paul Wesson, a visiting researcher at the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics in Canada. In an upcoming paper in Space Science Reviews, Wesson argues that even if the actual microbes are dead on arrival, the information they carry could allow life to rise from the charred remains, an idea he calls necropanspermia.
“The vast majority of organisms reach a new home in the Milky Way in a technically dead state,” Wesson wrote. “Resurrection may, however, be possible.”
"Heresy is a cradle; orthodoxy a coffin." -- Robert G. Ingersoll
Mel Acheson: Whimsical Science.
Spectroscopic evidence indicates the presence of material in what was thought to be empty space between the galaxies in the Sculptor Wall.
The Sculptor Wall itself is an artifact of assuming that a galaxy’s redshift (z) is a measure of its distance. With that assumption, the Wall stretches across the universe from near to far. The raw data, of course, only indicates that it stretches from low-z to high-z. With Arp’s assumption that high-z objects are ejected from low-z ones and evolve toward low-z themselves, the Wall is a family grouping of relatively nearby galaxies.
The newly discovered material between the galaxies has been named WHIM (Warm Hot Intergalactic Medium). There’s an already existing name for it—plasma—but the invention of a new name helps to obscure the electrical implications. The artist’s license also permits the WHIM to be drawn as a fog bank rather than the more likely filamentary cell.
Electrically discharging galaxies embedded in cells of plasma is a phenomenon that can be studied (on a smaller scale) in plasma labs on Earth. Such a study would take astronomy a giant step toward becoming a science and away from whimsical artistry.
CatholicCulture.Org: Only 5 or 6 exorcists in United States Says Bishop.
To counter the shortage of exorcists in the United States-- Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield (Illinois), chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, says there are only five or six of whom he is aware-- the US bishops are holding a two-day conference on exorcism. Nearly five dozen bishops and 66 priests are expected to attend.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Catholic News Service: Bishops' Upcoming Exorcism Conference Responds to Queries About Rite.
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- U.S. bishops are looking for a few good men to become exorcists.
In response to growing interest in the rite of exorcism and a shortage of trained exorcists nationwide, the bishops are sponsoring a two-day conference just prior to their 2010 fall general assembly Nov. 15-18 in Baltimore.
Interest in the Nov. 12-13 Conference on the Liturgical and Pastoral Practice of Exorcism proved great. When registration closed Nov. 1, 56 bishops and 66 priests had signed up.
Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., chairman of the bishops' Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, told Catholic News Service he knows of perhaps five or six exorcists in the United States. They are overwhelmed with requests to perform the rite, he said.
"There's this small group of priests who say they get requests from all over the continental U.S.," Bishop Paprocki said.
"Actually, each diocese should have its own resource (person). It shouldn't be that this burden should be placed on a priest when his responsibility is for his own diocese," he said.
Under canon law -- Canon 1172 specifically -- only those priests who get permission from their bishops can perform an exorcism after proper training.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that an exorcism occurs when the church, in the person of an exorcist, asks "publicly and authoritatively" in Christ's name "that a person or object be protected against the power of the evil one and withdrawn from his dominion."
At baptism, the rite is performed in a simple form. A solemn or major exorcism, according to the catechism, "is directed at the expulsion of demons or to the liberation from demonic possession through the spiritual authority which Jesus entrusted in his church."
Scripture contains several examples of Jesus casting out evil spirits from people.
"We don't think that's poetic metaphor," Bishop Paprocki said.
The conference will encompass the spiritual, the theological and the practical. Speakers include Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Houston-Galveston, who will discuss the scriptural basis of evil. Father Dennis McManus, an assistant to New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, and Father Jeffrey Grob, pastor of St. Celestine Church in Elmwood Park, Ill., also will lead sessions.
Father Grob told CNS he will review diocesan protocol in the appointment of an exorcist as well as what canon law says about the rite. He also will offer recommendations on how to evaluate an individual to determine if an exorcism is necessary.
Despite the many requests for an exorcism, the actual number of people possessed by a demon is far fewer than people fear, Bishop Paprocki said.
The rite is considered a sacramental, which canon law describes as a sacred sign "by which effects, especially spiritual effects, are signified in some imitation of the sacraments and are obtained through the intercession of the church." The rite rarely is as dramatic as portrayed in movies and popular media, Bishop Paprocki said.
Other actions, especially reception of the sacraments, can drive out the devil as well, he added.
"The sacrament of penance is much more powerful than an exorcism," the bishop explained. "The work of the devil is much more regular and our response to that should be rather regular. It's not that you need a special exorcism to deal with the devil."
Church practice, which was updated in 1999, requires that a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding the individual thought to be possessed be undertaken. Physical and psychological exams are conducted. A priest also will examine the person. Family, friends and co-workers may be interviewed.
"There's a lot of preliminary work that has to go in with dealing with the people in terms of assessing what the situation is. We use the principal that we exclude the natural before going to the supernatural level," Bishop Paprocki said.
Father Grob used the image of an onion to explain how the evaluation process works.
"You have to peel away the layers and if there is general demonic activity, it didn't get there overnight," he explained. "There's not an instantaneous change in the person."
Signs of demonic possession might include:
-- Speaking in a language the individual does not know.
-- Scratching, cutting, biting of the skin.
-- Profound display of strength.
-- Lack of appetite.
-- Aversion to anything holy, such as mentioning the name of Jesus or Mary, or the act of praying.
-- Strong or violent reaction to holy water.
Once the need for a formal exorcism is determined, the rite is conducted in a private setting such as a church, a holy space if no church is available, or a person's home, where family members can be present.
In a case where the possession is deep-seated, it may take more than one performance of the rite over a period of months or even years to dispel the devil, Bishop Paprocki said.
"We, because of Hollywood, have this kind of exaggerated sense of not only a very dramatic kind of possession, but also a very dramatic kind of exorcism. It ties in with our culture of quick fixes: You do it once and person is going to be liberated," he said.
Holy water, a crucifix, relics of saints and blessed salt are part of the exorcism rite.
"The reality is that a full exorcism is a rare thing," Bishop Paprocki said, "but we still have to have people who know how to do that because the reality is that it's not unheard of."
Exorcisms are more common in Europe. Dozens of priests are authorized to perform the rite, especially in Italy, France and Poland.
"It's not only performed more commonly (in Europe), but a lot less people get excited about it," Bishop Paprocki said. "It's not quite as exceptional as we would take it."
Friday, November 5, 2010
Science Daily: New Statistical Model Moves Human Evolution Back Three Million Years.
ScienceDaily (Nov. 5, 2010) — Evolutionary divergence of humans and chimpanzees likely occurred some 8 million years ago rather than the 5 million year estimate widely accepted by scientists, a new statistical model suggests.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Business Insider: Former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger: Peak Oil Is Here But Politicians Are Ignoring It.
There is an old Spiritual, that is relevant here, the walls of those who doubted the peak, seemed to be impregnable. Nonetheless, you marched around the walls seven times, and then blew the trumpets, and the walls of Jericho came tumbling down.That's the most logical and scientific argument I've ever seen from the Fossil Fuel Cult.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
"And now we might add something concerning a certain most subtle spirit which pervades and lies hid in all gross bodies; by the force and action of which spirit the particles of bodies attract one another at near distances, and cohere, if contiguous; and electric bodies operate to greater distances, as well repelling as attracting the neighboring corpuscles; and light is emitted, reflected, refracted, inflected, and heats bodies; and all sensation is excited, and the members of animal bodies move at the command of the will, namely, by the vibrations of this spirit, mutually propagated along the solid filaments of the nerves, from the outward organs of sense to the brain, and from the brain into the muscles. But these are things that cannot be explained in few words, nor are we furnished with that sufficiency of experiments which is required to an accurate determination and demonstration of the laws by which this electric and elastic spirit operates." -- Isaac Newton, alchemist/mathematician, Principia, 1687
Science Daily: Scientists Open Electrical Link to Living Cells.
ScienceDaily (Oct. 23, 2010) — The Terminator. The Borg. The Six Million Dollar Man. Science fiction is ripe with biological beings armed with artificial capabilities. In reality, however, the clunky connections between living and non-living worlds often lack a clear channel for communication. Now, scientists with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have designed an electrical link to living cells engineered to shuttle electrons across a cell's membrane to an external acceptor along a well-defined path. This direct channel could yield cells that can read and respond to electronic signals, electronics capable of self-replication and repair, or efficiently transfer sunlight into electricity.
