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Rincewind
27-09-2008, 10:44 AM
Much of the science that permeates into the wider media does so due to some attention grabbing feature or implication. Some of this is good and some of it is little better than wild speculation for the purposes of garnering attention. However A thread where people could point to such stories might be useful.

I was sparked by the following story about the fossil evidence of a ancient bird thouht to be a distant relative of modern ducks and geese with a 5 metre wingspan and a toothy beak which graced the skies 50 million years ago.

A popular news item can be read here

http://www.scientificblogging.com/news_releases/dasornis_emuinus_prehistoric_goose_was_the_size_of _a_small_plane_and_had_bony_teeth

The abstract of the original article can be read here and those with access to the journal content can link to the full-text

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/121422208/abstract

Given the history of geese at Chesschat, the thought of a 5 metre relative of the goose will probably make people glad they were not living 50 million years ago when these gargantuan geese might have (literally) eaten them for breakfast. :)

Rincewind
27-09-2008, 11:12 AM
Here is another recent story on some old rocks (possibly the oldest found) from Quebec.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080925144624.htm

Again the full text cannot be accessed with subscription however the abstract is here

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/321/5897/1828

And a podcast of an interview with the first author (McGill PhD candidate Jonathan O'Neil) is here

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/321/5897/1828/DC2

Gives some insights into the scientific methods of geology and geochronology used in dating these specimens.

Rincewind
28-09-2008, 05:27 PM
A group of mathematicians at UCLA have claimed to have found the first prime with more than 1 million digits

http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-prime27-2008sep27,0,2746766.story

There wont be anything published on this in the science literature right away but assuming they are right, then they will get a $100,000 prize for the discovery.

More info here

http://www.math.ucla.edu/~edson/prime/

Including this...

Even though I work for the Mathematics Department, I'm a System Administrator, not a Mathematician!

Capablanca-Fan
03-10-2008, 02:34 PM
This was discussed on another thread (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=206969).

There are two main supports for this myth:


Old window panes were thicker at the bottom, implying that glass had slowly flowed under gravity
The atomic arrangement of a glass has long-range disorder that looks very like a snapshot of a liquid's arrangement, while true solids have an orderly (periodic) arrangement. So a glass is really just an extremely slowed-down liquid with very high viscosity.

But (1) is based on the faulty assumption that window panes were uniform in thickness. However, old planes were made from a now obsolete manufacturing process: spinning semi-molten glass, which produced a sheet which was thicker at one end. Glaziers normally found it easier to lay a pane with the thicker end at the bottom. I.e. the glass didn't flow into place, but was in place from the beginning. To demonstrate this further, there are panes where the thicker edge is NOT at the bottom.

(2) is actually a sort of "no true Scotsman" fallacy, defining a solid as having a periodic arrangement. But this is actually a definition of a type of solid: a crystal. In reality, in solids, the atoms vibrate about equilibrium positions, while in liquids there is limited translational freedom—on this level, a glass is definitely solid.

That a glass is not a liquid is shown by the fact of an easily measurable phase transition between the two. However, a glass transition is a second-order phase change, i.e. the second derivatives of the Gibbs function that are discontinuous at the transition temp, e.g. heat capacity, compressibility, volume expansion. A liquid-to-crystal transition is first order, i.e. the first derivatives of the Gibbs function (e.g. entropy, volume) are discontinuous at the transition temp.

There is an operational definition of a glass transition temp Tg where the viscosity of the exceeds 10^13 N s /m^2. About 50 K below that, the viscosity would be so large (if we were to grant the liquid claim for a moment)that there would be hardly a flow of an atomic diameter even in the evolutionary age of the universe, which would not allow for window panes to sink.

Another problem with the "super-viscous liquid" claim is that there is a thermodynamic basis for glass transition, so it's not just a relaxation effect of increasing liquid's viscosity to an arbitrarily high level. In 1948, Walter Kauzmann discovered the "Kauzman paradox" (http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/abstract.cgi/chreay/1948/43/i02/f-pdf/f_cr60135a002.pdf): as a liquid cools, its entropy drops faster than that of its corresponding crystal. Supercooling is certainly possible, where the liquid stays molten even below the freezing point, but if it continues indefinitely, then at a certain temperature (Kauzmann Temperature) its entropy would drop below that of the crystal with the same enthalpy. This would violate the Third Law of Thermodynamics. Thus there must be a phase change before this, involving a calorimetric ideal glass transition temperature T0c.

The observed glass transition temperature Tg depends on how fast the cooling is, but is similar to T0c and approaches T0c as dT/dt → 0.

Rincewind
03-10-2008, 04:10 PM
Old window panes were thicker at the bottom, implying that glass had slowly flowed under gravity

I agree the flowing of glass seems to be apocryphal. Though there has be evidence of very slow flowing liquids such as the long running Pitch Drop Experiment (http://www.physics.uq.edu.au/pitchdrop/pitchdrop.shtml), which incidentally won an Ig-noble prize.


The atomic arrangement of a glass has long-range disorder that looks very like a snapshot of a liquid's arrangement, while true solids have an orderly (periodic) arrangement. So a glass is really just an extremely slowed-down liquid with very high viscosity.


However, this point seems to be more a question of semantics than anything else. By the standard definitions of solids and liquids you would expect there to be a standard transition temperature and latent energy. I appreciate the point you make about the second-order discontinuity but that would seem to indicate there is something different about glass. Furthermore, you said that Tg depends on the rate of cooling which would seem to be different than what one expects for uncontroversial solids.

Therefore, my approach would to be cautious and say glass and standard pressure and temperature appears to be a solid for most everyday mechanical applications. However, to me the phase change properties seem to indicate that, as a phase, glass is neither solid nor liquid.

Capablanca-Fan
03-10-2008, 04:55 PM
I agree the flowing of glass seems to be apocryphal. Though there has be evidence of very slow flowing liquids such as the long running Pitch Drop Experiment (http://www.physics.uq.edu.au/pitchdrop/pitchdrop.shtml), which incidentally won an Ig-noble prize.
That's an interesting one and good pic there, and close to home too! Polymers and colloids can have viscosity that changes with shear stress (thixotropy).

Globular molecules, such can form orientationally disordered solids or plastic crystals. Here, there is a first-order phase transition to a normal orientationally ordered solid where there is fairly free rotation, with a much greater entropy decrease than solidification. There is also an orientational glass transition that's second order, especially favoured when there are strong intermolecular forces.

Liquid crystals comprise rod-shaped molecules and have a number of phases, but unlike globular molecules, they are not my area.


