PDA

View Full Version : Science stories



Pages : 1 [2] 3

Rincewind
05-12-2012, 11:17 PM
Where do you get 4bp from?

From Schweitzer's paper.

"All of our assays require at least 4 or more bases to generate reactivity..."

the sequences may have been longer but 4 is the minimum.


The Allentoft paper said that it would be down to 1 bp in about a tenth of the time since uniformitarians believe that dino went extinct, and that's at -5°C.

Yes that is true but that is a model not hard chemistry per se. Certainly in the comments of Allentoft et al they are describing the improbabilty of a much longer sequence that that claimed by Schweitzer.

Capablanca-Fan
06-12-2012, 02:42 PM
From Schweitzer's paper.

"All of our assays require at least 4 or more bases to generate reactivity..."

the sequences may have been longer but 4 is the minimum.
For one of the tests, but another requires double-stranded, which is not stable for 4 bp, and another requires a groove in a double helix, which requires more still.


Yes that is true but that is a model not hard chemistry per se.
Based on measured decomposition rates. Bone slowed it down by a factor of 400. But even that is no where enough.


Certainly in the comments of Allentoft et al they are describing the improbabilty of a much longer sequence that that claimed by Schweitzer.
What are you on about now? Their results show that the time till complete disintegration of DNA (“no intact bonds”) is 22,000 years at 25°C, 131,000 years at 15°C, 882,000 years at 5°C; and even if it could somehow be kept continually below freezing point at –5°C, it could survive only 6.83 Ma—only about a tenth of the assumed evolutionary age. The times for survival to 4bp would be shorter still, as their table shows (for various lengths).

Rincewind
06-12-2012, 03:18 PM
For one of the tests, but another requires double-stranded, which is not stable for 4 bp, and another requires a groove in a double helix, which requires more still.

Which test specifically require which according to you?


Based on measured decomposition rates. Bone slowed it down by a factor of 400. But even that is no where enough.

It is still a model which is based on exponential extrapolation. Such extrapolations are notoriously unreliable since there may be effects which are not important early on in the decomposition which become important with the remnants (multiple time-scales). Allentoft et al were cautious in their claim of placing an absolute upper limit on the age as per the quote above.


What are you on about now? Their results show that the time till complete disintegration of DNA (“no intact bonds”) is 22,000 years at 25°C, 131,000 years at 15°C, 882,000 years at 5°C; and even if it could somehow be kept continually below freezing point at –5°C, it could survive only 6.83 Ma—only about a tenth of the assumed evolutionary age. The times for survival to 4bp would be shorter still, as their table shows (for various lengths).

Based on the measurement of the DNA in relatively recent samples. If you look at Fig 3 in Allentoft et all you will see that there was only a handful of sample older than 4,000 years and the copy number of those samples show quite a substantial variation. The other thing to bear in mind is that Allentoft analysed a particular bone from a particular species (or super-species) and so applying the results more generally should be done cautiously and not with the brusque statement "real chemistry shows they can’t survive for 65 million years".

Capablanca-Fan
07-12-2012, 03:12 AM
Which test specifically require which according to you?
DAPI needs to fit in a groove in a double helix. See DAPI (magenta) bound to the minor groove of DNA (green and blue) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1D30_DNA_DAPI.png). Schweitzer says that the antibodies were tuned to double-stranded DNA.


It is still a model which is based on exponential extrapolation. Such extrapolations are notoriously unreliable since there may be effects which are not important early on in the decomposition which become important with the remnants (multiple time-scales). Allentoft et al were cautious in their claim of placing an absolute upper limit on the age as per the quote above.
Yet the the limit of ~7 Ma applied to –5°C, and this was down to total disintegration down to 1 bp. Schweitzer's samples are allegedly 10 times older, would have been above –5°C for long periods of evolutionary time, and show enough DNA to form a stable double helix that could support a groove for DAPI to lodge in.


Based on the measurement of the DNA in relatively recent samples. If you look at Fig 3 in Allentoft et al you will see that there was only a handful of sample older than 4,000 years and the copy number of those samples show quite a substantial variation. The other thing to bear in mind is that Allentoft analysed a particular bone from a particular species (or super-species) and so applying the results more generally should be done cautiously and not with the brusque statement "real chemistry shows they can’t survive for 65 million years".
Explained above. As shown, even 7 Ma is way to generous to explain double-helical DNA survival, because dinos are supposed to have lived in a warm climate.

Rincewind
07-12-2012, 11:16 AM
DAPI needs to fit in a groove in a double helix. See DAPI (magenta) bound to the minor groove of DNA (green and blue) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1D30_DNA_DAPI.png). Schweitzer says that the antibodies were tuned to double-stranded DNA.

That's a pretty picture but do you have a scientific determined minimum length of DNA below which DAPI will not bind?


Yet the the limit of ~7 Ma applied to –5°C, and this was down to total disintegration down to 1 bp. Schweitzer's samples are allegedly 10 times older, would have been above –5°C for long periods of evolutionary time, and show enough DNA to form a stable double helix that could support a groove for DAPI to lodge in.

But what is the minimum dsDNA strand that is required, Jono?


Explained above. As shown, even 7 Ma is way to generous to explain double-helical DNA survival, because dinos are supposed to have lived in a warm climate.

Firstly, hand waving != explained. While I agree there is evidence that DAPI preferentially binds to the minor groove you don't have any idea what the minimum length of of dsDNA, Schweitzer's assays demonstrated. Schweitzer et al. go with a minimum of 4bp which is reasonable as DAPI binds at an approximate linear density of one molecule for every 4-5 bp. Whether it was any longer (let alone much longer) is pure speculation on your part.

Secondly, You have completely failed to address my other points regarding the limitation of applying Allentoft's results generally. To recap...

(1) Extrapolation from 10 kya to x Mya should be done cautiously let along the dominate processes operating over one time-scale does not dominate over the longer time-scale.

(2) Very few of Allentoft's samples were even from 10 kya most were from around 4 kya and the handful of samples in the 6-10 kya range showed considerable variety in the copy number.

(3) All Allentoft's samples were specific to the moa. There could be structural differences between moas and the dinosaurs studied by Schweitzer which affects DNA degradation.

I'm not saying that either Allentoft nor Schweitzer are definitely right or wrong. Just there is sufficient uncertainty that using their disagreement (such as it is) to overturn the mountains of evidence for a 4.55 billion year age of the earth (as you suggest in your church bulletin piece) is simply beyond ludicrous.

Capablanca-Fan
07-12-2012, 12:00 PM
But what is the minimum dsDNA strand that is required, Jono?
More than 4! That's according to Ph.D. geneticist Rob Carter. The strands are held by hydrogen bonds, and there is more of this with longer strands, while higher temperatures tend to separate the strands. The groove would require a fairly stable helical conformation, not just a double strand.

It's certainly more than 1 bp!


Firstly, hand waving != explained. While I agree there is evidence that DAPI preferentially binds to the minor groove you don't have any idea what the minimum length of of dsDNA, Schweitzer's assays demonstrated. Schweitzer et al. go with a minimum of 4bp which is reasonable as DAPI binds at an approximate linear density of one molecule for every 4-5 bp.
The other stain propidium iodide can bind to single stranded DNA at that stoichiometry.


Whether it was any longer (let alone much longer) is pure speculation on your part.
Not at all; it was going by the published work of how long DNA would last under optimal conditions down to 1 bp; the time would shrink, not grow, for lasting up to >4 bp at higher temps.


Secondly, You have completely failed to address my other points regarding the limitation of applying Allentoft's results generally. To recap...
Why address baseless speculation from a mathematician and atheopath?


(1) Extrapolation from 10 kya to x Mya should be done cautiously let along the dominate processes operating over one time-scale does not dominate over the longer time-scale.

(2) Very few of Allentoft's samples were even from 10 kya most were from around 4 kya and the handful of samples in the 6-10 kya range showed considerable variety in the copy number.
Then write to the journal to complain!


(3) All Allentoft's samples were specific to the moa. There could be structural differences between moas and the dinosaurs studied by Schweitzer which affects DNA degradation.
Evidence?

Rincewind
07-12-2012, 12:43 PM
More than 4! That's according to Ph.D. geneticist Rob Carter. The strands are held by hydrogen bonds, and there is more of this with longer strands, while higher temperatures tend to separate the strands. The groove would require a fairly stable helical conformation, not just a double strand.

Firstly Rob Carter has a PhD in marine biology. He is an expert in fluorescent proteins, but calling him a "PhD geneticist" is both wrong and I would say deliberately misleading on your behalf.

The DAPI molecule is of a reasonably small size and the extra hydrogen-bonding sites would not be accessible to a single molecule. Wile the minor groove preference has been demonstrated scientifically, whether this is necessary and or the length of DNA strand below which binding would not occur needs to be demonstrated by the person making the claim.


It's certainly more than 1 bp!

No one said it was 1bp. Schweitzer claims at least 4bp which is reasonable. If you want to claim much more than that you would need to provide some grounds for your speculation.


The other stain propidium iodide can bind to single stranded DNA at that stoichiometry.

Even ssDNA presence would interesting. But the DAPI stain seems to be the origin of Schweitzer's claim of a minimum of 4bp.


Not at all; it was going by the published work of how long DNA would last under optimal conditions down to 1 bp; the time would shrink, not grow, for lasting up to >4 bp at higher temps.

Your article clearly speculated the DNA formed a double helix. I simply pointed out that Schweitzer's claim was a length of 4bp which is much shorted than the impression you give in your church bulletin.


Why address baseless speculation from a mathematician and atheopath?

Because you made unsubstantiated claims and I told you why they were questionable. Even if you don;t care about the science you at least want to give the appearance that you do.


Then write to the journal to complain!

No need. You are claiming that Allentoft prove that DNA can't survive that long. I'm just pointing out some of the possible shortcomings in their proof. You seem to be making bolder claims based on Allentoft's paper than the authors do themselves so the onus is definitely on you to defend your bold assertion.


Evidence?

Evidence of what? That moas are not dinosaurs or than Allentoft only considered moas?

Regarding structural difference, there are known to be structural difference in bones of different animals. Birds in particular have a markedly different bone morphology than most other vertebrates.

Remember I did not say that Allentoft's results are not comparable but it does give reason to pause before making the pontifical claim that "real chemistry shows they can’t survive for 65 million years".

Capablanca-Fan
10-12-2012, 02:39 AM
Firstly Rob Carter has a PhD in marine biology. He is an expert in fluorescent proteins, but calling him a "PhD geneticist" is both wrong and I would say deliberately misleading on your behalf.
It was in the genetics of coral. He transferred the genes for fluorescent proteins from corals into fish.

Publications and Patents

Carter RW (2007) Mitochondrial diversity within modern human populations. Nucleic Acids Research 35(9):3039–3045.
Gibbs PDL, Carter RW, and Schmale MC (2007) Fluorescent Proteins from Aquatic Species. US Patent #7,291,711.
Carter RW, Schmale MS, and Gibbs PDL (2004) Cloning of anthozoan fluorescent protein genes. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part C 138:259–270.
Carter RW (2003) Cnidarian Fluorescent Proteins. PhD Dissertation. University of Miami.
Manica A, Carter RW (2000) Morphological and fluorescence analysis of the Montastraea annularis species complex in Florida. Marine Biology 137:899–906.



The DAPI molecule is of a reasonably small size and the extra hydrogen-bonding sites would not be accessible to a single molecule. Wile the minor groove preference has been demonstrated scientifically, whether this is necessary and or the length of DNA strand below which binding would not occur needs to be demonstrated by the person making the claim.
Dr Carter, who is very familiar with handling DNA, told me that a groove necessitates a stable double helix, which requires many more than 4bp. Neither you nor Schweitzer have experience in genetics.


No one said it was 1bp.
The point was that by 6.83 Ma, DNA would be disintegrated down to 1bp. So 4 bp would not last even that long. There is a good reason why DNA in the lab is stored in liquid nitrogen.


Even ssDNA presence would interesting. But the DAPI stain seems to be the origin of Schweitzer's claim of a minimum of 4bp.
No, the PI stain was, because that has a stoichiometry of 4–5bp per PI molecule.


Because you made unsubstantiated claims and I told you why they were questionable. Even if you don;t care about the science you at least want to give the appearance that you do.
I cited papers on instability of DNA. You have made unpublished and unpublishable attacks on them.

Rincewind
10-12-2012, 08:37 AM
It was in the genetics of coral. He transferred the genes for fluorescent proteins from corals into fish.

Yes a PhD in marine biology, as I said, not a geneticist. He does have one paper in the area of analysis of mitochondrial diversity but that is 4 years after his PhD and one swallow does not a geneticist make.


Publications and Patents

Carter RW (2007) Mitochondrial diversity within modern human populations. Nucleic Acids Research 35(9):3039–3045.
Gibbs PDL, Carter RW, and Schmale MC (2007) Fluorescent Proteins from Aquatic Species. US Patent #7,291,711.
Carter RW, Schmale MS, and Gibbs PDL (2004) Cloning of anthozoan fluorescent protein genes. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part C 138:259–270.
Carter RW (2003) Cnidarian Fluorescent Proteins. PhD Dissertation. University of Miami.
Manica A, Carter RW (2000) Morphological and fluorescence analysis of the Montastraea annularis species complex in Florida. Marine Biology 137:899–906.


Congratulations! You have found someone who has a PhD and a worse publication record than you do. Quite a feat.


Dr Carter, who is very familiar with handling DNA, told me that a groove necessitates a stable double helix, which requires many more than 4bp. Neither you nor Schweitzer have experience in genetics.

And neither do you and Carter expertise is slight at best.

But even if Carter was a fully-fledged molecular geneticist, what statements he pulls out of the air aren't worth squat. Even if DAPI binds to the minor groove in stable DNA that doesn't stop it from binding to short sections of less stable DNA. The only way to know one way or another is to test it in the laboratory. You do remember what one of those look like, don't you Jono?


The point was that by 6.83 Ma, DNA would be disintegrated down to 1bp.

...according to Allentoft's statistical analysis of moa bones from 1-10 kya, most of which were from 1-5 kya. Caution should be applied in extrapolating to Mya for the reasons already stated.


No, the PI stain was, because that has a stoichiometry of 4–5bp per PI molecule.

As well.


I cited papers on instability of DNA. You have made unpublished and unpublishable attacks on them.

You are making claims not supported by the scientific papers you cite. This is the reason you need to ether substantiate these claims or retract them.

It's not my job to do research to prove you wrong. The onus is on your to prove your case. It's not my fault that you either don't know, or have forgotten, how science works.

Ian Murray
24-12-2012, 07:30 AM
With 3D printers now on the market, the concept of DIY goes to a whole new level. Things you can now make at home:-

A Working Assault Rifle Made With a 3D Printer (http://www.popsci.com.au/technology/a-working-assault-rifle-made-with-a-3d-printer)


Get ready. It's now possible to print weapons at home.

An amateur gunsmith, operating under the handle of "HaveBlue" ... announced recently in online forums that he had successfully printed a serviceable .22 caliber pistol.

Despite predictions of disaster, the pistol worked. It successfully fired 200 rounds in testing.

HaveBlue then decided to push the limits of what was possible and print an AR-15 rifle. To do this, he downloaded plans for an AR-15 in the Solidworks file format from a site called CNCGunsmith.com. After some small modifications to the design, he fed about $30 of ABS plastic feedstock into his late-model Stratasys printer. The result was one part needed to create a functional AR-15 rifle (the lower receiver), which was then attached to a real upper gun part. Early testing shows that the completed rifle works, although it still has some minor feed and extraction problems to be worked out.

Capablanca-Fan
26-12-2012, 05:30 PM
Germ with seven motors in one! (http://creation.com/germ-7-motors-in-1)


Over the last two decades, scientists have uncovered some of the amazing machinery in microscopic living cells. These include germs with a miniature motors that generates waves in a tiny tail that allows germs to swim—the bacterial flagellum. This even turns out to have a clutch to disconnect the motor from the tail.

Some germs have more than one flagellum. Sometimes they work individually but still the germ manages to coordinate the motors. Other germs have the tails loosely bundled. But the marine bacterium MO-1 is different again. Here, seven flagella are tightly bundled in a sheath.

The mystery was how they could all rotate in the same direction without interfering with each other. Now a research team from French and Japanese universities has worked out how. They produced a series of 2-dimensional images of cross sections to build up a 3-dimensional picture (electron cryotomography—like a CAT scan, but with an electron microscope and very cold temperatures).

The seven flagella are actually surrounded by 24 fibrils (tiny fibres), in a hexagonal array. And these fibrils rotate in the opposite direction to the flagella, allowing them to rotate freely. The researchers’ diagram shows the flagella as large gear wheels with the fibrils as smaller gear wheels. These gears or bearings enable the flagella to spin very fast—so the germ can swim about 300 μm/m, or 10 times faster than E. coli and Salmonella.

Rincewind
26-12-2012, 07:52 PM
What's the matter Jono? Is creation not generating enough traffic without you whoring yourself here? :lol:

Capablanca-Fan
29-12-2012, 06:16 AM
Is creation not generating enough traffic
We can never have enough, and it has the added bonus of annoying atheopaths here :P

Rincewind
29-12-2012, 05:34 PM
We can never have enough, and it has the added bonus of annoying atheopaths here :P

Not me. I find them HILARIOUS!!! :lol:

Ian Murray
29-12-2012, 08:02 PM
Not me. I find them HILARIOUS!!! :lol:
Amused and bemused that grown-ups can believe something as patently absurd as YEC.

Capablanca-Fan
30-12-2012, 03:16 AM
Amused and bemused that grown-ups can believe something as patently absurd as YEC.
As if a non-scientist atheopathic leftard like IM is in a position to judge. He also can't explain the survival of DNA in dino bones or C-14 in diamonds, none of which should be there if his old-earth dogma were true.

Rincewind
30-12-2012, 07:51 AM
As if a non-scientist atheopathic leftard like IM is in a position to judge. He also can't explain the survival of DNA in dino bones or C-14 in diamonds, none of which should be there if his old-earth dogma were true.

Will on the other hand, irrational faith in a Bronze Age mythology has zero explanatory power. 'Magic guy in the sky did it" is not an explanation.

Capablanca-Fan
08-01-2013, 11:27 AM
Flu infections sweep America hospitalizing thousands and leaving 18 children dead of complications, and it's going to get worse (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2257597/Flu-infections-sweep-America-hospitalizing-thousands-leaving-18-children-dead-complications-going-worse.html)

2,257 people have been hospitalized since the start of flu season
Three-fourths of those with symptoms say the were not vaccinated
41 states have reported cases

Get the flu shot! Don't be misled by the pseudo-science of the anti-vaccination lobby.

Capablanca-Fan
12-02-2013, 08:24 AM
New Scientists, which admits its leftard bias (http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21729023.000-challenge-unscientific-thinking-whatever-its-source.html) and can't help attacking conservatives, finally publishes Lefty nonsense: When progressives wage war on reason (http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21729026.200-lefty-nonsense-when-progressives-wage-war-on-reason.html):

… The problem, as they [Democrats] saw it, was an excessive reliance on environmentally wasteful styrofoam containers and plastic utensils. And so they issued a decree: from now on, the cafeteria would use biodegradable containers and utensils.

They claimed science was on their side: the utensils could be composted, and would thus be better for the environment. The result was a miracle of sustainability, at least according to internal reports, which claimed to have kept 650 tonnes of waste out of landfill between 2007 and 2010.

The only problem was that the "green" replacements were worse for the environment. The spoons melted in soup, so people had to use more than one to get through lunch. The knives could barely cut butter without breaking. And instead of composting easily, they had to be processed in a special pulper and then driven to Maryland in giant trucks.

But conservatives don't have a monopoly on unscientific policies. Progressives are just as bad, if not worse. Their ideology is riddled with anti-scientific feel-good fallacies designed to win hearts, not minds. Just like biodegradeable spoons, their policies often crumble in the face of reality and leave behind a big mess. Worse, anyone who questions them is condemned as anti-science.

We have all heard about the Republican war on science; we want to draw attention to the progressive war on reason.

We recognise that the term "progressive" is potentially troublesome, so let us lay our cards on the table. In the US, "progressive" and "liberal" are often used interchangeably. But the two should not be confused.

Liberalism, as defined by John Locke, means the pursuit of liberty. By that definition progressives are not liberal. Though they claim common cause with liberals (and most of them are Democrats because very few progressives are Republican), today's progressive movement is actually socially authoritarian.

Unlike conservative authoritarians, however, they are not concerned with banning "immoral" things like sex, drugs and rock and roll. They instead seek dominion over issues such as food, the environment and education. And they claim that their policies are based on science, even when they are not.

For example, progressive activists have championed the anti-vaccine movement, confusing parents and causing a public health disaster. They have campaigned against animal research even when it remains necessary, in some cases committing violence against scientists. Instead of embracing technological progress, such as genetically modified crops, progressives have spread fear and misinformation. They have waged war against academics who question their ideology, and they are opposed to sensible reforms in science education.

We contend that there is a disturbing and largely unreported trend among influential progressive activists who misinterpret, misrepresent and abuse science to advance their ideological and political agendas.

Of all of today's political philosophies, progressivism stands as the most pressing problem for science. Progressives, not conservatives, are the ones most likely to replace scientific research with unscientific ideology.

Conservatives who endorse unscientific ideas are blasted by the scientific community, yet progressives who do the same get a free pass. It is important the problem be recognised, and that free pass revoked.

Kevin Bonham
12-02-2013, 10:16 AM
Very good article. But your claim that New Scientist admits a left-wing bias in that editorial is false:


The suspicion must be that this is because scientists themselves lean towards the left, as does the media that covers them. (Both friends and critics of New Scientist tell us we lean in that direction.)

Is there any substance to that suspicion? We should go to every possible length to ensure there isn't.

They are saying that some people on both sides think they lean to the left, but that they hope it is not true, and aim to ensure it is not true. They're not ruling out that it might be true despite their intentions otherwise, but they're not saying it is either.

Rincewind
12-02-2013, 10:20 AM
As far as I can tell both stories are based on the work or Alex Berezow and Hank Campbell who don't speak on behalf of New Scientist and not even permanent employees of the publication. So to say that New Scientist admits anything or is saying that liberals get a free pass is really pushing the definition of accurate reporting.

However Berezow and Campbell are the authors of an interesting book "Science Left Behind" which is about the rise of the unscientific left. While it is in their interest to exaggerate the extent and effect of the problem I don't think you will find many people here how would argue that it is absent. Certainly Kevin has commented several times on unscientific conservationists in other threads and currently inactive poster antichrist has been criticised by both Kevin and others when posting unscientific hippy theories.

Adamski
12-02-2013, 11:04 PM
Get the flu shot! Don't be misled by the pseudo-science of the anti-vaccination lobby.
This is good advice - I do it every year and it works.

Capablanca-Fan
18-04-2013, 05:27 AM
Seung Yun Yang et al., A bio-inspired swellable microneedle adhesive for mechanical interlocking with tissue (http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v4/n4/full/ncomms2715.html), Nature Communications 4(1702), 16 April 2013 | doi:10.1038/ncomms2715


Achieving significant adhesion to soft tissues while minimizing tissue damage poses a considerable clinical challenge. Chemical-based adhesives require tissue-specific reactive chemistry, typically inducing a significant inflammatory response. Staples are fraught with limitations including high-localized tissue stress and increased risk of infection, and nerve and blood vessel damage. Here inspired by the endoparasite Pomphorhynchus laevis, which swells its proboscis to attach to its host’s intestinal wall, we have developed a biphasic microneedle array that mechanically interlocks with tissue through swellable microneedle tips, achieving ~3.5-fold increase in adhesion strength compared with staples in skin graft fixation, and removal force of ~4.5 N cm^−2 from intestinal mucosal tissue. Comprising a poly(styrene)-block-poly(acrylic acid) swellable tip and non-swellable polystyrene core, conical microneedles penetrate tissue with minimal insertion force and depth, yet high adhesion strength in their swollen state. Uniquely, this design provides universal soft tissue adhesion with minimal damage, less traumatic removal, reduced risk of infection and delivery of bioactive therapeutics.

Spiny worm solves thorny problem (http://www.news24.com/green/news/spiny-worm-solves-thorny-problem-20130416):



Reporting in the journal Nature Communications on Tuesday, US researchers devised a patch studded with tiny cone-shaped needles as a replacement for surgical staples, a potential source of tissue damage and infection.

