Ken Ham’s Ark Adventure to Usher in a Modern Day Reformation?

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Ken Ham would have us believe that the modern creationist movement, which apparently began only 53 years ago, is the real deal this time. Unlike all the other attempts to create a history of the Earth with a recent global flood as a centerpiece, this time it apparently is going to usher in a real reformation in both science and an appreciation for biblical authority.

We’re Going on a Fossil Hunt to Find a Herpes Virus

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There is a very recent form of fossil hunting that I have gotten to partake in to some small extent, and I can do it while sitting in front of a computer screen! With some computer skills and some knowledge of animal genomes it isn’t difficult to join this hunt for fossils inside the genome of living organisms.

The Pit of Bones: A Death Chamber Time Capsule

Fig. 2. Excavation in a portion of The Pit of Bones in Spain.  Image from: http://www.diariouno.com.ar/mundo/Hallaron-el-ADN-mas-antiguo-del-pariente-humano--20131204-0118.html

A small chamber in a deep, dark cave. Tens of thousands of bones. Animal bones and human bones. Buried under dust and dirt and bat dung. Welcome to an ancient chamber of horrors. This is the Pit of Bones (aka Sima de los Huesos). In 1997, scientists discovered this small chamber within a much larger […]

When Marine Reptiles Ruled the Sea: Huge Ichthyosaur Fossil Find and the Age of Reptiles

Plesiosaurus - Plesiosaurus inhabited the oceans 200 million years ago. "flying" underwater with four wing like limbs. Its sharp teeth and snapping jaws formed a deadly trap for small aquatic animals. The long necked Plesiosaurus gave its name to the plesiosaurs, a group of flesh eating marine reptiles that are extinct. Along with the dolphin like ichthyosaurs and other marine reptiles, plesiosaurs were the "sea dragons" that inhabited the seas from 200 to 65 million years ago, while the dinosaurs were dominant on land. Image Credit: Carl Buell

Can you imagine the world’s oceans filled with carnivorous reptiles? Dinosaurs are the most famous members of the age of the reptiles. However, many of the original reptilian fossil discoveries that initiated the idea of the age of reptiles were not dinosaurs. They were instead reptiles that lived in the sea.

Mary Anning: Plesiosaurs, Pterosaurs and The Age Of Reptiles

Duria Antiquior - A more Ancient Dorset is a watercolour painted in 1830 by the geologist Henry De la Beche based on fossils found by Mary Anning, and was the first pictorial representation of a scene from deep time based on fossil evidence.  Image: Wikipedia

What do you think of when someone mentions the Jurassic or Cretaceous ages? Most likely you will immediately think of dinosaurs and other large reptiles such as pterosaurs.  Maybe you think of the movie Jurassic Park and the dinosaurs and lush vegetation.   These periods are also known as the Age of the Reptiles and aptly so since many […]

NH Notes: Biggest Dinosaur Ever Found But Is It The Largest Animal?

A single femur from the newly found titanosaurus. PR photo:  MEF

What is the largest animal to have lived on the Earth?  Most people will answer “dinosaurs” or “sauropods” but they would be incorrect. The answer is a blue whale, a mammal that is alive today.  At 190 short tons (380,000 pounds!) blue whales are massive animals that make most dinosaurs look puny. Just how small […]

NH Notes: Underwater Cave Yields Fossilized Teenager From the Ice Age

In a flooded cave in Mexico, divers transport a skull for 3-D scanning. Between 12,000 and 13,000 years old, the skull is part of the most complete skeleton of such antiquity yet discovered in the Americas.
PHOTOGRAPH BY PAUL NICKLEN, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

During the last ice age some 12 to 13 thousands years ago a young girl found herself wandering in caves of the Yucatan Peninsula likely looking for water.  Hundreds of feet into a cave something happened and she fell in a deep pit breaking her pelvis. With no escape 100 feet down she died a lonely death.  She […]

Rewinding the Clock: An Asteroid Family History

Artist conception of the breakup of an asteroid into separate family members.

You might think of the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars as a assortment of space junk floating randomly in space. There are millions of asteroids of which more than 100,000 have been measured and mapped by astronomers. But analysis of those asteroids has shown that there are groups of asteroids that are related to one another and are referred to family members

Kirkdale Cave Hyena Den: A Young Earth Puzzle Since 1821.

The image depicts a late Pleistocene landscape in northern Spain with woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius), equids, a woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis), and European cave lions (Panthera leo spelaea) with a reindeer carcass.  Image credit: Mauricio-Ant

Imagine you live in northern England and you are out exploring and come upon a hidden cave entrance.  Upon climbing down into the cave you discover hundreds of bones belonging to large mammals.  At first you think the bones represent local animals since there are some deer, rabbits, weasels and wolves but soon it becomes clear […]

William Buckland: Minister and Geologist Grappling with Fossil Feces, Deep Time and the Age of Reptiles

An interpretive drawing of William Buckland crawling into Kirkdale Cave where he found extinct cave hyenas and the remains of their prey. Drawn by Buckland’s friend William Conybeare.

The Reverend William Buckland (1784-1856) was one of the last in a line of influential natural theologians following in the footsteps of John Ray (late 1600s) and William Paley (late 1700s).   I recently gave a seminar in which I explored a number of significant turning points (figure below) in the history of discovery of deep time and the awareness […]

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