However, this point seems to be more a question of semantics than anything else. By the standard definitions of solids and liquids you would expect there to be a standard transition temperature and latent energy. I appreciate the point you make about the second-order discontinuity but that would seem to indicate there is something different about glass. Furthermore, you said that Tg depends on the rate of cooling which would seem to be different than what one expects for uncontroversial solids.
Yes, there is something different about glass and crystals, but this is consistent with glasses being a type of solid, and certainly not just a liquid that's even more viscous than pitch.


Therefore, my approach would to be cautious and say glass and standard pressure and temperature appears to be a solid for most everyday mechanical applications.
Yes, that's fair.


However, to me the phase change properties seem to indicate that, as a phase, glass is neither solid nor liquid.
Or else it is a solid that's different from the crystalline solids most often studied.

Rincewind
04-10-2008, 02:14 PM
Isn't the greatest power the power to be invisible?

Invisibility cloak 'step closer' (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7553061.stm)

Rincewind
08-10-2008, 06:25 PM
A common theme of science stories (perhaps more so in Australia than elsewhere) is the species once thought extinct is found. The media seems to have such an appetite for these stories that even species once thought extinct in this specific region is rediscovered. Whether the newly discovered population has evaded notice or remigrated back to a previously occupied range is not usualy explored.

Anyway, here is a recent example of this sort of story...

Student finds 'extinct' desert mouse (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/10/07/2383680.htm)

Kevin Bonham
08-10-2008, 11:14 PM
A common theme of science stories (perhaps more so in Australia than elsewhere) is the species once thought extinct is found. The media seems to have such an appetite for these stories that even species once thought extinct in this specific region is rediscovered. Whether the newly discovered population has evaded notice or remigrated back to a previously occupied range is not usualy explored.

The attention on these rediscoveries is frequently an artefact of state threatened species listings. A species that hasn't been seen for ages in a particular state will often be formally listed as extinct from that state, although it is alive elsewhere including close to the border of that state.

Another artefact of state threatened species listings is that a secure species can become considered threatened in a state (and hence receive conservation attention) although the species as a whole is completely secure. Unless the population in question is disjunct or occurring at a genuine (ie habitat or climatic) range extremity then the value of conserving these kinds of populations is dubious.

There was some similar discussion about my rediscovery of an orchid that was listed presumed extinct in Tasmania (but not nationally) earlier this year - but the one remaining Victorian population that was still attributed to that species was only attributed to it on the assumption that the original "Tasmanian" collections were actually from somewhere else. By finding the species exactly where Hooker had said it was in 1840 I did a slight bit of damage to that assumption. :D

Kevin Bonham
08-10-2008, 11:38 PM
Here is a refereed article (PDF LINK) (http://wwwstaff.murdoch.edu.au/~pspencer/_Media/Pseudomys_proofs.pdf) about a 2003 Western Australian range extension for the mouse in question. The authors document that the mouse seems to have contracted its range historically but may now be expanding again.

Incidentally, the only news report Google News found giving the celebrity mouse's scientific name was one from Russia.

Rincewind
15-10-2008, 08:38 PM
The following story is very interesting. A female shark with no contact with male sharks giving birth.

Virgin shark gives birth (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/10/15/2391404.htm)

That study can be accessed here

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/121432430/abstract

Desmond
16-10-2008, 08:34 AM
Maybe god gave up and decided that while man was created in his image, sharks would just have to do as the shephards of his garden. Did 3 wise octopuseses show us?

Kevin Bonham
14-12-2008, 09:02 PM
New extinct New Zealand penguin found using DNA (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081118194528.htm)

The gist of this is that a previously unknown penguin, the Waitaha Penguin (Megadyptes waitaha Boessenkool et al., 2008) has been split from subfossil material previously thought to be the currently present Yellow-Eyed Penguin.

It appears that the Waitaha Penguin was entirely exterminated by Polynesian settlers and then the Yellow-Eyed Penguin expanded into its range to fill the niche left by the demise of its close relative.

Capablanca-Fan
19-12-2008, 11:55 AM
The lobster trap is supposed to be a funnel where lobsters crawl in for the bair and can't crawl out. Hence they are trapped until they are ready to be fished out.

But video footage a few years ago showed that they crawl in and out as they please (http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0109/p11s02-sten.html). The only ones caught are those with the bad luck to be in the "trap" just as it's pulled out.

As an article in the University of New Hampshire’s online magazine (http://unhmagazine.unh.edu/sp04/crustaceans.html) put it:

‘[A] mere 6 percent of the lobsters who entered were caught, largely because they had the bad luck to be in the trap when it was hauled up. Instead of a Crustacean Hotel where the lobsters would “check in and never check out”, the lobster trap works more like a 24-hour roadhouse where the patrons are generally free to leave—usually through the supposedly one-way entrance.’

Capablanca-Fan
19-12-2008, 12:09 PM
Many explanations of bird and airplane flight involve the Bernoulli Effect, in which faster flow of a fluid decreases the pressure (derived from conservation of energy: kinetic energy + potential energy must be the same at all points of a steady-state flow). So the story goes that the curvier top surface of the wing means a greater distance for air to travel per unit time, so greater speed, so lower pressure than on the bottom of the wing, so lift results.

But the numbers are far too small, and this explanation will not explain airplanes flying upside down. More recent studies emphasize Newton’s 3rd Law. Once there is a turning in the flow, then there will be a force on the object doing it. There are two reasons that forward motion causes the wings to deflect air downwards: first, the wings are slanted slightly upwards into the air stream (a positive ‘angle of attack’); second, the Coanda Effect, where a fluid follows the curve of the surface, which from the upper surface points downwards. The fact of a downdraft can be shown easily by standing under helicopter blades in motion, since they are basically rotating wings. ‘The lift of a wing is proportional to the amount of air diverted down times the vertical velocity of that air.’ See Anderson, D. and Eberhardt, S., A Physical Description of Flight (http://home.comcast.net/~clipper-108/lift.htm), and Understanding Flight (http://home.comcast.net/~clipper-108/Book.htm), McGraw–Hill, 2001; for more on this intuitive understanding of flight, that also allows rough estimates of lift.

Prof. Andy McIntosh of Leeds Uni in the UK (http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/3490)teaches his aerodynamics students the ‘mathematical aerodynamics explanation’ that allows lift to be calculated accurately: that fundamentally lift is due to circulation (technical term for the turning of the flow), which will generate lift by reaction. The flow leaves the trailing edge of a real wing smoothly (the Kutta condition) which invokes circulation. Lift is given by l = ρvg, where l = lift per unit of wingspan, ρ = density, v = velocity, g = circulation strength (the Kutta–Zhukovsky theorem).