The needles are made of a stiff core made of plastic and a tip that is rigid when dry but swells up on contact with water in surface tissue.

Within 10 minutes, the tips are plumped up and secure the patch firmly on the skin, clamping grafts on burns and other injuries.

"The unique design allows the needles to stick to soft tissues with minimal damage," said Jeffrey Karp, a biomedical engineer at Brigham and Women's Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School in New England.

"Moreover, when it comes time to remove the adhesive, as opposed to staples, there is less trauma inflicted to the tissue, blood and nerves, as well as a reduced risk of infection."

antichrist
18-04-2013, 10:56 AM
Get the flu shot! Don't be misled by the pseudo-science of the anti-vaccination lobby.

in today's herald story on Jehovah Witness 17YO being forced by court order to undergo chemo that includes blood transfusion for much better chance to save his life - I don't like to mix religion and science thread but are there parallels between JH & anti vaci lobby that is located near byron? Is there a inconsistency in JOno's position

Rincewind
18-04-2013, 11:00 AM
in today's herald story on Jehovah Witness 17YO being forced by court order to undergo chemo that includes blood transfusion for much better chance to save his life - I don't like to mix religion and science thread but are there parallels between JH & anti vaci lobby that is located near byron? Is there a inconsistency in JOno's position

Jono is not a JW. But there is inconsistency in the sense that he accepts the science of vaccination but ignores the well established science for a ancient universe, ancient earth and common ancestry of life on earth, including fish and philosophers.

Capablanca-Fan
08-05-2013, 09:03 AM
Intact Dinosaur Skin Found (http://crev.info/2013/05/intact-dinosaur-skin-found/)
7 May 2013

Some material that flaked off a fossil in Alberta was not stone; it was dinosaur skin. Discoverers were excited and puzzled: how could it last so long?

Here’s how Mauricio Barbi of the University of Regina described their discovery, according to PhysOrg (http://phys.org/news/2013-04-scientists-rare-dinosaur-skin-fossil.html):


“As we excavated the fossil, I thought that we were looking at a skin impression. Then I noticed a piece came off and I realized this is not ordinary – this is real skin. Everyone involved with the excavation was incredibly excited and we started discussing research projects right away.”

The reports on PhysOrg (http://phys.org/news/2013-04-scientists-rare-dinosaur-skin-fossil.html) and on Nature World News (http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/1649/20130429/what-color-dinosaurs-test-ancient-skin-sample-will-reveal-final.htm) focused on figuring what color the skin was. Readers who go all the way to the end of the article, though, find out the really big question:


But perhaps the greatest question Barbi is trying to answer at the CLS is how the fossil remained intact for around 70-million years.

“What’s not clear is what happened to this dinosaur and how it died,” he said. “There is something special about this fossil and the area where it was found, and I am going to find out what it is.”

Ian Murray
08-05-2013, 10:32 AM
...Readers who go all the way to the end of the article, though, find out the really big question:


But perhaps the greatest question Barbi is trying to answer at the CLS is how the fossil remained intact for around 70-million years.

Similar to previous finds, one would expect:
Mummified dinosaur skin yields up new secrets (http://phys.org/news165682506.html#nRlv)
First image of protein residue in 50 million year old reptile skin (http://phys.org/news/2011-03-image-protein-residue-million-year.html#nRlv)

Rincewind
08-05-2013, 12:03 PM
“There is something special about this fossil and the area where it was found, and I am going to find out what it is.”

And that ladies and gentleman are the words of a dedicated scientist. :clap:

Desmond
08-05-2013, 07:58 PM
Intact Dinosaur Skin Found (http://crev.info/2013/05/intact-dinosaur-skin-found/)
7 May 2013

Some material that flaked off a fossil in Alberta was not stone; it was dinosaur skin. Discoverers were excited and puzzled: how could it last so long?
Even more puzzling was that it seemed to have been ridden by a long bearded man with a tshirt reading "Ark or bust"

Rincewind
10-05-2013, 10:00 PM
THREAD SPLIT

Discussion of flat earth, round earth, smooth earth and various centre of the universe claims or non-claims have been moved here (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?t=14708).

Capablanca-Fan
20-05-2013, 01:53 AM
Professor Chris Bishop, presenter of the 2008 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, leads us through a spectacular tour of the curious, and sometimes surprising, world of chemistry.
ti_E2ZKZpC4

Capablanca-Fan
28-05-2013, 11:04 AM
YEC John Hartnett accumulates almost 5.7 million dollars in science grants (http://www.uncommondescent.com/creationism/yec-john-harnett-accumulates-almost-5-7-million-dollars-in-science-grants/)
Uncommon Descent, 26 May 2013

In addition to accumulating 5.7 million dollars in science grants, he has published 186 scientific papers, 102 of which are in refereed journals, the others in conference proceedings.

It might be instructive to compare Hartnett’s total number of publications with other scientists using a graph (created by Mike Gene) of the number of scientific papers published. The researcher who surpasses Hartnett is Francis Collins, who, in the eyes of some is a “creationist” because he believes there are some features in the universe (like human compassion) that are not the result of mindless forces.

The vocal GNU atheists evolutionists, especially Sam Harris, ought to be a little embarrassed that a YEC surpassed them in scientific productivity. Hartnett surpasses the self-appointed defender of science, PZ Myers by large margin as well!

So why did a creationist surpass the leading GNU evolutionists? Because evolutionism is irrelevant to most of the sciences. Even if Harnett is wrong about evolution, and even if evolution is true, it always will be irrelevant to most of science. Harnett’s success in science, reinforces exactly what Jerry Coyne said:


In science’s pecking order, evolutionary biology lurks somewhere near the bottom, far closer to phrenology than to physics.

Here then is a short CV of Dr. Hartnett (http://creation.com/dr-john-hartnett-cv) from the University [of Western Australia] website:
http://www.uwa.edu.au/people/john.hartnett

Rincewind
28-05-2013, 12:11 PM
Two questions on Hartnett...

(1) How many of Hartnett's papers are even in biology at all?

(2) Also the answered question from the Cosmology thread...

Is Hartnett a YEC? If so I am confused by the abstract to his paper* from 2006 which says,

"We conclude that the expansion is now accelerating and that the transition from a closed to an open universe occurred about 8.54 Gyr ago."

* Hartnett and Oliveira, Foundations of Physics Letters, 19 (2006) 519-535.

8.54Gyr? I thought that YECs believe anything greater than 10kyr when against holy scripture.

Capablanca-Fan
28-05-2013, 01:05 PM
"We conclude that the expansion is now accelerating and that the transition from a closed to an open universe occurred about 8.54 Gyr ago."

* Hartnett and Oliveira, Foundations of Physics Letters, 19 (2006) 519-535.

8.54Gyr? I thought that YECs believe anything greater than 10kyr when against holy scripture.
Before criticizing, find out what he believes. He has long pointed out that this depends on the clocks they are talking about. Hartnett believes that only about 6 ka has passed on earth clocks. His book should answer your confusion.

Rincewind
28-05-2013, 06:23 PM
Before criticizing, find out what he believes. He has long pointed out that this depends on the clocks they are talking about. Hartnett believes that only about 6 ka has passed on earth clocks. His book should answer your confusion.

So in that case the stars were created before the earth?

John777
28-05-2013, 08:18 PM
So in that case the stars were created before the earth?

The earth was created before the stars.

"And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also" (Genesis 1:14-16).

Ian Murray
28-05-2013, 10:44 PM
... And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also" (Genesis 1:14-16).
So the stars are insignificant compared with the sun and moon. Some of those also-rans (http://space.about.com/od/stars/tp/The-Top-10-Largest-Stars.htm) put ours in the shade.

Capablanca-Fan
28-05-2013, 10:48 PM
So in that case the stars were created before the earth?
Certainly not. Hartnett's view includes a superluminal inflation at least on Day 4.

Capablanca-Fan
28-05-2013, 10:59 PM
So the stars are insignificant compared with the sun and moon. Some of those also-rans (http://space.about.com/od/stars/tp/The-Top-10-Largest-Stars.htm) put ours in the shade.
But the leading systematic theologian and apologist of the Middle Ages, Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), had one section of his Summa devoted to this (Summa, Question 70. The work of adornment, as regards the fourth day (newadvent.org/summa/1070.htm)), and this was citing an even earlier Christian scholar, John Chrysostom (AD c. 347–407).

Article 1. Whether the lights ought to have been produced on the fourth day? …
Objection 5. Further, as astronomers say, there are many stars larger than the moon. Therefore the sun and the moon alone are not correctly described as the “two great lights”.
…Reply to Objection 5. As Chrysostom says, the two lights are called great, not so much with regard to their dimensions as to their influence and power. For though the stars be of greater bulk than the moon, yet the influence of the moon is more perceptible to the senses in this lower world. Moreover, as far as the senses are concerned, its apparent size is greater.

Even modern astronomers still use the magnitude system, which (unless qualified by "absolute") refers to the brightness as seen from the earth. Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, has a magnitude of –1.46, but the moon’s mean magnitude is –12.7 and the sun’s is –26.7. Because of the logarithmic scale, a small magnitude difference can mean a very large ratio of brightness. So the moon is 11.24 magnitudes brighter, but 31,000 (2.512^11.24) times brighter.

So even ancient theologians knew perfectly well that the stars had an absolute magnitude much higher than the moon. The point of Genesis 1:16 simply saying, “and the stars,” is that creating even these astronomically many unimaginably enormous hot balls of gas was effortless for the Almighty Elohim!

Rincewind
29-05-2013, 12:26 AM
Certainly not. Hartnett's view includes a superluminal inflation at least on Day 4.

I note that if what you say is truly Hartnett's view then his is being a bit naughty with his Foundations of Physics Letters paper. He's working within a Carmeli cosmology of course which already makes it fringe, but not mentioning his interpretation on this time values and not citing his work which argues them (assuming such scientific publications exist) is not playing by the rules.

BTW you ignored question 1.

How many of Harnett's scientific papers are in the field of Biology taking the broadest possible definition of that term?

Patrick Byrom
29-05-2013, 01:13 AM
YEC John Hartnett accumulates almost 5.7 million dollars in science grants (http://www.uncommondescent.com/creationism/yec-john-harnett-accumulates-almost-5-7-million-dollars-in-science-grants/)
Uncommon Descent, 26 May 2013
In addition to accumulating 5.7 million dollars in science grants, he has published 186 scientific papers, 102 of which are in refereed journals, the others in conference proceedings.
It might be instructive to compare Hartnett’s total number of publications with other scientists using a graph (created by Mike Gene) of the number of scientific papers published. The researcher who surpasses Hartnett is Francis Collins, who, in the eyes of some is a “creationist” because he believes there are some features in the universe (like human compassion) that are not the result of mindless forces.
But what is important is quality, not quantity. Otherwise this evolutionist (http://gap.entclub.org/taxonomists/Cockerell/index.html) would be regarded as the greatest scientist in history, with over 2200(!) published articles.


So why did a creationist surpass the leading GNU evolutionists? Because evolutionism is irrelevant to most of the sciences. Even if Harnett is wrong about evolution, and even if evolution is true, it always will be irrelevant to most of science.
But the same statement could be made about almost any science - relativity (or quantum mechanics or genetics ... ) is also irrelevant to most of science.

Rincewind
29-05-2013, 03:10 AM
The researcher who surpasses Hartnett is Francis Collins, who, in the eyes of some is a “creationist” because he believes there are some features in the universe (like human compassion) that are not the result of mindless forces.

Certainly not in the eyes of Francis Collins.

He rightly considers himself a theistic evolutionist who believes in the fossil records, billions of years age of the earth and the common descent of all known life, including Homo sapiens.

Here is part if a talk he gave where he discusses Creationism, Intelligent Design and and Theistic Evolution.

WcCQds7LUxc

Other parts of the talk where his shows the very clear evidence for common descent from molecular biology and discusses atheism and agnosticism are also available in this 9 part series of videos.

Capablanca-Fan
29-05-2013, 03:15 AM
Collins is very confused—see A review of The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief by Francis S. Collins (http://creation.com/harmony-and-discord-a-review-of-francis-collins-book-the-language-of-god) and The Non-Mythical Adam and Eve! Refuting errors by Francis Collins and BioLogos (http://creation.com/historical-adam-biologos).

Capablanca-Fan
29-05-2013, 03:18 AM
But what is important is quality, not quantity. Otherwise this evolutionist (http://gap.entclub.org/taxonomists/Cockerell/index.html) would be regarded as the greatest scientist in history, with over 2200(!) published articles.
The quality of Prof. Hartnett's work is evidently high, as shown by all the research grants he has been awarded.


But the same statement could be made about almost any science - relativity (or quantum mechanics or genetics ... ) is also irrelevant to most of science.
Not at all. QM governs chemistry, and to understand some of the atomic orbitals in actinides, relativity is needed as well. Chemistry governs biology. But evolution is not needed in the vast majority of even biological research—see Does science need evolution? (http://creation.com/science-creation-and-evolutionism-refutation-of-nas#one)

Capablanca-Fan
29-05-2013, 03:25 AM
I note that if what you say is truly Hartnett's view then his is being a bit naughty with his Foundations of Physics Letters paper. He's working within a Carmeli cosmology of course which already makes it fringe, but not mentioning his interpretation on this time values and not citing his work which argues them (assuming such scientific publications exist) is not playing by the rules.
What are you on about? Harnett has used Carmelian relativity, with full credit to the late Moshe Carmeli, to solve vexing problems in astrophysics without needing the fudge factor of dark matter:

Hartnett, J.G., The distance modulus determined from Carmeli’s cosmology fits the accelerating universe data of the high-redshift type Ia supernovae without dark matter (http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0501526), Found. Phys. 36(6):839–861, June 2006. <arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0501526>
Hartnett, J.G., Spiral galaxy rotation curves determined from Carmelian general relativity (http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0511756), Int. J. Theor. Phys. 45(11):2118–2136, November 2006. <arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0511756>
Hartnett, J.G., Tobar, M.E., Properties of gravitational waves in Cosmological general relativity (http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0603067), Int. J. Theor. Phys. 45(11):2181–2190, November 2006. <arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0603067>
Oliveira, F.J., Hartnett, J.G., Carmeli’s cosmology fits data for an accelerating and decelerating universe without dark matter or dark energy (http://creation.com/redirect.php?target=http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0603500), Found. Phys. Lett. 19(6):519–535, November 2006. <arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0603500>
Hartnett, J.G., Oliveira,F.J., Luminosity distance, angular size and surface brightness in Cosmological General Relativity (http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0603500), Found. Phys. 37(3):446–454, 2007. <arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0603500>
Hartnett, J.G., Spheroidal and elliptical galaxy radial velocity dispersion determined from Cosmological General Relativity (http://arxiv.org/abs/0707.2858), Int. J. Theor. Phys. 47(5): 1252–1260, 2008. <arxiv.org/abs/0707.2858>
Hartnett, J.G., Extending the redshift-distance relation in Cosmological General Relativity to higher redshifts (http://arxiv.org/abs/0705.3097), Found. Phys. 38(3): 201–215, 2008. <arxiv.org/abs/0705.3097>
J.G. Hartnett, K. Hirano, Galaxy redshift abundance periodicity from Fourier analysis of number counts N(z) using SDSS and 2dF GRS galaxy surveys (http://arxiv.org/abs/0711.4885), Astrophysics and Space Science, 318(1–2):13-24, 2008. <arxiv.org/abs/0711.4885>

Capablanca-Fan
29-05-2013, 08:16 AM
Farewell to Eugenie Scott, Executive Director of National Center for Science Education (http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/05/farewell_to_eug072571.html)
Casey Luskin, Evolution News, 28 May 2013

[Quite a favorable tribute by someone in the Intelligent Design movement who obviously disagrees with her, on the eve of her retirement from her pretentiously named pro-evolution anti-creation group]

Rincewind
29-05-2013, 12:11 PM
Jono,

You continue to ignore this question...

How many of Harnett's scientific papers are in the field of Biology taking the broadest possible definition of that term?

Rincewind
29-05-2013, 04:21 PM
Collins is very confused—see A review of The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief by Francis S. Collins (http://creation.com/harmony-and-discord-a-review-of-francis-collins-book-the-language-of-god) and The Non-Mythical Adam and Eve! Refuting errors by Francis Collins and BioLogos (http://creation.com/historical-adam-biologos).

I wasn't so interested in Collins view as critiqued by the Creationism pov. It was to highlight the dishonest way the article tried to paint Collins as maybe a creationist in the mind of the reader when he patently is not. It was even ironic in the sense that the article was on the website uncommondecent.com and one of Collins beliefs is the common descent of all life - including homo sapiens.

No one said a creationist cannot be a good scientist. Like Hartnett who is evidently a good scientist in his area of speciality (that is making highly stable oscillators) and an area does not challenge his fundamentalist precepts. Casting the net more wider to include scientists who are simply Christian (like Collins) finds many excellent scientists even in biology.

However trying to label Collins as a creationist is simply dishonest especially when he personally disavows that view.

Rincewind
29-05-2013, 04:35 PM
The quality of Prof. Hartnett's work is evidently high, as shown by all the research grants he has been awarded.

How many of those ARC grants were awarded by the Biological Sciences panel?


But evolution is not needed in the vast majority of even biological research—see Does science need evolution? (http://creation.com/science-creation-and-evolutionism-refutation-of-nas#one)

I see in this article you are up to your usual trick of calling theistic evolutionists creationists. For example, Charles Babbage was not a creationist in any sense of the word and believed scripture should be interpreted in the light of scientific discoveries.

Rincewind
29-05-2013, 04:44 PM
What are you on about? Harnett has used Carmelian relativity, with full credit to the late Moshe Carmeli, to solve vexing problems in astrophysics without needing the fudge factor of dark matter:

Hartnett, J.G., The distance modulus determined from Carmeli’s cosmology fits the accelerating universe data of the high-redshift type Ia supernovae without dark matter (http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0501526), Found. Phys. 36(6):839–861, June 2006. <arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0501526>
Hartnett, J.G., Spiral galaxy rotation curves determined from Carmelian general relativity (http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0511756), Int. J. Theor. Phys. 45(11):2118–2136, November 2006. <arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0511756>
Hartnett, J.G., Tobar, M.E., Properties of gravitational waves in Cosmological general relativity (http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0603067), Int. J. Theor. Phys. 45(11):2181–2190, November 2006. <arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0603067>
Oliveira, F.J., Hartnett, J.G., Carmeli’s cosmology fits data for an accelerating and decelerating universe without dark matter or dark energy (http://creation.com/redirect.php?target=http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0603500), Found. Phys. Lett. 19(6):519–535, November 2006. <arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0603500>
Hartnett, J.G., Oliveira,F.J., Luminosity distance, angular size and surface brightness in Cosmological General Relativity (http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0603500), Found. Phys. 37(3):446–454, 2007. <arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0603500>
Hartnett, J.G., Spheroidal and elliptical galaxy radial velocity dispersion determined from Cosmological General Relativity (http://arxiv.org/abs/0707.2858), Int. J. Theor. Phys. 47(5): 1252–1260, 2008. <arxiv.org/abs/0707.2858>
Hartnett, J.G., Extending the redshift-distance relation in Cosmological General Relativity to higher redshifts (http://arxiv.org/abs/0705.3097), Found. Phys. 38(3): 201–215, 2008. <arxiv.org/abs/0705.3097>
J.G. Hartnett, K. Hirano, Galaxy redshift abundance periodicity from Fourier analysis of number counts N(z) using SDSS and 2dF GRS galaxy surveys (http://arxiv.org/abs/0711.4885), Astrophysics and Space Science, 318(1–2):13-24, 2008. <arxiv.org/abs/0711.4885>


I am mean exactly what I said your inability to read is not my problem.

Hartnett in the article I cited does not cite work which indicates that he has some special interpretation of the cosmic time such that the earth is only 10,000 years old. Which (if any) of the articles you cite above make this specific claim?

I never claimed that he did not cite Carmeli. He did opening and in fact includes it in the titles of some of his work. However Carmeli cosmology is definitely fringe and not an area of much activity. But the 10,000 year claim is not Carmeli's as far as I can tell and so citing Carmeli would not cound as coming clean on his special interpretation of Carmelian cosmic time.

Regarding fudge factors, Hartnett is not any firmer ground. His inflation term involves a fitting parameter of the form exp(A*t) where he chooses A to be any number he likes (like 1E23 - 1E23). If you can't get starlight across the universe in any arbitrary period with that sort of fudge parameter then there must be something wrong with you!

Capablanca-Fan
30-05-2013, 02:05 AM
I never claimed that he did not cite Carmeli. He did opening and in fact includes it in the titles of some of his work. However Carmeli cosmology is definitely fringe and not an area of much activity. But the 10,000 year claim is not Carmeli's as far as I can tell and so citing Carmeli would not cound as coming clean on his special interpretation of Carmelian cosmic time.
How is it "fringe" when it enables the derivation of the Fisher–Tully galactic rotation curves without needing the fudge or dark matter haloes. Hartnett was demonstrating that the physics works well. So why put something in the paper that was not germane to the problem he was working on, and give a referee an excuse to reject the paper. Then RW would whinge that creationists don't publish.


Regarding fudge factors, Hartnett is not any firmer ground. His inflation term involves a fitting parameter of the form exp(A*t) where he chooses A to be any number he likes (like 1E23 - 1E23). If you can't get starlight across the universe in any arbitrary period with that sort of fudge parameter then there must be something wrong with you!
With the assumption that the galaxy is near the centre of the universe, expansion of the space-time universe, and Carmelian relativity, it follows that distant starlight could have reached earth in the biblical timescale, as measured by Earth clocks. Big bangers need some sort of fudge like superluminal inflation because there are far more light years than years even in their timescale.

Rincewind
30-05-2013, 11:37 AM
How is it "fringe" when it enables the derivation of the Fisher–Tully galactic rotation curves without needing the fudge or dark matter haloes. Hartnett was demonstrating that the physics works well. So why put something in the paper that was not germane to the problem he was working on, and give a referee an excuse to reject the paper. Then RW would whinge that creationists don't publish.

It is fringe in a very literal sense. Carmeli's work has not been picked up at all except by a few people and almost all the cosmological relativity papers have appeared in either Foundations of Physics or the International Journal of Theoretical Physics. Both of which have a reputation of publishing fringe science.


With the assumption that the galaxy is near the centre of the universe, expansion of the space-time universe, and Carmelian relativity, it follows that distant starlight could have reached earth in the biblical timescale, as measured by Earth clocks.

Two of those assumptions (galaxy at the centre and cosmological relativity) are not widely accepted as valid by scientists.


Big bangers need some sort of fudge like superluminal inflation because there are far more light years than years even in their timescale.

There is experimental evidence for continued inflation. Also the CBR likes like it should given an early inflationary period. So there is evidence that the inflation of the conventional cosmology is real.

But claiming that the conventional cosmology has a fudge factor that Hartnett's model avoids is dishonest since his model has a completely arbitrary fudge factor which he requires to get around the a young earth model and the problem of starlight. More arbitrary since he doesn't have any way of working out what his fudge factor even is but simply demonstrates that a suitably large value of this parameter can fit his model to his a priori religious position.

Ian Murray
01-06-2013, 04:55 PM
...Big bangers need some sort of fudge like superluminal inflation because there are far more light years than years even in their timescale.
Where does that come from? The Big Bang was ~13.7 billion years ago (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck_%28spacecraft%29#2013_data_release) with the farthest object yet detected (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/distance-record.html) 13.3 billion light years away.

Assuming even expansion, the universe is ~27.5 billion light years in diameter.

Capablanca-Fan
01-06-2013, 05:04 PM
Where does that come from? The Big Bang was ~13.7 billion years ago (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck_%28spacecraft%29#2013_data_release) with the farthest object yet detected (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/distance-record.html) 13.3 billion light years away.