"Melding the living and non-living worlds is a canonical image in science fiction," said Caroline Ajo-Franklin, a staff scientist in the Biological Nanostructures Facility at the Molecular Foundry. "However, in most attempts to interface living and non-living systems, you poke cells with a sharp hard object, and the cells respond in a predictable way -- they die. Yet, in Nature many organisms have evolved to interact with the rocks and minerals that are part of their environment. Here, we took inspiration from Nature's approach and actually grew the connections out of the cell."
Coaxing electrons across a cellular membrane is not trivial: attempts to pull an electron from a cell may disrupt its function, or kill the entire cell in the process. What's more, current techniques to transfer cellular electrons to an external source lack a molecular roadmap, which means even if electrons do turn up outside a cell, there is no way to direct their behavior, see where they stopped along the way, or send a signal back to the cell's interior.
"We were interested in finding a pathway that wouldn't kill the living systems we were studying," said Heather Jensen, a graduate student at University of California, Berkeley whose thesis work is part of this publication. "By using a living system in electronics, we can one day create biotechnologies that can repair and self-replicate."
Friday, October 22, 2010
"We already have the means to travel among the stars, but these technologies are locked up in black projects and it would take an act of God to ever get them out to benefit humanity.... Anything you can imagine, we already know how to do." -- Benjamin R. Rich, aeronautical engineer, 1993
News: NASA preps '100-year spaceship' program to boldly go where none have gone before.
A SENIOR NASA official has promised to deliver a spaceship that will travel between alien worlds "within a few years".
Speaking at a conference in San Francisco on Saturday, NASA Ames director Simon Worden said his division had started a project with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency called the "Hundred Year Starship”.
The project was kicked off recently with $1 million funding from DARPA and $100K from NASA and hopes to utilise new propulsion ideas being explored by NASA.
Star Trek fans, prepare to get excited - electric propulsion is here, according to Mr Worden.
“Anybody that watches the (Star Trek) Enterprise, you know you don’t see huge plumes of fire," he said.
"Within a few years we will see the first true prototype of a spaceship that will take us between worlds.”
Mr Worden said the space program was "now really aimed at settling other worlds”.
“You heard it here,” he told the crowd at the “Long Conversation”.
“Twenty years ago you had to whisper that in dark bars and get fired.”
Mr Worden said he hoped to "inveigle some billionaires" such as Google founder Larry Page to help with further funding for the project.
Another possible source of propulsion being funded by NASA was by using microwave power from a planetary base to heat hydrogen propellants on board an orbiting spaceship.
"You don’t have to carry all the fuel," he said. "You use that energy from a laser or microwave power to heat a propellant; it gets you a pretty big factor of improvement. I think that’s one way of getting off the world.”
Mr Worden had an interesting take on how we would settle other worlds when we found them, suggesting it would be easier to adapt humans to an alien planet than changing the planet to suit humans.
“How do you live in another world? I don’t have the slightest idea,” he said.
“If you’re a conservative, you worry about it killing us; if you’re a liberal, you worry about us killing it."
Despite his ambitious vision to push further out into the galaxy, Mr Worden said there was still plenty of work to do in our own backyard first.
First stop, he said, was the moons of Mars, from where the planet itself can be explored using telerobotics.
“I think we’ll be on the moons of Mars by 2030 or so," he said.
"Larry (Page) asked me a couple weeks ago how much it would cost to send people one way to Mars and I told him $10 billion, and his response was, ‘Can you get it down to 1 or 2 billion?’
"So now we’re starting to get a little argument over the price.”
Space.Com: Mars or Bust! One-Way Trip to the Red Planet Could Kick-start Colonization.
"We envision that Mars exploration would begin and proceed for a long time on the basis of outbound journeys only," said Schulze-Makuch, who is associate professor in the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences Washington State University in Pullman. "One approach could be to send four astronauts initially, two on each of two spacecraft, each with a lander and sufficient supplies, to stake a single outpost on Mars. A one-way human mission to Mars would be the first step in establishing a permanent human presence on the planet."
On Oct. 11, President Obama signed a major NASA act into law that outlines the agency's future in space exploration. The signing paves the way for a manned mission to an asteroid by 2025, with an expedition to Mars to follow sometime in the 2030s. ...
A manned trip to Mars would take roughly six months using available launch options and current chemical rocket technology, according to the new study. The Red Planet has atmosphere, moderate surface gravity, abundant water and carbon dioxide, and range of essential minerals – making it an attractive target for potential human colonization.
A one-way mission to Mars would be accompanied by obvious risks. However, danger is often an inherent part of exploration, and has been throughout history, the researchers said.
"It would really be little different from the first white settlers of the North American continent, who left Europe with little expectation of return," said Davies, a cosmologist at Arizona State University in Phoenix. "Explorers such as Columbus, Frobisher, Scott and Amundsen, while not embarking on their voyages with the intention of staying at their destination, nevertheless took huge personal risks to explore new lands, in the knowledge that there was a significant likelihood that they would perish in the attempt."
The scientists stress that such an expedition would not amount to a suicide mission, but would instead culminate in a series of missions over time, with an eye toward suffiently supporting long-term colonization.
The proposed project would begin with selecting an appropriate site for the Martian colony, ideally associated with a cave or other natural shelter, as well as other nearby resources, such as water, minerals and nutrients.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
"And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go [back] by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry [land], and the waters were divided." -- Exodus 14:21
Discovery News: MOSES' RED SEA PARTING EXPLAINED BY COMPUTER MODEL.
"If you are going to match the biblical account, you need the wind from the east," said researcher Carl Drews of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Drews has been studying the Red Sea story for years as a student and now has published a paper on the matter, which was his master's thesis, in the journal PloS One.
Drews took that east wind and tried to perform a computer simulation of the event in a couple of different places.
He found that a steady 63-mile-per-hour (100-kilometer-per-hour) wind over a digitally reconstructed east-west running lake at the Mediterranean end of the Nile, near today's Port Said, would push the water west to the far end of the lake, as well as south, up the river. ...
"The value of studying the event described in the Old Testament certainly lends support to the thesis that physics is a natural phenomenon, a normal part of our universe," said Stephen Baig, a researcher who has studied storm surges for the National Hurricane Center. "If there is a miracle, it is that we are able to describe such events with numbers."
Daily Mail: The Stone Age baker: Cavemen 'ate bread, not just meat'.
Gnawing on a hunk of meat as he sits by the fire, Stone Age man has always been viewed as the classic carnivore.
But new research suggests that a caveman's diet may have been far more balanced and that he ate bread at least 30,000 years ago.
The prehistoric hunters did not only rely on animals for their diet and also dined on processed plant-based foods, according to a new study.
Powerful microscopes discovered traces of starch grains on grinding stones recovered from archaeological sites in Italy, Russia and the Czech Republic.
Grains were thought to have been largely ignored by Stone Age humans, at least in part because they were difficult to process.
But the stones' wear patterns suggest they were used for grinding roots and grains in a manner similar to a pestle 18,000 years before that, according to Dr Anna Revedin and colleagues.
Grain residues on the stones seem to originate from mostly cattail and fern plants which are rich in starch - a dense source of carbohydrates and energy.
Researchers generally assume Palaeolithic European human diets consisted almost entirely of animal protein and fat, with rare plant consumption.
Dr Revedin, of the Italian Institute of Prehistory and Early History in Florence, said: 'The discovery of grain and plant residues on grinding stones at the three sites suggests plant-based food processing, and possibly flour production, was common and widespread across Europe at least 30,000 years ago.'
Establishing these primitive people were processing plants rather intensively reinforces recent research that their diets were as a whole much more diverse than is generally believed.
'It’s like a flatbread, like a pancake with just water and flour,” said Laura Longo, a researcher on the team, from the Italian Institute of Prehistory and Early History.
'You make a kind of pita and cook it on the hot stone,' she said, describing how the team replicated the cooking process. The end product was 'crispy like a cracker but not very tasty,' she added.
Grinding plant matter into flour is time consuming - as is making the tools to do it - to produce high energy food rich in carbohydrates that was easily storable and transportable.
The inclusion of cereals in our diet is considered an important step in human evolution because of the technical complexity and the culinary manipulation that are required to turn grains into staples.
The researchers said: 'European Paleolithic populations are generally considered to have been predominantly carnivorous, because the evidence for plant subsistence is limited.
'We are now able to add evidence for plant food processing, on the basis of the recovery of flour residues on coarse heavy-duty tools across Europe up to 30,000 years ago.
'The flour would have undergone a multistep processing involving root peeling, drying and finally grinding using specific tools. After this, the flour needed to be cooked to obtain a suitable and digestible food.
'Studies of current human diets suggest cooking is essential because raw food, as such, cannot supply sufficient calories.'
The findings are published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Science Daily: Microbes May Consume Far More Oil-Spill Waste Than Earlier Thought.