Kaitlin
03-01-2009, 06:31 PM
Were all going to die in a Borgtron explosion

(there isnt a http://www..../article on it yet that I could find)
but when there is and I find it I will put its link

Rincewind
18-02-2009, 09:31 PM
A disturbing set of numbers (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25069225-25192,00.html)

MATHEMATICS is critical to modern life and it will be essential for formulating a response to the present economic crisis. Yet Australian school children are coming out of schools not knowing that doing a calculation with pencil and paper is the way to learn mathematics. While the federal Government is ploughing money into infrastructure, we are staring at the vista of shiny new classrooms and rows of laptops with no mathematics teachers.

...

Nalini Joshi is the president of the Australian Mathematics Society.

Kevin Bonham
30-03-2009, 11:43 PM
Thanks very much to AR for mentioning this one in the shoutbox:

Evolution study focuses on snail

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7971200.stm

This concerns the snail Cepaea which is one of the most studied of all land snails and spawns endless research papers and debates. One of my Utas colleagues now works on crustaceans but did his PhD on Cepaea in England.

The purpose of the study is to determine whether there have been changes in the distribution of different snail colour patterns over time, as a result of (i) climate change and (ii) apparent decline of a predator.

There is a full website here: http://www.evolutionmegalab.org/

Capablanca-Fan
22-04-2009, 06:46 PM
Proof that burning fuel can soften steel until it bends and a structure collapses. Where has this video been the past 7˝ years? 11-9 conspiracists beware!

Discovery Channel Videos: Destroyed in Seconds: Tanker Truck Inferno (http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/destroyed-in-seconds-tanker-truck-inferno.html)

Oepty
22-04-2009, 08:58 PM
Proof that burning fuel can soften steel until it bends and a structure collapses. Where has this video been the past 7˝ years? 11-9 conspiracists beware!

Discovery Channel Videos: Destroyed in Seconds: Tanker Truck Inferno (http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/destroyed-in-seconds-tanker-truck-inferno.html)

It has been hidden by the conspiracists in a conspiracy to keep their conspiracy theory from being shown to be just another conspiracy.

kjenhager
22-04-2009, 09:26 PM
It has been hidden by the conspiracists in a conspiracy to keep their conspiracy theory from being shown to be just another conspiracy.
you conspirator !

Desmond
22-04-2009, 10:10 PM
It has been hidden by the conspiracists in a conspiracy to keep their conspiracy theory from being shown to be just another conspiracy.no no no, that's just what they want you to think.

Rincewind
28-05-2009, 05:19 PM
Japanese researchers this week report the passing of a transgene from a primate to its offspring (see Nature 459, 515–516; 2009, and Nature 459, 523–527; 2009). The work could establish marmosets as a model research organism to rival the more commonly used rhesus macaque, and usher in a new era of primates as human-disease models.

BBC coverage:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8070252.stm

Nature news item:

http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090527/full/459492a.html

Although the Nature news item did display a sense of humour, employing the subtitle "Monkey magic?"

kjenhager
26-06-2009, 04:26 AM
http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Health/story?id=7880954&page=1

Spiny Norman
26-06-2009, 05:03 AM
How very strange! Is that story for real? If so, would certainly lend support to the idea that it is possible for humans to live for much longer than their current life span. But it seems much more likely to me that it is some kind of breakdown in the normal development process, not a slowdown in the aging process. (especially given the other medical abnormalities that are mentioned in the article, something seems to be 'broken', not 'improved')

arosar
14-07-2009, 07:55 PM
Hey boys...boys, you may have heard of Simon Singh. He's a bloke in Britain who's been sued by some chiropractors association in the UK for his article in the Guardian.

Read here: http://gimpyblog.wordpress.com/2008/08/17/the-libellous-simon-singh-article-on-chiropractors/

As far as I am concerned, the goddamn chiropractors should leave this bloke alone. Libel laws have no place in scientific debate.

On that note, what do youse all reckon of chiropractors? Is it science or quack?

Cheers,

AR

Kevin Bonham
14-07-2009, 08:09 PM
Hey boys...boys, you may have heard of Simon Singh. He's a bloke in Britain who's been sued by some chiropractors association in the UK for his article in the Guardian.

Read here: http://gimpyblog.wordpress.com/2008/08/17/the-libellous-simon-singh-article-on-chiropractors/

As far as I am concerned, the goddamn chiropractors should leave this bloke alone. Libel laws have no place in scientific debate.

The bizarre thing is that under British libel law, a professional organisation of specialists is able to actually claim legal person status and sue for loss of reputation. Completely ridiculous. In Australia a group or company of any size cannot sue for defo in this manner anymore.


On that note, what do youse all reckon of chiropractors? Is it science or quack?

Have not studied it at all closely but I get the impression there's a bit of both in there - some of it probably works, some doesn't but the underlying philosophy is often nonsense.

Axiom
14-07-2009, 08:29 PM
On that note, what do youse all reckon of chiropractors? Is it science or quack?

Cheers,

AR
On balance it may be science or quackery , but i can testify first hand, to an instantaneous cure from a quick(i won't say "snappy") spinal manipulation .

Rincewind
15-07-2009, 12:11 AM
Hey boys...boys, you may have heard of Simon Singh.

He has written at least two very good books. One on cryptography and another on Fermat's last theorem. I hope he has the money to take on these chiropractors. Yes they might be able to help with a stiff back. However some of the wackier claims should not be allowed to be made without evidence to back it up.

Oepty
15-07-2009, 06:08 PM
He has written at least two very good books. One on cryptography and another on Fermat's last theorem. I hope he has the money to take on these chiropractors. Yes they might be able to help with a stiff back. However some of the wackier claims should not be allowed to be made without evidence to back it up.

I heard him interviewed and I think he is going to fight this, largely because he has enough money to do so because of the sales of those two books.
Scott

Axiom
17-07-2009, 04:23 AM
http://www.adn.com/2835/story/864687.html

Igor_Goldenberg
17-07-2009, 10:41 AM
http://www.adn.com/2835/story/864687.html
Could it be the one-year collection of what politicians said?

arosar
21-07-2009, 11:55 AM
"What's so romantic about science?" asks Slate (http://www.slate.com/id/2222360).

