Steph Curry left the game with a dislocated finger in the first half, and James Harden was poked in the eye, but both returned to the action.Wat … CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the video on a mobile deviceAll the chatter coming into Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals surrounded the officiating in the series opener.But Tuesday’s matchup between the Warriors and Rockets involved much less complaining, even though both team’s star guards were injured early on.
(Visited 29 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Two mysteries from the moon are forcing revisions to textbooks. One concerns water in moon minerals. The other concerns the moon’s magnetic field.Mare Basalts Surprisingly Magnetic“New research sets back date of moon’s dynamo 160 million years,” reported PhysOrg based on a paper in PNAS. A team of geophysicists was surprised to find evidence from magnetic signals in moon rocks that the moon must have had a magnetosphere-generating dynamo that lasted much longer than they thought possible. Current theory must be inadequate, because “The lifetime of the ancient lunar core dynamo has implications for its power source and the mechanism of field generation,” the scientists wrote. They were driven to postulate unlikely mechanisms to keep the hypothetical dynamo going:These data extend the known lifetime of the lunar dynamo by ∼160 My and indicate that the field was likely continuously active until well after the final large basin-forming impact. This likely excludes impact-driven changes in rotation rate as the source of the dynamo at this time in lunar history. Rather, our results require a persistent power source like precession of the lunar mantle or a compositional convection dynamo.Space.com‘s headline reads, “Mystery of Moon’s Magnetic Field Deepens.”Improbabilities that Are All WetWhen a Mars-sized object hit the Earth to form the moon (according to a popular theory), it should have obliterated all volatile compounds, like water, requiring Earth’s oceans to form later from impacts from wet comets or asteroids. That theory has been impacted itself by studies of water-bearing minerals in moon rocks, prompting Science Daily to report, “Moon and Earth Have Common Water Source.” Another Science Daily article suggests the new theory, “Water on Moon, Earth Came from Same Primitive Meteorites.” A new analysis of Apollo moon rocks dispels ideas that comets brought the water. It must have come from carbonaceous chondrites, the study concludes.Lisa Grossman at New Scientist believes “Moon water came from young wet Earth.”The notion that all Earth’s water was delivered by comets or asteroids has just taken a hit. Chemical analysis of lunar rocks suggests that Earth was born wet, and it held on to its water long enough to donate some to the moon.This is a flagrant reversal of the idea that a moon-forming impact left the moon bone dry. Measurements of water-bearing minerals on the moon show it’s not just a little water they’re talking about. “The minerals hold as much as those in Earth’s upper mantle,” Grossman says. Nature News portrays the head-scratching this finding causes for modelers:That still leaves a potential gap in the Moon-forming model. Some planetary scientists had reasoned that the heat generated by the collision would have boiled away any water that Earth might have transferred to the coalescing Moon. The findings “are screaming that there’s something about the Moon’s formation that we’re not quite grasping”, says study co-author Erik Hauri of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC.The findings beg for a new explanation. Meteorites could not have brought the water unless the moon were still molten, but the moon would have solidified too rapidly. All one of the researchers could figure out was that the water came from the only place they know had water: the Earth. So how did the Earth “donate” some water to the moon? This calls for a delicate scenario: the hypothetical impactor that hit Earth had to loft just enough material off our primordial planet to form a large moon without destroying all Earth’s primordial water. Then, some of that water lofted into orbit had to migrate to the moon:It no longer looks likely that all the water in the material that formed the moon evaporated instantly in the giant initial impact. Instead, it now seems more probable that water migrated over a period of centuries out of the cloud of debris that coalesced into the moon.Apparently, “likeliness” has evolved in the modeler’s minds. The new findings forced a reassessment of what scientists thought was “probable.”But the explanation begs a new question: where did the Earth get its water to donate? Current theory does not allow a body at Earth’s location to garner water from a spinning debris disk. Adding a little more ad hoc can get the job done:[Alberto] Saal [of Brown University] thinks that Earth may have formed near where the asteroid belt is now, which is far enough from the sun for water to condense. The planet would then have migrated inward. It’ll be a tough theory to prove, because Earth’s geologic activity has been recycling rocks, and thus erasing the evidence, for