ScienceDaily (Oct. 20, 2010) — Microbes living at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico may consume far more of the gaseous waste from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill than previously thought, according to research carried out within 100 miles of the spill site.
A paper on that research, conducted before the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded six months ago, will appear in a forthcoming issue of the journal Deep-Sea Research II. It describes the anaerobic oxidation of methane, a key component of the Gulf oil spill, by microbes living in seafloor brine pools.
"Because of the ample oil and gas reserves under the Gulf of Mexico, slow seepage is a natural part of the ecosystem," says Peter R. Girguis, associate professor of organismic and evolutionary biology at Harvard University. "Entire communities have arisen on the seafloor that depend on these seeps. Our analysis shows that within these communities, some microbes consume methane 10 to 100 times faster than we've previously realized."
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
I'm going camping in a remote wilderness for 3 weeks and will not have internet; I am still alive.
Steve Smith: Dark Lensing.
"Gravitational lensing" theory is currently in fashion among astronomers. They use it to explain the arcs of glowing material surrounding some galaxies. They also use it in conjunction with other theories to help deal with puzzling observations. One of those puzzles involves the so-called expanding Universe.
According to a recent press release, scientists have, for the first time, combined data from the Hubble Space Telescope with ground-based measurements to map the effect that gravity might have on light as it travels through space. Recent calculations seem to show that the Universe is expanding faster than it should, perhaps because there is a greater amount of mass than previously thought. In particular, the research group looked at previously catalogued redshift information from 194,000 galaxies, plugging the figures into a statistical model they designed.
Minute differences in how some galaxies are shaped point to what they claim is a "warping of spacetime" due to unseen conglomerations of matter. It is that space-bending effect that holds their hypothesis together. The intense gravity generated by the concentrations of invisible (or "dark") matter is said to cause light rays from remote objects to bend as if seen through a lens. However, it is a "weak gravitational lensing" effect, so the slight variations can only be identified statistically.
In the image at the top of the page, galactic redshift data was plotted against the altered shapes of distant galaxies due to weak gravitational lensing. Based on complex software programs, the gravity model produced galaxy cluster plots that indicate the presence of enough dark matter to account for the accelerated expansion of the Universe.
Conventional “gravity-only” astronomy sees the bending of light by gravitational "lensing." What is more important is that the entire premise depends on a single assumption, that higher redshift equals greater distance. Halton Arp has made several assertions that counter that assumption, however.
As Arp's galactic compendium grew, he noticed that there was something wrong with conventional time-speed-distance calculations—he found objects with higher redshift values in front of objects with lower redshift. Surely, such a conundrum should have immediately called into question the very nature of that "cosmological constant."
It is often written in the popular press that dark matter makes up “25% of the Universe” or that dark energy makes up “75% of the rest of the Universe.” To anyone familiar with plasma physics, it is well known that plasma makes up 99.99% of the Universe. It is a fascinating convergence that the amount of gravitational mass invented to save conventional theories is the same as the ionized plasma that is overlooked.
Monday, October 4, 2010
"It is claimed that the LIGO and LISA projects will detect Einstein's gravitational waves. The existence of these waves is entirely theoretical. Over the past forty years or so no Einstein gravitational waves have been detected. How long must the search go on, at great expense to the public purse, before the astrophysical scientists admit that their search is fruitless and a waste of vast sums of public money? The fact is, from day one, the search for these elusive waves has been destined to detect nothing." -- Stephen J. Crothers, astrophysicist, August 2009
New Scientist: Gravity Genius [sic]: How I Will Spend [i.e. waste] Half a Million Bucks [that could be used to save millions of people's lives in Africa].
Among this year's 23 recipients of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's "genius award", who have won $500,000 each, no strings attached, is Nergis Mavalvala, a quantum physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a collaborator on the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory.
LIGO is on the hunt for gravitational waves, as-yet unseen ripples in space-time that are predicted by Einstein's theory of relativity and should be particularly strong when neutron stars or black holes merge. So what does a gravity hunter spend half a million dollars on? And what do gravitational waves have to do with quantum mechanics? To find out, New Scientist visited Mavalvala in her office at MIT.
Congratulations on the award. Was it at all expected?
Oh my goodness, no. When I got the call I thought it was a prank. I really thought at some point somebody was going to say, "Gotcha!"
How do you plan on using the award money?
It's hard to answer, with the few days I've had to think about it. I'll almost certainly spend some of the money on trying out far-out ideas. Scientists always have some ideas that are very risky: you know that they may not pan out, but if they did – wouldn't that be awesome? Those ideas are sometimes hard to get funded because they're so speculative.
Are there any particular topics on your risky wish list?
There's this idea that if you make a measurement on a quantum state you destroy it. But there are ways to get around that problem called quantum non-demolition techniques – these include ways to detect single photons repeatedly without destroying their delicate quantum states. The ideas are very sound but the implementations are quite difficult. My guess is the most likely place where an award like this would be used is in trying out these implementations and in seeing if our current technologies and knowledge can get us there.
A lot of your work has focused on using quantum mechanics to improve LIGO's ability to detect gravitational waves. What's the basic idea behind the experiment?
You take two laser beams at right angles to each other and you shoot them toward two mirrors, each one 4 kilometres away. If there is a gravitational wave, the mirror positions will change and we'll see that the light will take either a longer or a shorter time to go out and come back. Each detector can detect mirror motion that is a thousand times smaller than the size of a proton.
Why is quantum mechanics important in taking these measurements?
This all comes down to the idea that you use a light beam to measure the position of the mirror. We have very powerful laser beams, so there are a lot of photons. These photons carry momentum and there's some uncertainty in the momentum because they are quantum particles. This makes some uncertainty in your mirror position. One of the things that my group has done in the past few years is learn how to optically trap and cool a mirror, just the way people do optical trapping and cooling of atoms.
No gravitational wave has been directly detected yet. Why are they so hard to find?
Gravitational waves are weak, and they don't interact very strongly with our detectors. So that's the fundamental reason why it's so hard to do. The other problem is that we live on a very vibrant planet filled with motion, so everything you can imagine wants to move our mirror more than the gravitational wave.
Do you ever think about what it will be like when you do find one?
Pure ecstasy, probably. I think it will be amazing. But I think the first detections will very much go in the direction of understanding whether we've understood our instrument and making sure it really is a detection. It will probably be very much strengthened if the event we see is also seen by telescopes.
LIGO has been hunting for gravitational waves since 2002, and so far you haven't detected any. Is that at all discouraging?
No. It shouldn't be discouraging to anyone. We've always known that this first generation of instruments we would build for LIGO would have the sensitivity to see a gravitational wave only if it came from one of the strongest sources, and it would have to be from a very nearby source. We've always known that it was a bit of a long shot. What's going on now at LIGO is a very major upgrade called Advanced LIGO [set to begin observations in 2015]. If we haven't detected anything with this improved detector then I think disappointment and head-scratching will set in.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Metro: UK Mission to Find Alien Life in Earth’s Atmosphere.
Scientists are launching a mission to search for alien life in Earth’s atmosphere that they believe could have hitched a ride on comets and asteroids.
in a joint £60,000 venture with the European Space Agency, British boffins will send a balloon 21 miles up above the Arctic this week to look for alien micro-organisms.
The device will Hoover up the air in the stratosphere through a series of filters, which will then be sealed for analysis back on terra firma.
Clara Juanes-Vallejo, who is directing the Cranfield University research team, said: ‘There are theories that life on Earth came from space, so we need to know that life can survive the conditions of space for this to be true.
‘The environment in the stratosphere is very extreme. It can get down to -90 degrees C and is a near vacuum. If we know that life can survive in such an extreme environment, then it could also survive in places like Mars or on asteroids. in places like Mars or on asteroids.’
Friday, October 1, 2010
"For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." -- Isaiah 65:17
"For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain." -- Isaiah 66:22
"Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." -- 2 Peter 3:13
"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea." -- Revelation 21:1
Thursday, September 30, 2010
"And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;" -- Revelation 6:12
"The cold and the silence. The ashes of the late world carried on the bleak and temporal winds to and fro in the void. Carried forth and scattered and carried forth again. Everything uncoupled from its shoring. Unsupported in the ashen air. Sustained by a breath, trembling and brief. If only my heart were stone." -- Cormac McCarthy, author, The Road, 2006
"By day the banished sun circles the earth like a grieving mother with a lamp." -- Cormac McCarthy, author, The Road, 2006
Physorg: Volcanoes wiped Neanderthals out, research suggests.