AR

Capablanca-Fan
22-07-2009, 12:11 AM
A hilarious parody of homeopathy and other quack medicines

HMGIbOGu8q0

Ian Rout
22-07-2009, 09:40 AM
And for those who haven't caught up with the chess connection to events on Jupiter, see here (http://chessexpress.blogspot.com/2009/07/look-up-in-sky.html).

arosar
22-07-2009, 11:25 AM
And this one is complicated: http://www.smh.com.au/world/alcoholic-dies-after-doctors-refuse-liver-transplant-20090722-dsar.html

Now, of course, there's possibly a whole lot of information that is not available to us, but let me ask the question anyway. Were the doctors justified?

AR

Axiom
26-07-2009, 03:25 AM
A detailed, functional artificial human brain can be built within the next 10 years, a leading scientist has claimed.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8164060.stm


( BBC guilty of a misleading headline ? :rolleyes: )

Axiom
26-07-2009, 04:34 AM
The Open Chemical Physics Journal

Volume 2
ISSN: 1874-4125

http://www.bentham-open.org/pages/content.php?TOCPJ/2009/00000002/00000001/7TOCPJ.SGM


Bentham Open Access
BENTHAM OPEN publish over 250 peer-reviewed open access journals. These free-to-view online journals cover all major disciplines of science, technology, and medicine.

"Free open access to information is vital to scientific and socio-economic progress."
H. W. Kroto
(Nobel Laureate)


"The advantage of the Open Journal series is that it is just that: open, and accessible to anyone with a PC at no charge I appeal to scholars across the disciplines to consider the Open Journal series as a forum for their work."
J.C. Jones
(University of Aberdeen, Scotland)

Rincewind
26-07-2009, 12:10 PM
( BBC guilty of a misleading headline ? :rolleyes: )

It wouldn't be the first time. The days of BBC holding themselves to a higher standard or reporting integrity have long since passed (if ever they existed at all!)

Anyway, in this case their headline is fair use. The inverted commas make it clear they are reporting a specific person making making that claim and not reporting it as something commonly believed by the artificial intelligence discipline.

Rincewind
26-07-2009, 01:16 PM
The Open Chemical Physics Journal

BENTHAM OPEN publish over 250 peer-reviewed open access journals. These free-to-view online journals cover all major disciplines of science, technology, and medicine.

"Free open access to information is vital to scientific and socio-economic progress."
H. W. Kroto
(Nobel Laureate)

"The advantage of the Open Journal series is that it is just that: open, and accessible to anyone with a PC at no charge I appeal to scholars across the disciplines to consider the Open Journal series as a forum for their work."
J.C. Jones
(University of Aberdeen, Scotland)

Yes it is a serious peer reviewed journal but one conspiracy theory fuelled paper in the literature does not make a conspiracy theory.

In my opinion, the publication of that article will dent the credibility of that journal and open access publication in general. It will be interesting to see the fallout. Perhaps I will collect samples and look for anything I can interpret to confirm a government conspiracy. :)

Rincewind
26-07-2009, 01:38 PM
Bentham Open Access
BENTHAM OPEN publish over 250 peer-reviewed open access journals. These free-to-view online journals cover all major disciplines of science, technology, and medicine.

Looks like Bentham is getting a (bad) name with those on their editorial boards.

Editors quit after fake paper flap (http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55759/)

The editor-in-chief of an open access journal has stepped down from his post after learning that the journal accepted a fake, computer-generated article for publication. So has an editorial advisory board member of a second journal published by the same company, Bentham Science Publishers.

Axiom
26-07-2009, 02:03 PM
Anyway, in this case their headline is fair use. The inverted commas make it clear they are reporting a specific person making making that claim and not reporting it as something commonly believed by the artificial intelligence discipline.
good point, except the inverted commas are placed around the ' 10 years away' part of the headline .
The use of the term "artificial brain" is the misleading part .
So maybe not misleading in terms of time , but of subject matter ?

Axiom
26-07-2009, 02:06 PM
Yes it is a serious peer reviewed journal but one conspiracy theory fuelled paper in the literature does not make a conspiracy theory.

In my opinion, the publication of that article will dent the credibility of that journal and open access publication in general. It will be interesting to see the fallout. Perhaps I will collect samples and look for anything I can interpret to confirm a government conspiracy. :)





Looks like Bentham is getting a (bad) name with those on their editorial boards.

Editors quit after fake paper flap (http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55759/)

The editor-in-chief of an open access journal has stepped down from his post after learning that the journal accepted a fake, computer-generated article for publication. So has an editorial advisory board member of a second journal published by the same company, Bentham Science Publishers.
but the question remains was evidence of thermite found in the wtc sample ?

Axiom
26-07-2009, 02:56 PM
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20327185.600-microwave-weapon-will-rain-pain-from-the-sky.html

Rincewind
26-07-2009, 04:42 PM
but the question remains was evidence of thermite found in the wtc sample ?

I would say not. But the reason why Bentham Scientific is having trouble keeping editors is more interesting.

Rincewind
26-07-2009, 04:50 PM
good point, except the inverted commas are placed around the ' 10 years away' part of the headline .
The use of the term "artificial brain" is the misleading part .
So maybe not misleading in terms of time , but of subject matter ?

With the section in the inverted commas removed the headline is just Artificial Brain. As it is just a noun, I don't see how it can be misleading.

Certainly the claim was string than that reported. They were claiming an Artificial human brain was 10 years away. An artificial rodent brain (it is claimed) is on a shorter time line.

Personally I think massively parallel environments like IBM Blue Gene is a very useful tool for certain types of simulation, but if you wanted me to bet on a human level of artificial intelligence could be developed within 10 years, I'd bet against it.

Igor_Goldenberg
26-07-2009, 05:39 PM
A detailed, functional artificial human brain can be built within the next 10 years, a leading scientist has claimed.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8164060.stm


( BBC guilty of a misleading headline ? :rolleyes: )
Reminds me how Hodja Nasreddin promised sheik to teach his donkey to speak within 10 years in exchange of sizeable reward (paid upfront!). To his friend Nasreddin explained:
In 10 year either me, sheik or donkey will be dead anyway.

Axiom
26-07-2009, 06:24 PM
Reminds me how Hodja Nasreddin promised sheik to teach his donkey to speak within 10 years in exchange of sizeable reward (paid upfront!). To his friend Nasreddin explained:
In 10 year either me, sheik or donkey will be dead anyway.
:lol:
:clap: :clap:

Axiom
26-07-2009, 06:51 PM
With the section in the inverted commas removed the headline is just Artificial Brain. As it is just a noun, I don't see how it can be misleading.

Certainly the claim was string than that reported. They were claiming an Artificial human brain was 10 years away. An artificial rodent brain (it is claimed) is on a shorter time line.

