Tag Archive for geology

No rocks for you!

A young earth Creationist, Dr. Andrew Snelling, is suing the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, in a civil rights action, stating that he was unlawfully restricted from doing geological work in the Grand Canyon national park because of religious discrimination. According to the claim, Snelling, from Australia, has authority to be in the…

Down the hatch: Oregon lake drains into holes every year

Why was there a sudden surge in DN search requests for “whirlpool” “lake”? Ahh… people are wondering about a lake in Oregon that disappears down a hole every year. It’s quite spectacular. MYSTERY SOLVED: Why does this lake disappear and reappear each year? The Lost Lake in Hood County, Oreg. has been known to fill…

L’Aquila decision against geoscientists overturned

In an update to a story that shook geoscientists around the world, almost all of the people formerly found guilty in the L’Aquila earthquake prediction manslaughter case have been acquitted. Verdict Overturned for Italian Geoscientists Convicted of Manslaughter | WIRED. Today, after a surprisingly swift-by-Italian-standards appeals process, the three-judge panel acquitted six of the men.…

Real life pop rocks

Imagine you are just walking around the solid rock under your feet starts to crackle and then POP as pieces fly apart. This doesn’t normally happen. A big chunk of the Sierra Nevada caught fracturing on video | Ars Technica. One interesting way that rocks weather and crumble apart is called “exfoliation.” Like the skin-scrubbing…

The New Madrid fault – and yet it moves

Seismologists take a look at the aftershock activity on this intra-plate seismic zone and then make a Monty Python joke. Unfortunately, it’s not funny… Study: New Madrid fault zone alive and active. The New Madrid fault zone in the nation’s midsection is active and could spawn future large earthquakes, scientists reported Thursday. It’s “not dead…

Evidence of troll wars! Wait… it’s not?

Iceland. I’m going to go there some day. Mystery of Bizarre Icelandic Lava Pillars Solved – Yahoo News. The mystery of a series of strange, knobby pillars of rock that formed in Iceland has been solved. A creeping lava flow and a stream of water mixed to create hollow, rough pillars that dot the Skaelinger…

Is this burning an Eternal Flame?

Pretty neat, spooky and natural. Mystery Eternal Flame Reveals New Gas Source : Discovery News. Nestled behind a waterfall in western New York state is an eternal flame whose beauty is only surpassed by its mystery. It is one of a few hundred “natural” eternal flames around the world, fed by gas seeping to the…

Discovery Institute thrashes geology professor with wet noodle

Callan Bentley is an assistant professor of geology at Northern Virginia Community College. He recently got a request from the Discovery Institute (a Creationist think tank) to use some of his geologic photos in one of their publications. Hilarity ensued from the DiscoTute. The Discovery Institute feels sorry for my students – Mountain Beltway –…

Irony alert: How creationism evolved

GSA Today: The Evolution of Creationism. Throughout history, people have sought to understand how the world came to be and how it has changed over time. This curiosity has produced a rich legacy of science and philosophy and impacted and influenced religion and theology. In the November 2012 issue of GSA Today, David Montgomery of…

Guilty verdict in earthquake trial: Scientists convicted for failing to give warning

This is a very disturbing outcome (an update to this story). Italian scientists convicted over earthquake warning – chicagotribune.com. An Italian court convicted six scientists and a government official of manslaughter on Monday and sentenced them to six years in prison for failing to give adequate warning of a deadly earthquake which destroyed the central…

Giant’s Causeway removes Creationist element from exhibit

Update to this story and good news! The Giant’s Causeway exhibit has revamped it’s audio to conform to the scientific explanation. BBC News – Trust amends Causeway centre ‘Creationist’ exhibit. An audio exhibit revealed how people’s explanation of how the Causeway was formed developed as scientific understanding improved. The National Trust decided to carry out…

Evidence for catastrophic floods – Did you HAVE to use the word “Biblical”?

Biblical-Type Floods Are Real, and They’re Absolutely Enormous | DISCOVER Magazine. Long before the discovery of the scablands, geologists dismissed the role of catastrophic floods in interpreting European geology. By the end of the 19th century such ideas not only were out of fashion but were geological heresy. When J Harlen Bretz uncovered evidence of…

Controversial creationist exhibit at Giant’s Causeway may be on its way out

National Secular Society – National Trust to review creationist exhibit at Giant’s Causeway. The National Trust has announced plans to review the controversial exhibit in the new Giant’s Causeway visitors centre in Northern Ireland which gives credence to the creationist ‘explanation’ of the natural phenomenon on Northern Ireland’s north Antrim coast. The exhibit at the…

Don’t flip out over magnetic pole reversal

2012: Magnetic Pole Reversal Happens All The (Geologic) Time Scientists understand that Earth’s magnetic field has flipped its polarity many times over the millennia. In other words, if you were alive about 800,000 years ago, and facing what we call north with a magnetic compass in your hand, the needle would point to ‘south.’ This…

First evidence that fracking causes earthquakes, but don’t get all shaken up

U.K. Quakes Likely Caused by Fracking One nagging question about the fracking process to extract natural gas and oil has been: Does this process cause microearthquakes in the area? This is actually a complicated explanation. Fluid injection and similar changes to hydrogeologic regimes have caused earthquakes. A new report links fracking specifically with earthquakes that…