Assuming even expansion, the universe is ~27.5 billion light years in diameter.
Try another page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observable_universe) from your favorite source, then look up horizon problem:


According to calculations, the comoving distance (current proper distance) to particles from the CMBR, which represent the radius of the visible universe, is about 14.0 billion parsecs (about 45.7 billion light years), while the comoving distance to the edge of the observable universe is about 14.3 billion parsecs (about 46.6 billion light years),[1] about 2% larger.
The best estimate of the age of the universe as of 2013 is 13.798 ± 0.037 billion years[2] but due to the expansion of space humans are observing objects that were originally much closer but are now considerably farther away (as defined in terms of cosmological proper distance, which is equal to the comoving distance at the present time) than a static 13.8 billion light-years distance.[3] The diameter of the observable universe is estimated at about 28 billion parsecs (93 billion light-years),[4] putting the edge of the observable universe at about 46–47 billion light-years away.

Rincewind
01-06-2013, 06:15 PM
Where does that come from? The Big Bang was ~13.7 billion years ago (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck_%28spacecraft%29#2013_data_release) with the farthest object yet detected (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/distance-record.html) 13.3 billion light years away.

That article said the light travelled for 13.3 billion years to reach Earth. That is not the same as saying the object is 13.3 billion light years away. There are two issues.

Firstly the object is probably moved on since the light we are now seeing was emitted. And secondly, due to continued inflation of space-time, that point in space is now probably further than 13.3 billion light years away.

Rincewind
06-06-2013, 02:46 PM
Yet another "missing-link" discovered by scientists

First long-tailed monkey is oldest-ever primate: scientists (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-06-06/first-long-tailed-monkey-oldest-ever-primate-say-scientists/4736436)

According to the study leader Dr Ni...


"It looks like an odd hybrid, with the feet of a small monkey, the arms, legs and teeth of a very primitive primate, and a primitive skull bearing surprisingly small eyes," he said.

Agent Smith
21-06-2013, 06:52 PM
http://www.insidescience.org/content/pinholes-and-plastic-wrap-send-sound-through-walls/1034

The design of the thing seems to resemble our ear !

Capablanca-Fan
13-07-2013, 12:26 AM
I wasn't so interested in Collins view as critiqued by the Creationism pov. It was to highlight the dishonest way the article tried to paint Collins as maybe a creationist in the mind of the reader when he patently is not.
What crap. There were scare quotes around "creationist". I don't consider him one, which should be abundantly clear from the article I posted, and the fact that I called him "confused".

Capablanca-Fan
13-07-2013, 12:30 AM
Similar to previous finds, one would expect:
Mummified dinosaur skin yields up new secrets (http://phys.org/news165682506.html#nRlv)
First image of protein residue in 50 million year old reptile skin (http://phys.org/news/2011-03-image-protein-residue-million-year.html#nRlv)
Hadrosaur skin found (http://creation.com/hadrosaur-skin)
David Catchpoole (Ph.D. biologist) (http://creation.com/dr-david-catchpoole)
23 July 2013 [to be published on CMI front page]

Such is the power of the dinosaurs-died-out-millions-of-years-ago paradigm, that it not only limits what scientists expect to find, but also bizarrely affects how they view ‘unexpected’ evidence when they do find it.

The discovery of hadrosaur (duck-billed dinosaur) skin near Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada, is a classic example. University of Regina researcher Mauricio Barbi recounts: “As we excavated the fossil, I thought we were looking at a skin impression. Then I noticed a piece came off and I realized this is not ordinary—this is real skin. Everyone involved with the excavation was incredibly excited ….”

Now, does Dr Bell consider that the standard textbook slow-and-gradual processes were at work to preserve this skin so exquisitely? Despite believing in millions-of-years and evolution, he says: “Obviously skin is something that decays rapidly, so the fossilization must have been incredibly fast.”

For some enlightening material on how such fast fossilization could occur, Dr Bell would do well to read our articles Deluge disaster (http://creation.com/deluge-disaster) and Dinosaur herd buried in Noah’s Flood in Inner Mongolia (http://creation.com/dinosaur-herd-buried-in-noahs-flood-in-inner-mongolia-china).

Desmond
13-07-2013, 07:57 AM
The truth is more interesting than fiction.

In the skin of a . . . hadrosaur? (http://tylerirving.ca/?p=1101)


Were dinosaurs dull green and grey like today’s large reptiles, or bright and flashy like their descendants, the birds? For a long time this was considered an unanswerable question, but that may soon change due to a singularly well-preserved sample of skin from a hadrosaur — a duck-billed dinosaur from the late Cretaceous — found near Grand Prairie, Alberta last summer. That sample is currently undergoing analysis at the Canadian Light Source (CLS), a particle accelerator based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It turns out that the ultra-modern discipline of particle physics may be just the way to shed light — literally — on a hundred million-year-old mystery.

...
Bell showed the sample to his collaborator Mauricio Barbi, a high-energy physicist at the University of Regina.
...
One of the possibilities involves looking for melanosomes, small structures within cells that contain the pigment melanin. In recent years, paleontologists from Britain, China and the US have used scanning electron microscopes to analyse melanosomes found in preserved dinosaur feathers. By comparing their shape, size and distribution with those of modern birds, they’ve been able to make educated guesses about the colours of a few dinosaur species. Doing the same in skin would cross a new frontier. “It has never been done before,” says Barbi.
But before he starts looking for melanosomes, Barbi will leverage his knowledge of physics and the power of the Canadian Light Source to answer some much more fundamental questions. At CLS, powerful magnetic fields and microwave radiation are used to accelerate electrons to within a fraction of the speed of light, then suddenly shove them in a different direction. This change in momentum causes the electrons to give off intense beams of photons, light which can be used to probe the molecular and atomic content of samples, including dinosaur skin. “Depending on the wavelength that you use, you can see different things,” says Barbi. “You can take images, but also you can get information about the chemistry.”
...
One of Barbi’s techniques involves shining infrared light on the sample and detecting which frequencies are absorbed into the atomic bonds that make up its molecules. The technique — called infrared (IR) spectroscopy — allows Barbi to work out which chemical species are present in the fossil. For example, long-chain hydrocarbons might be left over from the breakdown of fats or oils in the skin. If he uses higher-energy light — x-rays for instance — Barbi can focus on individual atoms to find out precisely which elements are present: iron from blood, or calcium from bone. Techniques like these are commonly used in chemistry labs, but the ultra-bright, narrowly focused light from CLS allows Barbi to probe deeper into the sample, and to focus his attention on specific areas. “You can see differences between the skin, the bone and the surrounding sediment,” says Barbi. “You can map the sample down to the level of a micron.”
It will likely be months to years before the team has enough data to start speculating about the colours of dinosaur skin. But in the meantime, the experiments conducted at CLS can help answer other important questions, such as why this particular sample was so well-preserved.


Interesting to see the collaboration between experts of different disciplines. Unfortunately the matter doesn't appear to have anything to do with Catchpoole's area of nitrogen transfer from plants to animals, but I'm sure he'll be the first to get the nod if he ever has anything to contribute.

Rincewind
13-07-2013, 10:34 AM
For some enlightening material on how such fast fossilization could occur, Dr Bell would do well to read our articles Deluge disaster (http://creation.com/deluge-disaster) and Dinosaur herd buried in Noah’s Flood in Inner Mongolia (http://creation.com/dinosaur-herd-buried-in-noahs-flood-in-inner-mongolia-china).

For the flood fairytale to make any sense we would expect a large number of very well preserved fossils. However that is not the case and very well preserved fossils showing soft tissue are the exception rather than the rule.

Of course that is not the main argument against a single flood fairytale origin for most fossils. The smack-down argument for that is the worldwide concordance of fossils only being found in rocks of appropriate age. For example there are simply no fossils showing that man and dinosaurs coexisted because they didn't. Man has only been around a few million years and dinosaurs died out more than 60 million years ago.

antichrist
13-07-2013, 01:11 PM
For the flood fairytale to make any sense we would expect a large number of very well preserved fossils. However that is not the case and very well preserved fossils showing soft tissue are the exception rather than the rule.

Of course that is not the main argument against a single flood fairytale origin for most fossils. The smack-down argument for that is the worldwide concordance of fossils only being found in rocks of appropriate age. For example there are simply no fossils showing that man and dinosaurs coexisted because they didn't. Man has only been around a few million years and dinosaurs died out more than 60 million years ago.

so there was no dinosaur derby at Randwick on Sattady arvos? Or Fred Flintstone using them as down front end loaders or as slippery dips?

Capablanca-Fan
14-07-2013, 12:20 AM
For the flood fairytale to make any sense we would expect a large number of very well preserved fossils. However that is not the case and very well preserved fossils showing soft tissue are the exception rather than the rule.
Who says? Finding soft tissue is still remarkable. Darwin explicitly claimed ‘No organism wholly soft can be preserved’m because of his belief in Lyellian uniformitarian dogma. But see ‘Exceptionally preserved jellyfishes’ (http://creation.com/exceptionally-preserved-jellyfishes).


Of course that is not the main argument against a single flood fairytale origin for most fossils. The smack-down argument for that is the worldwide concordance of fossils only being found in rocks of appropriate age. For example there are simply no fossils showing that man and dinosaurs coexisted because they didn't. Man has only been around a few million years and dinosaurs died out more than 60 million years ago.
There are also no fossils showing that coelacanths and whales coexisted because they didn't. Oh, wait (http://creation.com/correcting-the-headline-coelacanth-yes-ancient-no).

Rincewind
14-07-2013, 12:55 AM
Who says?

David Catchpoole says.


If only these researchers could look at the world’s geological and fossil evidence through the biblical framework of a 6,000-years-ago Creation and 4,500-years-ago Flood timeline, they would be way less incredulous.

Obviously, if nothing is older than 4.5 kya then soft tissue preservation would be common place. It isn't because most fossils are much older than this and the conditions to preserve soft tissue occur infrequently.


Finding soft tissue is still remarkable.

Indeed but not according to Catchpoole.


Darwin explicitly claimed ‘No organism wholly soft can be preserved’.

Yes soft tissue fossils were practically unknown in Darwin's time. However it is no longer 1859.


There are also no fossils showing that coelacanths and whales coexisted because they didn't.

But the Coelacanth is a very rare fish living as it does in very deep water and so it makes sense that any fossils that we would find would be quite old as the rocks would need time for geological processes to lift the fossil bearing rocks out of the deep ocean where the fossils would likely form. The same is not true of land dwelling dinosaurs and humans. Which could fossilise is much shallower sediments which could become exposed to fossil hunters more quickly.

So the problem for you still exists. Still no fossil evidence of man (or any primate) with any dinosaur.

Plenty of evidence of dinosaurs living with other dinosaurs. No dinosaur fossils in any rocks younger than 60 mya. No hominid fossil in any rocks older than around 10 mya.

Desmond
09-10-2013, 07:11 PM
K93fMnFKwfI

antichrist
14-10-2013, 01:27 AM
what was it the fiftieth anniversary of the other day? Hint is on parts of board

Capablanca-Fan
21-10-2013, 11:52 PM
Unreliable research: Trouble at the lab (http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21588057-scientists-think-science-self-correcting-alarming-degree-it-not-trouble)
Scientists like to think of science as self-correcting. To an alarming degree, it is not
Economist, 19 Oct 2013

...
In 2005 John Ioannidis, an epidemiologist from Stanford University, caused a stir with a paper showing why, as a matter of statistical logic, the idea that only one such paper in 20 gives a false-positive result was hugely optimistic. Instead, he argued, “most published research findings are probably false.” As he told the quadrennial International Congress on Peer Review and Biomedical Publication, held this September in Chicago, the problem has not gone away.
...
This fits with another line of evidence suggesting that a lot of scientific research is poorly thought through, or executed, or both. The peer-reviewers at a journal like Nature provide editors with opinions on a paper’s novelty and significance as well as its shortcomings. But some new journals—PLoS One, published by the not-for-profit Public Library of Science, was the pioneer—make a point of being less picky. These “minimal-threshold” journals, which are online-only, seek to publish as much science as possible, rather than to pick out the best. They thus ask their peer reviewers only if a paper is methodologically sound. Remarkably, almost half the submissions to PLoS One are rejected for failing to clear that seemingly low bar.
...
The idea that there are a lot of uncorrected flaws in published studies may seem hard to square with the fact that almost all of them will have been through peer-review. This sort of scrutiny by disinterested experts—acting out of a sense of professional obligation, rather than for pay—is often said to make the scientific literature particularly reliable. In practice it is poor at detecting many types of error.
...

Rincewind
22-10-2013, 01:28 AM
Interesting article but also interesting that I couldn't find a by-line anywhere. :\ In any case, although the article tries to play it down it does seem to concentrate on psychology and pharmacology which of all sciences are the one that should have the best handle on statistics since everything they do hinges on it. Repeatability in both fields often comes down to responses in x % of a population rather than a deterministic result.

Regarding the following passage...


The peer-reviewers at a journal like Nature provide editors with opinions on a paper’s novelty and significance as well as its shortcomings. But some new journals—PLoS One, published by the not-for-profit Public Library of Science, was the pioneer—make a point of being less picky. These “minimal-threshold” journals, which are online-only, seek to publish as much science as possible, rather than to pick out the best. They thus ask their peer reviewers only if a paper is methodologically sound. Remarkably, almost half the submissions to PLoS One are rejected for failing to clear that seemingly low bar.

Most submissions to most journals are published or not published on methodological rather than significance grounds. Significance is only a major issue for the high impact factor journals such as Nature. So the PLoS One approach is not a low bar at all, they just don't attempt to make a decision on significance - which is subjective rather than objective anyway. Their approach is to publish good science (methodologically sound and novel) and significance can be measured after the fact by the number of citations that a publication attracts after it is published. It is also worth noting that while journals like Nature try to second guess significance, it is not that easy to do and many Nature papers attract zero or only a handful of citations.

Rincewind
06-11-2013, 12:02 PM
Not really science but here is an fun headline...

Tiger Woods stops traffic on Istanbul's Bosphorus Bridge to hit golf balls from Asia to Europe (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-06/tiger-woods-hits-balls-from-asia-to-europe/5072420)

Now I don't know what sort of tail wind was operating but Tiger's longest drive is around 400 m (387 yards). And at it narrowest the Bosphorus is at least 700 m. The Bosphorus Bridge (one of two spans over the Bosphorus) is around 1 km long. So the claim would seem to be a little exaggerated. Unless you extend Europe to include the Western half of the bridge and likewise extend Asia to include the Eastern half and if that were the case Tiger could have putted from one continent to the other.

Kevin Bonham
06-11-2013, 12:41 PM
Or perhaps if one side of the bridge slopes downwards a ball hit from one side would roll to the other. Judging by the image he looks like he could be well out across the water though.

Rincewind
06-11-2013, 04:04 PM
Judging by the image he looks like he could be well out across the water though.

The bridge is a suspension bridge with two main supports so judging by the picture he looks to be around the middle of bridge at least. Perhaps he is just on the Asian half...

Vlad
06-11-2013, 04:47 PM
Most submissions to most journals are published or not published on methodological rather than significance grounds. Significance is only a major issue for the high impact factor journals such as Nature. So the PLoS One approach is not a low bar at all, they just don't attempt to make a decision on significance - which is subjective rather than objective anyway. Their approach is to publish good science (methodologically sound and novel) and significance can be measured after the fact by the number of citations that a publication attracts after it is published. It is also worth noting that while journals like Nature try to second guess significance, it is not that easy to do and many Nature papers attract zero or only a handful of citations.

That is true about schience journals in general. However, in Economics (or Finance) all journals apply the "Nature" approach. This is why it is so hard to publish in Economics and so much easier in some other areas. Any top 50 journal in Economics has the acceptance rate of less than 10%. You submit 10 papers and get 9 rejections and only one revise and resubmit. Given that you spend a whole year on writing 1-2 papers, it is an incredibly hard game to play. On the other hand, the rewards are high too. I know examples of people getting full professor positions in top places like Stanford with just 6 publications.

Rincewind
06-11-2013, 04:54 PM
That is true about schience journals in general. However, in Economics (or Finance) all journals apply the "Nature" approach. This is why it is so hard to publish in Economics and so much easier in some other areas. Any top 50 journal in Economics has the acceptance rate of less than 10%. You submit 10 papers and get 9 rejections and only one revise and resubmit. Given that you spend a whole year on writing 1-2 papers, it is an incredibly hard game to play. On the other hand, the rewards are high too. I know examples of people getting full professor positions in top places like Stanford with just 6 publications.

This is not necessarily bad provided you are not trying to do a cross-disciplinary comparison of publication rates. However it probably leads to greater variability in that the guy with 6 publications who becomes a star at Stanford might have just got lucky. :) However I would hope that Stanford selection committees are more discerning than just reading the candidates publication list.

Vlad
06-11-2013, 05:20 PM
This is not necessarily bad provided you are not trying to do a cross-disciplinary comparison of publication rates.

Well, unfortunately from time to time these comparisons are being made. For example, when you apply for a promotion with a very small number of publications you are being judged by researchers from other areas where it is common to publish a lot. As a result external promotions are usually much easier than internal ones for economists.




However it probably leads to greater variability in that the guy with 6 publications who becomes a star at Stanford might have just got lucky. :) However I would hope that Stanford selection committees are more discerning than just reading the candidates publication list.
Yes, usually selection committee read the papers before making such decisions. Well, at least when they hire at such a level.:)

Rincewind
06-11-2013, 06:04 PM
Well, unfortunately from time to time these comparisons are being made. For example, when you apply for a promotion with a very small number of publications you are being judged by researchers from other areas where it is common to publish a lot. As a result external promotions are usually much easier than internal ones for economists.

I did not intend to imply that such comparisons are never made. They certainly are and it happens in the evaluation of grants too. However the applicant should make a case where possible to mitigate against such comparisons being made. Unfortunately it is not always easy to do so since in both the case of promotion and grant assessment you usually don't know against whom you are being compared until it is too late.

Desmond
28-11-2013, 06:21 AM
Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: How a Louisiana Student is Teaming With Top Scientists to Reform Science Education (http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/standing-shoulders-giants-how-louisiana-student-teaming-top-scientists-reform)


Zack Kopplin does not spend his time the way you might expect from a typical college student. At 20, it seems more likely for him to be out every night, killing more brain cells than he uses. Instead, he has become a noteworthy advocate for science education reform in public schools.

In 2008, the Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA) was passed and signed into law. This gave K-12 educators the ability to critique subjects such as evolution and climate change. Though the Act states there should be no bias toward a religion, it opens the door for supplementary materials to be used, effectively “teaching the controversy” as desired by proponents of Intelligent Design and creationism. ...

In addition to science policy, Kopplin has taken on textbook standards and vouchers as part of his initiative. The government grants tax dollars to schools based on the number of students. If a student wishes to attend a private school or homeschool, a voucher can be granted to recuperate costs for the alternate school. Currently, ten states and the District of Colombia accept school vouchers. Working alongside MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, Kopplin exposed over 300 schools who accept vouchers with specific religious agendas, teaching creationism instead of evolution. Added up, this amounts to tens of millions of taxpayer dollars being used to fund these institutions.

Since its inception, Kopplin’s efforts have received staggering support from the global scientific community. Many scientific organizations, clergy groups, and noteworthy scientists, including 78 Nobel laureates, have given direct support to the repeal of LSEA. Even with some of the top minds in the world behind him, Kopplin is not celebrating: “No matter how large this movement has grown, it is not big enough yet. We haven’t repealed the Louisiana Science Education Act and we haven’t put an end to anti-science legislation.” The repeal has been defeated three times, but he has managed to maintain the integrity of the textbooks used in Louisiana. ...

Capablanca-Fan
12-12-2013, 02:14 AM
Nobel winner declares boycott of top science journals (http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/dec/09/nobel-winner-boycott-science-journals)
Randy Schekman says his lab will no longer send papers to Nature, Cell and Science as they distort scientific process
Ian Sample, science correspondent
The Guardian, Monday 9 December 2013

Leading academic journals are distorting the scientific process and represent a "tyranny" that must be broken, according to a Nobel prize winner who has declared a boycott on the publications.

Randy Schekman, a US biologist who won the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine this year and receives his prize in Stockholm on Tuesday, said his lab would no longer send research papers to the top-tier journals, Nature, Cell and Science.

Schekman said pressure to publish in "luxury" journals encouraged researchers to cut corners and pursue trendy fields of science instead of doing more important work. The problem was exacerbated, he said, by editors who were not active scientists but professionals who favoured studies that were likely to make a splash.

Rincewind
12-12-2013, 10:30 AM
If Nobel prizewinning biologists are ticked off with Nature, what chance do mathematicians have?

antichrist
18-12-2013, 10:18 PM
If Nobel prizewinning biologists are ticked off with Nature, what chance do mathematicians have?

wouldn't you (or a mathematician) be the appropriate person to calculate that

Capablanca-Fan
07-02-2014, 05:39 AM
Mind meld: The genius of swarm thinking (http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22129540.800-mind-meld-the-genius-of-swarm-thinking.html?full=true#.UvPjRvldVtM)
04 February 2014 by Michael Brooks
New Scientist issue 2954.

The article also investigates schools of fish. Received wisdom was that the school splits to avoid a predator. In reality, the predator tries to make the school split so it's easier to capture:

For the menhaden, the intact shoal is the best place to be because news of a predator's presence reaches them more rapidly in a large shoal. Each fish reacts to the movements of its nearest neighbours to create a "wave of turning" that propagates 15 times as fast as a fish can swim, and faster than the predator too. The more eyes there are to spot danger and the more neighbours' movements there are to follow, the better the information flow.

Here is the original paper abstract with accompanying video (http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822%2812%2900470-8).

Desmond
08-02-2014, 09:43 PM
dE-vOscpiNc

Rincewind
09-02-2014, 12:05 AM
800,000-year-old footprints found in Norfolk, Britain; oldest ancient human footprints found outside Africa (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-08/800000-year-old-footprints-found-in-britain/5247260)

Footprints left by ancient humans 800,000 years ago have been found in Britain, the earliest evidence of such markings outside Africa.

Desmond
13-02-2014, 06:25 AM
Sir David Attenborough: Enough With the Creationists and Climate Change Deniers! (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/11/sir-david-attenborough-enough-with-the-creationists-and-climate-change-deniers.html)


...In fact, Attenborough says he has finally grown sick of America’s attitude to climate change. “I think it’s very sad that people won’t accept evidence for what it says—it’s extraordinary that one of the wealthiest, materially advanced societies in the world can support irrational myths in that way,” he said. “That they should do it privately is up to them but since what they do effects that whole world it’s pretty serious that they should not accept that humanity has been responsible for these changes that are absolutely evident to everyone else.”

You could hardly describe the response as knee-jerk since Attenborough has made a career of resisting controversy, often describing himself as “a reporter” with no views of his own. He does also have sympathy for those who resist the prevailing science on climate change. “There are very good reasons why people should not wish to accept it, because it interferes with their business,” he said. “I would much prefer it wasn’t true—but it is true and unless we can do something about it we are going to be in trouble.”

He has less time for those who deny the existence of evolution, however. “Every society in the world has found it necessary to produce a story to account for the fact that humanity is on earth,” he said. “The Australian Aboriginals think that the first humans were regurgitated by a great rainbow serpent in the sky, the people in Thailand think the beginning of the world was a huge pool of milk and a snake was pulled by demons, and the milk coagulated and that formed human beings and there was a time, two and a half to three thousand years ago, when people on the east end of the Mediterranean thought woman was made from the rib of the first man.

“If somebody says to me I believe every word of the Bible is true, you can’t argue against that degree of irrationality…there is actually a way of looking at the natural world and seeing the evidence and it’s all there. And what’s more it’s the same evidence whether it’s in Australia or Northern Europe or wherever. It’s all the same—it all produces the same answer and you can all see the evidence—if you reject that then there’s nothing I can say.”

Capablanca-Fan
28-02-2014, 05:50 AM
Publishers remove gibberish computer-generated research papers (http://www.cnet.com.au/publishers-remove-gibberish-computer-generated-research-papers-339346727.htm)
By Michelle Starr, Cnet Australia, 25 February 2014


Computer scientist Cyril Labbé of Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France, spent two years examining published research papers, and found that computer-generated papers made it into more than 30 conferences, and over 120 have been published by academic publishing houses — over 100 by the the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and 16 by Springer.

The papers were generated by a piece of free software called SCIgen, developed in 2005 by scientists at MIT. SCIgen randomly generates nonsense papers, complete with graphs, diagrams and citations, and its purpose was to demonstrate how easily conferences accept meaningless submissions.

Adamski
28-02-2014, 07:01 AM
Fascinating NASA video on Earthrise posted by rr a few posts ago. Thanks rr.

