Tuesday, September 24, 2019

The Ancient Kingdom of Edom

Edom is an ancient kingdom of the Bible that rarely gets attention. It plays a significant role in the development of the Messianic Faith that is fulfilled in Jesus Messiah. This article highlights the kingdom's prestige and antiquity.

Genesis 36 lists some of the chiefs of Edom. The patriarch of the Edomites is called Seir the Horite. Edom and Seir are linked in the Song of Deborah and Barak in Judges 5:3-4:
"Listen, O kings! Give ear, O princes! I will sing to the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD, the God of Israel. O LORD, when You went out from Seir, when You marched from the land of Edom, the earth trembled, the heavens poured out rain, and the clouds poured down water."
As is seen in the diagram above, Moses and Aaron were descendants of Seir, the Horite Hebrew king of Edom.

Deuteronomy 68:8 declares, "The LORD came from Sinai and dawned upon us from Seir; He shone forth from Mount Paran and came with myriads of holy ones, with flaming fire at His right hand."

The antiquity and prestige of the Edomite rulers and Teman of Edom is expressed in Jeremiah's reference to these as ancient seats of wisdom (Jeremiah 49:7). Genesis 36 explains, "These are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom, before any king reigned over the children of Israel."

Edom was a copper-rich region with industrial scale copper production. Radiocarbon analysis of charred wood, grain and fruit in several sediment layers revealed two major phases of copper processing, first in the 12th and 11th centuries, and later in the 10th and 9th BC.

Dr. Thomas E. Levy stated, "Only a complex society such as a paramount chiefdom or primitive kingdom would have the organizational know-how to produce copper metal on such an industrial scale."

Related reading: The Horite Hebrew Wisdom of Elihu; Nilotes in the Sinai; Aaron Was Buried in Edom; The Edomites and the Color Red; Amram's Children

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Geologists Solving the Greater Adria Puzzle

About 140 million years ago, Greater Adria was a Greenland-size landmass (submerged portions in gray-green). VAN HINSBERGEN ET AL., GONDWANA RESEARCH (2019)

About 100 million years ago, a Greenland-size landmass called Greater Adria collided with southern Europe and shattered into pieces as it was shoved beneath that continent. Only a fraction of Greater Adria’s rocks, scraped off in the collision, remained on Earth’s surface for geologists to discover.

In the new study, van Hinsbergen and his colleagues spent more than 10 years collecting information about the ages of rock samples thought to be from Greater Adria, as well as the direction of any magnetic fields trapped in them. That let the researchers identify not just when, but where, the rocks were formed.

Rather than simply moving north with no change in its orientation, Greater Adria spun counterclockwise as it jostled and scraped past other tectonic plates, Although the tectonic collision happened at speeds of no more than 3 to 4 centimeters per year, the inexorable smash-up shattered the 100-kilometer-thick bit of crust and sent most of it deep within Earth’s mantle.

Read the full report here.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Harvesting Water From the Air

A solar panel powers a device that harvests water from the air in California’s Mojave Desert. Photo (Credit: MATHIEU PRÉVOT)

Omar Yaghi and his colleagues have created a solar-powered device that could provide water in desert regions. This device has a porous crystalline material, known as a metal-organic framework (MOF), that sucks water vapor out of air and then releases it as liquid water. It is far superior to the early MOFs which were expensive to make and degraded quickly.

“This is fantastic work that addresses a real problem,” says Jorge Andrés Rodríguez Navarro, a MOF chemist at the University of Granada in Spain. It’s also just one example of how MOFs may finally be entering their prime. 

“We can play games with modifying these and know exactly where every atom is,” says Amanda Morris, a MOF researcher at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg.

Yaghi and his colleagues synthesized the first MOF in 1995, and chemists have created tens of thousands of the structures since. Each is made up of metal atoms that act like hubs in a Tinkertoy set, connected into a porous network by organic linkers designed to hold fast to the hubs and create openings to house molecular guests. By mixing and matching the metals and linkers, researchers found they could tailor the pores to capture gas molecules, such as water vapor and carbon dioxide (CO2).

Omar Yaghi is a Jordanian-American chemist, currently the James and Neeltje Tretter Chair Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, and an elected member of the US National Academy of Sciences.

World Aridity Map

His childhood experiences in arid Amman, Jordan motivated him to think about solutions to water deprivation in arid regions. He realized that there is a great deal of water in the air and wondered how this could be captured.