Personally I think massively parallel environments like IBM Blue Gene is a very useful tool for certain types of simulation, but if you wanted me to bet on a human level of artificial intelligence could be developed within 10 years, I'd bet against it.
maybe should have had inverted commas around the words 'artificial brain' as well?

Rincewind
26-07-2009, 07:00 PM
maybe should have had inverted commas around the words 'artificial brain' as well?

Nope, not needed for the reasons I've already said. Since you have no reason to suggest otherwise I assume you are being obtuse.

Axiom
26-07-2009, 07:06 PM
Nope, not needed for the reasons I've already said. Since you have no reason to suggest otherwise I assume you are being obtuse.
i'm sorry i don't understand your reasoning.

There are 2 components to the head line
1) artificial brain
2) the time to acquire such .

my point is that not only is the time to acquire such misleading , but the thing trying to be acquired is misleading , as per the content of the article .

Rincewind
26-07-2009, 11:40 PM
i'm sorry i don't understand your reasoning.

There are 2 components to the head line
1) artificial brain
2) the time to acquire such .

my point is that not only is the time to acquire such misleading , but the thing trying to be acquired is misleading , as per the content of the article .

There is only one aspect to the claim. A noun by itself makes no claim so how could it be leading or misleading? Perhaps you need to elucidate your reasons rather than making the rather vague argument "as per the content of the article."

Axiom
27-07-2009, 12:00 AM
There is only one aspect to the claim. A noun by itself makes no claim so how could it be leading or misleading? Perhaps you need to elucidate your reasons rather than making the rather vague argument "as per the content of the article."
because the article's content is so far removed from describing an actual ARTIFICIAL BRAIN .

Rincewind
27-07-2009, 07:50 AM
because the article's content is so far removed from describing an actual ARTIFICIAL BRAIN .

It does not say that it does describe an artificial brain. It is reporting a claim the actual words of which are

"It is not impossible to build a human brain and we can do it in 10 years"

Thus, Artificial brain '10 years away' is not a misleading headline describing that claim.

Axiom
27-07-2009, 02:57 PM
It does not say that it does describe an artificial brain. It is reporting a claim the actual words of which are

"It is not impossible to build a human brain and we can do it in 10 years"

Thus, Artificial brain '10 years away' is not a misleading headline describing that claim.
ok, im with you

Desmond
28-07-2009, 10:06 AM
Invisible Flash: camera takes undetectable photos (http://www.pcauthority.com.au/News/151272,invisible-flash-camera-takes-undetectable-photos.aspx)


Researchers have demonstrated a "dark flash" that takes photos without emitting the bright visible flash normally visible to the naked eye.
...

arosar
29-07-2009, 11:27 PM
Now available on Wikipedia are the so-called Rorshach inkblot tests. See here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rorschach_test.

Take a look at them now as they could disappear altogether. There is hot debate surrounding the tests particularly among psychologists. Some say they should be there, others say they could threaten the testing procedure.

See also http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/29/technology/internet/29inkblot.html

AR

Axiom
29-07-2009, 11:35 PM
Now available on Wikipedia are the so-called Rorshach inkblot tests. See here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rorschach_test.

Take a look at them now as they could disappear altogether. There is hot debate surrounding the tests particularly among psychologists. Some say they should be there, others say they could threaten the testing procedure.

See also http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/29/technology/internet/29inkblot.html

AR
bout time they got some new ones anyway ;)

Rincewind
30-07-2009, 09:24 AM
Cheddar lost in space

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/wiltshire/8171619.stm

The cheddar has landed

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/somerset/8175347.stm

AzureBlue
30-07-2009, 02:31 PM
Cheddar lost in space

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/wiltshire/8171619.stm

The cheddar has landed

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/somerset/8175347.stm
Wow... is that literally a piece of... cheese?

Axiom
30-07-2009, 09:12 PM
Wow... is that literally a piece of... cheese?
it's not the moon

Spiny Norman
17-08-2009, 06:26 PM
Optic nerve fibres re-route themselves in order to preserve vision in a girl born with 1/2 a brain:

http://www.livescience.com/health/090727-one-eye-vision.html

Capablanca-Fan
24-08-2009, 11:34 PM
What colour is the sun?
White is the nearest. That's why white things look white in sunlight. The traditional yellow colour in pictures comes from the fact that most people look more or less directly at the sun when it is less intense near the horizon, where the atmosphere has scattered much blue light out of the line of sight. Even up in the sky, there is a contrast effect with the blue sky. It's peak wavelength is green, but its colour depends on all the wavelengths and the eye's sensitivity to them. If anything, the sun has a pinkish tinge.

What colour is the moon?
Black, to an approximation. Much of the surface facing earth is the black rock volcanic basalt (the maria).

arosar
25-08-2009, 10:48 PM
In the SMH today were a couple of fascinating science stories. The first (http://www.smh.com.au/world/science/what-a-blast-storms-on-the-edge-of-space-20090824-ewli.html) was about "jet lightning". Then later they had an item about "morning glory clouds". The paper's source about the clouds story looked to be this entry (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090824.html) by NASA.

Just beautiful stuff.

AR

Rincewind
25-08-2009, 11:30 PM
In the SMH today were a couple of fascinating science stories. The first (http://www.smh.com.au/world/science/what-a-blast-storms-on-the-edge-of-space-20090824-ewli.html) was about "jet lightning". Then later they had an item about "morning glory clouds". The paper's source about the clouds story looked to be this entry (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090824.html) by NASA.

I went to an applied maths talk a couple of years go on these clouds and the story I got was they were caused by a special sort of wave called a soliton in a stratified atmosphere. I'll try and dig up the abstract at work tomorrow and post more details if I can.

Anyone interested in the maths the governing equation is known as the KdV equation (because that's easier to say that Korteweg-de Vries). More details on KdV is here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korteweg%E2%80%93de_Vries_equation) and here (http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Korteweg-deVriesEquation.html).

Rincewind
07-09-2009, 11:39 AM
A new species of giant rat has been discovered deep in the jungle of Papua New Guinea.

Giant rat found in 'lost volcano' (http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8210000/8210394.stm)

Although far from the largest rodent, it appears to be a true rat (genus Rattus) and if that is confirmed will be the largest extant species of that genus.

Hobbes
07-09-2009, 12:26 PM
R.o.u.s.

Desmond
07-09-2009, 12:35 PM
Was it teaching adolescent turtles kung fu?

Desmond
16-12-2009, 08:19 PM
History of the Universe Made Easy (Part 1) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wg1fs6vp9Ok)

ElevatorEscapee
31-12-2009, 05:50 PM
Excitement!

