Since we are talking about geology, I do not want to give up the opportunity to bring up one of the coolest stories of geology ever, given the present day discussion of science and religion. You will be asking for a source for this story. Look it up in Wikipedia, where all knowledge resides, and you will not find it there.
Continue reading A True Ghost Story, Part 6: But first, since we’re talking geology …
Following almost exactly one month on earlier reports that he was gravely ill, which were followed, in turn, by denials of those reports, Walter Cronkite has died at the age of 92. And that’s the way it was.
My earlier post, and one story of Cronkite’s brush with Cronkite’s brush with racism and a strong Latina woman, is here.
Some years ago, when I was a mere graduate student, a fellow student working in an unnamed country in Africa discovered a very very old stone artifact. To this day, this bit of chipped stone debris, representing the activities of an ancient very pre-human hominid, is one of the oldest well dated, in situ objects of its kind known.
The stone had some yeck on it, and for giggles, this stone got passed on to a physicist who had invented a new way of looking at small things. He was going to look at the tool to see what the yeck was. I should point out that this physicist had no knowledge to speak of of either archaeology or geology.
Right away results came back clearly indicating that the yeck was made of apatite. Apatite is, of course, the primary mineral constituent of bone. Was this a piece of ancient bone jammed into the micro-bumpy surface of an ancient stone tool?
Continue reading The seductive siren of soft tissue preservation: Ancient dinosaur flesh wasn’t ancient. Or dinosaur flesh.