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Continuum dictionary definition | continuum defined
The book that made Milankovitch famous (Croll’s work is still obscure, even though Milankovitch gave full credit to Croll in his work) was co-authored by Alfred Wegener, who a decade earlier first published his hypothesis that . As is often the case with radical new hypotheses, , but Wegener was the first to propose a comprehensive hypothesis to explain an array of detailed evidence. Wegener was a meteorologist working outside of his specialty when he proposed his “continental drift” hypothesis. His hypothesis was , and . His continental drift hypothesis quickly sank into obscurity. It was not until my lifetime, when , that Wegener’s work returned from exile and became a cornerstone of geological theory. Ice age data and theory does not pose an immediate threat to the or "," so the history of developing the data and theories has been publicly available.
About the time that the continents began to grow and began, Earth produced its first known glaciers, between 3.0 and 2.9 bya, although the full extent is unknown. It might have been an ice age or merely some mountain glaciation. The , and numerous competing hypotheses try to explain what produced them. Because the evidence is relatively thin, there is also controversy about the extent of Earth's ice ages. About 2.5 bya, the Sun was probably a little smaller and only about as bright as it is today, and Earth would have been a block of ice if not for the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide and methane that absorbed electromagnetic radiation, particularly in the . But life may well have been involved, particularly oxygenic photosynthesis, and it was almost certainly involved in Earth's first great ice age, which may have been a episode, and some pertinent dynamics follow.
Human Knowledge: Foundations and Limits
The of an ice age is only a few hundred years old, and was , who got his first ideas from and others. There had also been . By the 1860s, most geologists accepted the idea that there had been a cold period in Earth’s recent past, attended by advancing and retreating ice sheets, but nobody really knew why. Hypotheses began to proliferate, and in the 1870s, proposed the idea that variations in Earth’s orientation to the Sun caused the continental ice sheets. Because of problems in matching his hypothesis with dates adduced for ice age events, it fell out of favor and was considered dead by 1900. Croll’s work regained its relevance with the publication of a paper by (usually spelled Milankovitch in the West) in 1913, and by 1924, Milankovitch was widely known for explaining the timing of advancing and retreating ice sheets during the current ice age.
has been a prominent hypothesis that posited that behaviorally modern humans suddenly appeared. It was once considered an abrupt event that began about 50-40 kya, but as new archeological finds are amassed, as well as recent advances in genetic research and other areas, the story is familiar. Although on the geological timescale the event was abrupt, radical, and unprecedented in life’s history on Earth, the “ramping” period seems to have lasted longer than initially thought. A likelier story is that in East Africa, which conforms to a . inherited culture and tools from their ancestors and continued along the path of inventing more complex technologies and techniques, exploiting new biomes, and reaching new levels of cognition. There does not seem to be any or development that needs to invoke divine or extraterrestrial intervention to explain the appearance and rise of . Some migrated past their African homeland during the of 130 kya to 114 kya and brought along their technology. Although they may have disappeared and perhaps became Neanderthal prey, vestiges of their fate are probably yet to be discovered. They may have contributed to the biological and technological wealth of Eurasian humans and may have begun to drive vulnerable species to extinction with their new tools and techniques. However, Africa remained the crucible of primate biological and technological innovation, as it almost always had to that time. By 70-60 kya, isolated African humans reached a level of sophistication called behavioral modernity. Art was in evidence, needles made clothes and other sophisticated possessions, and they mastered language, which was probably a unique trait among land animals. They made tools of a sophistication far advanced over other humans, which probably included projectile weapons that radically changed the terms of engagement with prey animals, predators, and other humans.
Translating Literary Prose: Problems and Solutions
When the total continental land mass was small or combined into a supercontinent, there was no land to divert that diffusion of warm water toward the poles, which results in currents. During those times, the global ocean became one big, calm lake, with no currents of significance. Those oceans are called today, and they would have been anoxic; the oxygenated surface waters would not have been drawn by currents to the ocean floor, and the oceans were certainly anoxic before the GOE. The interplay of those can be incredibly complex and lead to the multitude of hypotheses posited to explain those ancient events, but a leading hypothesis today is that a combination of factors, including supercontinents, variations in volcanic output, Canfield Oceans, and ice ages prevented life from gaining ecosystem dominance until the waning of the second Snowball Earth event, which was the greatest series of glaciations that Earth has yet experienced. It is known today as the , which ended about 635 mya. The study of the Cryogenian Period, which is the subject of , resulted in the term “.”
The culture’s killing implements abruptly appeared in the archeological record and disappeared just as fast, after the easily killable megafauna went extinct. Today’s North American megafauna are , not North American megafauna that learned to avoid humans. Bison are the only significant exception, although they came from Asia, too, and explaining their survival remains a minor curiosity, but is about the only circumstance not neatly aligned with the overkill scenario. The “” paper concluded that although the South American extinction was the greatest of all, it is the most poorly investigated and that the overkill hypothesis cannot yet be attached to South American extinctions. That may be a prudent position for a specialist who pronounces judgment only when all the evidence is in, but I will be among the most surprised people on Earth if the pattern of 50 thousand years did not continue there, especially since it had no ice sheets. There can be no more pertinent example than comparing Africa to South America. They inhabited the same latitudes and have similar climates, separated by the Atlantic Ocean. Africa was the home of humanity, where its animals had millions of years to adapt to the human presence, and Africa only lost about 10% of its megafauna (probably to human hunters with their advanced weaponry) while South America lost nearly all of its megafauna, and quickly. Climate change did it? How could it have even contributed?
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Physics Myths and Physics Facts
"There's no satellite you can build to go out and measure the continuum hypothesis," he explained. "There's nothing in our world around us that will help us determine whether or not the continuum hypothesis is true or false, as far as we know." 
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