Thursday, December 27, 2012
Friday, December 21, 2012
Engineer and scientist Maurice Cotterell discussed his research into sun spots and solar cycles, and how they affect history, evolution, and the rise and fall of civilizations. The Chinese first observed sunspots more than 3,000 years ago, and were aware of their 11-year cycle, he said. Additionally, there are sun cycles lasting 187 years, and 18,000 years, Cotterell explained. Periods with higher sunspot activity lead to increased fertility but also disorders such as schizophrenia, whereas during the solar minimum there can be mini-ice ages, he detailed. He theorized that creatures evolved through DNA mutations brought about by solar wind radiation-- the radiation from the sun would arrive in narrow beams, so only certain members of a species would be affected.