A new species of rat has been discovered near a volcano in New Guinea.

The specimen captured was 82cm long and weighed over 1.5kgs... one of the scientists was quoted as saying: "I had a cat and it was about the same size as this rat!"

More details here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8210000/8210394.stm
:)

Rincewind
31-12-2009, 06:59 PM
Excitement!

A new species of rat has been discovered near a volcano in New Guinea.

Did you look up 5 posts before submitting this post? ;)

Desmond
10-01-2010, 07:53 AM
Researchers: Nano-cocktail could target, kill cancerous tumors (http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9143286/Researchers_Nano_cocktail_could_target_kill_cancer ous_tumors)

University research teams mix nanomaterials that give tumors a one-two punch in trials

Teams of researchers from three universities are jointly developing a nanotechnology cocktail that should target and kill cancerous tumors.

The mixture of two different-sized nanoparticles work with the body's bloodstream to seek out, stick to and kill tumors, according to MIT. The nanomaterials, which are a thousand times smaller than the diameter of a human hair, are injected into the patient's vein. One nanomaterial is designed find the cancerous tumor and then adhere to it, while the second nanomaterial is designed to then kill the tumor.

...

Spiny Norman
21-01-2010, 10:07 AM
o1dgrvlWML4

Adamski
21-01-2010, 11:20 PM
Interesting chess analogy to scientific laws discovery. Thanks TSK!

Kevin Bonham
05-03-2010, 12:58 AM
"Extinct" frog rediscovered in NSW (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/03/04/2836418.htm?section=justin)

A frog not seen alive since 1980 and thought to be possibly extinct as a result of chytrid fungus (which has KOd many frog species) has been found alive in the wild.

As far as I can tell the frog did not have Extinct status at any of state, national or IUCN level and thus the formal lists were (for once) appropriately cautious about whether the species had really snuffed it. This is a common precaution where the last record is less than 50 years ago though I am aware of cases where that precaution has unwisely been neglected, even with poorly researched species. The media reports may be slightly exaggerating the extent of confidence that the species was gone.

Frank Sartor has been gilding the lily rather more than a little by claiming that this is as significant as if the thylacine was rediscovered. It is a highly significant and extremely welcome find but it is neither as improbable nor as significant a find as rediscovering the thylacine. Obvious reasons why the rediscovery of the frog was more likely included the small size of the species (hence more chance of missing a colony), the shorter time for which it had been AWOL, the comparatively lesser amount of search effort, and the initial decline being mainly caused by a single factor rather than a cocktail in the case of the thylacine. Also while any extinction is terrible, the extinction of the thylacine represented a far greater loss of genetic diversity than the extinction of a frog from a genus with 150+ species.

arosar
06-04-2010, 10:23 PM
Oriental Yeti (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/biology_evolution/article7088318.ece).

AR

Kevin Bonham
06-04-2010, 11:09 PM
Will be interesting to see what that turns out to be but it really doesn't have all that much yeti cred. It's clearly quadruped and not particularly big. Probably something run of the mill that is diseased with mange. Absolute media frenzy about it but I suspect that will be way out of proportion to actual scientific interest.

arosar
09-04-2010, 12:27 AM
Previously unknown human species discovered (http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/apr/08/fossil-skeletons-unknown-human-ancestor) in Africa.

AR

Rincewind
09-04-2010, 01:20 AM
Previously unknown human species discovered (http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/apr/08/fossil-skeletons-unknown-human-ancestor) in Africa.

AR

The reporting in the story was far more conservative than indicated by your one sentence. The Guardian included words like "may," "could," "possibly," and "scientists claim".

Reporting new findings in direct human ancestors and related species is always controversial as it is difficult to really know and there is some pressure to advance one's findings as being as significant as possible. Some consensus among paleontologists may eventually be reached but it is probably too early to make a call one way or the other on this finding.

Kevin Bonham
15-04-2010, 12:56 AM
Multicellular animals found living in environment completely bereft of oxygen (http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20100408/sc_livescience/animalslivingwithoutoxygendiscoveredforfirsttime)

And no, they weren't Toolbox posters. :owned:

Capablanca-Fan
18-04-2010, 11:03 AM
Previously unknown human species discovered (http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/apr/08/fossil-skeletons-unknown-human-ancestor) in Africa.
Australopithecus sediba—no human ancestor (http://creation.com/sediba-not-human-ancestor)
New alleged hominid ignites debate, but is no missing link
by Peter Line, Ph.D.

Rincewind
18-04-2010, 03:30 PM
Australopithecus sediba—no human ancestor (http://creation.com/sediba-not-human-ancestor)
New alleged hominid ignites debate, but is no missing link
by Peter Line, Ph.D.

Whether a human ancestor or not posting non-peer reviewed articles by non-specialists appearing in what amounts to a church newsletter is hardly going to convince anyone who didn't already believe in the literal truth in a particular subset of fairy-tales.

I request in the future that links in this particular thread by limited to either science press or mainstream media coverage of discoveries reported in the science press.

Capablanca-Fan
19-04-2010, 02:02 AM
Whether a human ancestor or not posting non-peer reviewed articles by non-specialists appearing in what amounts to a church newsletter is hardly going to convince anyone who didn't already believe in the literal truth in a particular subset of fairy-tales.
You atheopathic bias has long been noted. This article was peer reviewed, and by a Ph.D. neuroscientist who has deeply research hominid and australopithecine skulls, and cited the relevant primary literature. The previous piece on the topic was from the leftist Guardian newspaper, and you didn't whinge.

Rincewind
19-04-2010, 08:23 AM
You atheopathic bias has long been noted. This article was peer reviewed, and by a Ph.D. neuroscientist who has deeply research hominid and australopithecine skulls, and cited the relevant primary literature. The previous piece on the topic was from the leftist Guardian newspaper, and you didn't whinge.

The article was not peer-reviewed it appeared in the house journal of a ID promotion organisation which openly states that facts must be wrong if they disagree with scripture. So any credibility it might have had (given the author has a PhD albeit in a nonrelated field) goes out the window once the biases of the publisher (and by association the author) are made clear.

Regarding the previous piece, scientific discovery and their reporting in the mainstream media is what this thread is about. In this case I consider the guardian piece to be quite reserved, especially when compared to the one line introduction given by Amiel. :)

Rincewind
22-05-2010, 01:59 AM
US team creates synthetic life (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/21/2905396.htm)

Scientists in the United States have announced they have developed the world's first synthetic living cell.

antichrist
23-05-2010, 12:54 PM
I was amazed by a story just heard on a BBC science report.

