In the beginning… — Blogger Joe Carter (at FirstThings.com) finds Stephen Hawking’s cosmology as expressed in The Grand Design to be a bit “drab and nonspecific.” Carter rewrites Hawkings to make it a little more of a “creation story for young atheistic materialists.”
In the beginning was Nothing, and Nothing created Everything. When Nothing decided to create Everything, she filled a tiny dot with Time, Chance, and Everything and had it expand. The expansion spread Everything into Everywhere carrying Time and Chance with it to keep it company. The three stretched out together leaving bits of themselves wherever they went. One of those places was the planet Earth.
Read the rest at When Nothing Created Everything.
Submerged paradise? — The Persian Gulf basin was above sea level until about 8000 years ago, and there is growing evidence that humans lived there in a well-watered plain.
And it would have been an ideal refuge from the harsh deserts surrounding it, with fresh water supplied by the Tigris, Euphrates, Karun and Wadi Baton Rivers, as well as by upwelling springs, Rose said. And during the last ice age when conditions were at their driest, this basin would’ve been at its largest.
Hmmm. Four rivers, including the Tigris and Euphrates. A refuge from the surrounding wild. Sounds almost Edenic.
The article is Lost Civilization May Have Existed Beneath the Persian Gulf at LiveScience.com.
Diamond world — AOL News reports Scientists Say Planet May Have Mountains of Diamonds.
WASP-12b, a gas giant about 871 light-years from Earth, seems to have an unusually large amount of carbon in its atmosphere. Diamonds form when carbon is compressed at extremely high temperatures. The high amount of carbon in the planet’s atmosphere suggests that its solid core could be full of diamonds, rather than the silicon- and oxygen-rich materials on Earth.
Not all are convinced:
“The findings are interesting, but are based on just four data points,” O’Toole said, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp. “I would proceed with caution.”
NASA’s Astrobiology Magazine also reports on WASP-12b:
It’s possible that WASP-12b might harbor graphite, diamond, or even a more exotic form of carbon in its interior, beneath its gaseous layers.
My two-cents worth: I don’t think I would want to live on a planet called WASP-12b.
Ekalaka to Alzada highway — This news is a couple months old now, but I’m sure most of you missed it. From the Billings Gazette: A dream for decades, road from Ekalaka to Alzada is paved at last.
Residents of this remote town in southeastern Montana have lost one of their main claims to distinction, but don’t look for any of them to mourn the loss. When the first layer of asphalt was laid down last week on the only remaining stretch of gravel on Highway 323 between Ekalaka and Alzada, Ekalaka could no longer bill itself as the only county seat in the United States that didn’t have a paved road running through it.
My dad was born in Ekalaka.
Unabomber land for sale in Montana — One and a half acres on forested land near Lincoln, Montana, no cabin, no utilities. Was $154,500, now $69,500. The land isn’t worth nearly that much on the market, but it was where anti-technology letter bomber Ted Kaczynski lived his secluded life. From Yahoo! News/AP: Unabomber’s Montana land for sale; ‘very secluded’
Kaczynski is serving a life sentence for killing three people and injuring 23 during a nationwide bombing spree between 1978 and 1995. The Harvard-trained mathematician railed against the effects of advanced technology and led authorities on the nation’s longest and costliest manhunt before his brother tipped off law enforcement in 1996.
Kayaker eaten by a crocodile — We have talked about taking up kayaking as a family. Nothing exotic or wild; paddling around a mountain lake would be just fine with us. We will stay away from crocodile-infested waters in the Congo. From Yahoo! News/AP: Kayaker presumed dead after Congo crocodile attack. Hendrik Coetzee’s last entry on his blog (The Great White Explorer) was called “Feelings: do they make you soft?” and ended with “I would never live a better day.”
Camel crushes congregants — I don’t think live camels in church is a really good idea. Watch Camel Falls Into Crowd on YouTube.
I’ve got about thirty tabs open in my browser with items I want to blog about. So many tabs, so little time.
Grace and Peace