New research suggests that climate change following massive volcanic eruptions drove Neanderthals to extinction and cleared the way for modern humans to thrive in Europe and Asia.
The research, led by Liubov Vitaliena Golovanova and Vladimir Borisovich Doronichev of the ANO Laboratory of Prehistory in St. Petersburg, Russia, is reported in the October issue of Current Anthropology.
“[W]e offer the hypothesis that the Neanderthal demise occurred abruptly (on a geological time-scale) … after the most powerful volcanic activity in western Eurasia during the period of Neanderthal evolutionary history,” the researchers write. “[T]his catastrophe not only drastically destroyed the ecological niches of Neanderthal populations but also caused their mass physical depopulation.”
Evidence for the catastrophe comes from Mezmaiskaya cave in the Caucasus Mountains of southern Russia, a site rich in Neanderthal bones and artifacts. Recent excavations of the cave revealed two distinct layers of volcanic ash that coincide with large-scale volcanic events that occurred around 40,000 years ago, the researchers say.
Geological layers containing the ashes also hold evidence of an abrupt and potentially devastating climate change. Sediment samples from the two layers reveal greatly reduced pollen concentrations compared to surrounding layers. That’s an indication of a dramatic shift to a cooler and dryer climate, the researchers say. Further, the second of the two eruptions seems to mark the end of Neanderthal presence at Mezmaiskaya. Numerous Neanderthal bones, stone tools, and the bones of prey animals have been found in the geological layers below the second ash deposit, but none are found above it.
The ash layers correspond chronologically to what is known as the Campanian Ignimbrite super-eruption which occurred around 40,000 years ago in modern day Italy, and a smaller eruption thought to have occurred around the same time in the Caucasus Mountains. The researchers argue that these eruptions caused a “volcanic winter” as ash clouds obscured the sun’s rays, possibly for years. The climatic shift devastated the region’s ecosystems, “possibly resulting in the mass death of hominins and prey animals and the severe alteration of foraging zones.”
"... ye are of this world; I am not of this world." -- Jesus Christ, extraterrestrial, John 8:23
"For all I know we may be visited by a different extraterrestrial civilization every second Tuesday...." -- Carl E. Sagan, professor, 1990
We now have an ambassador to Gliese 581 etc.
Wired: Astrophysicist to be named UN’s alien ambassador.
If an alien ever says “take me to your leader”, where would you take them?UPDATE: Mazlan: It is cool, but I’m no ET spokesman.
Pretty soon the answer will be a Malaysian astrophysicist named Mazlan Othman, who's expected to be appointed as the United Nation’s space ambassador for extraterrestrial contact affairs. That gives her the right to make the first official response to any travelling aliens.
Othman was Malaysia’s first astrophysicist, became the head of the country’s national planetarium (Negara) and launched the first Malaysian astronaut, Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, to the International Space Station in October 2007.
Now, Othman is the director of the UN’s Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA); a branch of the General Assembly, established in 1962. The office is responsible for promoting international co-operation and peace in dealing with outer space, and includes topics such as satellite navigation and space debris.
If approved, her latest role would place her as the go-to contact in the event of aliens making contact with earth. She’s got to pitch her new job title at a scientific conference at the Royal Society’s Kavli conference centre in Buckinghamshire next week, then if the idea is backed by the UN scientific advisory committees, it’ll be passed to General Assembly.
Othman recently gave a talk to fellow scientists, where she said that the continued search sustains the hope that “some day humankind will receive signals from extraterrestrials. When we do, we should have in place a coordinated response that takes into account all the sensitivities related to the subject”.
Stephen Hawking suggested earlier this year that aliens almost certainly exist, but cautioned humanity against making contact. He warned that extraterrestrial nomads could be “looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.”
PETALING JAYA: The rumoured appointment of the first earthling spokesman to visiting extra-terresterial life forms last week is a hoax, said National Space Agency Malaysia director-general Dr Mustafa Din Subari.This has abduction written all over it...LOL.
He said United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (Unoosa) head Datuk Mazlan Othman, who was rumoured to be the spokesman, had confirmed to him in an e-mail yesterday that there was no such appointment. ...
Mazlan could not be contacted at her Vienna office yesterday.
Dr Mustafa, however, said that if any such appointment was to have been made, Mazlan would have been the best candidate for the job.Sounds like a covert appointment...LOL.
“You do not want a spokesman from just anywhere. Mazlan is in the highest position of outer space affairs.
“Coupled with her credentials as an astrophysicist, she would be the most appropriate candidate to take up such a role,” Dr Mustafa said of his predecessor, whose position he took over in 1999 after Mazlan left to assume her role in Unoosa.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
"... the host of heaven cannot be numbered...." -- Jeremiah 33:22
"In my Father's house [heaven] are many mansions [planets]: if it were not so, I would have told you." -- Jesus Christ, extraterrestrial, John 14:2
"Democritus, Epicurus, and their scholar Metrodorus affirm that there are infinite worlds in an infinite space ...." -- Plutarch, historian, 1st century
"Alexander wept when he heard from Anaxarchus that there was an infinite number of worlds; and his friends asking him if any accident had befallen him, he returns this answer: 'Do you not think it a matter worthy of lamentation that when there is such a vast multitude of them, we have not yet conquered one?'" -- Plutarch, historian, 1st century
"... there are more worlds, and on them more creatures of beauty to be found." -- Immanuel Kant, natural philosopher, 1764
Science Daily: Newly Discovered Planet May Be First Truly Habitable Exoplanet.
ScienceDaily (Sep. 29, 2010) — A team of planet hunters led by astronomers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the Carnegie Institution of Washington has announced the discovery of an Earth-sized planet (three times the mass of Earth) orbiting a nearby star at a distance that places it squarely in the middle of the star's "habitable zone," where liquid water could exist on the planet's surface. If confirmed, this would be the most Earth-like exoplanet yet discovered and the first strong case for a potentially habitable one.
To astronomers, a "potentially habitable" planet is one that could sustain life, not necessarily one that humans would consider a nice place to live. Habitability depends on many factors, but liquid water and an atmosphere are among the most important.
"Our findings offer a very compelling case for a potentially habitable planet," said Steven Vogt, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz. "The fact that we were able to detect this planet so quickly and so nearby tells us that planets like this must be really common."
The findings are based on 11 years of observations at the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii. "Advanced techniques combined with old-fashioned ground-based telescopes continue to lead the exoplanet revolution," said Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution. "Our ability to find potentially habitable worlds is now limited only by our telescope time."
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
"According to the Persians best informed in history, the Phoenicians began to quarrel. This people, who had formerly dwelt on the shores of the Erythraean Sea, having migrated [Exodus] to the Mediterranean and settled in the parts which they now inhabit, began at once, they say, to adventure on long voyages, freighting their vessels with the wares of Egypt and Assyria. They landed at many places on the coast, and among the rest at Argos, which was then preeminent above all the states included now under the common name of Hellas. Here they exposed their merchandise, and traded with the natives ...." -- Herodotus, historian, The History, Book I, 440 B.C.
"... Cadmus brought letters out of Phoenicia, and was the first who taught the Grecians how to pronounce them, and gave them their several names, and formed their distinct characters: hence these letters are generally called Phoenician letters, because they were brought over out of Phoenicia into Greece: but they were afterwards called Pelasgian characters, because the Pelasgians were the first that understood them after they were brought over." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.
"And therefore it is believed, that, many ages after, Cadmus the son of Agenor brought the knowledge of letters out of Phoenicia first into Greece;" -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.
"But there are some who attribute the invention of letters to the Syrians [aka Jews], from whom the Phoenicans learned them, and communicated them to the Grecians when they came with Cadmus into Europe: whence the Grecians called them Phoenician letters. To these that hold this opinion, it is answered, that the Phoenicans were not the first that found out letters, but only changed the form and shape of them into other characters, which many afterwards using, the name of Phoenician grew to be common." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.
"But Eupolemus says that the first wise man was Moses, and that he was the first to teach the Jews letters, and from the Jews the Phoenicians received them, and from the Phoenicians the Greeks, and that Moses was the first to give written laws to the Jews." -- Lucius C. Alexander Polyhistor, historian, Concerning the Jews, Quoted In Eusebius Preparations for the Gospel Book IX Chapter XXVI, 1st century B.C.
Also see here.