Rincewind
28-02-2014, 08:40 AM
Publishers remove gibberish computer-generated research papers (http://www.cnet.com.au/publishers-remove-gibberish-computer-generated-research-papers-339346727.htm)
By Michelle Starr, Cnet Australia, 25 February 2014

I note the issue seems to be with conferences in Computer Science held in China. In some cases authors claimed the submissions were to test the review process of the conference.

Desmond
28-02-2014, 08:52 PM
its purpose was to demonstrate how easily conferences accept meaningless submissions.

I would have thought Lord Monckton had already demonstrated this in spades with his own earnest ramblings.

Rincewind
28-02-2014, 09:19 PM
I would have thought Lord Monckton had already demonstrated this in spades with his own earnest ramblings.

Careful readers of this forum would be aware that one cannot accept anything published in a journal as unquestionable fact. In fact regardless of the journal that is not how science works but in the scientific literature there are various levels of authority depending on the outlet that a paper appears. This ranges from august journals like Nature, and Proceedings of the Royal Society through to mushroom publishing houses with scores of new journals appearing weekly usually with the Open Access publishing model. That is not to say that all Open Access journals are dodgy, but that model certainly has incentives for unscrupulous operators masquerading as academic publishers.

In this case we are talking about Conference Proceedings which in many disciplines are seen as lower ranked publications, however in Computer Science they are viewed quite differently but only when the Conference is known to be run properly. It is nothing for conferences to run with four referees per paper using the double blind peer-review and with the peer-review done to a very stringent standard. However there are also conferences who are run as a business and will accept anything with little or no review. The scandal is not that these conferences exist - everyone acknowledges this but while people know the good conferences it is not a problem (in the same way the existence of dodgy journals are not a real problem when everyone working in a field know what the good ones are). The scandal is that some of the these proceedings were being published by Springer who are an otherwise reputable academic publishing house.

There is certainly nothing in that story which erodes confidence in the way peer-review is conducted in reputable journals.

Patrick Byrom
01-03-2014, 12:58 AM
There is certainly nothing in that story which erodes confidence in the way peer-review is conducted in reputable journals.
Peer review should be considered a necessary, but definitely not a sufficient, guarantee of quality. In other words, papers published in journals that are not peer reviewed should always be regarded with scepticism, but not every peer reviewed journal publishes quality papers - as the sad case (http://tamino.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/when-you-think-youve-hit-rock-bottom/) of Pattern Recognition in Physics illustrates.

Rincewind
01-03-2014, 09:12 AM
Peer review should be considered a necessary, but definitely not a sufficient, guarantee of quality. In other words, papers published in journals that are not peer reviewed should always be regarded with scepticism, but not every peer reviewed journal publishes quality papers - as the sad case (http://tamino.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/when-you-think-youve-hit-rock-bottom/) of Pattern Recognition in Physics illustrates.

Importantly the peer-review has to be done seriously. A half-serious peer-review process is almost worse than none at all. The Pattern Recognition in Physics case was more about editorial bias and tampering than an issue with peer-review per se. This is always a risk but moreso when a scientific field impinges on political self-interests.

Patrick Byrom
23-03-2014, 09:50 PM
If this is confirmed, it will be the most important discovery in physics this century (so far), as it not only provides confirming evidence for the Big Bang, but also support for the theory of cosmic inflation:

Gravitational waves discovery: 'We have a first tantalising glimpse of the cosmic birth pangs' (http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/mar/23/primordial-gravitational-waves-tantalising-cosmic-birth-big-bang)


The sighting came from a small telescope on the roof of a laboratory sat on the ice sheet three quarters of a mile from the geographic South Pole. First came the rumours. But then researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics went public. Their telescope had spotted indirect evidence of gravitational waves, or ripples in space-time, from the earliest moments of the universe.

The scientists have not yet published their work, and no other team has confirmed the finding. Yet even without these mainstays of scientific rigour, excitement has swept through the community and into the world beyond. If confirmed, the observation will rank among the greatest scientific discoveries of the past 20 years. A Nobel prize is all but guaranteed.

Rincewind
24-04-2014, 12:15 PM
Interesting story (involving an Australian researcher) was the cover story for the current issue of Nature.

Origins and functional evolution of Y chromosomes across mammals (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v508/n7497/full/nature13151.html)

Note that there is also the related article

Mammalian Y chromosomes retain widely expressed dosage-sensitive regulators (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v508/n7497/full/nature13206.html)

Capablanca-Fan
24-04-2014, 12:41 PM
If this is confirmed, it will be the most important discovery in physics this century (so far), as it not only provides confirming evidence for the Big Bang, but also support for the theory of cosmic inflation:

Gravitational waves discovery: 'We have a first tantalising glimpse of the cosmic birth pangs' (http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/mar/23/primordial-gravitational-waves-tantalising-cosmic-birth-big-bang)


The sighting came from a small telescope on the roof of a laboratory sat on the ice sheet three quarters of a mile from the geographic South Pole. First came the rumours. But then researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics went public. Their telescope had spotted indirect evidence of gravitational waves, or ripples in space-time, from the earliest moments of the universe.

The scientists have not yet published their work, and no other team has confirmed the finding. Yet even without these mainstays of scientific rigour, excitement has swept through the community and into the world beyond. If confirmed, the observation will rank among the greatest scientific discoveries of the past 20 years. A Nobel prize is all but guaranteed.
Dr John Hartnett, tenured associate professor of physics at the University of Western Australia with published papers in astrophysics journals, has responded with:

Has the ‘smoking gun’ of the ‘big bang’ been found? Media headlines make people think that some astounding scientific ‘proof’ has been discovered. The reality is far less spectacular (http://creation.com/big-bang-smoking-gun), then the follow-up:
Hey, not so fast with the Nobel Prize! (http://creation.com/inflation-doubt)

Rincewind
24-04-2014, 01:47 PM
Dr John Hartnett, tenured associate professor of physics at the University of Western Australia

As I mentioned to you earlier and also as recorded on your own website...

He works as an ARC DORA research fellow in the Institute of Photonics and Advanced Sensing and the School of Chemistry and Physics at the University of Adelaide.

Patrick Byrom
24-04-2014, 02:31 PM
As I mentioned to you earlier and also as recorded on your own website...
He works as an ARC DORA research fellow in the Institute of Photonics and Advanced Sensing and the School of Chemistry and Physics at the University of Adelaide.
Even Wikipedia is more accurate :)

According to his cv (http://johnhartnett.org/about/cv/), Dr Hartnett has only two refereed publications on cosmology in the last six years, so he is perhaps not the most reliable source of information about recent developments in cosmology.

Adamski
24-04-2014, 02:33 PM
As I mentioned to you earlier and also as recorded on your own website...

He works as an ARC DORA research fellow in the Institute of Photonics and Advanced Sensing and the School of Chemistry and Physics at the University of Adelaide.Dors that make him your work colleague? I own 2 of his books on Dismantling the Big Bang and Starlight and Time and the New Physics. You would probably disagree with much of their content- which I agree with!

Rincewind
24-04-2014, 03:41 PM
Dors that make him your work colleague?

We are in different faculties but yes. But by the same measure Julia Gillard and Ian Plimer are also work colleagues. AFAICT John works in the building next to mine and so I would see him around from time to time. As yet I haven't seen Julia Gillard around campus.

Desmond
12-05-2014, 07:47 PM
As has oft been pointed out, correlation is not causation. Spurious correlations (http://www.tylervigen.com/)

Capablanca-Fan
12-07-2014, 12:52 AM
Scholarly journal retracts 60 articles, smashes ‘peer review ring’ (http://m.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/07/10/scholarly-journal-retracts-60-articles-smashes-peer-review-ring/)
Fred Barbash, Washington Post, 10 July 2014

Every now and then a scholarly journal retracts an article because of errors or outright fraud. In academic circles, and sometimes beyond, each retraction is a big deal.

Now comes word of a journal retracting 60 articles at once.

The reason for the mass retraction is mind-blowing: A “peer review and citation ring” was apparently rigging the review process to get articles published.

You’ve heard of prostitution rings, gambling rings and extortion rings. Now there’s a “peer review ring.”

The publication is the Journal of Vibration and Control (JVC). It publishes papers with names like “Hydraulic engine mounts: a survey” and “Reduction of wheel force variations with magnetorheological devices.”

After a 14-month investigation, JVC determined the ring involved “aliases” and fake e-mail addresses of reviewers — up to 130 of them — in an apparently successful effort to get friendly reviews of submissions and as many articles published as possible by Chen and his friends. “On at least one occasion, the author Peter Chen reviewed his own paper under one of the aliases he created,” according to the SAGE announcement.

Update: Some additional information from the SAGE statement: “As the SAGE investigation drew to a close, in May 2014 Professor Nayfeh’s retirement was announced and he resigned his position as Editor-in-Chief of JVC….Three senior editors and an additional 27 associate editors with expertise and prestige in the field have been appointed to assist with the day-to-day running of the JVC peer review process. Following Professor Nayfeh’s retirement announcement, the external senior editorial team will be responsible for independent editorial control for JVC.”

Desmond
12-07-2014, 09:12 AM
New specimen of Archaeopteryx provides insights into the evolution of pennaceous feathers (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v511/n7507/full/nature13467.html)
Christian Foth, Helmut Tischlinger & Oliver W. M. Rauhut
Nature 511, 79–82 (03 July 2014)

Discoveries of bird-like theropod dinosaurs and basal avialans in recent decades have helped to put the iconic ‘Urvogel’ Archaeopteryx1 into context2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and have yielded important new data on the origin and early evolution of feathers7. However, the biological context under which pennaceous feathers evolved is still debated. Here we describe a new specimen of Archaeopteryx with extensive feather preservation, not only on the wings and tail, but also on the body and legs. The new specimen shows that the entire body was covered in pennaceous feathers, and that the hindlimbs had long, symmetrical feathers along the tibiotarsus but short feathers on the tarsometatarsus. Furthermore, the wing plumage demonstrates that several recent interpretations8, 9 are problematic. An analysis of the phylogenetic distribution of pennaceous feathers on the tail, hindlimb and arms of advanced maniraptorans and basal avialans strongly indicates that these structures evolved in a functional context other than flight, most probably in relation to display, as suggested by some previous studies10, 11, 12. Pennaceous feathers thus represented an exaptation and were later, in several lineages and following different patterns, recruited for aerodynamic functions. This indicates that the origin of flight in avialans was more complex than previously thought and might have involved several convergent achievements of aerial abilities.

Rincewind
12-07-2014, 11:53 AM
Scholarly journal retracts 60 articles, smashes ‘peer review ring’ (http://m.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/07/10/scholarly-journal-retracts-60-articles-smashes-peer-review-ring/)
Fred Barbash, Washington Post, 10 July 2014

Not Fred Barbash does not seem to be very scientific literate given his odd way of describing the journal and the peer-review process. However he does imply that Peter Chen was an author on all 60 retracted papers. This is not the case. The journal retracted all papers with any taint of the peer-review ring. So any paper with an author or a reviewer implicated in the ring has been retracted. This is harsh on the papers that were submitted by honest authors who just happened to have their papers review by Peter Chen but still a good idea until the mess can be sorted out.

I note too that Fred seems to think that this sort of thing is unprecedented. Sadly it is not and journals and their editors should be constantly vigilant for this sort of thing.

Capablanca-Fan
22-07-2014, 03:40 AM
Outbreak of Political Correctness in Science Media (http://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2014/07/an_outbreak_of_political_correctness_in_science_me dia.html)
Alex B. Berezow, RealClearScience, 21 July 2014
A free and objective press: A quaint idea.

After all, about 93% of DC-based journalists vote Democrat (http://freakonomics.com/2011/08/08/tim-groseclose-author-of-left-turn-answers-your-questions/), and 65% of donations from journalists went to Democrats in 2010 (http://www.oregonlive.com/hovde/index.ssf/2010/09/journalists_and_politics_perso.html).

For science journalists, political affiliation shouldn't be a problem because the job of a science writer is to report data and facts. Yet, it is a problem. As Hank Campbell and I detailed in our book, Science Left Behind [: Feel-Good Fallacies and the Rise of the Anti-Scientific Left] (http://www.amazon.com/Science-Left-Behind-Feel-Good-Anti-Scientific/dp/1610391640), science journalists are quick to point out unscientific flaws in Republican statements and policies, but shy away from doing the same for Democrats. (Thankfully, this is slowly beginning to change, as more journalists are rebuking Democrats for being opposed to GMOs.)

The left-wing echo chamber that is the modern-day science newsroom has resulted in some very troubling controversies. A recent outbreak of political correctness has resulted in the termination of a Scientific American blogger (http://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2014/07/scientific_americans_pc_police_dismisses_a_blogger .html) who committed the unspeakable crime of giving a favorable review to a controversial book on genetics by New York Times writer Nicholas Wade and for defending Richard Feynman against exaggerated accusations of sexism.

Then, the science writing community expressed bewildering outrage (http://www.newsweek.com/science-magazine-puts-transwomen-their-cover-without-their-heads-259455) over a cover photo from the journal Science that depicted transgendered prostitutes for a special issue about AIDS. Of course, banging a hooker is a risk factor for acquiring HIV (http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/risk/other/sexworkers.html), and the spread of HIV via prostitution has become a giant problem (http://www.economist.com/blogs/analects/2014/01/prostitution-and-aids) in places like China. Initially, the faux outrage was directed at the supposed objectification of women, particularly because the photo does not show their faces. But, the photos were of transgendered individuals, not biological women. Besides, showing their faces surely would have been criticized as a violation of privacy. Either way, Science loses.

Why on earth would a science journalist write such unmitigated nonsense? Could it be because Mr. Kluger places more emphasis on political ideology than on epidemiology and medical microbiology? Could it be because of political correctness? Given the other events this past week, these are tempting explanations.

Unfortunately, political correctness is a disease with no cure.

Rincewind
22-07-2014, 02:46 PM
I think Alex Berezow is pushing a little too hard to fit the facts of the story into his narrative which is that that the left is as anti-science as the right. Just because conservatives are in general more bigoted it does not follow that political correctness is a purely left phenomena. Political correctness pervades both sides of politics just with conservatives they protect different class. It turns out that the protected classes in conservative PC could distort scientific reporting just as much as progressive PC.

Desmond
23-07-2014, 06:36 PM
I found this very interesting:

XBr4GkRnY04

Patrick Byrom
23-07-2014, 11:24 PM
I think Alex Berezow is pushing a little too hard to fit the facts of the story into his narrative which is that that the left is as anti-science as the right. Just because conservatives are in general more bigoted it does not follow that political correctness is a purely left phenomena. Political correctness pervades both sides of politics just with conservatives they protect different class. It turns out that the protected classes in conservative PC could distort scientific reporting just as much as progressive PC.
The main difference between the left and the right is the degree to which opposition to mainstream science has become part of the right-wing political structure. In the last US election, every Republican Presidential candidate (except possibly one) rejected the mainstream scientific view on AGW and was sceptical of evolution. There are left-wingers who are anti-vaccination or anti-nuclear, and no doubt some Democratic politicians, but these positions are a minority view in the Democratic party itself.

Capablanca-Fan
24-07-2014, 03:21 AM
The main difference between the left and the right is the degree to which opposition to mainstream science has become part of the right-wing political structure.
I wasn't aware that right-wingers opposed Snell's Law of Refraction, general and special relativity, quantum mechanics, chemical periodicity, the Arrhenius Rate Law, DNA as the genetic material, etc.


In the last US election, every Republican Presidential candidate (except possibly one) rejected the mainstream scientific view on AGW and was sceptical of evolution.
As has often been pointed out, one can even believe the politicized AGW theory while rejecting many of the proposed control measures as too much economic pain for immeasurable temperature differences.


There are left-wingers who are anti-vaccination or anti-nuclear, and no doubt some Democratic politicians, but these positions are a minority view in the Democratic party itself.
Oh really? So why did Commissar Obamov kybosh the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, and why has no nuclear power station been built in decades?

Of course, our resident socialist RW ignores the immense bigotry by leftardism against women and blacks who disagree with leftardism, and against poor white people, as well as holding non-white despots to a lower standard than white ones.

Patrick Byrom
24-07-2014, 01:07 PM
I wasn't aware that right-wingers opposed Snell's Law of Refraction, general and special relativity, quantum mechanics, chemical periodicity, the Arrhenius Rate Law, DNA as the genetic material, etc.
Science is not a buffet menu, where you can choose what to accept and what to reject. That was sort of the point of Berezow's book.


As has often been pointed out, one can even believe the politicized AGW theory while rejecting many of the proposed control measures as too much economic pain for immeasurable temperature differences.That position would not be anti-science - which Republican Presidental candidates accepted the science of AGW, but rejected measures to control it?


Oh really? So why did Commissar Obamov kybosh the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, and why has no nuclear power station been built in decades?Is this because of rejection of the science - I can think of other reasons? And there was at least one Republican president in that period.

Agent Smith
26-07-2014, 03:09 PM
I wonder how vulnerable we now are to severe solar storms.
Our dependance on electronic equipment might be our undoing. :eh:

https://medium.com/starts-with-a-bang/the-truth-about-solar-storms-1ab160203da4

Capablanca-Fan
30-07-2014, 12:18 AM
Science is not a buffet menu, where you can choose what to accept and what to reject.
One can differentiate between the real scientific points I mentioned from the ideologically motivated ideas like goo-to-you evolution and globull warm-mongering.


Is this because of rejection of the science - I can think of other reasons? And there was at least one Republican president in that period.
Just like there are reasons to reject a carbon tax even if AGW is granted. The double standards of the leftists is par for the course of course.

Rincewind
30-07-2014, 12:40 AM
the ideologically motivated ideas like goo-to-you evolution

How is that "ideologically motivated"? It is well established theory which is accepted by all real scientists of every ideological persuasion.

Patrick Byrom
30-07-2014, 12:57 AM
One can differentiate between the real scientific points I mentioned from the ideologically motivated ideas like goo-to-you evolution and globull warm-mongering.
If theories such as conventional old-earth geology were simply the produce of ideology, they should be easy to disprove. For example, geologists using Flood geology should out-perform those using conventional geology in finding oil - yet this never happens.

And you're actually proving my point. Evolution and AGW are part of science, and you can't reject areas of science you don't like, without undermining science as a whole. For example, what specific part of AGW do you reject?


Just like there are reasons to reject a carbon tax even if AGW is granted.
Of course there are - I've never said otherwise. The problem is that opponents of the carbon tax can never explain what 'damage' the tax is supposed to have caused.

Desmond
30-07-2014, 07:53 AM
Our fearless PM in the news for all the wrong reasons:

Anger as Australia dumps carbon tax (http://www.nature.com/news/anger-as-australia-dumps-carbon-tax-1.15601)
Climate experts decry demise of emissions-control system.

Quirin Schiermeier
Nature
22 July 2014

Australia’s pioneering carbon-pricing mechanism has failed to survive its infancy. In a major victory for Prime Minister Tony Abbott, parliament agreed on 17 July to axe the scheme with immediate effect.

The repeal scraps both the unpopular carbon tax, established in July 2012, and proposals to turn it into a more flexible emissions-trading scheme in mid-2015. The initiative would have seen large companies and utility firms buying and selling emissions allowances in a joint market with the European Union (EU).

The move has disappointed many researchers. “This is a big setback for Australia’s climate policy,” says Frank Jotzo, a climate economist at the Australian National University in Canberra. “An economically sensible policy framework is being discarded and there is nothing adequate to replace it.” He adds that it is unclear how Australia will meet its 2020 emissions-reduction target, “much less how the economy might be put on a trajectory to deeper cuts later on”.

In its first year, the carbon tax raised Aus$6.6 billion (US$6.2 billion) from the almost 350 high-polluting companies obliged to pay about Aus$24 for every tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent that they emitted. The tax, introduced by the previous government, led to a 5% decrease in emissions from the power sector.
...
Australia’s total greenhouse-gas emissions — 538.4 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2013, down 0.8% from 2012 — account for less than 1.5% of total global emissions. But owing to extensive use of coal in electricity generation, the country is one of the world’s largest polluters on a per capita basis.

The carbon-pricing mechanism was expected to reduce the nation’s greenhouse-gas emissions by 5% below 2000 levels by 2020. It will be replaced by an Emissions Reduction Fund that will aim to meet the same target by offering financial incentives for companies to increase their energy efficiency, and for landowners to replenish soil carbon and plant trees. But experts fear that the policy will be more costly and less effective than a market-based emissions-trading scheme.
...
Economists think that carbon pricing is the most efficient way to cut emissions. But Michael Grubb, who studies energy and climate policies at University College London, says that this often ignores the political reality — where decision-making tends to follow voters’ immediate wishes and concerns.

Rincewind
30-07-2014, 11:53 AM
and earlier this month...

Australian budget hits science jobs (http://www.nature.com/news/australian-budget-hits-science-jobs-1.15492)
Research-agency staff protest over slashed spending and concerns about country’s future research capability.

Leigh Dayton
Nature News
01 July 2014

The losses underscore concerns in the scientific community that the government does not support environmental and climate science. Michael Borgas, an air-quality scientist and acting secretary for the CSIRO’s staff association, says that one budget measure specifically targets climate science. It includes an Aus$20-million cut, about 69%, to the Australian Climate Change Science Program, of which the CSIRO was a major beneficiary. “Since the budget, there’s been real fear for the future of our world-class climate, marine and atmospheric research,” says Borgas. “Unfortunately, those fears appear to be justified.”

Overall, 420 of the CSIRO’s 5,500 workers could lose their jobs by June 2015, according to a memo sent to staff on 14 May — the day after the budget announcement — by agency chief Megan Clark. This comes on top of 300 jobs already cut last year. By the end of the four-year process, the agency could have 1,000 fewer staff than it had in 2013, and roughly 70% of those losses would be science positions.

2640

Capablanca-Fan
31-07-2014, 02:24 AM
and earlier this month...

Australian budget hits science jobs (http://www.nature.com/news/australian-budget-hits-science-jobs-1.15492)
Research-agency staff protest over slashed spending and concerns about country’s future research capability.
Leigh Dayton

Only the scientists on the politically motivated taxpayer-funded gravy train of globull warm-mongering. Real science should be fine.

Rincewind
31-07-2014, 11:31 AM
^^ Pontification by a guy who has never held a scientific position and whose scientific output would make him uncompetitive for a postdoctoral research position in most universities/research institutes.

Agent Smith
04-08-2014, 12:18 PM
The universe is an amazing place

The whopper sun emits light in similar wavelengths as our sun but its diameter is over 1300 times larger. That means it would engulf all the planets between Mercury and Jupiter if placed at the centre of our solar system
http://www.newscientist.com/data/images/ns/cms/dn25207/dn25207-1_480.jpg
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25207#.U97rpzkvDZ0

Capablanca-Fan
05-09-2014, 06:06 AM
RW is just an atheopath who happens to be a mathematician, not a scientist, who has been locked up in the ivory tower for so long that he can't imagine a career apart from it.

Capablanca-Fan
05-09-2014, 06:08 AM
How Good Is Your Science Knowledge? (http://quizdoo.com/how-good-is-your-science-knowledge/quiz16)
It's Science Time! Train Your Brain And Complete This Great Science Quiz!

I scored 15/15 of course.

antichrist
05-09-2014, 09:13 PM
How Good Is Your Science Knowledge? (http://quizdoo.com/how-good-is-your-science-knowledge/quiz16)
It's Science Time! Train Your Brain And Complete This Great Science Quiz!

I scored 15/15 of course.

I got 11/15 and I only did first year of high school science - so 15/15 for a science degree holder is a must and a disgrace if otherwise

Rincewind
06-09-2014, 02:47 PM
RW is just an atheopath who happens to be a mathematician, not a scientist, who has been locked up in the ivory tower for so long that he can't imagine a career apart from it.

Exactly how long is that Jono?

antichrist
06-09-2014, 02:52 PM
Exactly how long is that Jono?

Must be very long because ivory imports have been barred since about 1980

Rincewind
06-09-2014, 02:55 PM
Must be very long because ivory imports have been barred since about 1980

Only only began full time employment in academia in 2007 so no chance of having any ivory towers then. Before that I worked in IT for a range of companies across the heavy industry, power and finance sectors.

The only one with a detachment from reality is Jono who hasn't done an honest day's work in his life.