billions of years.The new model would claim that the early Earth was not habitable, but through a series of lucky breaks, migrated into the habitable zone, where everything worked out just right for microbes to emerge and become planetary scientists who figured it all out.These reports should anger anyone who watches science shows and reads textbooks that make the formation of the Earth and its large Moon look so easy. No theory can account for the observations. Instead, secular moyboys (believers in “millions of years, billions of years”) concoct fantastical models to preserve their fantasies from the evidence. Did you catch the howler in the quote above? Earth has been “erasing the evidence, for billions of years.” Quick! What does that imply? This is a fact-free story – even the part about erasing the evidence for billions of years.Before, the priests of the planetary evolution cult needed just a delicate impact from a Mars-size object (itself a highly improbable event) to form the moon, followed by some hand-waving and chants, to bring in a series of unknown wet impactors to form Earth’s oceans. That was unlikely enough. Now, they need Earth to form out in the asteroid belt, where water can conceivably condense, followed by a lucky pitch from Jupiter or Saturn to careen our dead planet right into the batter’s box of the habitable zone. That all had to happen before the Mars-size impactor came in, this time even more delicately, to loft water into Earth orbit without losing it, so that it could transfer the water to a new moon (which happens to be just right to support life on Earth).Nobody would believe this series of ad hoc events unless it were absolutely necessary to preserve secular materialism and long ages for Darwin. We won’t even go into the much more highly fantastical tales needed to get life, multicellularity, consciousness and intelligence to “emerge” from hot wet muck.Scientists speak of new data as “constraints” for their models. That’s why raw data from planetary missions is so valuable. The more constraints on storytellers, the better. As of now, they appear to have just one hand free to wave from the straitjacket the data have put them in. Maybe the next data will constrain the remaining hand-waving arm, and gag the mouth, too.
Birds have not evolved as much as evolutionary theories about them have.Among the vast diversity of birds alive today, from ostriches to hummingbirds, only a few have been given detailed analysis by evolutionists. Those are Darwin’s finches. Is this indeed the case? Look what Cooney et al. say in Nature this week:Small clades such as Darwin’s finches demonstrate that natural selection is the driving force of adaptive radiations, but how microevolutionary processes scale up to shape the expansion of phenotypic diversity over much longer evolutionary timescales is unclear.While Darwin’s finches are the best-studied example (2/12/15), the only other “small clades” they refer to are Hawaiian honeycreepers and Malagasy vangas. Even if they had more examples, though, their statement is problematic at several points. For one, natural selection is not a “driving force” (see 10/03/15). For another, “adaptive radiation” presupposes Darwinian evolution rather than demonstrating it (i.e., evolutionists typically find the tips of branches of phylogenetic trees, but not the nodes or branching points of ancestral lines). Third, the authors assume that microevolution can scale up to macroevolution, but they freely admit it is “unclear” how. That’s why they went to work to address the problem.Here we address this problem on a global scale by analysing a crowdsourced dataset of three-dimensional scanned bill morphology from more than 2,000 species. We find that bill diversity expanded early in extant avian evolutionary history, before transitioning to a phase dominated by packing of morphological space. However, this early phenotypic diversification is decoupled from temporal variation in evolutionary rate: rates of bill evolution vary among lineages but are comparatively stable through time. We find that rare, but major, discontinuities in phenotype emerge from rapid increases in rate along single branches, sometimes leading to depauperate clades with unusual bill morphologies. Despite these jumps between groups, the major axes of within-group bill-shape evolution are remarkably consistent across birds. We reveal that macroevolutionary processes underlying global-scale adaptive radiations support Darwinian and Simpsonian ideas of microevolution within adaptive zones and accelerated evolution between distinct adaptive peaks.One will look in vain for evidence of positive natural selection in this paper. While bill size and shape are important to a bird, they are certainly not as important as flight. By choosing this one lesser trait to focus on, the evolutionists make their work easier, like saying, ‘To understand the evolution of automobiles, we will study the macroevolution of radiator grills.’ Even so, their evidence for macroevolution (when Darwinian theory is not assumed) is questionable. It must be emphasized that to distinguish evolutionism from creationism, evolutionists need to demonstrate changes beyond what creationists already accept. The most conservative creationists already allow for significant amounts of variability in bird beak sizes and shapes. That’s why they say ‘ho-hum’ to studies about Darwin’s finches, honeycreepers and vangas. They want Darwin to prove a dinosaur can take off into the air with muscle-powered flapping wings by natural selection alone.Darwin’s ideas of microevolution are well known. These authors rely heavily on the ideas of a prominent 20th century Darwinist, George Gaylord Simpson. Cooney et al. explain Simpson’s ideas as they begin the paper, amplifying on what they said in the Abstract (above). First, however, they admit a major contradiction of predictions for macroevolution.The role of adaptive radiations as the source of much of the world’s biological diversity has been widely emphasized. Studies of small clades have provided insights into the role of natural selection as a diversifying force, but cannot illuminate the processes that shape the diversity and discontinuities of radiations over longer evolutionary time frames. Indeed, at large taxonomic scales, the diversification of clades and traits shows no evidence of the predicted slow-downs in evolutionary rates, despite there being numerous examples in small clades. This apparent paradox is potentially resolved by G. G. Simpson’s model, in which major jumps to new adaptive zones (‘quantum evolution’) can occur unpredictably throughout clade history. These jumps give rise to rapid lineage expansion into previously unoccupied niche space as sub-clades continue to radiate within distinct adaptive zones and subzones. Simpson’s models introduced the concept of ‘mega-evolution’—diversification over large temporal and spatial scales—unifying microevolution with other factors such as ecological opportunity and evolutionary constraints that shape the macroevolutionary trajectories of radiating lineages.It appears that Simpson discovered how flexible the Stuff Happens Law (SHL) can be as a theory rescue device. Isn’t that the plain meaning of this paragraph after it has been translated out of Darwinese? Simpson makes up a word, ‘mega-evolution,’ to cover up the lack of evidence for macroevolution. Darwin, though, had insisted that “Natural selection acts only by taking advantage of slight successive variations; she can never take a great and sudden leap, but must advance by short and sure, though slow steps” (Origin of Species, 1859). So when leaps and gaps become evident, one would think that would falsify Darwinism according to Charlie’s own standards. But Simpson turns that evidence into vindication for Charlie by applying the SHL. Some vindication, though! In his new book Darwin’s House of Cards, Tom Bethell points out the downside of Simpson’s rescue strategy:George Gaylord Simpson (1902-1984), the curator of paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History and later at Harvard, once drew attention to the all-embraching nature of Darwinism, but did so as though it were a point in its favor. Animals from different lines can either converge, or evolve in parallel, or diverge, he said. Whatever happens, it “usually has an adaptive basis.” [Simpson, The Major Features of Evolution (1953), p. 171]So evolution has all the bases covered. It is “opportunistic,” Simpson reassured us. What could possibly falsify such a theory?Incidentally, Bethell knew Karl Popper personally. The father of falsificationism as a criterion for science told Bethell the following after it was widely reported that Popper had recanted his criticisms of Darwinism as a scientific theory.I immediately brought up the issue of natural selection. He [Popper] told me that his opinion had not changed. He also said that he thought that natural selection had in fact been falsified “by Darwin’s own theory.” [Bethell, p. 15]Getting back to the issue at hand (macroevolution of bird bills), Cooney et al. continue their vain quest to vindicate Darwin.However, although phylogenetic studies involving thousands of species have demonstrated heterogeneity in rates of phenotypic evolution, it is unclear whether the processes outlined by Simpson have an important role in large-scale adaptive radiations. This is because previous studies have been unable to specifically assess the macroevolutionary dynamics of ecologically relevant traits. Here we study the evolution of an important ecological trait (bill shape) across an entire class of organisms (birds) to elucidate the processes shaping the accumulation of phenotypic diversity within a global-scale adaptive radiation.Here’s how it works: ‘Evolution happens fast, and it happens slow. It jumps unpredictably. Stuff happens.’ Evolutionists can ramp up the perhapsimaybecouldness index to handle any contingency:The disjunction between rates of evolution and the accumulation of bill-shape disparity suggests that temporal trends in evolutionary rate are not necessarily indicative of the underlying mode of niche filling. This decoupling could arise if some clades diverge rapidly within regions of morphospace that are occupied by other clades, but where the respective clades occur in allopatry….