Monday, September 27, 2010
"And his [Jabal's] brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ." -- Genesis 4:21
"Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel." -- Deuteronomy 31:19
"Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel." -- Deuteronomy 31:22
"And Moses spake in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song, until they were ended." -- Deuteronomy 31:30
"My doctrine shall drop as the rain ... Because I will publish the name of the LORD:" -- Moses, Deuteronomy 32:2-3
"Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee." -- Deuteronomy 32:7
"... I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith." -- Deuteronomy 32:20
"Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps." -- Deuteronomy 32:33
"And Moses came and spake all the words of this song in the ears of the people, he, and Hoshea the son of Nun." -- Deuteronomy 32:44
"After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where [is] the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy:" -- 1 Samuel 10:5
"Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well." -- 1 Samuel 16:16
"And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the LORD, neither consider the operation of his hands." -- Isaiah 5:12
"Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings." -- Psalm 33:2
"I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp." -- Psalm 49:4
"Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm." -- Psalm 98:5
"We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof." -- Psalm 137:2
"And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets." -- 1 Chronicles 13:8
"... who should prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals: ...." -- 1 Chronicles 25:1
"... Jeduthun, who prophesied with a harp, to give thanks and to praise the LORD." -- 1 Chronicles 25:3
"All these were under the hands of their father for song in the house of the LORD, with cymbals, psalteries, and harps, for the service of the house of God...." -- 1 Chronicles 25:6
"And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints." -- Revelation 5:8
"And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God." -- Revelation 15:2
"A herald placed a gorgeous cithara into the hands
of Phemius, who sang, under duress, for the suitors.
Playing the lyre, he began to sing beautifully," -- Homer, poet, Odyssey, Book I:153-155, 8th century B.C.
"The far-famed singer sang to them, and they sat
listening in silence. He sang of the Achaeans'
sad return from Troy ...." -- Homer, poet, Odyssey, Book I:325-327, 8th century B.C.
"A herald hung Demodocus' clear-toned lyre on a peg." -- Homer, poet, Odyssey, Book VIII:105, 8th century B.C.
"Musaeus, too, thy holy citizen, of all men most advanced in lore...." -- Euripides, playwright, Rhesus, 450 B.C.
"They [the Pisistratidae] had come up to Sardis with Onomacritus, an Athenian diviner who had set in order the oracles of Musaeus. They had reconciled their previous hostility with him; Onomacritus had been banished from Athens by Pisistratus' son Hipparchus, when he was caught by Lasus of Hermione in the act of interpolating into the writings of Musaeus an oracle showing that the islands off Lemnos would disappear into the sea." -- Herodotus, historian, The History, VII:6, 440 B.C.
"And from these first rings, which are the poets, depend others, some deriving their inspiration from Orpheus, others from Musaeus; but the greater number are possessed and held by Homer." -- Plato, philosopher, Ion, 380 B.C.
"... some, of hierophants and prophets, as Orpheus and Musaeus...." -- Plato, philosopher, Protagoras, 380 B.C.
"All men agree that music is one of the pleasantest things, whether with or without songs; as Musaeus says: 'Song to mortals of all things the sweetest.' Hence and with good reason it is introduced into social gatherings and entertainments, because it makes the hearts of men glad: so that on this ground alone we may assume that the young ought to be trained in it." -- Aristotle, philosopher, Politics, Book VIII, 350 B.C.
"Among them they have poets that sing melodious songs, whom they call bards, who to their musical instruments like unto harps, chant forth the praises of some, and the dispraises of others." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.
"...by the Greeks he was called, when grown to manhood, Musaeus. And this Moses, they said, was the teacher of Orpheus;" -- Lucius C. Alexander Polyhistor, historian, Concerning the Jews, Quoted in Eusebius Preparations for the Gospel Book IX Chapter XXVII, 1st century B.C.
"In the early times the soothsayers also practised music." -- Strabo, geographer, Geography, Book VII, Fragment 19, 7
"Of all these, by far the oldest is the Jewish race; and that their philosophy committed to writing has the precedence of philosophy among the Greeks, the Pythagorean Philo shows at large; and, besides him, Aristobulus the Peripatetic, and several others, not to waste time, in going over them by name. Very clearly the author Megasthenes, the contemporary of Seleucus Nicanor, writes as follows in the third of his books, On Indian Affairs: 'All that was said about nature by the ancients is said also by those who philosophise beyond Greece: some things by the Brahmins among the Indians, and others by those called Jews in Syria.'" -- Clement of Alexandria, theologian, Stromata, Book I, Chapter XV, 2nd century
"And Orpheus, who sailed with Hercules, was the pupil of Musaeus." -- Clement of Alexandria, theologian, Stromata, Book I, Chapter XXI, 2nd century
"And Numenius, the Pythagorean philosopher, expressly writes: 'For what is Plato, but Moses speaking in Attic Greek?'" -- Clement of Alexandria, theologian, Stromata, Book I, Chapter XXII, 2nd century
"And next in order came Jannes and Jambres, Egyptian sacred scribes, men judged to have no superiors in the practice of magic, at the time when the Jews were being driven out of Egypt. So then these were the men chosen by the people of Egypt as fit to stand beside Musaeus, who led forth the Jews, a man who was most powerful in prayer to God; and of the plagues which Musaeus brought upon Egypt, these men showed themselves able to disperse the most violent." -- Numenius, philosopher, On the Good, Book III, Quoted in Eusebius Book IX Chapter VIII, 2nd century
"I have read verse in which Musaeus receives from the North Wind the gift of flight, but, in my opinion, Onomacritus wrote them ...." -- Pausanias, geographer, Description of Greece, Book I: Attica, 2nd century
"This is a hill right opposite the Acropolis within the old city boundaries, where legend says Musaeus used to sing, and, dying of old age, was buried. Afterwards a monument also was erected here to a Syrian [a Jew aka Moses]." -- Pausanias, geographer, Description of Greece, Book I: Attica, 2nd century
"And challenging a comparison of book with book, I would say, 'Come now, good sir, take down the poems of Linus, and of Musaeus, and of Orpheus, and the writings of Pherecydes, and carefully compare these with the laws of Moses -- histories with histories, and ethical discourses with laws and commandments....'" -- Origen, theologian, Against Celsus, Chapter XVIII, 248
"It is said, moreover, that Hermippus has recorded in his first book, On Lawgivers, that it was from the Jewish people that Pythagoras derived the philosophy which he introduced among the Greeks." -- Origen, theologian, Against Celsus, Chapter XIV, 248
"Before the invention of letters, poetry seems to have been the means by which knowledge of almost every kind was communicated...." -- Wilkins Tannehill, historian, Sketches of the History of Literature, 1827
Sunday, September 26, 2010
"First then let us name Orpheus whom once Calliope bare, it is said, wedded to Thracian Oeagrus, near the Pimpleian height. Men say that he by the music of his songs charmed the stubborn rocks upon the mountains and the course of rivers. And the wild oak-trees to this day, tokens of that magic strain, that grow at Zone on the Thracian shore, stand in ordered ranks close together, the same which under the charm of his lyre he led down from Pieria. Such then was Orpheus whom Aeson's son [Jason] welcomed to share his toils, in obedience to the behest of Cheiron, Orpheus ruler of Bistonian Pieria." -- Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, 3rd century B.C.
"He [Jason] spake, and mounted the ship first of all; and so the rest of the chiefs followed, and, sitting in order, seized the oars; and Argus loosed for them the hawsers from under the sea-beaten rock. Whereupon they mightily smote the water with their long oars, and in the evening by the injunctions of Orpheus they touched at the island of Electra, daughter of Atlas, in order that by gentle initiation they might learn the rites that may not be uttered, and so with greater safety sail over the chilling sea. Of these I will make no further mention; but I bid farewell to the island itself and the indwelling deities, to whom belong those mysteries, which it is not lawful for me to sing." -- Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, 3rd century B.C.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
The mainstream orthodox scientific establishment, aka the Cult of Consensus, has failed again. This time by publishing work with unrepeatable results. Why are peer-reviewers publishing papers that make claims that are unrepeatable? The answer: because science is a religion.
New York Times: Nobel Laureate Retracts Two Papers Unrelated to Her Prize.
Linda B. Buck, who shared the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for deciphering the workings of the sense of smell, has retracted two scientific papers after she and her colleagues were unable to repeat the findings.
The retractions, which did not concern the work for which Dr. Buck won the Nobel, were published Thursday on the Web sites of the journals where the papers appeared. One had been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2005, the other in the journal Science in 2006.
“I sincerely apologize for any confusion that its publication may have caused,” Dr. Buck wrote in the retraction of the Science paper.
The retractions follow a separate one, two years ago, of a paper by Dr. Buck that was published in the journal Nature in 2001.
Friday, September 24, 2010
"Akamas led the men of Thrace with the fighter Peiroös,
all the Thracians held within the hard stream of the Hellespont.
Euphemos was leader of the Kikonian spearmen,
son of Troizenos, Keas' son, the king whom the gods loved.