Capablanca-Fan
20-09-2014, 04:01 PM
Discovery Is Becoming More And More Ridiculous With Its Fake Documentaries (http://www.businessinsider.com/discovery-channels-fake-documentaries-2014-9)
BEN WINSOR, Business Insider, 18 Sept 2014

Despite widespread backlash over fake documentaries, supposedly educational networks are turning to them more and more in efforts to net viewers and in the process are making people dumber.

Last year's two-hour special on Discovery, called "Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives," convinced 70% of viewers that the giant prehistoric shark still existed even as outraged scientists insisted that the show was ludicrous and almost entirely fictional. It didn't help that Discovery made coy comments about the documentary being a legitimate contribution to scientific debate.

This summer, Discovery followed it up with "Megalodon: The New Evidence," which became the highest-rated episode of Shark Week with 4.8 million viewers.

The network recently also aired a fabricated documentary called "Shark of Darkness: Wrath of Submarine" and reportedly lied to scientists to get them to appear in another documentary, "Voodoo Sharks."

The similarly bunk "Russian Yeti: The Killer Lives" aired on the channel in early June. The special follows a filmmaker as he researches footage apparently showing the deaths of nine hikers killed in 1959, but perhaps the bigger mystery is how the doomed hikers got access to a high-quality digital camcorder in the late '50s.

Rincewind
20-09-2014, 04:42 PM
Psuedoscience entertainment is a gendre that Discovery Channel cover so mocumentaries like those of the cryptozoology type are hardly surprising. Discovery has long had a morbid fascination with sharks so the megalodon mocumentaries fits with what they air. Not sure what Ben Winsor is outraged at particularly since the Discovery is a corporation doing whatever it feels best to turn a profit. Yay for the invisible hand of the market!!!

Desmond
26-09-2014, 09:16 PM
How Good Is Your Science Knowledge? (http://quizdoo.com/how-good-is-your-science-knowledge/quiz16)
It's Science Time! Train Your Brain And Complete This Great Science Quiz!

I scored 15/15 of course.I got 14/15.

Re the Megalodon thing, it may have inspired this news satire which has been doing the rounds: http://www.snopes.com/media/notnews/giantshark.asp

antichrist
27-09-2014, 03:26 AM
Only only began full time employment in academia in 2007 so no chance of having any ivory towers then. Before that I worked in IT for a range of companies across the heavy industry, power and finance sectors.

The only one with a detachment from reality is Jono who hasn't done an honest day's work in his life.

I warn you to check out it may be a fake ivory tower. When attempting to purchase ivory chess sets in Honkers in about 1980 it was the bones of buffalo or something the cheaters - but I am not making any aspersions re your qualifications and career.

Capablanca-Fan
08-10-2014, 10:58 AM
The Nobel Prize in Physics 2014 (http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/2014/press.html)
Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, Shuji Nakamura

New light to illuminate the world

This year’s Nobel Laureates are rewarded for having invented a new energy-efficient and environment-friendly light source – the blue light-emitting diode (LED). In the spirit of Alfred Nobel the Prize rewards an invention of greatest benefit to mankind; using blue LEDs, white light can be created in a new way. With the advent of LED lamps we now have more long-lasting and more efficient alternatives to older light sources.

When Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura produced bright blue light beams from their semi-conductors in the early 1990s, they triggered a funda-mental transformation of lighting technology. Red and green diodes had been around for a long time but without blue light, white lamps could not be created. Despite considerable efforts, both in the scientific community and in industry, the blue LED had remained a challenge for three decades.

White LED lamps emit a bright white light, are long-lasting and energy-efficient. They are constantly improved, getting more efficient with higher luminous flux (measured in lumen) per unit electrical input power (measured in watt). The most recent record is just over 300 lm/W, which can be compared to 16 for regular light bulbs and close to 70 for fluorescent lamps. As about one fourth of world electricity consumption is used for lighting purposes, the LEDs contribute to saving the Earth’s resources. Materials consumption is also diminished as LEDs last up to 100,000 hours, compared to 1,000 for incandescent bulbs and 10,000 hours for fluorescent lights.

Adamski
08-10-2014, 11:01 AM
Indeed so, Capa Fan! BTW are all the different Nobel prize-winners announced at different times? Odd that they don't all occur at the same time. Know why?

Capablanca-Fan
22-10-2014, 01:18 AM
Indeed so, Capa Fan! BTW are all the different Nobel prize-winners announced at different times? Odd that they don't all occur at the same time. Know why?

The chemistry prize was also very worthy, although not as important for the general public as the physics prize. The chemistry prize was for an ingenious way to get around the diffraction limit for light microscopes:anything smaller than half the wavelength of the light cannot be resolved. So for green light of around 530 nm around the eye's peak sensitivity, objects smaller than about 265 nm can't be resolved (Abbe's Diffraction Limit). This is fine for human cells and even organelles, and for bacteria, but not for viruses and proteins. The prize-winning method was to use fluorescent markers with different colours or decay rates, and very fine-diameter laser beams to stimulate or quench these markers. Upon scanning, the information provided by these markers can be turned into an image with several times the resolution of the diffraction limit. So now, for example, proteins related to Huntingdon's Disease can be tracked. The technique is called Stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy, and here is one report (http://www.npr.org/2014/10/08/354511750/3-win-nobel-prize-in-chemistry).

Capablanca-Fan
22-10-2014, 01:22 AM
Science Left Behind: The Anti-Vaccine Update Update (http://www.science20.com/science_20/blog/science_left_behind_the_antivaccine_update_update-147218)
By Hank Campbell | 20 October 2014

Last week I did an update on the anti-vaccine situation in America compared to 2012 (http://www.science20.com/science_20/science_left_behind_2014_the_antivaccination_updat e-146746), when my book, Science Left Behind, was published. I noted that things have gotten better, primarily because people on the left have turned on those people on the left who make up the bulk of the anti-vaccine movement; primarily wealthy, progressive elites.

As I noted in my article, the most pro-vaccine states are solid Republican, but the issue is not Democrats, it is instead progressives, a specific sub-culture of Democrats who have a number of anti-science and social authoritarian beliefs. Maryland, I noted, is the most heavily Democratic continental U.S. state but their 1% exemption rate is not cause for a panic button. Instead, the states where progressives hold political and social control is where a lot of anti-science beliefs become common; Washington, Oregon, California, etc. That is why The New York Times can ridicule progressive California for its anti-science mentality without worrying about annoying its New York and eastern liberal readership; liberals agree that California progressives are all wrong on the issue.

What about those red states? Texas does have a lack of people being vaccinated, but defenders of anti-vaccine progressives are choosing to skew the statistics there. We want to think about people exempting their kids, not to try and claim that poor people whose children did not get a Hep B vaccine at 19 months of age is the same as Jenny McCarthy. Legitimate medical exemptions are why we want herd immunity for people will immune issues and Texas leads in those. California, on the other hand, has 8X as many 'philosophical' exemptions as Texas has medical ones. There is a big difference between a school-age child whose parents have chosen not to get a vaccine and an illegal immigrant or a poor person who cannot afford it.

Rincewind
22-10-2014, 08:41 AM
There is a big difference between a school-age child whose parents have chosen not to get a vaccine and an illegal immigrant or a poor person who cannot afford it.


There are also a lot of poor people and illegals in California but the point is still worth making. In Australia it is not the Labour or Green electorates which necessarily have low immunisation rates. In Sydney for example it is the affluent suburbs which tend to have lower immunisation rates and tend to vote LNP (although not exclusively). Manly Paddington, Annandale are mentioned here (http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/rich-suburbs-have-low-immunisation-rates-research-shows-20140326-35iy3.html).

Manly is the federal electorate of Warringah which is Tony Abbott's electorate.
Paddington is Wentworth which is Malcolm Turnbull's seat.
Only Annandale is split between the the Labour seats of Grayndler and Sydney.

Capablanca-Fan
03-11-2014, 01:58 PM
The Anti-Vaccination Epidemic (http://online.wsj.com/articles/paul-a-offit-the-anti-vaccination-epidemic-1411598408)
Whooping cough, mumps and measles are making an alarming comeback, thanks to seriously misguided parents. :wall::wall::wall:
Dr Paul Offit, a professor of pediatrics in the division of infectious diseases and director of the Vaccine Education Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Wall Street Journal, 24 September 2014

Almost 8,000 cases of pertussis, better known as whooping cough, have been reported to California's Public Health Department so far this year. More than 250 patients have been hospitalized, nearly all of them infants and young children, and 58 have required intensive care. Why is this preventable respiratory infection making a comeback? In no small part thanks to low vaccination rates, as a story earlier this month in the Hollywood Reporter pointed out.

Who is choosing not to vaccinate? The answer is surprising. The area with the most cases of whooping cough in California is Los Angeles County, and no group within that county has lower immunization rates than residents living between Malibu and Marina Del Rey, home to some of the wealthiest and most exclusive suburbs in the country. At the Kabbalah Children's Academy in Beverly Hills, 57% of children are unvaccinated. At the Waldorf Early Childhood Center in Santa Monica, it's 68%, according to the Hollywood Reporter's analysis of public-health data.

These are the kind of immunization rates that can be found in Chad or South Sudan. But parents in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica see vaccines as unnatural—something that conflicts with their healthy lifestyle. And they have no problem finding fringe pediatricians willing to cater to their irrational beliefs.

These parents are almost uniformly highly educated, but they are making an uneducated choice. It's also a dangerous choice: Children not vaccinated against whooping cough are 24 times more likely to catch the disease. Furthermore, about 500,000 people in the U.S. can't be vaccinated, either because they are receiving chemotherapy for cancer or immune-suppressive therapies for chronic diseases, or because they are too young. They depend on those around them to be vaccinated. Otherwise, they are often the first to suffer. And because no vaccine is 100% effective, everyone, even those who are vaccinated, is at some risk.

Parents might consider what has happened in other countries when large numbers of parents chose not to vaccinate their children. Japan, for example, which had virtually eliminated whooping cough by 1974, suffered an anti-vaccine activist movement that caused vaccine rates to fall to 10% in 1976 from 80% in 1974. In 1979, more than 13,000 cases of whooping cough and 41 deaths occurred as a result.

Another problem: We simply don't fear these diseases anymore. My parents' generation—children of the 1920s and 1930s—needed no convincing to vaccinate their children. They saw that whooping cough could kill as many as 8,000 babies a year. You didn't have to convince my generation—children of the 1950s and 1960s—to vaccinate our children. We had many of these diseases, like measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox. But young parents today don't see the effects of vaccine-preventable diseases and they didn't grow up with them. For them, vaccination has become an act of faith.

antichrist
06-11-2014, 04:35 PM
The Anti-Vaccination Epidemic (http://online.wsj.com/articles/paul-a-offit-the-anti-vaccination-epidemic-1411598408)
Whooping cough, mumps and measles are making an alarming comeback, thanks to seriously misguided parents. :wall::wall::wall:
Dr Paul Offit, a professor of pediatrics in the division of infectious diseases and director of the Vaccine Education Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Wall Street Journal, 24 September 2014..............................


Well Jono those parents non vaccinating remind me of yourself turning your back on the science of evolution and climate change

Rincewind
13-11-2014, 10:47 AM
Rosetta spacecraft: Europe makes space history as Philae probe lands on comet surface (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-13/rosettas-philae-probe-touches-down-on-comets-surface/5887210)

Scientists have successfully landed a probe on the surface of a comet in an historic first for space exploration, the European Space Agency (ESA) says.

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta/Philae_comet_touch-down_webcast

Adamski
13-11-2014, 11:26 AM
Rosetta spacecraft: Europe makes space history as Philae probe lands on comet surface (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-13/rosettas-philae-probe-touches-down-on-comets-surface/5887210)

Scientists have successfully landed a probe on the surface of a comet in an historic first for space exploration, the European Space Agency (ESA) says.

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta/Philae_comet_touch-down_webcastThat is quite an achievement.

Agent Smith
13-12-2014, 11:25 AM
Yah... pretty amazing. The early examinations of deuterium isotopes are giving them hints about the origin of water on earth.
http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/12/early-rosetta-data-causes-rethink-of-where-earth-got-its-water/
But i think this interesting. Using "uranium-lead dating of zircons" in India to accurately date volcanic rocks,
they seem to indicate volcanism *and* an asteroid impact, made extinct the dinosaurs "that we don't currently refer to as birds"
http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/12/massive-volcanic-eruptions-set-the-stage-for-dinosaurs-demise/

Desmond
28-12-2014, 04:21 PM
Neil deGrasse Tyson causes a stir with Christmas tweet
(http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/neil-degrasse-tyson-causes-a-stir-with-christmas-tweet-20141227-12eirc.html)
On this day long ago, a child was born who, by age 30, would transform the world. Happy Birthday Isaac Newton b. Dec 25, 1642

Agent Smith
28-12-2014, 05:50 PM
Tyson, who has more than 2.5 million Twitter followers ....

Merry Christmas to all. A Pagan holiday (BC) becomes a Religious holiday (AD). Which then becomes a Shopping holiday (USA)

Ian Murray
29-12-2014, 03:27 PM
Neil deGrasse Tyson causes a stir with Christmas tweet
(http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/neil-degrasse-tyson-causes-a-stir-with-christmas-tweet-20141227-12eirc.html)
On this day long ago, a child was born who, by age 30, would transform the world. Happy Birthday Isaac Newton b. Dec 25, 1642

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains His Controversial Christmas Day Tweet (http://www.businessinsider.com.au/neil-degrasse-tysons-tweets-2014-12)


...Everybody knows that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25th. I think fewer people know that Isaac Newton shares the same birthday. Christmas day in England – 1642. And perhaps even fewer people know that before he turned 30, Newton had discovered the laws of motion, the universal law of gravitation, and invented integral and differential calculus. All of which served as the mechanistic foundation for the industrial revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries that would forever transform the world.

My sense in this case is that the high rate of re-tweeting, is not to share my enthusiasm of this fact, but is driven by accusations that the tweet is somehow anti-Christian. If a person actually wanted to express anti-Christian sentiment, my guess is that alerting people of Isaac Newton’s birthday would appear nowhere on the list...

Capablanca-Fan
31-12-2014, 01:57 PM
It is also notable that Newton wrote even more about theology than science, and thought his greatest work was an exposition of the prophecy of Daniel. He saw the solar system as evidence of the biblical God:


This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent Being. … This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called “Lord God” Παντοκράτωρ [Pantokratōr cf. 2 Corinthians 6:18], or “Universal Ruler”. … The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect. (Principia, Book III; cited in; Newton’s Philosophy of Nature: Selections from his writings, p. 42, ed. H.S. Thayer, Hafner Library of Classics, NY, 1953.)

Further, he was scathing of the atheism that dominates so much of academia today:


Opposition to godliness is atheism in profession and idolatry in practice. Atheism is so senseless and odious to mankind that it never had many professors. (A Short Scheme of the True Religion, manuscript quoted in Memoirs of the Life, Writings and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton, p. 347, by Sir David Brewster, Edinburgh, 1855.)

Also, despite accusations to the contrary, Newton was a confirmed Trinitarian, despite not being able to assent to all of Anglican doctrine. Newton actually denied arguments for the Trinity from dubiously attested biblical texts, such as the Johannine Comma in 1 John 5:7. Most informed Trinitarians today would agree that the texts are dubious. A very detailed defense of Newton’s Trinitarianism is Van Alan Herd, The theology of Sir Isaac Newton (http://gradworks.umi.com/3304232.pdf), Doctoral Dissertation, University of Oklahoma, 2008. This documents much evidence, including Newton’s words refuting tritheism and affirming Trinitarian monotheism, e.g.:


That to say there is but one God, ye father of all things, excludes not the son & Holy ghost from the Godhead becaus they are virtually conteined & implied in the father. … To apply ye name of God to ye Son or holy ghost as distinct persons from the father makes them not divers Gods from ye Father. … Soe there is divinity in ye father, divinity in ye Son, & divinity in ye holy ghost, & yet they are not thre forces but one force.

The argument against Newton is like someone 300 years from now citing CMI’s page ‘Arguments we think creationists should NOT use (http://creation.com/arguments-we-think-creationists-should-not-use)’ and claiming that CMI is anti-creationist.

Capablanca-Fan
31-12-2014, 02:00 PM
The likely origin of 25 Dec, i.e. the Jewish integral year tradition, that a prophet would die on the anniversary of his conception so he would live an exact number of years. This which makes the most sense (most Christians are not dogmatic on the date):

How December 25 Became Christmas (http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/new-testament/how-december-25-became-christmas/)
Andrew McGowan, Biblical Archaeology Review , 08/12/2014

The most loudly touted theory about the origins of the Christmas date(s) is that it was borrowed from pagan celebrations. The Romans had their mid-winter Saturnalia festival in late December; barbarian peoples of northern and western Europe kept holidays at similar times. To top it off, in 274 C.E., the Roman emperor Aurelian established a feast of the birth of Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun), on December 25. Christmas, the argument goes, is really a spin-off from these pagan solar festivals. According to this theory, early Christians deliberately chose these dates to encourage the spread of Christmas and Christianity throughout the Roman world: If Christmas looked like a pagan holiday, more pagans would be open to both the holiday and the God whose birth it celebrated.

Despite its popularity today, this theory of Christmas’s origins has its problems. It is not found in any ancient Christian writings, for one thing. Christian authors of the time do note a connection between the solstice and Jesus’ birth: The church father Ambrose (c. 339–397), for example, described Christ as the true sun, who outshone the fallen gods of the old order. But early Christian writers never hint at any recent calendrical engineering; they clearly don’t think the date was chosen by the church. Rather they see the coincidence as a providential sign, as natural proof that God had selected Jesus over the false pagan gods.
It’s not until the 12th century that we find the first suggestion that Jesus’ birth celebration was deliberately set at the time of pagan feasts.

Around 200 C.E. Tertullian of Carthage reported the calculation that the 14th of Nisan (the day of the crucifixion according to the Gospel of John) in the year Jesus died was equivalent to March 25 in the Roman (solar) calendar. March 25 is, of course, nine months before December 25; it was later recognized as the Feast of the Annunciation—the commemoration of Jesus’ conception. Thus, Jesus was believed to have been conceived and crucified on the same day of the year. Exactly nine months later, Jesus was born, on December 25.

This idea appears in an anonymous Christian treatise titled On Solstices and Equinoxes, which appears to come from fourth-century North Africa. The treatise states: “Therefore our Lord was conceived on the eighth of the kalends of April in the month of March [March 25], which is the day of the passion of the Lord and of his conception. For on that day he was conceived on the same he suffered.”

Based on this, the treatise dates Jesus’ birth to the winter solstice.
Augustine, too, was familiar with this association. In On the Trinity (c. 399–419) he writes: “For he [Jesus] is believed to have been conceived on the 25th of March, upon which day also he suffered; so the womb of the Virgin, in which he was conceived, where no one of mortals was begotten, corresponds to the new grave in which he was buried, wherein was never man laid, neither before him nor since. But he was born, according to tradition, upon December the 25th.””

Rincewind
01-01-2015, 10:01 PM
Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains His Controversial Christmas Day Tweet (http://www.businessinsider.com.au/neil-degrasse-tysons-tweets-2014-12)


...Everybody knows that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25th. I think fewer people know that Isaac Newton shares the same birthday. Christmas day in England – 1642. And perhaps even fewer people know that before he turned 30, Newton had discovered the laws of motion, the universal law of gravitation, and invented integral and differential calculus. All of which served as the mechanistic foundation for the industrial revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries that would forever transform the world.

My sense in this case is that the high rate of re-tweeting, is not to share my enthusiasm of this fact, but is driven by accusations that the tweet is somehow anti-Christian. If a person actually wanted to express anti-Christian sentiment, my guess is that alerting people of Isaac Newton’s birthday would appear nowhere on the list...

Note that at the time of Newton England had not yet adopted the Gregorian calendar and so the New Style (and more relevant to today's calendar) date for the birth of Newton is 4th January.

Capablanca-Fan
09-01-2015, 01:07 AM
How academia's liberal bias is killing social science (http://theweek.com/article/index/273736/how-academias-liberal-bias-is-killing-social-science)
A blockbuster new report includes some unsettling revelations
By Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, The Week, 17 December 2014

I have had the following experience more than once: I am speaking with a professional academic who is a liberal. The subject of the underrepresentation of conservatives in academia comes up. My interlocutor admits that this is indeed a reality, but says the reason why conservatives are underrepresented in academia is because they don't want to be there, or they're just not smart enough to cut it. I say: "That's interesting. For which other underrepresented groups do you think that's true?" An uncomfortable silence follows.

I point this out not to score culture-war points, but because it's actually a serious problem. Social sciences and humanities cannot be completely divorced from the philosophy of those who practice it. And groupthink causes some questions not to be asked, and some answers not to be overly scrutinized. It is making our science worse. Anyone who cares about the advancement of knowledge and science should care about this problem.

That's why I was very gratified to read this very enlightening draft paper (http://the-good-news.storage.googleapis.com/assets/pdf/psychology-political-diversity.pdf) written by a number of social psychologists on precisely this topic, attacking the lack of political diversity in their profession and calling for reform. For those who have the time and care about academia, the whole thing (http://the-good-news.storage.googleapis.com/assets/pdf/psychology-political-diversity.pdf) truly makes for enlightening reading. The main author of the paper is Jonathan Haidt, well known for his Moral Foundations Theory (and a self-described liberal, if you care to know).

They start by debunking published (and often well-publicized) social psychology findings that seem to suggest moral or intellectual superiority on the part of liberals over conservatives, which smartly serves to debunk both the notion that social psychology is bereft of conservatives because they're not smart enough to cut it, and that groupthink doesn't produce shoddy science. For example, a study that sought to show that conservatives reach their beliefs only through denying reality achieved that result by describing ideological liberal beliefs as "reality," surveying people on whether they agreed with them, and then concluding that those who disagree with them are in denial of reality — and lo, people in that group are much more likely to be conservative! This has nothing to do with science, and yet in a field with such groupthink, it can get published in peer-reviewed journals and passed off as "science," complete with a Vox stenographic exercise at the end of the rainbow. A field where this is possible is in dire straits indeed.

The study also goes over many data points that suggest discrimination against conservatives in social psychology. For example, at academic conferences, the number of self-reported conservatives by a show of hands is even lower than the already low numbers in online surveys, suggesting that conservative social psychologists are afraid of identifying as such in front of their colleagues. The authors say they have all heard groups of social psychologists make jokes at the expense of conservatives — not just at bars, but from the pulpits of academic conferences. (This probably counts as micro-aggression.)

The authors also drop this bombshell: In one survey they conducted of academic social psychologists, "82 percent admitted that they would be at least a little bit prejudiced against a conservative [job] candidate." Eighty-two percent! It's often said discrimination works through unconscious bias, but here 82 percent even have conscious bias.

The authors also submitted different test studies to different peer-review boards. The methodology was identical, and the variable was that the purported findings either went for, or against, the liberal worldview (for example, one found evidence of discrimination against minority groups, and another found evidence of "reverse discrimination" against straight white males). Despite equal methodological strengths, the studies that went against the liberal worldview were criticized and rejected, and those that went with it were not.

Rincewind
09-01-2015, 10:06 AM
I assume there might be some truth to it in American Social Sciences. I think the headline in misleading since it is claiming a wider bias than supported by the evidence being discussed. Certainly it doesn't seem to be too much of a problem from people I've interacted with in the Physical Sciences, Engineering and the Professions. Even social sciences in Australia might be less biased as certainly my philosophy professor as an undergraduate was a staunch conservative. Another inoculation to this sort of bias is that in the Physical Sciences and Engineering, while undesirable, it probably doesn't matter too much even if there was a political bias. It is only an major issue for the less quantitative sciences.

Capablanca-Fan
09-01-2015, 01:03 PM
I assume there might be some truth to it in American Social Sciences. I think the headline in misleading since it is claiming a wider bias than supported by the evidence being discussed. Certainly it doesn't seem to be too much of a problem from people I've interacted with in the Physical Sciences, Engineering and the Professions. Even social sciences in Australia might be less biased as certainly my philosophy professor as an undergraduate was a staunch conservative. Another inoculation to this sort of bias is that in the Physical Sciences and Engineering, while undesirable, it probably doesn't matter too much even if there was a political bias. It is only an major issue for the less quantitative sciences.