It was supposedly only discovered a few hundred years ago that sperm was responsible for pregnancy (with the egg of course). It was discovered by an Italian scientist who made a sort of c..d.m out of tafeta, which prevented the frog from being pregnant. But later in maybe a first for artificial insemination implanted it frog and she became pregnant.

I think someone wrote in scriptures that became the Bible that every drop of sperm was precious etc etc. so it seemed like they knew what it's potential was.

I can't believe with all the activity between adults through a million years (or whatever) that man has evolved that they did not discover this.

Hobbes
23-05-2010, 01:21 PM
I think someone wrote in scriptures that became the Bible that every drop of sperm was precious etc etc.

Probably you are right, but because I have never read the Bible it sounds to me like you have the Bible confused with Monty Python (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0kJHQpvgB8)

antichrist
23-05-2010, 08:01 PM
Probably you are right, but because I have never read the Bible it sounds to me like you have the Bible confused with Monty Python (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0kJHQpvgB8)

I am sure that the Biblical version was not as entertaining Monty Python's. That was excellent. The funny part was the guy getting out of the coffin and also claiming such for his. When that film was made maybe they could not preserve them and use later as they later could.

A contradiction of the Biblical line is that about 2/3 of abortions are spontaneous abortions, that is they happen without intervention. This is also a contradiction of the anti-abortionists claiming that abortion is against God's will, when God supposedly designed us so that many would spontaneously abort.

Capablanca-Fan
26-05-2010, 04:59 AM
US team creates synthetic life (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/21/2905396.htm)

Scientists in the United States have announced they have developed the world's first synthetic living cell.
See my analysis of Venter's achievement, Was life really created in a test tube? And does it disprove biblical creation? (http://creation.com/synthetic-life-by-venter)

Rincewind
26-05-2010, 09:53 AM
See my analysis of Venter's achievement, Was life really created in a test tube? And does it disprove biblical creation? (http://creation.com/synthetic-life-by-venter)

More igorance.

Rincewind
26-05-2010, 04:01 PM
Here is a classic story of stumbling on a dinosaur find. Not a new dinosaur but and fun story.

Ichthyosaur found in school vegie patch (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/26/2909511.htm)

A school student and groundsman have unearthed a giant dinosaur-like sea creature in a vegie garden, 100 million years after the ancient inland sea it once roamed dried up.

For more info on ichthyosaurs check out All About Ichthyosaurs (http://dinosaurs.about.com/od/typesofdinosaurs/a/ichthyosaurs.htm)

antichrist
26-05-2010, 05:24 PM
Here is a classic story of stumbling on a dinosaur find. Not a new dinosaur but and fun story.

Ichthyosaur found in school vegie patch (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/26/2909511.htm)

A school student and groundsman have unearthed a giant dinosaur-like sea creature in a vegie garden, 100 million years after the ancient inland sea it once roamed dried up.

For more info on ichthyosaurs check out All About Ichthyosaurs (http://dinosaurs.about.com/od/typesofdinosaurs/a/ichthyosaurs.htm)

This is quite plausible. When a I was a youngster the floods used to wash willows out of the flood plains, leaving a "lake" about 6 metres across and 1.5 metres deep. Every day when going home from school we would check it out as the water was going down, and eventually a few weeks later it would be down to about a 9 inches deep. We would then just catch the fish with our hands. If there was no human or other creature to catch them they would become fossils - embedded with composted leaves etc.

arosar
02-06-2010, 11:18 AM
Oh look! A new species (http://futurity.org/top-stories/new-wrinkle-eyed-dino-species-confirmed/) of overgrown lizard!

AR

Rincewind
30-07-2010, 06:46 PM
Maths solves sperm movement mystery (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/07/30/2969162.htm)

Interesting story but the link to Australia is more than this just being the ABC website version. The story says "UK mathematicians Dr David Smith and Professor John Blake." However Professor John Blake is (if not Australian) then trained and worked in Australia as he is an Adelaide graduate who went to Cambridge to do his PhD with a very famous mathematician (Lighthill (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Lighthill)) and at one point was Professor of Applied Mathematics (and head of school) at the University of Wollongong (early 1990s).

Bereaved
29-09-2010, 11:29 PM
Hello everyone,

I thought the following article was very funny and eerily accurate

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/the-lay-scientist/2010/sep/24/1


Take care and God Bless, Macavity

Kevin Bonham
29-09-2010, 11:41 PM
Hello everyone,

I thought the following article was very funny and eerily accurate

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/the-lay-scientist/2010/sep/24/1


Excellent! And the links section is truly the icing on the cake.

Here's one of interest to me:

One-third of mammals that have been assumed extinct in modern times are not (http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/journal/a-third-of-extinct-mammals-are-alive-says-report.htm)

And if it's 1/3 of mammals, imagine what the proportion is for invertebrates or tiny plants. In my experience, perhaps eight or nine out of ten!

Kevin Bonham
20-05-2011, 11:34 PM
And another fine addition to the canon of extinction-rate scepticism:

Mathematical study shows species-area methods for estimating extinction rates produce results 2.5 times too high (http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/news/4326/extinction-reports-have-been-greatly-exaggerated?page=0%2C0)

(I wouldn't be surprised if the errors are even greater than that!)

Rincewind
24-05-2011, 03:06 PM
That was an intriguing story especially since I have never heard of a publication in Nature being delayed because the authors were waiting for a mathematical proof!!!

The current issue of CSIRO's Maths By Email also ran with a story on mathematical models for species extinction and I thought may have stemmed from the same paper. I've only managed to give the issue the once over but it appears to be talking about some otherwise unrelated research.

http://www.csiro.au/helix/mathsbyemail/newsletter/newsletter.html

Note that the Maths By Email people don't support permanent linking to their newsletter online and so the link above is probably only going to relate to species extinction for the next two weeks.

Rincewind
15-07-2011, 12:40 PM
Here is a 'feel good' story about scientists checking bird droppings for snails that might have survived the digestive process.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/14048754

Capablanca-Fan
05-08-2011, 08:22 AM
Will comet Elenin destroy us? (http://creation.com/comet-elenin)
And: What about the planets lining up in the sky?

My subcompact automobile exerts a greater influence on the ocean’s tides than comet Elenin ever will.—Don Yeomans, of NASA’s NEO program.

Understanding the inverse cube law of tidal forces should immunize readers against any sensationalist nonsense.

Igor_Goldenberg
08-08-2011, 11:20 AM
Will comet Elenin destroy us? (http://creation.com/comet-elenin)
And: What about the planets lining up in the sky?