Pyraichmes in turn led the Paionians with their curved bows,
from Amydon far away and the broad stream of Axios,
Axios, whose stream on all earth is the loveliest water." -- Homer, poet, Iliad, Book II:844-850, 8th century B.C.
"Orpheus of the intricate music, son of Calliope." -- Terpander, poet, Fragment 15, 7th century B.C.
"The son of Oeagrus, Orpheus of the golden sword." -- Pindar, poet, Fragment 139, 5th century B.C.
"The very converse, thine, of Orpheus' tongue:
He roused and led in ecstasy of joy
All things that heard his voice melodious;" -- Aeschylus, playwright, Agamemnon, 458 B.C.
"And yet we sister Muses do special honour to thy city, thy land we chiefly haunt; yea, and Orpheus, own cousin of the dead whom thou hast slain, did for thee unfold those dark mysteries with their torch processions." -- Euripides, playwright, Rhesus, 450 B.C.
"Ah! If I had the tongue and song of Orpheus so that I might charm Demeter's Daughter or her Lord, and snatch you back from Hades, would go down to hell; and neither Pluto's dog nor Charon, Leader of the Dead, should hinder me until I had brought your life back to the light!" -- Euripides, playwright, Alcestis, 438 B.C.
"Give me no gold within my halls, nor skill to sing a fairer strain than ever Orpheus sang, unless there-with my fame be spread abroad!" -- Euripides, playwright, Medea, 431 B.C.
"... take Orpheus for thy chief and go a-revelling, with all honour for the vapourings of many a written scroll ...." -- Euripides, playwright, Hippolytus, 428 B.C.
"... or haply in the thick forest depths of Olympus, where erst Orpheus with his lute gathered trees to his minstrelsy, and beasts that range the fields. Ah blest Pieria [Dion]! Evius [Dionysus] honours thee, to thee will he come with his Bacchic rites to lead the dance, and thither will he lead the circling Maenads, crossing the swift current of Axius and the Lydias, that giveth wealth and happiness to man, yea, and the father of rivers, which, as I have heard, enriches with his waters fair a land of steeds." -- Euripides, playwright, The Bacchae, 410 B.C.
"Well, but I know a spell of Orpheus, a most excellent one, to make the brand enter his skull of its own accord, and set alight the one-eyed son of Earth." -- Euripides, playwright, The Cyclops, 408 B.C.
"And from these first rings, which are the poets, depend others, some deriving their inspiration from Orpheus, others from Musaeus; but the greater number are possessed and held by Homer." -- Plato, philosopher, Ion, 380 B.C.
"... some, of hierophants and prophets, as Orpheus and Musaeus...." -- Plato, philosopher, Protagoras, 380 B.C.
"But Orpheus, the son of Oeagrus, the harper, they sent empty away, and presented to him an apparition only of her whom he sought, but herself they would not give up, because he showed no spirit; he was only a harp-player, and did not-dare like Alcestis to die for love, but was contriving how he might enter hades alive; moreover, they afterwards caused him to suffer death at the hands of women, as the punishment of his cowardliness." -- Plato, philosopher, Symposium, ~370-360 B.C.
"Why, yes, my friend; and if things had always continued as they are at present ordered, how could any discovery have ever been made even in the least particular? For it is evident that the arts were unknown during ten thousand times ten thousand years. And no more than a thousand or two thousand years have elapsed since the discoveries of Daedalus, Orpheus and Palamedes-since Marsyas and Olympus invented music, and Amphion the lyre-not to speak of numberless other inventions which are but of yesterday." -- Plato, philosopher, Laws, Book III, 360 B.C.
"For some say that the body is the grave (sema) of the soul which may be thought to be buried in our present life; or again the index of the soul, because the soul gives indications to (semainei) the body; probably the Orphic poets were the inventors of the name, and they were under the impression that the soul is suffering the punishment of sin, and that the body is an enclosure or prison in which the soul is incarcerated, kept safe (soma, sozetai), as the name ooma implies, until the penalty is paid; according to this view, not even a letter of the word need be changed." -- Plato, philosopher, Cratylus, 360 B.C.
"What would not a man give if he might converse with Orpheus and Musaeus and Hesiod and Homer? Nay, if this be true, let me die again and again." -- Plato, philosopher, Apology, 360 B.C.
"A tragedy, then, to be perfect according to the rules of art should be of this construction. Hence they are in error who censure Euripides just because he follows this principle in his plays, many of which end unhappily. It is, as we have said, the right ending. The best proof is that on the stage and in dramatic competition, such plays, if well worked out, are the most tragic in effect; and Euripides, faulty though he may be in the general management of his subject, yet is felt to be the most tragic of the poets." -- Aristotle, Poetics, Book II, Chapter XIII, 350 B.C.
"...the earth Demetra, which as antiently called Gen Metera, or the mother earth, as Orpheus attests...." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.
"For they say that Orpheus, after he came into Egypt, was initiated into the sacred mysteries of Bacchus or Dionysius, and being a special friend to the Thebans in Boeotia, and of great esteem among them, to manifest his gratitude, transferred the birth of Bacchus or Osiris over into Greece." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.
"In after-times, Orpheus, by reason of his excellent art and skill in music, and his knowledge in theology, and institution of sacred rites and sacrifices to the gods, was greatly esteemed among the Grecians, and especially was received and entertained by the Thebans, and by them highly honoured above all others; who being excellently learned in the Egyptian theology, brought down the birth of the ancient Osiris, to a far later time ...." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.
"For many of the ancient customs of the Egyptians that are most to be admired were not only allowed by the natural inhabitants, but were greatly admired by the Grecians, so that every learned man earnestly coveted to travel into Egypt to learn the knowledge of their laws and customs, as things of great weight and moment: and though the country antiently forbade all reception of strangers, (for the reasons before alleged), yet some of the antients, as Orpheus and Homer, and many of later times, as Pythagoras the Samian, and Solon the lawgiver, ventured to travel hither. And therefore the Egyptians affirm that letters, astronomy, geometry, and many other arts were first found out by them...." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.
"Having now given an account of these things, it remains we should declare how many wise and learned men among the Grecians journeyed into Egypt in ancient times, to understand the laws and sciences of the country. For the Egyptian priests, out of their sacred records relate, that Orpheus, Musaeus, Melampodes, Daedalus, Homer the poet, Lycurgus the Spartan, Solon the Athenian, Plato the philosopher, Pythagoras the Samian, Eudoxus the mathematician, Democritus the Abderite, and Oenopides the Chian, all came to them in Egypt, and they show certain marks and signs of all these being there. Of some, by their pictures; and of others, by the names of places, or pieces of work that have been called after their names." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.
"For it is certain that by Ceres the antient poets and other fabulous authors meant the mother earth: and agreeable hereunto are those things that are delivered in the verses of Orpheus, and which are exhibited in the celebration of the sacred mysteries, which it is not lawful for any ordinary person particularly to speak of." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.
"Oeagrus the son of Tharops, succeded his father in the kingdom, being instructed by him in the same mysterious rites and ceremonies. Oeagrus afterwards taught them Orpheus his son, who being eminent for his learning and ingenuity, changed many things in the Orgia. Hence those rites and mysteries first instituted by Bacchus were afterwrds called Orphea." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.
"He [Dionysius] says that Linus was the first that invented rhimes and music in Greece: and that Cadmus brought letters out of Phoenicia, and was the first who taught the Grecians how to pronounce them, and gave them their several names, and formed their distinct characters: hence these letters are generally called Phoenician letters, because they were brought over out of Phoenicia into Greece: but they were afterwards called Pelasgian characters, because the Pelasgians were the first that understood them after they were brought over. He says that this Linus, being an excellent poet and musician, had many scholars, amongst whom there were three that were the most famous, Hercules, Themyris, and Orpheus. Hercules learnt to play upon the harp, but was very dull and unapt to learn, insomuch, that he was sometimes boxed and beaten, at which he was at length so enraged, that he killed his master by a blow with his harp." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.
"Of Orpheus, the last of his [Linus's] scholars, we shall speak more particularly when we come to what concerns him. This Linus (they say) wrote in Pelasgians letters, the acts of the first Bacchus, and left other stories in his writings behind him. Orpheus, likewise, it is said, used the same characters, and Pronapides, Homer's master, an ingenious musician." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.
"And because we have now occasion to mention Orpheus, we conceive it will not be amiss here to give a short account of him. He was the son of Oeagrus, and by birth a Thracian, for in the art of music and poetry far excelling all that were ever recorded. ... and being naturally studious, he attained to an extraordinary degree of knowledge in the antient theology. He improved himself, likewise, very much by travelling into Egypt, so that he was accounted to excel the most accomplished person among all the Grecians for his knowledge both in divinity and sacred mysteries, in music, and in poetry." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.