[Last sentence]: It is likely that the rise of modern birds from the late Cretaceous onwards occurred in a rapidly changing world, coinciding with extensive ecological opportunity. Our results imply that this dynamic adaptive landscape may have driven Simpsonian mega-evolution across adaptive zones, later giving way to smaller scale fine-tuning of the bill as avian diversity expanded across the globe.Translated from Darwinese, this means, ‘maybe stuff happens.’ Birds evolved fast except when they evolved slow (11/04/14). Cooney’s publicists in Nature (naturally) heap warm fuzzy praise for this glorious insight: “a large-scale study of bird beak evolution by Cooney et al., on page 344 highlights the importance of rare and even single events in the history of life,” writes Bhart-Anjan S. Bhullar. Strangely, he destroys Cuvier only to resurrect him. Georges Cuvier’s “catastrophism theory ultimately fell before the intellectually nuanced Darwinian idea that changes in the make-up of Earth’s flora and fauna have been continuous and uniform.” My, how times change. Darwin’s idea is not intellectually nuanced any more.The researchers predicted that their data would be consistent with the concept of quantum evolution — the idea that an initial radiation involves rapid divergence into new forms and functions. For instance, such rapid divergence occurred during the Cambrian explosion of lineages of animals that have bodies showing bilateral symmetry, which began about 541 million years ago and lasted for 20 million to 25 million years. Under this model, rates of beak-shape diversification would be fastest during the initial avian radiation. Indeed, the authors found that most of the shape space filled rapidly during this initial burst. Coupled with a comprehensive study of avian relationships, which indicated that the radiation was associated with the catastrophic end-Cretaceous mass extinction 66 million years ago, these results support the idea that evolution is highly contingent on chance occurrences, marrying a Darwinian and a Cuvierian world view.Incidentally, Darwin was greatly troubled by the Cambrian explosion, hoping it would be resolved as more fossils came to light (it wasn’t). And no, it wasn’t 20-25 million years long, but more like 3-6 million, a ‘geological blink of an eye’ comparable to one minute in a 24-hour day, explains Stephen Meyer in Darwin’s Doubt. It’s amazing how Darwinians can turn falsification into vindication, then use it to vindicate Darwin against additional falsifications. The SHL ensures their web of belief (2/11/17) can wobble safely between catastrophism and gradualism and back again without damage.Some publicist Bhullar turns out to be. Look what he says about Cooney’s paper, then about the fossil evidence:As with any pioneering effort, Cooney and co-workers’ study raises questions and would benefit from refinement. Despite covering more than 70 million years of evolution, for instance, the authors did not analyse any fossils, and thus did not explicitly take into account the historical record of avian evolution. As they point out, though, most fossil bird beaks are crushed. Moreover, the fossil record, at least superficially, supports the idea that a diversity of beaks was present soon after the end-Cretaceous extinction.In other words, since bird beaks were already diverse when the assumed asteroid hit, the catastrophe might not have had anything to do with creating ‘ecological opportunity’ for natural selection to work its creative magic.If all this fake science (storytelling, confabulation) is getting you down, maybe a look at some actual living birds would help. At least it shows what Darwin’s theory is up against.Update 2/23/17: Just after this post was written, Nature published an article by paleontologist Stephen Brusatte about the evolution of birds from dinosaurs. In “A Mesozoic Aviary,” Brusatte destroys any scenario of dinosaurs evolving from birds in a straightforward Darwinian manner. His description fits the Stuff Happens Law. He calls that “interesting”—The attainment of powered flight—that is, active flapping that generates thrust—has been widely regarded, sometimes explicitly but often implicitly, as a long evolutionary march in which natural selection progressively refined one subgroup of dinosaurs into ever-better aerialists. However, recent fossil discoveries reveal a much more interesting story that is beginning to be corroborated by biomechanical studies. According to this story, the development of flight was chaotic, with different dinosaurs experimenting with different airborne behaviors using different airfoil and feather arrangements (see the figure), until ultimately only modern birds survived.One obvious comment: dinosaurs are not scientists. They do not run experiments. Brusatte claims that dinosaurs evolved wings and feathers “for nonflight reasons (such as display, egg brooding, or something else entirely) and that their early evolution was not shaped by selection for aerial flapping.” The catch-all phrase “or something else entirely” reveals he has no idea. Having abandoned scientific reasoning entirely for complete just-so confabulation, he continues:Only much later, it seems, did some paravians evolve the right combination