Category Archives: Cosmogony, Cosmology, Geology, Luna

From solid data to speculations about everything from the origin of the universe to the formation of our moon and the rock layers of the Earth.

An ancient mystery — or two or three?

Here’s a little mystery from 2011. Apparently, the fighting in Syria has prevented any newsworthy new discoveries. It’s an archaeologic site called Tell Qarqur, the buried remains of a city that was thriving “about 4,200 years ago.” The mystery is that archeaeologists believe it was during that period that “ancient civilizations across the Middle East collapsed, possibly in response to a global drought.” Supposedly this drought was so bad, “Along with the Mesopotamian and eastern Mediterranean societies that met their demise, Old Kingdom Egypt, a civilization that built the Great Pyramids, collapsed. ‘A different weather system reduced the flow of the Nile River at the same period so the Nile was affected.'”(quoting Harvey Weiss of Yale University) So how did this city keep thriving?

“The Orontes River is fed by a huge underground chamber of water, which is called a Karst,” Weiss said. “That huge underground source of water continued to flow and to feed the Orontes River during this period when rainfall was diminished.”

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Instant Rock

We live in an age of “instant” things — instant gratification, instant coffee, instant oatmeal…

Rocks, on the other hand, are supposed to be the epitome of slow. Not only do they not move (or move very slowly via plate tectonics), but they also are supposed to have formed very slowly. But nobody scientifically observed the rocks forming. Therefore, it’s not really rational and scientific to think we know that the Earth must have formed over a long time, or argue that the animals and people coming off Noah’s Ark would have sunk into and drowned in a deep ocean of soft muck that would take a very long time to turn into rock.
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