I think you are right. The physical sciences are not such a problem, and I think Kiwi and Aussie unis in general aren't as bad as the Yankee ones.

antichrist
09-01-2015, 08:12 PM
.........The authors also drop this bombshell: In one survey they conducted of academic social psychologists, "82 percent admitted that they would be at least a little bit prejudiced against a conservative [job] candidate." Eighty-two percent! It's often said discrimination works through unconscious bias, but here 82 percent even have conscious bias......

AC: Okay they were a little bit prejudiced, but religious schools can outright make it impossible for differing employees via campaigning for anti-discrimination laws not apply to them.

Capablanca-Fan
08-04-2015, 04:35 AM
Brontosaurus is back! Brontosaurus is a unique genus after all (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150407085256.htm)
Science Daily, 7 April 2015

Summary:
Although well known as one of the most iconic dinosaurs, Brontosaurus (the 'thunder lizard') has long been considered misclassified. Since 1903, the scientific community has believed that the genus Brontosaurus was in fact the Apatosaurus. Now, an exhaustive new study by palaeontologists from Portugal and the UK provides conclusive evidence that Brontosaurus is distinct from Apatosaurus and as such can now be reinstated as its own unique genus.

Rincewind
08-04-2015, 12:39 PM
Bully for Brontosaurus.

Impressively the Wikipedia entry for Diplodocid (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplodocid) is already showing both genus.

Rincewind
09-04-2015, 05:24 PM
The first sentence in the previous post was a reference to a Stephen Jay Gould esay written 25 years ago when it was though Apatosaurus and Brontosaurus were the one Genus (Apatosaurus). The USPO released a series of stamps with a dinosaur theme including one Brontosaurus stamp that ignited a minor brouhaha. The essay was Gould's take on the controversy and also includes some interesting historical point and well worth reading (again). Some pertinent quotes...


I regret to report that the issue could hardly be more trivial--for the dispute is only about names, not about things. The empirical question was settled to everyone's satisfaction in 1903.
...

Apatosaurus means "deceptive lizard"; Brontosaurus means "thunder lizard"--a far, far better name (but appropriateness, alas, as we have seen, counts for nothing). They have deceived us; we brontophiles have been outmanoeuvred. Oh well, graciousness in defeat before all (every bit as important as dignity, if not an aspect thereof). I retreat, not with a bang of thunder, but with a whimper of hope that rectification may someday arise from the ashes of my stamp album.

-- Stephen Jay Gould, "Bully for Brontosaurus", Natural History, Feb 1990.

antichrist
09-04-2015, 09:27 PM
This deception reminds me of that religious scientist who substituted a more modern skeleton, as the missing link or something. Must be on Jono's site somewhere

Agent Smith
20-05-2015, 08:28 AM
Current Scientific American has a seemingly creditable theory that (as a resolution of Quantum Physics and Relativity) Black Holes are bordered by "Rings of Fire" and mark the end of space
http://www.nature.com/scientificamerican/journal/v312/n4/images/scientificamerican0415-36-I3.jpg
I have a print copy. Dunno if it's online anywhere.

Capablanca-Fan
30-05-2015, 01:22 AM
What is medicine’s 5 sigma? (http://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140-6736%2815%2960696-1.pdf)
Richard Horton, The Lancet 385:1380, 11 April 2015

“A lot of what is published is incorrect.”

The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness. As one participant put it, “poor methods get results”. The Academy of Medical Sciences, Medical Research Council, and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council have now put their reputational weight behind an investigation into these questionable research practices.

The apparent endemicity of bad research behaviour is alarming. In their quest for telling a compelling story, scientists too often sculpt data to fit their preferred theory of the world. Or they retrofit hypotheses to fit their data. Journal editors deserve their fair share of criticism too. We aid and abet the worst behaviours. Our acquiescence to the impact factor fuels an unhealthy competition to win a place in a select few journals. Our love of “significance” pollutes the literature with many a statistical fairy-tale. We reject important confirmations. Journals are not the only miscreants.

Universities are in a perpetual struggle for money and talent, endpoints that foster reductive metrics, such as high-impact publication. National assessment procedures, such as the Research Excellence Framework, incentivise bad practices.

Can bad scientific practices be fixed? Part of the problem is that no-one is incentivised to be right. Instead, scientists are incentivised to be productive and innovative.

Weidberg worried we set the bar for results in biomedicine far too low. In particle physics, signifi cance is set at 5 sigma—a p value of 3×10–7 or 1 in 3·5 million (if the result is not true, this is the
probability that the data would have been as extreme as they are).

The good news is that science is beginning to take some of its worst failings very seriously. The bad news is that nobody is ready to take the first step to clean up the system.

Rincewind
30-05-2015, 01:08 PM
This is nothing new and tends to be discipline specific. Medicine has been poor and that explains the editorial in the Lancet.

The issue of results driven university management is completely different. It does lead to practices which are less than optimal but results from financial pressures. Everyone wants to be the clever country, no one wants to spend money on tertiary education or research and development. Instead the government push the universities for "efficiencies" and in many cases these lead to greater inefficiencies and increasing the overall cost to society. The trouble is free-market libertarians have their heads too far up their own backsides to realise.

Rincewind
30-05-2015, 01:32 PM
This story was a few months ago but it bears remembering...

Imperial College professor Stefan Grimm ‘was given grant income target’ (https://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/imperial-college-professor-stefan-grimm-was-given-grant-income-target/2017369.article)

A researcher at Imperial College London who was found dead in September had been told he was “struggling to fulfil the metrics” of a professorial post at the institution.

Capablanca-Fan
03-06-2015, 06:21 AM
I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss. Here's How. (http://io9.com/i-fooled-millions-into-thinking-chocolate-helps-weight-1707251800)
John Bohannon, 27 May 2015

“Slim by Chocolate!” the headlines blared. A team of German researchers had found that people on a low-carb diet lost weight 10 percent faster if they ate a chocolate bar every day. It made the front page of Bild, Europe’s largest daily newspaper, just beneath their update about the Germanwings crash. From there, it ricocheted around the internet and beyond, making news in more than 20 countries and half a dozen languages. It was discussed on television news shows. It appeared in glossy print, most recently in the June issue of Shape magazine (“Why You Must Eat Chocolate Daily,” page 128). Not only does chocolate accelerate weight loss, the study found, but it leads to healthier cholesterol levels and overall increased well-being. The Bild story quotes the study’s lead author, Johannes Bohannon, Ph.D., research director of the Institute of Diet and Health: “The best part is you can buy chocolate everywhere.”

I am Johannes Bohannon, Ph.D. Well, actually my name is John, and I’m a journalist. I do have a Ph.D., but it’s in the molecular biology of bacteria, not humans. The Institute of Diet and Health (http://instituteofdiet.com/)? That’s nothing more than a website.

Other than those fibs, the study was 100 percent authentic. My colleagues and I recruited actual human subjects in Germany. We ran an actual clinical trial, with subjects randomly assigned to different diet regimes. And the statistically significant benefits of chocolate that we reported are based on the actual data. It was, in fact, a fairly typical study for the field of diet research. Which is to say: It was terrible science. The results are meaningless, and the health claims that the media blasted out to millions of people around the world are utterly unfounded.

The Hook

I know what you’re thinking. The study did show accelerated weight loss in the chocolate group—shouldn’t we trust it? Isn’t that how science works?

Here’s a dirty little science secret: If you measure a large number of things about a small number of people, you are almost guaranteed to get a “statistically significant” result. Our study included 18 different measurements—weight, cholesterol, sodium, blood protein levels, sleep quality, well-being, etc.—from 15 people. (One subject was dropped.) That study design is a recipe for false positives.

our study was doomed by the tiny number of subjects, which amplifies the effects of uncontrolled factors. Just to take one example: A woman’s weight can fluctuate as much as 5 pounds over the course of her menstrual cycle, far greater than the weight difference between our chocolate and low-carb groups. Which is why you need to use a large number of people, and balance age and gender across treatment groups. (We didn’t bother.)

The only problem with the diet science beat is that it’s science. You have to know how to read a scientific paper—and actually bother to do it. For far too long, the people who cover this beat have treated it like gossip, echoing whatever they find in press releases. Hopefully our little experiment will make reporters and readers alike more skeptical.

If a study doesn’t even list how many people took part in it, or makes a bold diet claim that’s “statistically significant” but doesn’t say how big the effect size is, you should wonder why. But for the most part, we don’t. Which is a pity, because journalists are becoming the de facto peer review system. And when we fail, the world is awash in junk science.

Rincewind
03-06-2015, 04:31 PM
This is a good story and shows how unprepared the general media are to judge scientific results. However what Bohannon did was not particularly difficult and so didn't really uncover a flaw with science just highlighted a shortcoming in the interface between science and the media. In the case the media he fooled were not even the science savvy media but the low end of the market. Sure they have a big distribution but they are pretty uncritical of any story they publish, not just science coverage.

Capablanca-Fan
11-06-2015, 05:03 AM
Many religious people view science favorably, but reject certain scientific theories (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150129093903.htm)
Science Daily, 29 January 2015

Summary:
A new study finds that many U.S. adults -- roughly one in five -- are deeply religious, know a lot about science, and support many practical uses of science and technology in everyday life, but reject scientific explanations of creation and evolution.

"We were surprised to find that many people who are knowledgeable about science and appreciative of its practical uses reject certain well-established scientific theories," said Timothy L. O'Brien, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Evansville and the lead author of the study, which appears in the February issue of the American Sociological Review.

"This finding is particularly interesting because these people who view both science and religion favorably -- people who hold what we call a post-secular perspective -- have relatively high levels of education and income, and many social scientists assume that high levels of education and income, as well as positive views of science are incompatible with religiosity."

But, O'Brien said the study calls that "common assumption" into question. "We find that many highly educated, well-informed, religious individuals accept scientific theories about topics such as geology, radioactivity, planetary motion, genetics, and probability while rejecting mainstream scientific accounts of evolution and the big bang," he said.

Adamski
11-06-2015, 08:54 AM
From Jono's last post I am in that one in five.

Rincewind
11-06-2015, 11:39 AM
I have a slightly nitpicking point that probability is not a scientific theory.

The the cultural cognitive dissonance is an interesting phenomenon and I suspect only significantly present in mainland US.

Patrick Byrom
12-06-2015, 12:24 AM
I have a slightly nitpicking point that probability is not a scientific theory. The the cultural cognitive dissonance is an interesting phenomenon and I suspect only significantly present in mainland US.
I think epistemic closure is a better term (apologies to any philosophers reading this!). As Paul Krugman describes it (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/30/notes-on-epistemic-closure/?_r=0):
The point isn’t just that right-wingers believe in their own reality, but that they don’t think it matters that other people have different versions of reality. And no, this isn’t symmetric: liberals don’t consider it unnecessary to know what conservatives are thinking, or dismiss actually influential figures as marginal. Liberal may despise Rush Limbaugh, but they won’t dismiss him as a marginal figure nobody listens to.

Capablanca-Fan has exactly this reaction to Paul Krugman himself :wall:

But this ignorance can only be maintained for so long, of course. No matter how much conservatives ignored Nate Silver, he did a much better job than any conservative pollster. And no matter how much YECs claim to reject conventional geology, they never try to use their own theories to find oil.

Capablanca-Fan
12-06-2015, 02:41 AM
I think epistemic closure is a better term (apologies to any philosophers reading this!). As Paul Krugman describes it (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/30/notes-on-epistemic-closure/?_r=0):
The point isn’t just that right-wingers believe in their own reality, but that they don’t think it matters that other people have different versions of reality. And no, this isn’t symmetric: liberals don’t consider it unnecessary to know what conservatives are thinking, or dismiss actually influential figures as marginal. Liberal may despise Rush Limbaugh, but they won’t dismiss him as a marginal figure nobody listens to.

The exact opposite is true. Many in the mainstream media don't even know any Christians or conservatives; students never hear conservative professors or commencement speakers, while conservatives hear leftardism in the media, Hollywood, and the educracy.


Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.
William F. Buckley, Jr. [‘Liberal’ is American for ‘leftard’]


Capablanca-Fan has exactly this reaction to Paul Krugman himself :wall:
Of course. He was once an economics scholar, but is now just a Democrat blowhard at the Stalin-whitewashing rag, the New York Slimes (http://www.ukemonde.com/news/usefulidiot.html).


But this ignorance can only be maintained for so long, of course. No matter how much conservatives ignored Nate Silver, he did a much better job than any conservative pollster.
Makes a change. Compare the recent UK election polls that so underestimated the Tories (http://www.nature.com/news/why-the-polls-got-the-uk-election-wrong-1.17511).


And no matter how much YECs claim to reject conventional geology, they never try to use their own theories to find oil.
Of course they do; there are YECs in the oil industry. What matters is certain rock formations, not how long ago they were formed.

Patrick Byrom
12-06-2015, 01:31 PM
Makes a change. Compare the recent UK election polls that so underestimated the Tories (http://www.nature.com/news/why-the-polls-got-the-uk-election-wrong-1.17511).
Which is irrelevant to the point I made that Nate Silver accurately predicted the results of the US election, while 'Unskewed Polls' didn't. In the UK election, everyone got it wrong.


Of course they do; there are YECs in the oil industry. What matters is certain rock formations, not how long ago they were formed.
And this is how YECs (especially Capablanca-Fan) deal with information that doesn't fit their world view. I didn't say that there were no YECs in the oil industry; I said that nobody uses YEC geology to find oil - not exactly the same thing! If the geological theory used makes no difference (it does, of course), then why don't they use YEC geology?

Can Capablanca-Fan name one oil company that uses YEC geology to find oil?

Kevin Bonham
12-06-2015, 09:55 PM
Which is irrelevant to the point I made that Nate Silver accurately predicted the results of the US election, while 'Unskewed Polls' didn't. In the UK election, everyone got it wrong.

Not quite everyone:

http://www.ncpolitics.uk/2015/05/shy-tory-factor-2015.html/

What happened in the UK is the exception though, whereas what happened in the US (twice in a row) is pretty much the norm. And Silver's methods also predicted the Dems' poor showing in the midterms.

Johns
13-06-2015, 09:27 PM
Many religious people view science favorably, but reject certain scientific theories (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150129093903.htm)
Science Daily, 29 January 2015

Summary:
A new study finds that many U.S. adults -- roughly one in five -- are deeply religious, know a lot about science, and support many practical uses of science and technology in everyday life, but reject scientific explanations of creation and evolution.

"We were surprised to find that many people who are knowledgeable about science and appreciative of its practical uses reject certain well-established scientific theories," said Timothy L. O'Brien, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Evansville and the lead author of the study, which appears in the February issue of the American Sociological Review.

"This finding is particularly interesting because these people who view both science and religion favorably -- people who hold what we call a post-secular perspective -- have relatively high levels of education and income, and many social scientists assume that high levels of education and income, as well as positive views of science are incompatible with religiosity."

But, O'Brien said the study calls that "common assumption" into question. "We find that many highly educated, well-informed, religious individuals accept scientific theories about topics such as geology, radioactivity, planetary motion, genetics, and probability while rejecting mainstream scientific accounts of evolution and the big bang," he said.

I see you pick your fact very carefully to make you arguments. You did not show this

Abstract

Using General Social Survey data, we examine perspectives on science and religion in the United States. Latent class analysis reveals three groups based on knowledge and attitudes about science, religiosity, and preferences for certain religious interpretations of the world. The traditional perspective (43 percent) is marked by a preference for religion compared to science; the modern perspective (36 percent) holds the opposite view. A third perspective, which we call post-secular (21 percent), views both science and religion favorably. However, when faced with competing accounts of events such as creation and evolution, post-seculars root their views in religion rather than in mainstream science. Regression models indicate that perspectives on science and religion do not simply mirror other denominational or ideological differences. Furthermore, religio-scientific perspectives shape attitudes about political issues where scientific and some religious communities diverge, including on abortion rights and stem cell research. Overall, most individuals favor either scientific or religious ways of understanding, but many scientifically inclined individuals prefer certain religious accounts. This suggests that public divisions related to science and religion are cultural and epistemological. This article underscores the complexity of the boundary between reason and faith and highlights the roots of political conflict in perspectives on science and religion in the United States.
http://asr.sagepub.com/content/80/1/92

Capablanca-Fan
14-06-2015, 04:22 PM
Which is irrelevant to the point I made that Nate Silver accurately predicted the results of the US election, while 'Unskewed Polls' didn't. In the UK election, everyone got it wrong.
Perfectly relevant. Nate Silver is a real pollster, while most of the media are partisan leftist hacks. Other polls that were quite good were Intrade, because people were ricking their own money. KB is a real psephologist so his predictions are worth heeding. In the UK, they badly underestimated the Tory vote, so it's not unreasonable to wonder if the US media are doing the same for the Republican vote, since they are blatantly in the tank for the Democrats.


And this is how YECs (especially Capablanca-Fan) deal with information that doesn't fit their world view. I didn't say that there were no YECs in the oil industry; I said that nobody uses YEC geology to find oil - not exactly the same thing! If the geological theory used makes no difference (it does, of course), then why don't they use YEC geology?
They use stratigraphy, geochemistry, magnetic and gravitational analysis, drill cores, seismic wave studies, none of which require uniformitarianism.

Capablanca-Fan
14-06-2015, 04:24 PM
I see you pick your fact very carefully to make you arguments. You did not show this
And your point is, what? I pasted the first few paragraphs of the article, which is common practice.

Patrick Byrom
14-06-2015, 05:32 PM
Perfectly relevant. Nate Silver is a real pollster, while most of the media are partisan leftist hacks. Other polls that were quite good were Intrade, because people were ricking their own money. KB is a real psephologist so his predictions are worth heeding. In the UK, they badly underestimated the Tory vote, so it's not unreasonable to wonder if the US media are doing the same for the Republican vote, since they are blatantly in the tank for the Democrats.

They use stratigraphy, geochemistry, magnetic and gravitational analysis, drill cores, seismic wave studies, none of which require uniformitarianism.

I didn't say that conservatives ignored the US media, I said that they ignored Nate Silver, who had an excellent record in predicting US elections. And I claimed that no oil company uses YEC geology, while Capablanca-Fan is simply saying that oil companies use methods common to both theories. But there are methods used by oil companies that wouldn't work if YEC geology was correct (http://ageofrocks.org/2015/02/08/can-young-earth-creationists-find-oil/).

I'm sure Capablanca-Fan will disagree with my reference. So can he name an oil company that explicitly uses YEC geology to find oil? And surely one of those many YECs working for oil companies would have a publication showing how he located oil using YEC geology :)

In both cases, Capablanca-Fan was unable to refute what I actually said, so he substituted a straw man to knock down instead :P


There was a somewhat lively discussion on Thomas Aquinas' Angelology in the Shoutbox. As some of the discussion is worth preserving I have captured what I thought were the salient posts. Future commentary should really be made here for the sake of posterity and not re-inventing the wheel if the argument comes up again...
[13-06, 06:42] Capablanca-Fan: Yes, leftists can't refute what conservatives actually say, but knock down straw men instead. ...

Capablanca-Fan
15-06-2015, 01:17 PM
I didn't say that conservatives ignored the US media, I said that they ignored Nate Silver, who had an excellent record in predicting US elections.
He does now. And as we saw from the UK, not all polling is as good as his.


And I claimed that no oil company uses YEC geology, while Capablanca-Fan is simply saying that oil companies use methods common to both theories.
Which is true, and what matters.


But there are methods used by oil companies that wouldn't work if YEC geology was correct (http://ageofrocks.org/2015/02/08/can-young-earth-creationists-find-oil/).
A lot of assumptions there, including uniformitarianism: presupposing that the temperatures have been at current levels for millions of years, then using that to prove the same. Dr Snelling, criticised on this blog, is more qualified in geology than the critic.

Kevin Bonham
15-06-2015, 01:29 PM
For the record, Nate Silver isn't a pollster at all - he's a psephologist, aggregating polls done by others to attempt to predict outcomes and making judgements about which polls are accurate, which are skewed, which should be weighted the highest (etc). This has worked very well for him in the US but like a lot of us his power seems to reduce further away from home.

Patrick Byrom
15-06-2015, 06:23 PM
He does now.Actually he had an excellent record before the 2012 US election, making extremely accurate predictions in the 2008 election. Only epistemic closure can explain why conservatives ignored his predictions for the 2012 election (which also were extremely accurate). The 2015 UK elections are irrelevant.


A lot of assumptions there, including uniformitarianism: presupposing that the temperatures have been at current levels for millions of years, then using that to prove the same. Dr Snelling, criticised on this blog, is more qualified in geology than the critic.He is not using uniformitarianism to prove uniformitarianism; he is describing how oil companies use uniformitarianism to find oil (http://ageofrocks.org/2015/02/08/can-young-earth-creationists-find-oil/):

In general, I actually agree with Ham’s position here, because accepting the tenets of YEC is often inconsequential to how one practices science in unrelated fields. Not so in geology, and in this case, he gets very specific and makes a grave error. Dr. Snelling writes:

Successful oil…exploration and discoveries do not depend on believing the strata are millions of years old. In fact, the supposed ages are irrelevant, both to the exploration techniques used and to successful discoveries. (emphasis mine)

Contrary to Snelling’s claim, the actual age of geologic formations—millions to billions of years—is very important to modeling whether or not they could have produced usable oil and gas, for the same reason that you set a timer on the oven.


Of course, as Rincewind pointed out, Snelling doesn't actually attempt to apply the YEC geology he claims to believe in :)

Obviously he realises that it doesn't work in practice, despite what he claims as a YEC. And, as I've documented, oil companies rely on the assumption that the Earth is much older than 10 000 years when they are locating oil. No amount of epistemic closure by Capablanca-Fan can change this fact.

Johns
18-06-2015, 04:38 PM
And your point is, what? I pasted the first few paragraphs of the article, which is common practice.
You did not try to find the real point of the article in the abstract. I have heard that called cherry picking. Maybe cherry picking is as you say common practise but I call it not truthful talking.

Kevin Bonham
20-06-2015, 11:47 AM
Posts moved

I've decided that posts discussing Wikipedia hoaxing and quality control deserve their own thread as it is a commonly discussed issue here and is hardly science-specific.

New thread may be found here: http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?15982-Hoaxing-and-quality-control-on-Wikipedia

Of course comments about quality of Wikipedia material will come up from time to time on other threads and will not necessarily be moved to the new one.

Ian Murray
14-07-2015, 08:25 PM
I just happen to be reading Icehenge by Kim Stanley Robinson as Pluto is currently in the news:

Pluto Comes Into Focus (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/14/opinion/pluto-comes-into-focus.html?emc=edit_th_20150714&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=72214258)
Prof Jay Pasachoff
Op-Ed, New York Times
13 July 2015

LAKE TEKAPO, New Zealand — TWENTY-FOUR hours before showtime our prospects looked bleak. Halfway around the world from our homes in Massachusetts, our team of astronomers had traveled to this lake’s barren shores for a two-minute encounter with Pluto. But the wind was at gale force, so we weren’t even allowed to open the telescope dome...

Kevin Bonham
14-07-2015, 08:33 PM
Posts moved

Most of the current creationism debate moved to a new thread:

http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?16018-Creationism-geology-and-science-(sf-Science-stories)

Johns
15-07-2015, 12:19 AM
My wife and my self both agree Pluto visit tonight makes us feel prowd to be human.

antichrist
15-07-2015, 08:17 AM
My wife and my self both agree Pluto visit tonight makes us feel prowd to be human.

I consider it a waste of money that virtually achieves nothing for the human race except for bragging rights.
There are billions of poverty stricken over-population around the world but we substantially ignore them for pluto pie in the sky stuff

jammo
15-07-2015, 09:13 AM
My wife and my self both agree Pluto visit tonight makes us feel prowd to be human.

My wifi and my self both agree that what makes us prowd is your creative spelling.

Agent Smith
15-07-2015, 05:16 PM
New Horizons has successfully made contact after completing the fly-by at ~ 50 000 km/h
The early news had a big piece with happy scientists everywhere. Data transmission will take over 16 months

Ian Murray
16-07-2015, 08:01 PM
New Horizons has successfully made contact after completing the fly-by at ~ 50 000 km/h
The early news had a big piece with happy scientists everywhere. Data transmission will take over 16 months

Fantastic achievement, sending a flyby instrument probe 9½ years ago to reach Pluto's orbit 4,670,000,000 km away just as Pluto was 12 km away.