of small body size, large wings, and other anatomical features to begin powered flight. It was at that point that selection was able to mold these animals into more effective flying machines.Having ratcheted up the perhapsimaybecoudlness index, he ends with the rescue device of futureware: “But much work remains to be done to better understand this heady period of evolution.” See Phys.org‘s summary of Brusatte’s commentary.Update 2/24/17: The fossil of a giant penguin has been found “much earlier than previously thought,” reports Science Daily. Dating to 61 million Darwin Years, it means that penguins were already well diversified when dinosaurs roamed the earth. The previous record for oldest penguin was about 45 million Darwin Years. Were penguins swimming with ichthyosaurs? It’s hard to think of a bird more different from a land-based theropod dinosaur growing feathers trying to become airborne, than a flightless bird that swims underwater! How many mutations did that take? Another surprise is that this was a giant found in New Zealand, measuring 150 centimeters (5 feet), is as large as the biggest fossil penguin previously known. “This shows that penguins reached an enormous size quite early in their evolutionary history, around 60 million years ago,” the discoverer said.“The discoveries show that penguin diversity in the early Paleocene was clearly higher than we previously assumed,” says Mayr, and he adds, “In turn, this diversity indicates that the first representatives of penguins already arose during the age of dinosaurs, more than 65 million years ago.”Real Live BirdsKeas Perform Similarly to Chimpanzees and Elephants when Solving Collaborative Tasks (PLoS One). There’s a reason the cute but noisy parrots of New Zealand are so mischievous: they’re smart. In fact, one kea showed a preference for working with others instead of alone, a trait “present in humans but absent in chimpanzees.” How can the authors rescue Darwin from this conundrum of ranking bird intelligence with ape intelligence, despite their vast separation in Darwin Years? “This raises the possibility that aspects of the cooperative cognition seen in the primate lineage have evolved convergently in birds.” The authors did it by applying the Stuff Happens Law and raising the perhapsimaybecouldness index.Wintering ducks connect isolated wetlands by dispersing plant seeds (Phys.org). About 34% of seeds that mallard ducks eat are passed through unharmed. “Surprisingly, they have very high site fidelity and return to the same sites almost every night,” the press officer from Utrecht University reports. This provides an ecological service for wetland communities. “Given the large numbers of seeds mallards ingest on a daily basis, they are likely to greatly contribute to plant dispersal and the connection between otherwise isolated plant populations across a wide range of landscapes.”Emergence and development of gut motility in the chicken embryo (PLoS One). Illustra Media’s documentary Flight: The Genius of Birds animates the amazing 21-day process of embryonic development from egg to chick. This new paper discusses the complexity of one specific stage: when the intestinal tract begins to pulsate in the movements called peristalsis that will be essential for the developing chick when it hatches and eats its first food.Departure of migratory birds from stopover sites is hormone-controlled (Phys.org). “Every year, billions of migratory birds make their way back to Europe from their wintering quarters,” this article says. “Since their energy reserves are not enough for a non-stop flight, they put in stopovers along the way to rest and replenish their fat stores. That migratory birds must stop on their long journey is clear. But how long they rest and what signals tell the birds to continue on their way has so far been unclear.” European scientists identified levels of one hormone, ghrelin, that appears implicated in appetite of warblers and their urge to migrate. Most likely, as in mammals, “a network of hormomes” regulates these functions.Did complex flight feathers ’emerge’? (Evolution News & Views). This intelligent-design-based article critiques the propensity of evolutionists to concoct Darwin Flubber when evidence fails. The word “emergence” becomes their emergency rescue device when faced with explaining complex structures like flight feathers – and powered flight itself.We need more translators of Darwinese into common-sense English. Are you getting good at it by reading CEH? Once you master the terms in Jargonwocky, you begin to see the SHL everywhere. You see evolutionists ratcheting up the perhapsimaybecouldness index. You know the difference between explanation and confabulation. You smell the vaporware of Darwin Flubber cooking in the lab. You no longer fear the DODO heads mumbling incomprehensible sophoxymorons, the moyboys spinning mythoids about Darwin Years as safety nets for Charlie, the DOPE heads in the schools imposing Darwin Sharia. (If any of these terms seem unfamiliar, see the Darwin Dictionary.)(Visited 253 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