"Some affirm, and amongst those Euphorus, that the Idaei Dactyli had their origin from mount Ida in Phrygia, and passed over with Minos into Europe; and that they were conjurors, and gave themselves to enchantments, and sacred rites and mysteries; and abiding in Samothracia, greatly amused and astonished people of the island: at which time it is said, Orpheus (who was naturally of a prompt wit to music and poetry) was their scholar, and the first that brought over the rites and ceremonies of their mysteries into Greece." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.
"Hercules was taught to drive a chariot by Amphitryon, to wrestle by Autolycus, to shoot with the bow by Eurytus, to fence by Castor, and to play the lyre by Linus. This Linus was a brother of Orpheus; he came to Thebes and became a Theban, but was killed by Hercules with a blow of the lyre; for being struck by him, Hercules flew into a rage and slew him. When he was tried for murder, Hercules quoted a law of Rhadamanthys, who laid it down that whoever defends himself against a wrongful aggressor shall go free, and so he was acquitted." -- Pseudo-Apollodorus, historian, Library, 1st century B.C.
"Now Calliope bore to Oeagrus or, nominally, to Apollo, a son Linus, whom Hercules slew; and another son, Orpheus, who practised minstrelsy and by his songs moved stones and trees. And when his wife Eurydice died, bitten by a snake, he went down to Hades, being fain to bring her up, and he persuaded Pluto to send her up. The god promised to do so, if on the way Orpheus would not turn round until he should be come to his own house. But he disobeyed and turning round beheld his wife; so she turned back. Orpheus also invented the mysteries of Dionysus, and having been torn in pieces by the Maenads he is buried in Pieria [Dion]." -- Pseudo-Apollodorus, historian, Library, 1st century B.C.
"Orpheus, son of Oeagrus and the Muse Calliope, Thracian, from the city which is on Mount Olympus near the river Enipeus, prophet, player on the lyre." -- Gaius J. Hyginus, author, Fables, 1st century B.C.-1st century
"The Lyre was put among the constellations for the following reason, as Eratosthenes says. Made at first by Mercury from a tortoise shell, it was given to Orpheus, son of Calliope and Oeagrus, who was passionately devoted to music. It is thought that by his skill he could charm even wild beasts to listen. When, grieving for his wife Eurydice, he descended to the Lower World, he praised the children of the gods in his song, all except Father Liber; him he overlooked and forgot, as Oeneus did Diana in sacrifice. Afterwards, then, when Orpheus was taking delight in song, seated, as many say, on Mt. Olympus, which separates Macedonia from Thrace, or on Pangaeum, as Eratosthenes says, Liber is said to have roused the Bacchanals against him. They slew him and dismembered his body. But others say that this happened because he had looked on the rites of Liber. The Muses gathered the scattered limbs and gave them burial, and as the greatest favour they could confer, they put as a memorial his lyre, pictured with stars, among the constellations. Apollo and Jove consented, for Orpheus had praised Apollo highly, and Jupiter granted this favour to his daughter. Others say that when Mercury first made the lyre on Mount Cyllene in Arcadia, he made it with seven strings to correspond to the number of Atlantides, since Maia, his mother, was of their company. Later, when he had driven away the cattle of Apollo and had been caught in the act, to win pardon more easily, at Apollo’s request he gave him permission to claim the invention of the lyre, and received from him a certain staff as reward. When Mercury, holding it in his hand, was journeying to Arcadia and saw two snakes with bodies intertwined, apparently fighting, he put down the staff between them. They separated then, and so he said that the staff had been appointed to bring peace. Some, in making caducei, put two snakes intertwined on the rod, because this seemed to Mercury a bringer of peace. Following his example, they use the staff in athletic contests and other contests of this kind. But to return to the subject at hand. Apollo took the lyre, and is said to have taught Orpheus on it, and after he himself had invented the cithara, he gave the lyre to Orpheus." -- Gaius J. Hyginus, author, Astronomica, 1st century B.C.-1st century
"The city Dium, in the foot-hills of Olympus, is not on the shore of the Thermaean Gulf, but is at a distance of as much as seven stadia from it. And the city Dium has a village near by, Pimpleia, where Orpheus lived." -- Strabo, geographer, Geography, Book VII, Fragment 17, 7
"At the base of Olympus is a city Dium. And it has a village near by, Pimpleia. Here lived Orpheus, the Ciconian, it is said — a wizard who at first collected money from his music, together with his soothsaying and his celebration of the orgies connected with the mystic initiatory rites, but soon afterwards thought himself worthy of still greater things and procured for himself a throng of followers and power. Some, of course, received him willingly, but others, since they suspected a plot and violence, combined against him and killed him. And near here, also, is Leibethra." -- Strabo, geographer, Geography, Book VII, Fragment 18, 7
"In the early times the soothsayers also practised music." -- -- Strabo, geographer, Geography, Book VII, Fragment 19, 7
"Orpheus had power to bend the ruthless lords of the shades by song and suppliant prayer, when he sought back his Eurydice. The art which had drawn the trees and birds and rocks, which had stayed the course of rivers, at whose sound the beasts had stopped to listen, soothes the underworld with unaccustomed strains, and rings out clearer in those unhearing realms." -- Lucius A. Seneca, philosopher statesman, The Madness of Hercules, 1st century
"Among other prodigies that attended the departure of his army, the image of Orpheus at Libethra, made of cypress-wood, was seen to sweat in great abundance, to the discouragement of many. But Aristander told him [Alexander] that, far from presaging any ill to him, it signified he should perform acts so important and glorious as would make the poets and musicians of future ages labour and sweat to describe and celebrate them." -- Plutarch, historian, Alexander, 75
"Now, Linus was the teacher of Hercules, but Hercules preceded the Trojan war by one generation; and this is manifest from his son Tlepolemus, who served in the army against Troy. And Orpheus lived at the same time as Hercules ...." -- Tatian, theologian, Address to the Greeks, Chapter XLI, 2nd century
"Between Taletum and Euoras is a place they name Therae, where they say Leto from the Peaks of Taygetus ... is a sanctuary of Demeter surnamed Eleusinian. Here according to the Lacedaemonian story Heracles was hidden by Asclepius while he was being healed of a wound. In the sanctuary is a wooden image of Orpheus, a work, they say, of Pelasgians." -- Pausanias, geographer, Description of Greece, Book III: Laconia, 2nd century
"The roughly quarried stones, laid along the tomb of Amphion at its base, are said to be the very rocks that followed the singing of Amphion. A similar story is told of Orpheus, how wild creatures followed him as he played the harp." -- Pausanias, geographer, Description of Greece, Book IX: Boeotia, 2nd century
"Later than Olen, both Pamphos and Orpheus wrote hexameter verse, and composed poems on Love, in order that they might be among those sung by the Lycomidae to accompany the ritual. I read them after conversation with a Torchbearer. Of these things I will make no further mention." -- Pausanias, geographer, Description of Greece, Book IX: Boeotia, 2nd century
"Other tales are told by the Thebans, how that later than this Linus there was born another, called the son of Ismenius, a teacher of music, and how Heracles, while still a child, killed him." -- Pausanias, geographer, Description of Greece, Book IX: Boeotia, 2nd century
"By the side of Orpheus the Thracian stands a statue of Telete, and around him are beasts of stone and bronze listening to his singing. There are many untruths believed by the Greeks, one of which is that Orpheus was a son of the Muse Calliope, and not of the daughter of Pierus, that the beasts followed him fascinated by his songs, and that he went down alive to Hades to ask for his wife from the gods below. In my opinion Orpheus excelled his predecessors in the beauty of his verse, and reached a high degree of power because he was believed to have discovered mysteries, purification from sins, cures of diseases and means of averting divine wrath." -- Pausanias, geographer, Description of Greece, Book IX: Boeotia, 2nd century
"Some say that Orpheus came to his end by being struck by a thunderbolt, hurled at him by the god because he revealed sayings in the mysteries to men who had not heard them before." -- Pausanias, geographer, Description of Greece, Book IX: Boeotia, 2nd century
"The Macedonians who dwell in the district below Mount Pieria and the city of Dium say that it was here that Orpheus met his end at the hands of the women. Going from Dium along the road to the mountain, and advancing twenty stades, you come to a pillar on the right surmounted by a stone urn, which according to the natives contains the bones of Orpheus." -- Pausanias, geographer, Description of Greece, Book IX: Boeotia, 2nd century