Agent Smith
16-07-2015, 08:52 PM
Yeah - it's really exciting :) Hardly any craters, indicating occasional surface flows of some nature - possibly volcanic heated H2O. And the huge "sea" is a dead ringer of the profile of Disney's Pluto.
We really know nothing about our solar system, but analysis of this data may help open our eyes.
http://storage.torontosun.com/v1/dynamic_resize/sws_path/suns-prod-images/1297724484013_ORIGINAL.jpg?quality=80&size=420x

Desmond
21-07-2015, 07:22 PM
Keep eyes peeled for reference to one of Jono's books

MTJQPyTVtNA

antichrist
21-07-2015, 07:48 PM
I would have thought that the cover would show a white king being Sarfati demolishing a black king being Dawkins - a terrific cover, shows you can't judge a book by it's cover

Rincewind
22-07-2015, 10:50 AM
Keep eyes peeled for reference to one of Jono's books

Demonstrating that a citation is not always a measure of research quality.

Adamski
22-07-2015, 03:40 PM
Greatest Hoax on Earth (response by Jono to Dawkins' Greatest Show on Earth) is a great book. I own a copy.

Rincewind
22-07-2015, 03:46 PM
Greatest Hoax on Earth (response by Jono to Dawkins' Greatest Show on Earth) is a great book. I own a copy.

Out of interest where did you buy it? Online, Koorong or somewhere else?

Adamski
22-07-2015, 05:09 PM
Out of interest where did you buy it? Online, Koorong or somewhere else?Online - from CMI! Such an easy website to remember. creation.com :)

Rincewind
22-07-2015, 07:56 PM
Online - from CMI! Such an easy website to remember. creation.com :)

True but preaching to the choir so not much damage caused by the spread of misinformation via that conduit.

antichrist
22-07-2015, 09:45 PM
If only life could be so easy how we can compromise our rational mind and return to primitive immature impulses - we are not that far ahead from the mad mullahs.

Capablanca-Fan
09-10-2015, 12:18 PM
Important chemistry Nobel: discovery of the instability of DNA (http://creation.com/dna-best-information-storage), which led scientists to realize that living things must have repair machinery (http://creation.com/DNA-repair-enzyme). So it's a flight of fantasy that DNA could have arisen in a primordial soup, and even more proposterous that the even more unstable RNA (http://creation.com/cairns-smith-detailed-criticisms-of-the-rna-world-hypothesis) could have arisen despite the popular RNA World ideas.

Chemistry Nobel: Lindahl, Modrich and Sancar win for DNA repair (http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-34464580)
By Paul Rincon
Science editor, BBC News website, 7 October 2015

In the 1970s, scientists had thought that DNA was a stable molecule, but Prof Lindahl demonstrated that it decays at a surprisingly fast rate.
This led him to discover a mechanism called base excision repair, which perpetually counteracts the degradation of DNA.
Sir Martyn Poliakoff, vice president of the UK's Royal Society, said: "Understanding the ways in which DNA repairs itself is fundamental to our understanding of inherited genetic disorders and of diseases like cancer.
"The important work that Royal Society Fellow Tomas Lindahl has done has helped us gain greater insight into these essential processes."

Turkish-born biochemist Aziz Sancar, professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, US, uncovered a different DNA mending process called nucleotide excision repair. This is the mechanism cells use to repair damage to DNA from UV light - but it can also undo genetic defects caused in other ways.

People born with defects in this repair system are extremely sensitive to sunlight, and at risk of developing skin cancer.

The American Paul Modrich, professor of biochemistry at Duke University in North Carolina, demonstrated how cells correct flaws that occur as DNA is copied when cells divide. This mechanism, called mismatch repair, results in a 1,000-fold reduction in the error frequency when DNA is replicated.

The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded on Tuesday to Takaaki Kajita and Arthur McDonald for their work on neutrinos.

The first of the 2015 Nobel Prizes, for physiology or medicine, was awarded on Monday by the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet. It was shared by researchers who developed pioneering drugs against parasitic diseases.

Patrick Byrom
10-10-2015, 12:53 AM
Important chemistry Nobel: discovery of the instability of DNA (http://creation.com/dna-best-information-storage), which led scientists to realize that living things must have repair machinery (http://creation.com/DNA-repair-enzyme). So it's a flight of fantasy that DNA could have arisen in a primordial soup, and even more proposterous that the even more unstable RNA (http://creation.com/cairns-smith-detailed-criticisms-of-the-rna-world-hypothesis) could have arisen despite the popular RNA World ideas.
DNA has a half-life of about 500 years, which seems more than long enough to me.

Rincewind
10-10-2015, 09:48 AM
DNA has a half-life of about 500 years, which seems more than long enough to me.

Indeed while at the same time it seems clear that having a repair machinery would give cells a survival advantage and therefore why there was selection pressure favouring its evolution.

Capablanca-Fan
11-10-2015, 09:58 AM
DNA has a half-life of about 500 years, which seems more than long enough to me.
A meaningless statement even though it was a Nature heading, because it strongly depends on the temperature. But of course it is not long enough given the mantra of "given millions of years, life could evolve from non-living chemicals. Note that these half lives are to complete fragmentation into nucleotides.


Indeed while at the same time it seems clear that having a repair machinery would give cells a survival advantage and therefore why there was selection pressure favouring its evolution.
Not possible. Natural selection can't happen unless there is reproduction of the information selected for. Unless functional repair machinery were already present, the information would be degraded instead of being passed on. Also, in living creatures, the instructions for this repair machinery is encoded in the DNA.

Patrick Byrom
11-10-2015, 10:58 AM
A meaningless statement even though it was a Nature heading, because it strongly depends on the temperature. But of course it is not long enough given the mantra of "given millions of years, life could evolve from non-living chemicals. Note that these half lives are to complete fragmentation into nucleotides.
Obviously it depends on the temperature (and other conditions). In the right circumstances its half-life can be over 100 000 years!


Not possible. Natural selection can't happen unless there is reproduction of the information selected for. Unless functional repair machinery were already present, the information would be degraded instead of being passed on. Also, in living creatures, the instructions for this repair machinery is encoded in the DNA.
But the reproduction of information doesn't need to be perfect for evolution to work.

Rincewind
11-10-2015, 06:49 PM
Obviously it depends on the temperature (and other conditions). In the right circumstances its half-life can be over 100 000 years!

500 years might as well be 100 000 since early life likely had short generation time measured in hours rather than days.



But the reproduction of information doesn't need to be perfect for evolution to work.

Indeed Q=1 would not give natural selection anything to work with.

Capablanca-Fan
13-10-2015, 01:16 AM
Obviously it depends on the temperature (and other conditions).
Yes, which backs up my point that the Nature headline was irresponsible.


In the right circumstances its half-life can be over 100 000 years!
In some circumstances, such as been frozen at -5°C, the survival time until complete fragmentation could be 6.8 million years. [Allentoft, M.E. et al., The half-life of DNA in bone: measuring decay kinetics in 158 dated fossils, Proc. Royal Society B 279(1748):4724-4733,7 December 2012.] So good luck explaining fairly intact DNA, enough to form a double helix into which DAPI can intercalate, in dinosaur bones allegedly 65 Ma (http://creation.com/dino-dna-bone-cells).


But the reproduction of information doesn't need to be perfect for evolution to work.
Obviously not, because the neo-Darwinian synthesis requires mutations as the engine for variations on which natural selection may act. [Edit: I see that RW made the same point.] But then, Chemical evolutionist Manfred Eigen (b. 1927)[1] calculated avoiding error catastrophe requires a copying fidelity of less than 1/n where n is the number of letters needed to sustain life.[2] Since the simplest life, Mycoplasma genitalium, is about 600,000 letters long, this means a copying fidelity of less than 1 in 600,000. But this is likely not good enough—bacteria in their normal environments have mutation rates of 1 in a billion, or a thousand times better.[3],[4] Natural selection won't be enough if all the organisms are failing because of error catastrophe. DNA on its own can't be anywhere as good as that:


“There is a general belief that DNA is ‘rock solid’—extremely stable,” says Brandt Eichman, associate professor of biological sciences at Vanderbilt, who directed the project. “Actually DNA is highly reactive. On a good day about one million bases in the DNA in a human cell are damaged.”[5]

[1]. Eigen also shared the 1967 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their studies of extremely fast chemical reactions, effected by disturbing the equilibrium by means of very short pulses of energy.”
[2]. Eigen, M., Self-organization of Matter and the Evolution of Biological Macromolecules, Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysikalische Chemie, Göttingen, 1971.
[3]. Ford, C.B. et al., Use of whole genome sequencing to estimate the mutation rate of Mycobacterium tuberculosis during latent infection, Nature Genetics 43:482–486, 24 April 2011 | doi:10.1038/ng.811.
[4]. See also Williams, A., Human genome decay and the origin of life (http://creation.com/human-genome-decay-and-origin-of-life), J. Creation 28(1):91–97, 2014.
[5]. Salisbury, D.F., Newly discovered DNA repair mechanism (http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2010/10/newly-discovered-dna-repair-mechanism/), Vanderbilt News, vanderbilt.edu, 5 October 2010.

Capablanca-Fan
13-10-2015, 01:40 AM
Sergio Bertazzo, Susannah C. R. Maidment, Charalambos Kallepitis, Sarah Fearn, Molly M. Stevens, and Hai-nan Xie
Fibres and cellular structures preserved in 75-million–year-old dinosaur specimens (http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150609/ncomms8352/full/ncomms8352.html)
Nature Communications 6:7352, 9 June 2015 | doi:10.1038/ncomms8352

Abstract

Exceptionally preserved organic remains are known throughout the vertebrate fossil record, and recently, evidence has emerged that such soft tissue might contain original components. We examined samples from eight Cretaceous dinosaur bones using nano-analytical techniques; the bones are not exceptionally preserved and show no external indication of soft tissue. In one sample, we observe structures consistent with endogenous collagen fibre remains displaying ~67 nm banding, indicating the possible preservation of the original quaternary structure. Using ToF-SIMS, we identify amino-acid fragments typical of collagen fibrils. Furthermore, we observe structures consistent with putative erythrocyte remains that exhibit mass spectra similar to emu whole blood. Using advanced material characterization approaches, we find that these putative biological structures can be well preserved over geological timescales, and their preservation is more common than previously thought. The preservation of protein over geological timescales offers the opportunity to investigate relationships, physiology and behaviour of long extinct animals.

Introduction

The preservation of vertebrate soft tissue has long been recognized and documented in exceptionally preserved fossils1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Recent research has suggested that original components of soft tissues such as skin<1, 10, feathers and other integumentary structures2,3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and muscle fibresp11, 12 may be preserved in these exceptional fossils. For example, still-soft, flexible material was recovered after demineralization of well-preserved bones from the Late Cretaceous dinosaur Tyrannosaurus13, whereas proteinaceous material was found to be preserved in another dinosaur, Brachylophosaurus14. Haemoglobin fragments were found in the abdomen of a beautifully preserved Eocene mosquito15, and degraded eumelanin was recovered in the integument of an Eocene turtle16.

Models proposed to account for such preservation indicate that it should be the exception rather than the rule11, 12, 17, 18, 19. In particular, it has long been accepted that protein molecules decay in relatively short periods of time and cannot be preserved for longer than 4 million years19, 20. Therefore, even in cases where organic material is preserved, it is generally accepted that only parts of original proteins are preserved15, 16 and that the full tertiary or quaternary structure has been lost.

Here, we examined eight dinosaur bones from the Cretaceous period, none of which are exceptionally preserved. …

Rincewind
13-10-2015, 07:33 AM
Yes, which backs up my point that the Nature headline was irresponsible.

No because the study upon which it is based was empirical and based on a study of 158 fossils. So DNA in fossilised bone has about that half-life in standard conditions. Of course DNA in a triflic acid solution is considerably shorter but palaeontologists aren't so interested in that result.

Capablanca-Fan
14-10-2015, 03:22 AM
No because the study upon which it is based was empirical and based on a study of 158 fossils. So DNA in fossilised bone has about that half-life in standard conditions. Of course DNA in a triflic acid solution is considerably shorter but palaeontologists aren't so interested in that result.

Still misleading. Chemical half lives, unlike radioactive decay half lives, are very temperature dependent. So a headline in isolation was misleading.

DNA is a stronger acid than vinegar or lemon juice.

Rincewind
14-10-2015, 06:33 AM
Still misleading.

Who is being misled and why?

Ian Murray
20-10-2015, 03:20 PM
Discovery of graphite in an intact zircon ~4.1 billion years old suggests that life existed on earth before then, 300 million years earlier than previously thought.

Potentially biogenic carbon preserved in a 4.1 billion-year-old zircon (www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/10/14/1517557112.full.pdf)
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Journal
October 2015

Rincewind
20-10-2015, 04:11 PM
Very small find really and it is possible it is showing evidence of an early biosphere but it is also possible that it is a contaminated sample. Would like to see some more 4.1 billion year old zircons found.

Ian Murray
20-10-2015, 05:40 PM
Very small find really and it is possible it is showing evidence of an early biosphere but it is also possible that it is a contaminated sample. Would like to see some more 4.1 billion year old zircons found.
I'll scratch around the backyard and see if I can find any more

Capablanca-Fan
29-10-2015, 12:24 AM
The Needless Complexity of Academic Writing (http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/10/complex-academic-writing/412255/)
A new movement strives for simplicity.
VICTORIA CLAYTON, The Atlantic, 26 OCT 2015


Last year, Harvard’s Steven Pinker (who’s also written about his grammar peeves for The Atlantic) authored an article (http://chronicle.com/article/Why-Academics-Writing-Stinks/148989/) for The Chronicle of Higher Education in which he used adjectives like “turgid, soggy, wooden, bloated, clumsy, obscure, unpleasant to read, and impossible to understand” to describe academic writing. In an email, Pinker told me that the reaction to his article “has been completely positive, which is not the typical reaction to articles I write, and particularly surprising given my deliberately impolite tone.” (He didn’t, however, read all of the 360-plus comments, many of which were anything but warm and fuzzy.)

In 2006, Daniel Oppenheimer, then a professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University, published research arguing that the use of clear, simple words over needlessly complex ones can actually make authors appear more intelligent. The research garnered him the Ig Nobel Prize in literature—a parody of the Nobel Prize that, according to a Slate article by the awards’ creator, Marc Abrahams, and several academics I consulted, is always given to improbable research and sometimes serves as a de facto criticism or satire in the academic world. (Oppenheimer for his part believes he got the award because of the paper’s title: “Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly.” The title made readers laugh, he told me—and then think.) Ultimately, Oppenheimer says the attention the Ig Nobel brought to his research means it’s now being used to improve the work of students in academic writing centers around the country.

Kevin Bonham
29-10-2015, 07:48 PM
It's probably just as well I'm not an academic. I'd probably do things like deducting 5% from the marks of any student who uses "methodology" when they mean "method" (a disease that seems almost everywhere in the sciences.)

Rincewind
29-10-2015, 09:24 PM
It's probably just as well I'm not an academic. I'd probably do things like deducting 5% from the marks of any student who uses "methodology" when they mean "method" (a disease that seems almost everywhere in the sciences.)

I think maths are pickier. We have heated arguments about whether the differential should be written dx or dx.

antichrist
29-10-2015, 09:28 PM
It's probably just as well I'm not an academic. I'd probably do things like deducting 5% from the marks of any student who uses "methodology" when they mean "method" (a disease that seems almost everywhere in the sciences.)

And that 5% would demolish ambitious parent's plans for their son/daughter entering medicine - their lives devastated!

Kevin Bonham
30-10-2015, 06:10 AM
And that 5% would demolish ambitious parent's plans for their son/daughter entering medicine - their lives devastated!

They can suffer. My grandfather (a bright cookie who went on to become a successful businessman in the paper industry) was denied entry to university because his marks were 2% too low in French.

Capablanca-Fan
01-11-2015, 02:47 PM
I think maths are pickier. We have heated arguments about whether the differential should be written dx or dx.

What about dx? ;)

Capablanca-Fan
06-11-2015, 04:12 AM
Rosetta finds oxygen on comet 67P in 'most surprising discovery to date' (http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/oct/28/rosetta-finds-oxygen-on-comet-67p-in-most-surprising-discovery-to-date)
Oxygen revealed to be fourth most abundant gas in the comet’s atmosphere, contradicting long-held theories of comet formation
Guardian (UK), 28 Oct 2015


Measurements from the European Space Agency’s orbiting Rosetta probe show that oxygen is the fourth most abundant gas in the tenuous atmosphere of comet 67P / Churyumov–Gerasimenko, to use its full name, after water vapour, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.

“It’s actually the most surprising discovery we have made so far on 67P because oxygen was not among the molecules expected in a cometary coma,” said Kathrin Altwegg at the University of Bern.

The finding is puzzling because oxygen is highly reactive and scientists do not expect it to hang around for long in space. “We had never thought that oxygen could ‘survive’ for billions of years without combining with other substances,” said Altwegg.

If the researchers are right, it bolsters the theory that comets are primordial and pristine remnants of the early solar system. But the existence of oxygen in the comet contradicts some long-held ideas about how the solar system formed. One is that the solar system’s oxygen originally formed beyond the solar system in what is called the interstellar medium. “This evidence of oxygen as an ancient substance will likely discredit some theoretical models of the formation of the solar system,” said Altwegg.

Original paper: Bieler, A. et al., Abundant molecular oxygen in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (http://www.nature.com/articles/nature15707.epdf?referrer_access_token=LshnlpUTVfa uIXO-LAS-JtRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0O8qTYgfDX6O-v7g2OI8cD6gHxUPdUmAQeX91RR8K9tEStD0rqYz10Myr7hsWZ_ y1f8RB7FpvwSXTSQyOAEwlgNNVgIIj5vrYVmeRVTOapmqJx9nr KmLlh3awXtjmJEGZyyoG3NrNiAaPRjGefZW4bXb-Z1N1rRlzEiAqthc5GOwfmRlySbzyjnijJE9JgT1mAwp6Hpy2UX GMblXUUJ-12XWvFSnKQgibnYAe74jvuXng%3D%3D&tracking_referrer=www.theguardian.com), Nature 526(7575):678–81, 29 October 2015 | doi:10.1038/nature15707.

Rincewind
06-11-2015, 09:52 AM
Oxygen gas in comet atmosphere. So it could have been in Earth's early atmosphere too

Unlikely since the earth is not a comet and in any case the amount of oxygen in the tenous atmosphere of 67P is far too small to support modern lifeforms.

Rincewind
06-11-2015, 01:49 PM
The Negative Association between Religiousness and Children’s Altruism across the World (http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822%2815%2901167-7)
by Jean Decety, Jason M. Cowell, Kang Lee, Randa Mahasneh, Susan Malcolm-Smith, Bilge Selcuk, Xinyue Zhou

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2015.09.056

Highlights

Family religious identification decreases children’s altruistic behaviors
Religiousness predicts parent-reported child sensitivity to injustices and empathy
Children from religious households are harsher in their punitive tendencies


Summary
Prosocial behaviors are ubiquitous across societies. They emerge early in ontogeny [ 1 ] and are shaped by interactions between genes and culture [ 2, 3 ]. Over the course of middle childhood, sharing approaches equality in distribution [ 4 ]. Since 5.8 billion humans, representing 84% of the worldwide population, identify as religious [ 5 ], religion is arguably one prevalent facet of culture that influences the development and expression of prosociality. While it is generally accepted that religion contours people’s moral judgments and prosocial behavior, the relation between religiosity and morality is a contentious one. Here, we assessed altruism and third-party evaluation of scenarios depicting interpersonal harm in 1,170 children aged between 5 and 12 years in six countries (Canada, China, Jordan, Turkey, USA, and South Africa), the religiousness of their household, and parent-reported child empathy and sensitivity to justice. Across all countries, parents in religious households reported that their children expressed more empathy and sensitivity for justice in everyday life than non-religious parents. However, religiousness was inversely predictive of children’s altruism and positively correlated with their punitive tendencies. Together these results reveal the similarity across countries in how religion negatively influences children’s altruism, challenging the view that religiosity facilitates prosocial behavior.

Capablanca-Fan
07-11-2015, 09:33 AM
Unlikely since the earth is not a comet and in any case the amount of oxygen in the tenous atmosphere of 67P is far too small to support modern lifeforms.

Missing the point as usual. The point is that such a high concentration of oxygen would be fatal to Miller–Urey theories of how life began.

Rincewind
07-11-2015, 11:25 AM
Missing the point as usual. The point is that such a high concentration of oxygen would be fatal to Miller–Urey theories of how life began.

Nonsense as usual. The oxygen in the early earth atmosphere (even if it was as 'high' as 4% say) would have reacted with other elements and reduced to trace levels.

Rincewind
12-11-2015, 12:40 PM
Oldest stars ever found discovered near the centre of Milky Way (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-12/oldest-stars-discovered-milky-way-galaxy/6931912)

The oldest stars ever seen have been discovered near the centre of the Milky Way Galaxy, astronomers say.

The newly identified stars reported in the journal Nature, date back to almost 13.6 billion years, just 200 million years after the birth of the universe.

...

"One star — SMSS J181609.62 -333218.7 — has an iron abundance 10,000 times lower than that of the Sun, and no detectable carbon signature," Ms Howes said.

According to Howes, that makes this star older than the previous record holder, an orange dwarf star named SMSS J031300.36 -670839.3 which was detected in the galactic halo last year.

"The fact that we haven't found any carbon in this star indicates that it was probably formed from a hypernova, which is quite different to the supernovae which formed the halo star," said Howes.

"It's amazing that we discovered something that's really so old and has seen the entire history of the universe unfold around it."

Capablanca-Fan
16-11-2015, 12:22 PM
Oldest stars ever found discovered near the centre of Milky Way (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-12/oldest-stars-discovered-milky-way-galaxy/6931912)

The oldest stars ever seen have been discovered near the centre of the Milky Way Galaxy, astronomers say.

The newly identified stars reported in the journal Nature, date back to almost 13.6 billion years, just 200 million years after the birth of the universe.

...

"One star — SMSS J181609.62 -333218.7 — has an iron abundance 10,000 times lower than that of the Sun, and no detectable carbon signature," Ms Howes said.

According to Howes, that makes this star older than the previous record holder, an orange dwarf star named SMSS J031300.36 -670839.3 which was detected in the galactic halo last year.

"The fact that we haven't found any carbon in this star indicates that it was probably formed from a hypernova, which is quite different to the supernovae which formed the halo star," said Howes.

"It's amazing that we discovered something that's really so old and has seen the entire history of the universe unfold around it."

Presumably not a first-generation star then?

Capablanca-Fan
16-11-2015, 12:23 PM
Nonsense as usual. The oxygen in the early earth atmosphere (even if it was as 'high' as 4% say) would have reacted with other elements and reduced to trace levels.

The point is, if it remained stable, as the comet's O2 level did, this would inhibit rections necessary for chemical evolution.

Capablanca-Fan
16-11-2015, 12:30 PM
The Negative Association between Religiousness and Children’s Altruism across the World (http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822%2815%2901167-7)
by Jean Decety, Jason M. Cowell, Kang Lee, Randa Mahasneh, Susan Malcolm-Smith, Bilge Selcuk, Xinyue Zhou

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2015.09.056
I was wondering how long it would be before the village atheopaths posted that study here. One Anglican Ph.D. philosopher in NZ answered it in Mean religious kids? (http://rightreason.org/2015/mean-religious-kids/):


My first reaction is to roll my eyes at the predictability of the attention the findings are getting.


A study shows (http://rightreason.org/2013/religion-and-mental-health/) that adherents of organised religion have better mental health than other people (adding that those who were neither religious nor spiritual were the least likely to have a qualification beyond High School). The media doesn’t so much as murmur about it.
A study shows (http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/social_forces/v085/85.4uecker.html) that less educated people are more likely to abandon religious faith than more educated people. Media silence.
A study shows (http://rightreason.org/2010/religion-and-education-what-has-actually-been-shown/) that the further up the education ladder we go (proceeding from Bachelors to Masters to PhD), the greater the concentration of religious people we find. People who successfully make it past undergraduate study and into postgraduate study are more likely to be religious than those who don’t. No headlines.
A study shows (http://rightreason.org/2012/born-atheists-science-and-natural-belief-in-god/) that belief in God is actually the default natural state for human children, and that theism must be unlearned, rather than learned. Well, OK this one made a small amount of noise, but mostly in scientific literature. The general public doesn’t read that sort of thing, even, ironically, those who deride religion as being unscientific, while they, by contrast, are enlightened.