SAinfo reporter Competitiveness Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material A result of collaboration between the Italian Trade Commission, the Italian Ministry for Economic Development, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Business Unity South Africa, the programme is based on an Italian SME model that has been operating successfully for over 30 years. This stage includes a visit from international specialists that will include case studies of successful businesses, focusing on the model of Italian “industrial districts” and cooperatives for production and distribution. European, international partnerships The first stage is a training course in South Africa covering the Italian model of industrial development, based on SMEs and the promotion of their competitiveness in the international marketplace. “Particular attention will be dedicated to procedures and marketing techniques to successfully export agro-food products to the European markets,” the DTI said. The initiative also aims to enhance SMEs’ internationalisation by creating European and international partnerships, with an analysis of public-private collaboration focusing on Italy’s technology parks, their business models and management. 26 May 2009 Training will also entail specific modules dedicated to the Italian mechanical machinery manufacturing excellence and to successful export techniques for SMEs. In the second stage, South African lecturers will complete a one-week study tour to Italy, with lectures and visits to institutions, consortia, cooperatives and industrial districts. The Italian and South African governments have launched an exchange programme for officers of small and medium enterprise (SME) support agencies, involving a five-week course locally followed by a visit to successful SME businesses and projects in Italy. “It aims to improve knowledge sharing between Italian experts in the field of SME training and South African SME trainees who have been selected from both private and public entities,” the DTI said in a statement earlier this month.
After the outrage over Hockey India’s meagre incentives to the victorious hockey players, the Sports Ministry on Wednesday hiked the reward money. Sports Minister Ajay Makan, who maintained “a small thing is unnecessarily snowballed into major controversy”, has said the government will give an award of Rs 1.5 lakh each to 17 members of hockey team that won in China. Maken said he requested the government of India to consider granting reward money to players under a special scheme. “After discussion it was decided that Sports Ministry will give an award of Rs 1.5 lakh each to members of the team,” the minister said. Hockey India had offered the players a paltry sum of Rs 25,000 for the recently won Asian Champions Trophy, which was refused by the team. The players were offered the money by HI during their felicitation on Tuesday. But the players refused, saying the amount was too less and would not even fetch them a decent playing kit. Maken said players did the right thing in refusing Rs 25000 given to them earlier. “I think no action should be taken against these players,” he said. The Indian team beat archrivals Pakistan 4-2 in a tie-breaker in the finals of the inaugural championship in China. Hockey management in India too is under perennial crisis. Recently, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) withdrew the hosting rights for the 2011 men’s Champions Trophy from India. Maken also said, “I have tried and will continue trying to make sure things are fine between FIH and HI. The fighting between the two is the cause for the current state of hockey in India.” The minister said the players get the reward automatically. “The government had been giving awards medal winners in international sports even. That’s why we don’t announce, because it is in public domain. We don’t take credit. The players automatically get money. In the past six months, we had given Rs 7.81 crore on preparation of hockey team,” he said. State govts show the way Earlier, even as the Union Sports Ministry had washed its hands off the entire episode, the Punjab and Maharashtra state governments had announced bigger cash rewards for the players. While Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal announced Rs 25 lakh for the entire team, the Maharashtra government was giving 10 lakh to Yuvraj Walmiki, a player from the state. The move came even as Maken failed to announce any rewards suggesting they had spent enough on Indian hockey. In fact, after announcing the reward, the Punjab deputy CM said the Centre should apologise for the shabby treatment of the players after their big win. Maken absolves govt Maken was quick to absolve the Sports Ministry of any blame in the matter. He tweeted that the government had nothing to do with the measly reward for the new Asian champions. The Sports Minister tweeted, “Rs 25000 cash award was not announced by Govt but by the Hockey India. Govt spends all the money on training, coaching & foreign exposure.” He went on to tweet that the government has spent almost Rs eight crore on the hockey team in the last six months, Rs 5.97 crore on national coaching camps, Rs 1.75cr on foreign visits and Rs 8.75 lakh on foreign experts.advertisement