Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mountain Range that Shouldn't be There

Here's an interesting article on a mountain range that current evidence suggests that it "shouldn't be there" at all.

An Antarctic mountain range that rivals the Alps in elevation will be probed this month by an expedition of scientists using airborne radar and other Information Age tools to virtually 'peel away' more than 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) of ice covering the peaks.

The researchers hope to find answers there to some basic questions about the nature of the southernmost continent, including the massive East Antarctic Ice Sheet. For instance, it is unclear how Antarctica came to be ice-covered in the first place and whether that process began millions of years ago in the enigmatic Gamburtsev Mountain range.

Working every day at extreme altitudes, in 24 hours of sunlight and at temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius, the researchers of the Antarctica's Gamburtsev Province (AGAP) team hope to learn whether the Gamburtsevs were born of tectonic activity in Antarctica or date from a period millions of years ago, when Antarctica was the center of an enormous supercontinent located at far lower latitudes.

Robin Bell of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in New York, who shares the leadership of the U.S. science effort, said AGAP will help scientists understand one of Antarctica's last major mysteries.

"Because the heart of East Antarctica is so difficult to get to, we know very little about it," she said. "We think also that there's a strong possibility that the mountains are the birthplace of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.

One can note the stark contrast between what scientists do when confronted with a mystery - do research and gather evidence - versus what anti-science cranks like the IDers do - toss up their hands and proclaim the mystery beyond science.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I wonder if this provides support for ID critiques of evolution and the age of the earth? Henry Morris would be delighted! But... sadly it wouldn't be enough to establish the "troubled waters of evolution."

I guess these are kind of..... anarchist mountains if you will!