But now a study shows that children from religious families are less likely to share stickers, and suddenly the story is passed around like a doobie at a libertarian meetup. It’s the old phenomenon of bias confirmation again, predictable and uninteresting. We naturally find our attention drawn to – and we’re only inclined to share – those tiny tidbits of information that reinforce our own prejudices. I mean sure, I did find the story somewhat interesting, but why didn’t the outlets that are sharing this story also find the studies mentioned above interesting?

So that’s my first thought – and my main thought. Many media outlets have selective hearing when it comes to scientific findings about religion, and that’s not particularly surprising. They ignore the good and trumpet the bad.

I should add that, to their credit, there are good atheist minds out there who are not willing to trumpet the study’s conclusions just because it might work in their favour. Matthew Facciani (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/accordingtomatthew/2015/11/no-atheist-kids-are-not-more-altruistic-than-religious-kids/) is an example:


To summarize, this study was interesting, but a few fatal flaws severely limit the conclusions we can draw from it. These flaws are pretty obvious to anyone who has studied behavioral sciences (and may be why this paper was published in a biology journal and not psychology/sociology). However, I think this study does at least provide some evidence that atheist kids are not immoral monsters.


Relax, religious parents. Your kids aren’t ogres, or at least if they are there’s no scientific evidence that religion is to blame.

Rincewind
16-11-2015, 01:13 PM
I was wondering how long it would be before the village atheopaths posted that study here.

As I posted it 10 days ago (November 6) I was wondering how long it was before the village idiot replied. I guess you were waiting for Glenn Pope to post his response (Novemeber 15) which you have merely cut and pasted here, one day later...


One Anglican Ph.D. philosopher in NZ answered it in Mean religious kids? (http://rightreason.org/2015/mean-religious-kids/):


My first reaction is to roll my eyes at the predictability of the attention the findings are getting.


A study shows (http://rightreason.org/2013/religion-and-mental-health/) that adherents of organised religion have better mental health than other people (adding that those who were neither religious nor spiritual were the least likely to have a qualification beyond High School). The media doesn’t so much as murmur about it.
A study shows (http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/social_forces/v085/85.4uecker.html) that less educated people are more likely to abandon religious faith than more educated people. Media silence.
A study shows (http://rightreason.org/2010/religion-and-education-what-has-actually-been-shown/) that the further up the education ladder we go (proceeding from Bachelors to Masters to PhD), the greater the concentration of religious people we find. People who successfully make it past undergraduate study and into postgraduate study are more likely to be religious than those who don’t. No headlines.
A study shows (http://rightreason.org/2012/born-atheists-science-and-natural-belief-in-god/) that belief in God is actually the default natural state for human children, and that theism must be unlearned, rather than learned. Well, OK this one made a small amount of noise, but mostly in scientific literature. The general public doesn’t read that sort of thing, even, ironically, those who deride religion as being unscientific, while they, by contrast, are enlightened.


But now a study shows that children from religious families are less likely to share stickers, and suddenly the story is passed around like a doobie at a libertarian meetup. It’s the old phenomenon of bias confirmation again, predictable and uninteresting. We naturally find our attention drawn to – and we’re only inclined to share – those tiny tidbits of information that reinforce our own prejudices. I mean sure, I did find the story somewhat interesting, but why didn’t the outlets that are sharing this story also find the studies mentioned above interesting?

So that’s my first thought – and my main thought. Many media outlets have selective hearing when it comes to scientific findings about religion, and that’s not particularly surprising. They ignore the good and trumpet the bad.

I should add that, to their credit, there are good atheist minds out there who are not willing to trumpet the study’s conclusions just because it might work in their favour. Matthew Facciani (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/accordingtomatthew/2015/11/no-atheist-kids-are-not-more-altruistic-than-religious-kids/) is an example:


To summarize, this study was interesting, but a few fatal flaws severely limit the conclusions we can draw from it. These flaws are pretty obvious to anyone who has studied behavioral sciences (and may be why this paper was published in a biology journal and not psychology/sociology). However, I think this study does at least provide some evidence that atheist kids are not immoral monsters.


Relax, religious parents. Your kids aren’t ogres, or at least if they are there’s no scientific evidence that religion is to blame.

Glenn makes some interesting points but really making comments in a unreviewed blog post cannot be equated to a paper appearing in peer-reviewed journal. While the paper doubtless has weak points it certainly undermines the view that atheists are necessarily immoral. The point being moral authority does not come from a supernatural being and the idea that it might can lead to selfish behaviour.

Rincewind
16-11-2015, 01:19 PM
Presumably not a first-generation star then?

I would infer that in all likelihood the star that was the origin of the hypernova was a 1st generation star approximately 200 million years old at the time explosion and therefore SMSS J181609.62 -333218.7 was second generation. Although due to the condition causing the hypernova explosion insufficient fusion took place in the genesis star to produce heavier elements.

Capablanca-Fan
20-11-2015, 02:20 AM
UW team refrigerates liquids with a laser for the first time (http://www.washington.edu/news/2015/11/16/uw-team-refrigerates-liquids-with-a-laser-for-the-first-time/)
Jennifer Langston, 16 November 2015

Since the first laser was invented in 1960, they’ve almost always given off heat — either as a useful tool, a byproduct or a fictional way to vanquish intergalactic enemies.

But those concentrated beams of light have never been able to cool liquids. University of Washington researchers are the first to solve a decades-old puzzle — figuring out how to make a laser refrigerate water and other liquids under real-world conditions.

To achieve the breakthrough, the UW team used a material commonly found in commercial lasers but essentially ran the laser phenomenon in reverse. They illuminated a single microscopic crystal suspended in water with infrared laser light to excite a unique kind of glow that has slightly more energy than that amount of light absorbed.

This higher-energy glow carries heat away from both the crystal and the water surrounding it. The laser refrigeration process was first demonstrated in vacuum conditions at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1995, but it has taken nearly 20 years to demonstrate this process in liquids.

So far, the UW team has only demonstrated the cooling effect with a single nanocrystal, as exciting multiple crystals would require more laser power. The laser refrigeration process is currently quite energy intensive, Pauzauskie said, and future steps include looking for ways to improve its efficiency.

One day the cooling technology itself might be used to enable higher-power lasers for manufacturing, telecommunications or defense applications, as higher-powered lasers tend to overheat and melt down.

Capablanca-Fan
20-11-2015, 02:26 AM
I guess you were waiting for Glenn Pope to post his response (Novemeber 15) which you have merely cut and pasted here, one day later...
Glenn Peoples (http://rightreason.org/about/about-glenn/) is the name.


Glenn makes some interesting points but really making comments in a unreviewed blog post cannot be equated to a paper appearing in peer-reviewed journal.
Yet as pointed out, it's not a peer-reviewed specialist psychology/sociology journal or even a general journal like Nature or Science but a biology journal where the reviewers are not qualified in the issue.


While the paper doubtless has weak points it certainly undermines the view that atheists are necessarily immoral.
Some are moral skeptics.

Agent Smith
20-11-2015, 04:15 PM
Great astronomy piece in an old New Statesman i read.

http://www.newstatesman.com/sci-tech/2014/12/wandering-heavens-how-mathematics-explains-saturn-s-rings

Kevin Bonham
20-11-2015, 07:14 PM
Some are moral skeptics.

Which has virtually nothing to do with whether one is a "moral" person or not.

There are plenty of moral skeptics who are relatively "moral" in terms of actions and inclinations but have just realised that morality and rationality are not the same thing.

There are plenty of self-professed non-skeptics who are hypocrites, or who practice moralities that harm others.

Rincewind
20-11-2015, 07:23 PM
There are plenty of self-professed non-skeptics who are hypocrites, or who practice moralities that harm others.

And the idea of moral licensing, if it has any legs, seems to indicate that practising morals that harm others might be more common than generally thought.

Capablanca-Fan
21-11-2015, 08:53 AM
Fatal Flaws in that Religion and Generosity Study (https://stream.org/fatal-flaws-religion-generosity-study/)
By GEORGE YANCEY (https://stream.org/author/georgeyancey/) (professor of sociology at the University of North Texas), 9 Nov 2015


The difficulties starts with Decety and his co-authors using a measure known as “the dictator game” to determine the level of altruism among their subjects. However, it is highly questionable (https://www.uea.ac.uk/documents/166500/0/CBESS-11-15.pdf) that this game can assess altruism. This tool instead may measure compliance to the instructor of the game.

The authors also wanted to look at issues of morality by examining children’s punitive nature when confronted with mean actions. The authors clearly interpret more mercy for the guilty as a higher level of morality. But that is an ethical, and not a scientific, question. Is it really more moral to avoid punishment no matter what the circumstances? Indeed, there is a balance between punishment and mercy that all of us must consider. Some tend to err on the side of punishment and some on the side of mercy, but almost all of us will punish and almost all of us will have mercy under the right conditions. Is it moral to punish a mass murderer with a $100 fine? Most of us would consider that an injustice. Is it moral to punish a traffic ticket with a ten-year jail sentence? Most of us would consider that unmerciful.

We all draw that line between mercy and justice somewhere. It seems that the authors have determined that the proper place to draw the line is closer to the mercy side. They judge the kids closest to where they will draw the line as more moral. Since at least the lead author has identified himself as secular, it is not surprising that secular children are closer to that line than religious children.

The authors are welcome to their opinion as to what the balance of mercy and justice should be, but since the question is an ethical, and not a scientific, question, this study is inadequate for assessing whether secular kids have higher morality.

I was also concerned about the lack of certain control variables in the research. For example, it seems to me that the education level of the parent would be important. In many countries secular individuals tend to have higher levels of education than religious individuals. Their kids likely went to different schools, which may socialize children to respond differently to the dictator game. (Notice I did not say “to be more altruistic” since I am not convinced that the dictator game measures altruism.) It may be that the educational level of the parents, rather than secularity, shaped the results of this research.

Moreover, to understand any research one should explore what others have found about the topic. There is other research looking at the relationship of generosity and religion. Religion has been shown to correlate to the willingness of individuals to volunteer (http://asr.sagepub.com/content/71/2/191.short), to give money to charity (http://www.jstor.org/stable/20058103?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents) and even to be nice (http://www.jstor.org/stable/2580017?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents).

Rincewind
25-11-2015, 10:11 AM
It is interesting to see how strident someone can be with very little evidence when writing a piece for their personal blog.

I look forward to seeing Dr Yancey's contribution in the scientific literature.

Capablanca-Fan
25-11-2015, 12:45 PM
It is interesting to see how strident someone can be with very little evidence when writing a piece for their personal blog.

I look forward to seeing Dr Yancey's contribution in the scientific literature.

More importantly, how about the original authors publish in a more appropriate scientific journal, instead of dodging qualified referees?

Rincewind
25-11-2015, 01:58 PM
More importantly, how about the original authors publish in a more appropriate scientific journal, instead of dodging qualified referees?

Current Biology publishes from across the wide of all biological subdisciplines provided the work is thought to be of more general interest which this paper obviously is.

Your assertion that qualified referees are being dodged makes no sense anyway since the editors of Current Biology can contact any expert they want. They are not limited in some way to the people who subscribe to their journal.

Patrick Byrom
15-02-2016, 11:35 PM
The major recent scientific story of course was the discovery of gravity waves. It even had an Australian contribution (http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/csiro-hailed-contribution-to-gravitation-waves-find--for-work-done-by-axed-unit-20160214-gmtmhu.html)- from a group of CSIRO scientists which the LNP has just made redundant!

Rincewind
16-02-2016, 07:59 AM
With a major finding like this research organisations and universities are all clamouring with press releases to highlight the key role they played. See for example

ANU plays a key role in discovery of gravitational waves (http://www.anu.edu.au/news/all-news/anu-plays-a-key-role-in-discovery-of-gravitational-waves)

Which mainly talks about the ANU's contribution through Prof McClelland but also mentions other universities such as Adelaide, WA, Melbourne, Monash and Charles Sturt.

Another part of this story is that Prof Kip Thorne made a visit to Australia a few years ago to try to get funding for a project to build a LIGO in Australia, specifically WA. However that did not get off the ground due to a disappointing lack of money. Had Australia been a country which invested in science we could have had a much larger role in the present discovery.

Capablanca-Fan
16-02-2016, 10:55 AM
And an Adelaide Uni physics professor explains (http://creation.com/detection-of-gravitational-waves-and-biblical-creation).

Rincewind
16-02-2016, 12:16 PM
And an Adelaide Uni physics professor explains (http://creation.com/detection-of-gravitational-waves-and-biblical-creation).

Hilarious.

Agent Smith
16-02-2016, 08:00 PM
About as inspirational as Shane Warne

On reality show I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, former Australian cricketer asks if humans evolved from monkeys, why haven’t today’s monkeys evolved?

“Because, I’m saying, aliens. We started from aliens.”
And
It emerged last week a raffle held by the foundation to give away a $60,000 car was won by Warne’s former longtime personal assistant, Helen Nolan, herself a former general manager of the foundation.
http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/feb/15/im-saying-we-started-from-aliens-shane-warne-casts-doubt-on-evolution

Rincewind
16-02-2016, 11:30 PM
I wouldn't have thought the gravitational wave discovery would have caused creationist such an existential threat that they would have to go into damage-control overdrive. But I guess anything which increases mankind's knowledge of the universe is essentially threatening to those who peddle ignorance.

Capablanca-Fan
09-06-2016, 06:11 AM
Big Bang blunder bursts the multiverse bubble (http://www.nature.com/news/big-bang-blunder-bursts-the-multiverse-bubble-1.15346?WT.mc_id=TWT_NatureNews)
Premature hype over gravitational waves highlights gaping holes in models for the origins and evolution of the Universe, argues Paul Steinhardt.
Nature, 03 June 2014


The BICEP2 incident has also revealed a truth about inflationary theory. The common view is that it is a highly predictive theory. If that was the case and the detection of gravitational waves was the ‘smoking gun’ proof of inflation, one would think that non-detection means that the theory fails. Such is the nature of normal science. Yet some proponents of inflation who celebrated the BICEP2 announcement already insist that the theory is equally valid whether or not gravitational waves are detected. How is this possible?

The answer given by proponents is alarming: the inflationary paradigm is so flexible that it is immune to experimental and observational tests. First, inflation is driven by a hypothetical scalar field, the inflaton, which has properties that can be adjusted to produce effectively any outcome. Second, inflation does not end with a universe with uniform properties, but almost inevitably leads to a multiverse with an infinite number of bubbles, in which the cosmic and physical properties vary from bubble to bubble. The part of the multiverse that we observe corresponds to a piece of just one such bubble. Scanning over all possible bubbles in the multi*verse, every*thing that can physically happen does happen an infinite number of times. No experiment can rule out a theory that allows for all possible outcomes. Hence, the paradigm of inflation is unfalsifiable.

This may seem confusing given the hundreds of theoretical papers on the predictions of this or that inflationary model. What these papers typically fail to acknowledge is that they ignore the multiverse and that, even with this unjustified choice, there exists a spectrum of other models which produce all manner of diverse cosmological outcomes. Taking this into account, it is clear that the inflationary paradigm is fundamentally untestable, and hence scientifically meaningless.

Agent Smith
17-06-2016, 07:31 PM
This is pretty incredible. The EM drive.
I *think* the idea is that , due to some quantum effect, an asymetrical metal container absorbing microwaves (in the form of general background radiation in space), produces a weak propulsion.
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/emdrive-finnish-physicist-says-controversial-space-propulsion-device-does-have-exhaust-1565673

... the photons bounce back and forth inside the metal cavity, and some of them end up going together in the same direction with the same speed, but they are 180 degrees out of phase. Invariably, when travelling together in this out-of-phase configuration, they cancel each other's electromagnetic field out completely.

That's the same as water waves travelling together so that the crest of one wave is exactly at the trough of the other and cancelling each other out. The water does not go away, it's still there, in the same way the pairs of photons are still there and carrying momentum even though you can't see them as light.

Agent Smith
12-08-2016, 11:40 PM
Researchers orbit a muon around an atom, confirm [their] physics [model] is broken

http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/08/researchers-orbit-a-muon-around-an-atom-confirm-physics-is-broken/

We can measure the radius because the proton's charge is spread across it, which influences the orbit of any electrons that might be circling it. Measurements with electrons produce a value that's easily in agreement with existing theories. But a few years back, researchers put a heavier version of the electron, called a muon, in orbit around a proton. This formed an exotic, heavier version of the hydrogen atom. And here, measuring the proton's radius produced an entirely different value—something that shouldn't have happened.

Agent Smith
29-09-2016, 03:02 PM
Killing drug resistant superbugs

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/health/does-this-25-year-old-hold-the-key-to-winning-the-war-against-th/

Capablanca-Fan
08-10-2016, 07:33 AM
The natural selection of bad science (http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/3/9/160384)
Paul E. Smaldino, Richard McElreath
Royal Society Open Science 3:160384, 21 September 2016 | DOI:10.1098/rsos.160384


This paper argues that some of the most powerful incentives in contemporary science actively encourage, reward and propagate poor research methods and abuse of statistical procedures. We term this process the natural selection of bad science to indicate that it requires no conscious strategizing nor cheating on the part of researchers. Instead, it arises from the positive selection of methods and habits that lead to publication. How can natural selection operate on research methodology? There are no research ‘genes’. But science is a cultural activity, and such activities change through evolutionary processes [19–25]. Philosophers of science such as Campbell [19], Popper [26] and Hull [27] have discussed how scientific theories evolve by variation and selection retention. But scientific methods also develop in this way. Laboratory methods can propagate either directly, through the production of graduate students who go on to start their own labs, or indirectly, through prestige-biased adoption by researchers in other labs. Methods which are associated with greater success in academic careers will, other things being equal, tend to spread.

The requirements for natural selection to produce design are easy to satisfy. Darwin outlined the logic of natural selection as requiring three conditions:

(i) There must be variation.

(ii) That variation must have consequences for survival or reproduction.

(iii) Variation must be heritable.

In this case, there are no biological traits being passed from scientific mentors to apprentices. However, research practices do vary. That variation has consequences—habits that lead to publication lead to obtaining highly competitive research positions. And variation in practice is partly heritable, in the sense that apprentices acquire research habits and statistical procedures from mentors and peers. Researchers also acquire research practice from successful role models in their fields, even if they do not personally know them. Therefore, when researchers are rewarded primarily for publishing, then habits which promote publication are naturally selected. Unfortunately, such habits can directly undermine scientific progress.

This is not a new argument. But we attempt to substantially strengthen it.

An incentive structure that rewards publication quantity will, in the absence of countervailing forces, select for methods that produce the greatest number of publishable results. This, in turn, will lead to the natural selection of poor methods and increasingly high false discovery rates. Although we have focused on false discoveries, there are additional negative repercussions of this kind of incentive structure. Scrupulous research on difficult problems may require years of intense work before yielding coherent, publishable results. If shallower work generating more publications is favoured, then researchers interested in pursuing complex questions may find themselves without jobs, perhaps to the detriment of the scientific community more broadly.

Rincewind
08-10-2016, 10:53 AM
Very interesting and a thesis which I suspect has at least some validity. Certainly rewarding highly original and ground-breaking publication has a cost but it a difficult one to quantify. It is a bit like the inverse of the problem of a field being in awe of great genus which has a tendency to retard progress in that field for some time. These are all sub-optimal outcomes but the answer is not to leave ground-breaking unrecognised or discourage geniuses from contributing to science.

ER
18-10-2016, 01:17 PM
go voodoo sister comrade! :P :)

http://www.dailywire.com/news/10000/leftist-student-activist-science-racist-and-should-joshua-yasmeh?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_content=062316-news&utm_campaign=benshapiro

3281

Rincewind
18-10-2016, 02:35 PM
Typical of the Daily Wire to characterise the view as leftist without evidence.

ER
18-10-2016, 04:12 PM
lol!!! :P :)

3282


https://youtu.be/BY1H1rZL53I

Capablanca-Fan
01-11-2016, 03:05 PM
Why Professors Are Writing Crap That Nobody Reads (http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/why-professors-are-writing-crap-nobody-reads)
Daniel Lattier, Intellectual Takeout, 26 October 2016

Professors usually spend about 3-6 months (sometimes longer) researching and writing a 25-page article to submit an article to an academic journal. And most experience a twinge of excitement when, months later, they open a letter informing them that their article has been accepted for publication, and will therefore be read by…

… an average of ten people (http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/prof-no-one-is-reading-you).

Yes, you read that correctly. The numbers reported by recent studies are pretty bleak:

- 82 percent of articles published in the humanities are not even cited once.

- Of those articles that are cited, only 20 percent have actually been read.

- Half of academic papers are never read by anyone other than (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/half-academic-studies-are-never-read-more-three-people-180950222/?no-ist) their authors, peer reviewers, and journal editors.

So what’s the reason for this madness? Why does the world continue to be subjected to just under 2 million academic journal articles each year?

Well, the main reason is money and job-security. The goal of all professors is to get tenure, and right now, tenure continues to be awarded tenure based in part on how many peer-reviewed publications they have. Tenure committees treat these publications as evidence that the professor is able to conduct mature research.


All of this is very unfortunate. Ideally, the great academic minds of a society should be put to work for the sake of building up that society and addressing its problems. Instead, most Western academics today are using their intellectual capital to answer questions that nobody’s asking on pages that nobody’s reading.

What a waste.

Rincewind
01-11-2016, 04:36 PM
What do the statistics look like in the sciences?

Desmond
17-12-2016, 09:04 AM
New Spider Species Named After Harry Potter Sorting Hat (http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/new-spider-species-named-after-harrypotter-sorting-hat/)

Scientists in India have named a new species of spider after famed (fictitious) wizard Godric Gryffindor from JK Rowling’s Harry Potter novels due to its resemblance of Hogwarts’ magical Sorting Hat.

The new species, which measures just 7mm, has been named Eriovixia Gryffindori, after Gryffindor, one of the founding wizards of Hogwarts, and original owner of the hat used by the wizarding school to sort students into their houses.

...

http://cdn.iflscience.com/images/285b9853-b252-5c35-96a1-f41596cda2c1/extra_large-1481543914-cover-image.jpg

Capablanca-Fan
16-04-2017, 01:25 PM
Italian Emma Morano, last known survivor of 19th century, dies at 117 (http://news.abs-cbn.com/life/04/16/17/italian-emma-morano-last-known-survivor-of-19th-century-dies-at-117)
Fanny Carrier, Agence France-Presse, 16 April 2017

Emma Morano, an Italian woman believed to have been the oldest person alive and the last survivor of the 19th century, died Saturday at the age of 117, Italian media reported.

Morano, born on November 29 1899, died at her home in Verbania, in northern Italy, the reports said.

"She had an extraordinary life, and we will always remember her strength to move forward in life," said Silvia Marchionini, the mayor of Verbania, a small village of some 2,000 residents.

According to the US-based Gerontology Research Group (GRG), Morano ceded the crown of the world's oldest human being to Jamaican Violet Brown, who was born on March 10, 1900.

Morano's death, at the age of 117 years and 137 days, means there is no one living known to have been born before 1900.

In an interview with AFP last year, she put her longevity down to her diet.

"I eat two eggs a day, and that's it. And cookies. But I do not eat much because I have no teeth," she said in her home at the time, where the Guinness World Records certificate declaring her to be the oldest person alive held pride of place on a marble-topped chest of drawers.

The world longevity record, he noted, remained with French woman Jeanne Calment, who died at 122 in 1997, having outlived both her daughter and grandson. "That's super confirmed," Young said.

Emma Morano goes into the record books as the fifth longest life ever verified.

Kaitlin
22-04-2017, 10:19 PM
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-22/march-for-science-australians-join-worldwide-movement/8463800

Science is becoming a "movement"
(Religion is losing ground)


Agent Smith
23-04-2017, 02:39 PM
Hmmm... I don't think so. Mainstream media has seriously marginalised science to make a few bucks (and in Fox/News corps case, for poiltical gains too).

Chumps "presidency" is just the beginning.

Kaitlin
20-05-2017, 01:18 PM
Stephen Hawkins finally ratifies what I've been saying for years https://youtu.be/t7F2dueX58w