"There is also a river called Helicon. After a course of seventy-five stades the stream hereupon disappears under the earth. After a gap of about twenty-two stades the water rises again, and under the name of Baphyra instead of Helicon flows into the sea as a navigable river. The people of Dium say that at first this river flowed on land throughout its course. But, they go on to say, the women who killed Orpheus wished to wash off in it the blood-stains, and thereat the river sank underground, so as not to lend its waters to cleanse manslaughter." -- Pausanias, geographer, Description of Greece, Book IX: Boeotia, 2nd century
"In Larisa I heard another story, how that on Olympus is a city Libethra, where the mountain faces, Macedonia, not far from which city is the tomb of Orpheus. The Libethrians, it is said, received out of Thrace an oracle from Dionysus, stating that when the sun should see the bones of Orpheus, then the city of Libethra would be destroyed by a boar. The citizens paid little regard to the oracle, thinking that no other beast was big or mighty enough to take their city, while a boar was bold rather than powerful. But when it seemed good to the god the following events befell the citizens. About midday a shepherd was asleep leaning against the grave of Orpheus, and even as he slept he began to sing poetry of Orpheus in a loud and sweet voice. Those who were pasturing or tilling nearest to him left their several tasks and gathered together to hear the shepherd sing in his sleep. And jostling one another and striving who could get nearest the shepherd they overturned the pillar, the urn fell from it and broke, and the sun saw whatever was left of the bones of Orpheus. Immediately when night came the god sent heavy rain, and the river Sys (Boar), one of the torrents about Olympus, on this occasion threw down the walls of Libethra, overturning sanctuaries of gods and houses of men, and drowning the inhabitants and all the animals in the city. When Libethra was now a city of ruin, the Macedonians in Dium, according to my friend of Larisa, carried the bones of Orpheus to their own country." -- Pausanias, geographer, Description of Greece, Book IX: Boeotia, 2nd century
"But those who attribute its [philosophy's] origin to them [barbarians], introduce Orpheus the Thracian, and say that he was a philosopher, and the most ancient one of all." -- Diogenes Laertius, historian, Lives and Opinions of the Eminent Philosophers, Introduction, 3rd century
"... tradition relates that he [Orpheus] was murdered by women; but there is an inscription at Dium [Dion] in Macedonia, saying that he was killed by lightning...." -- Diogenes Laertius, historian, Lives and Opinions of the Eminent Philosophers, Introduction, 3rd century
"Orpheus requires no tomb." -- Rainer M. Rilke, poet, Sonnets to Orpheus, 1922
"Thus the more ancient philosophers, such as Orpheus, who were closer to the true philosophy, held that gravity was a direct result of the exercise of divine power." -- J.E. McGuire and P.M. Rattansi, historians, Newton and the 'Pipes of Pan', Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London, Volume 21, Number 2, Pages 108-143, Dec 1966
Orpheus' Grave Discovered in Bulgaria, Sophia News Agency, Jul 2005
Bulgarian archaeologists say that they have discovered Orpheus' grave near the village of Tatul.Orpheus' Tomb Discovered?, News Bulgaria, Jun 2007
The archaeologists unearthed the entry to the Thracian temple in the Tatul sanctuary. The temple preserved the remains of a ruler that has been deified after his death.
For a second year now the team of Professor Nikolay Ovcharov continues its work at the Tatul sanctuary. It is believed to be a unique temple of mythical royal descendant and artist Orpheus.
Continuing excavation works come to confirm preliminary suggestions by archaeologists that the sanctuary at Tatul has effloresced for more than two thousand years in ancient times. It is probably the largest temple after the sanctuary of Dionisos in Perperikon, also located in the Rhodopes Mountain.
Orpheus sanctuary in Rhodope mountains is with thousand years older than the Egyptian pyramids.The problem here, as I see it, is that Orpheus sailed with Hercules and Hercules lived only one generation before the Trojan War.
The sensational discovery was made by an archaeological expedition which investigated the temple of the Thracians near the village of Tatul, informed BNT.
The scientists found 6000-year old buildings with preserved tools made of semi-precious stones, crockery, animal remains. According to the archaeologists now it can be claimed that this is the Tomb of Orpheus, which has been visited of thousands of pilgrims from around the antique world.
The sanctuary is one of the oldest in the world and can be compared only with cult complexes as Stonehеnge.
The Egyptian pyramids were built 4500 years ago. 1500 years earlier in the Rhodope mountains the Thracians construct their rock sanctuaries. This was proven by the archaeologists who for third successive year examine the Orpheus Tomb.
The life of Tatul has continued for 5 thousand years. The soldiers of Alexander the Great have built here magnificent antique temple of Orpheus. Four centuries later the Thracian Odrysian tribe, helped by the Roman legions, conquer and burn the sanctuary. The Romans restore it later.
Now a joint project of Bulgaria and Greece will allow for the temple to be restored and after several months it will be shown in its all its splendour.
However, there are other tombs at the Perperikon and more likely one of them is the actual tomb of Orpheus.
Trojan Arrows and Unique Seals from Perperikon Stand Out in Archaeological Summer '08, News Bulgaria, Dec 2008
For an eighth year now, a team of archeologists led by Prof. Nikolay Ovcharov, has been exploring the grounds of the holy city of Perperikon(also Perpericon) in the eastern Rhodope Mountains.Top Bulgarian Archaeologist Stumbles Upon 2 Ancient Thrace Tombs, Sofia News Agency, Sep 2010
The place acted as a cult site as early as the end of 5 and the early 4 millennium BC. Researchers have come across finds from the second millennium BC and there is evidence the city prospered during Thracian times in Antiquity. An Episcopal center was set up here in the Middle Ages.
At a press conference in Sofia Nikolay Ovcharov showed unique finds originating from different periods in the history of Perperikon. The oldest one is dated to the Trojan War, the archeologist contends.
"It is a sword with a broken handle from 12-13 c. BC. It is made of high-quality bronze. I have dated it to the Trojan War because that war was waged using precisely such swords. The fact that the sword is broken implies two things. One, that it got broken in combat. Two, that it was broken on purpose during a cult ritual. People used to lay dear objects in shrines, and swords were indeed perceived as extremely valuable. This has been the third such sword found in the Bulgarian lands, meaning it is quite a rare and inspiring find."
Nikolay Ovcharov argues that during his expeditions he is not after gold. According to him a tiny ceramic figure from 10 c. BC similar to a human body, can have a greater scientific value than an intact gold treasure. Well, the rough make of the small idol will hardly intrigue art connoisseurs.
"The idol is pierced all over - it obviously stands for some sort of illness", he adds. "Could be measles, could be plague. In any case it was a lethal disease. We know that in voodoo religion a small figure would be desecrated in a bid to transfer on it human illness or suffering. It is obvious that the small idol was used in magic in an effort to banish disease away from the body and into the object."
Apart from the ceramic item, there is also a small silver jewel found recently in Perperikon. It is a cloak fibula and has two parts.
"When the two parts of the fibula fit together the jewel displays a human face with a halo. The halo is a Christian symbol. At first glance the illustration is unsophisticated, Barbarous in style. But in fact it depicts Christ. Our research suggests that this object is part of a Constantinople fashion trend in 5 c. AD. Back then, Constantinople, the capital of Byzantium, had attracted many Barbarians. The Greek used that word to denote various Germanic tribes, mostly Goths, and Asia Minor tribes. Byzantium of that time saw quite prolific writings that condemned the Barbarian fashion trends, especially the ones brought over by the Goths. There was a period when even noblemen copied the Goths - in hairstyles, clothing and adornments. So in this particular case we have a silver jewel that was owned by a Byzantine aristocrat. Well, he could have been one of Perperikon's military leaders," archeologist Prof. Nikolay Ovcharov said in conclusion.
Bulgarian archaeologist Nikolay Ovcharov has discovered two tombs of Ancient Thracian rulers near the famous rock city and sanctuary of Perperikon.
The tombs are dated to 1100-1000 BC judging by the pottery and ceramics found in them, which are characteristic of the later Bronze Age and the early Iron Age.
One of the most interesting finds in the tombs is a bronze coin with the face of Emperor Alexander the Great, dated to the 4th century BC. Prof. Ovcharov believes this is a clear evidence that the tomb was venerated as a shrine by the Thracians in the Antiquity for a long time after its original creation.
The archaeological team stumbled across the two tombs as they were working on diverting a tourist path away from a spot of excavations at Perperikon, the holy city of the Thracians.
The tombs are situation in an east-west direction, with the buried notable facing the rising sun, a clear sign of a sun cult.
The excavations have revealed ritual hearths and others signs of sacrifices that were connected with the traditions of venerating the dead as godly creatures.