Ancient stone carvings show comet strike sparked the rise of civilisation

Written by Sarah Knapton

Ancient stone carvings confirm that a comet struck the Earth around 11,000BC, a devastating event which wiped out wooly mammoths and sparked the rise of civilisations. Experts at the University of Edinburgh analysed mysterious symbols carved onto stone pillars at Gobekli Tepe in southern Turkey, to find out if they could be linked to constellations.

The markings suggest that a swarm of comet fragments hit Earth at the exact same time that a mini-ice age struck, changing the entire course of human history.  Scientists have speculated for decades that a comet could be behind the sudden fall in temperature during a period known as the Younger Dryas. But recently the theory appeared to have been debunked by new dating of meteor craters in North America where the comet is thought to have struck.

However, when engineers studied animal carvings made on a pillar – known as the vulture stone – at Gobekli Tepe they discovered that the creatures were actually astronomical symbols which represented constellations and the comet. The idea had been originally put forward by author Graham Hancock in his book Magicians of the Gods.

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What Role Do Values Play in Scientific Inquiry?

Written by Daniel J. McKaughan

The idea that science is a “value-free” enterprise is deeply entrenched. “Under standard conditions, water boils at 100°C.” This and countless other facts about nature are mind-independent; that is, they do not depend on what you or I think or feel. And the procedures by which we discover such facts are available to and respected by a diverse public, man or woman, black or white, rich or poor. It may seem, then, that the activities and results of science are inherently insulated from racism, sexism, political agendas, financial interests, and other value-laden biases that permeate the larger social context. Some even vigorously insist on keeping values out of science.

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How does Constant CO2 Cause a Change in Temperature?

Written by co2islife

Junk science_1

In real science, numbers speak, and they talk through what is called a regression. Most people are familiar with the 2nd-grade bean plant experiment where you shine different amounts of light on different bean plants and measure the rate of growth. Y, the dependent variable, is the bean plant height, X, the independent variable, is the amount of sunlight allowed to reach the bean plant, m is the slope or rate of change of the bean plant per unit of light, and b is the constant, which in this case would be the starting height of the plants.

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Ten Advocacy Groups Putting Ideology before GMO Science

Written by Andrew Porterfield

Many non-government organizations aim to inform the public, policymakers and scientists about a wide range of complex and important issues. But there are times when science takes a backseat to ideology. Perhaps nowhere is this more common than in the volatile landscape surrounding genetically modified foods and modern agriculture. Criticism of GMOs, and everything connected to them, has given rise to a host of organizations pushing messages that often lack scientific support. Here are 10 NGOs that often abandon the science behind genetic modification of food in favor of such ideology.

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Are Scientists Feeling ‘Machine Envy?’

Written by Philip Ball

Whenever I visit scientists to discuss their research, there comes a moment when they say, with barely concealed pride: ‘Do you want a tour of the lab?’ It is invariably slightly touching — like Willy Wonka dying to show off his chocolate factory. I’m glad to accept, knowing what lies in store: shelves lined with bottles or reagents; gleaming, quartz-windowed cryogenic chambers; slabs of perforated steel holding lasers and lenses.

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Satellites Helping Countries shape their Economies

Written by Jitesh Motwani

For almost six decades since Sputnik first circled the Earth, satellites have been the exclusive domain of the richest governments and companies, costing billions and weighing tons. Now with the advancements in space flight and digital cameras, cheap orbiting cameras are becoming ubiquitous.

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Huh? James Hansen Used to Say LESS Greenhouse Gas Causes Global Warming

Written by co2islife

phd_in_pseudoscience_scientists_248695

Back in 1986 NASA’s climate “expert” James Hansen claimed ozone depletion would result in catastrophic warming. No mention of CO2.

“A dramatic loss of ozone over the Antarctica proves the “greenhouse” effect” is real and presages a gradual warming of the earth that threatens floods, drought, human misery in a few decades and — if not checked — eventually extinction of the human species, scientists warned Tuesday… James Hansen, Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said global temperatures should be 2 degrees higher in 20 years. “Which is the warmest the earth has been in the last 100,000 years.”

 

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Sentinel satellites to monitor every volcano

Written by Jonathan Amos and Rebecca Morelle

Tungurahua volcano, EquadorImage copyright: GETTY IMAGES
Image caption: Countries that have limited resources to monitor their volcanoes will benefit most

A UK-led team of scientists is rolling out a project to monitor every land volcano on Earth from space. Two satellites will routinely map the planet’s surface, looking for signs that might hint at a future eruption. They will watch for changes in the shape of the ground below them, enabling scientists to issue an early alert if a volcano appears restless.

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Dear Richard Lindzen Please Meet Lewis Fry Richardson

Written by John O'Sullivan

Top climate experts are admitting the science behind man-made global warming isn’t what has been claimed. We examine the astonishing new evidence getting scientists talking – serious numerical errors in the supposed ‘settled science’ of the greenhouse gas theory.

For this article we put under the microscope two key players from British meteorology, W. H. Dines & Lewis Fry Richardson. These are the men responsible for creating the mathematical algorithms that turned the greenhouse gas theory into the number form fed into modern computer models.

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Five Reasons Why Science Blogs Beat Mainstream Journals

Written by Daniel Lakens

The Dutch toilet cleaner ‘WC-EEND’ (literally: ‘Toilet Duck’) aired a famous commercial in 1989 that had the slogan ‘We from WC-EEND advise… WC-EEND’. It is now a common saying in The Netherlands whenever someone gives an opinion that is clearly aligned with their self-interest. In this blog, I will examine the hypothesis that blogs are, on average, of higher quality than journal articles. Below, I present 5 arguments in favor of this hypothesis.  [EDIT: I’m an experimental psychologist. Mileage of what you’ll read below may vary in other disciplines].

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Swansea University smart bandage trials ‘within 12 months’

Written by David Dulin

A bandaged hands with lots of digital graphics

Bandages which can detect how a wound is healing and send messages back to doctors could be trialled within the next 12 months, scientists have said. The bandages would use real-time 5G technology to monitor what treatment is needed and also keep track of a patient’s activity levels. The work is being led by Swansea University’s Institute of Life Science.

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Physicists observe ‘negative mass’

Written by bbc.co.uk

Apparatus in physics labImage copyright: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Image caption: Bose-Einstein condensates are used to explore a wide range of fundamental questions in physics (not the apparatus used in the latest research)

Physicists have created a fluid with “negative mass”, which accelerates towards you when pushed. In the everyday world, when an object is pushed, it accelerates in the same direction as the force applied to it; this relationship is described by Isaac Newton’s Second Law of Motion.

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