Tag: science

The world’s oldest colour?

Peter’s Corner
The world’s oldest biological colour is pink. Bright neon pink. Or so the scientists announced in 2018, describing research done at the ANU in Canberra. They had extracted organic molecules called porphyrins from marine black shale rocks from Mauritania in Africa — shales that were well known as containing microbial fossil cyanobacteria. Porphyrins are ring molecules important for the colour of biological substances such as hemoglobin and chlorophyll. On this occasion the porphyrins had a purple colour, which becomes pink if diluted.
The scientists were awestruck thinking that these colour molecules could survive for such a long time. How long? 1,100,000,000 years. That is the alleged evolutionary age of the Precambrian strata in which the shales with the fossils, were positioned.
But that age is impossible for any organic substance. The laws of chemistry dictate that organic substances will gradually decompose — even in the fridge, that KFC chicken left over from the party last week is going to break down quite soon.
Continue reading

Filed under: Peter MikulaTagged with: , ,

OOPS! Mistakes can be serious

Tips for Life

By Alan Bailey

OF all the things we value, truth and certainty must take a prominent part. Trusting in something dodgy or untrue can have serious consequences.

It’s a bit disconcerting to realise that the thing we trust most to deliver truth, that is science, can be wrong. Indeed, history is full of examples of things once believed but now thrown out. Sure, it’s all part of the development of knowledge, but alas, lies and half-truths are in the mix and are embraced even by the masses, who are then unwilling to let them go.

Continue reading

Filed under: Alan BaileyTagged with: , , ,