How Rare are Stone Age Artifacts? A Visit to a Stone Tool-Making Center at Kathu, South Africa

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Hundreds of millions and possibly billions of stone artifacts sit just under parking lots and homes in Kathu, South Africa.  Artifacts in this area were examined a few years ago in a vacant lot scheduled to be developed into a shopping plaza.  Explorations in this lot revealed a very dense collection of artifacts referred to […]

A Flock of Genomes Reveals the Toothy Ancestry of Birds

Image credit: Julie McMahon / University of Illinois

A tidal wave of genomic information came ashore this week in the form of 45 new genome sequences of birds. In a series of papers released in Science hundreds of researches combine to analyze the hundreds of billions of pieces of genetic code of representatives of all the major groups of birds.  Prior to this only […]

The Case of the Shrinking Comet and the Age of the Universe

The dumbbell shaped Comet 67P.  The Rosetta satellite is presently orbiting this comet as is passes around the Sun.  Image:  Planetary Society/ESA

Ten years after launching, the European Space Agency Rosetta spacecraft finally caught up to its target, Comet 67P.   Rosetta, now 250 million miles from Earth, will travel along with the comet while it makes its way around the Sun measuring its activity as it goes through the process of forming a tail. Already Rosetta has detected and measured streams […]

Origins of the Dead Sea, Part VII: Mt. Sodom – A Huge Pile Salt

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Rising out of the plain at the south end of the Dead Sea Valley is a billion-ton mountain of salt.  An eight-mile long, three-mile wide, 742-foot tall (above Dead Sea level) mountain protruding from the basin plain. This is Mt. Sodom. This mountain is composed almost entirely of halite also known as rock salt.    Over […]

Ancient DNA Redux: 700-Year-Old Virus Resurrected from Frozen Caribou Dung

caribou-ice-core-dung

Under nine feet of ice, frozen for 700 years, from DNA extracted from bits of caribou dung, a viral genome has been recovered and brought back to life.   Don’t worry this isn’t a case of mad scientists resurrecting the black plague for nefarious purposes.  This is the story of some inquisitive scientists investigating past environments […]

Curiosity Rover Update: Driving into a Sedimentary Wonderland on Mars

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The Mars Curiosity Rover continues to make its way through the basin of Gale Crater on Mars.  I’ve provided periodical updates on its progress as it makes its way toward a large mountain in the center of the crater.  Recently it has driven down almost 1000 feet to arrive at nearly the lowest elevation point […]

Origin of a New Parasite? Tasmanian Devil Transmissible Tumors

TasmanianDevil

Can cancer become an infectious disease?  Usually with think of cancer as limited to the individual in whom the cancer formed.  But what if cancerous cells could infect other individuals. Here is a link to a story on the sad case of what happens when cancer “learns” to infect more than one individual:  BBC News […]

Fossil Virus Found in Hamsters Points to an Ancient Origin of Ebola Virus

The Ebola Virus. Like most viruses, the Ebola virus is not a cell but rather just a protein capsule with a very small genome (a single strand of RNA in this case rather than DNA as found in all "living" things).

The Ebola virus has captured headlines around the world.  One of the big questions that I see being asked frequently is – where did it come from? Does it have a recent origin or has the virus been with us for a long time but simply not recognized? Clearly it didn’t come into existence in […]

Sodom, Gomorrah, and the Seismic History of the Dead Sea: Support for Biblical History – Yes! Support for a Young Earth – No! The Origins of the Dead Sea, Part VI

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The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is a vividly recorded event in the early chapters of Genesis. Estimated to have occurred about 4050 years ago (~2050 BC), the Biblical story provides us with a picture of the specific moment of the destruction of these cities, as well as the still-observable Dead Sea region. Interestingly, the […]

The Never Ending Debate: Ken Ham’s Obsession with Bill Nye

Ham-nye-debate-creationism-creation-museum

Do you remember the debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham back in February? Probably, but if it is becoming a hazy memory then that’s a sure sign you aren’t visiting the Answers in Genesis website often enough.  For if you were, you could not forget.  For a month after the debate AIG had a […]

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