My subcompact automobile exerts a greater influence on the ocean’s tides than comet Elenin ever will.—Don Yeomans, of NASA’s NEO program.

Understanding the inverse cube law of tidal forces should immunize readers against any sensationalist nonsense.

I'd be wary of E. Lenin - just the name along is quite dangerous.

antichrist
08-08-2011, 11:25 AM
I'd be wary of E. Lenin - just the name along is quite dangerous.

well after 4 long months of waiting for Igors next post and we only get a play on words

Garrett
08-08-2011, 04:33 PM
well after 4 long months of waiting for Igors next post and we only get a play on words

well let's see what you can come up with after 4 long months off.

Igor_Goldenberg
19-08-2011, 03:09 PM
I am not sure whether it belongs here or in the jokes thread. I wanted to put in greenies/lefties bashing threads, but don't want to be too cruel to them. Anyway, finally a credible scientific evidence to support carbon tax:

Aliens may destroy humanity to protect other civilisations, say scientists (http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/aug/18/aliens-destroy-humanity-protect-civilisations?CMP=twt_gu)


Watching from afar, extraterrestrial beings might view changes in Earth's atmosphere as symptomatic of a civilisation growing out of control – and take drastic action to keep us from becoming a more serious threat, the researchers explain.

Capablanca-Fan
19-08-2011, 03:16 PM
I am not sure whether it belongs here or in the jokes thread. I wanted to put in greenies/lefties bashing threads, but don't want to be too cruel to them. Anyway, finally a credible scientific evidence to support carbon tax:

Aliens may destroy humanity to protect other civilisations, say scientists (http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/aug/18/aliens-destroy-humanity-protect-civilisations?CMP=twt_gu)


Watching from afar, extraterrestrial beings might view changes in Earth's atmosphere as symptomatic of a civilisation growing out of control – and take drastic action to keep us from becoming a more serious threat, the researchers explain.
Hmm, just checking date ... no, not April 1.:hmm: :lol:

Adamski
19-08-2011, 03:41 PM
Hmm, just checking date ... no, not April 1.:hmm: :lol:
Note the wonderful advice that any communication with ET's should be limited to mathematical discourse! Whar are we to make of the fact that this item appeared in The Guardian?

Rincewind
19-08-2011, 05:41 PM
Note the wonderful advice that any communication with ET's should be limited to mathematical discourse! Whar are we to make of the fact that this item appeared in The Guardian?

The reporting here (and in the Guardian to a lesser extent) seem to be focusing on one scenario of many that were actually examined. I don't know what passes for research in astrobiology but a report on possible scenarios of ET life encounters would seem to be pushing the envelop of what would normally be considered science and even more dubious to classify it as research.

Judging from the news item, those who prepared the report seemed to indicate this scenario was very unlikely and therefore it cannot be considered a serious argument for reducing C02 emissions. There are more compelling arguments for that in any case.

Igor_Goldenberg
19-08-2011, 09:28 PM
I apologise to any true believer whose religious feeling I might have inadvertently insulted.

Rincewind
19-08-2011, 10:26 PM
I apologise to any morons who mistake the mass media for a scientific outlet.

Kevin Bonham
19-08-2011, 10:43 PM
Full thing downloadable at http://arxiv.org/abs/1104.4462 for anyone who wants to read it for themselves.

littlesprout85
19-08-2011, 11:12 PM
From Da Top Rope =-/|\.......

SLAMMMM !!!!!!!! Sprouty thinks Rincewinds is a superStar =o)

-Sprout85 =)

Igor_Goldenberg
20-08-2011, 12:52 PM
Full thing downloadable at http://arxiv.org/abs/1104.4462 for anyone who wants to read it for themselves.
Is it the one that certain distinguished poster confused for mass media?

Rincewind
20-08-2011, 01:24 PM
Is it the one that certain distinguished poster confused for mass media?

As you are obviously not scientifically literate I should explain that strictly speaking the answer to your question is no. It in an archive of manuscripts which are maintained by authors and not guaranteed to be peer-reviewed. The paper is officially published in Acta Astronautica and the arxiv is an uncontrolled store of manuscipts many of which are not published and some of which for good reason.

However in this case it is reasonable to assume there would be very few (if any) differences between the arxiv version and the official version.

Rincewind
20-08-2011, 01:28 PM
Is it the one that certain distinguished poster confused for mass media?

As you are obviously unable to follow the temporal order of posts I would point out that Kevin's post was made after mine so how my post was meant to pre-empt Kevin's posting a link by 15 minutes is a little puzzling.

Igor_Goldenberg
01-09-2011, 08:59 PM
New virus hunts and kills cancer cells, Canadian scientists say (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/new-virus-hunts-and-kills-cancer-cells-canadian-scientists-say/story-fn3dxity-1226127619119)

morebeer
01-09-2011, 09:58 PM
I apologise to any morons who mistake the mass media for a scientific outlet.

For an amusing/disturbing account of the mainstream media's near complete scientific illiteracy, see Ben Goldacre's book Bad Science.

He makes the salient point, amongst many others, that the business community would not tolerate the same level of ineptitude in the reporting of economics.

Rincewind
16-09-2011, 10:32 AM
The following story is doing the rounds at the moment.

Amber inclusions showcase prehistoric feathers (http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110915/full/news.2011.539.html)

Fossils could help to reveal how dino feathers first evolved.

Brian Switek

A painstaking search through thousands of chunks of amber has unearthed 11 prehistoric feathers. They promise an unprecedented look at the history of these peculiar structures in both birds and non-avian dinosaurs.

...

Hobbes
23-09-2011, 10:09 PM
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/einstein-theory-rattled-at-high-speed/story-e6frg6so-1226144323956

Ian Murray
24-09-2011, 08:07 AM
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/einstein-theory-rattled-at-high-speed/story-e6frg6so-1226144323956
It was a photo finish:
Since the speed of light is 299,792,458 metres per second, the neutrinos were evidently travelling at 299,798,454 metres per second.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/sep/22/faster-than-light-particles-neutrinos?newsfeed=true

Capablanca-Fan
24-09-2011, 10:56 AM
It was a photo finish:
Since the speed of light is 299,792,458 metres per second, the neutrinos were evidently travelling at 299,798,454 metres per second.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/sep/22/faster-than-light-particles-neutrinos?newsfeed=true
I.e. 0.002% faster. It is more likely that the experiment was mistaken than general and special relativity are wrong, given all the experimental support for these theories. Especially as neutrinos are now thought to have some rest mass unlike photons, enabling them to oscillate between types and solve the solar neutrino shortfall.

Rincewind
24-09-2011, 12:28 PM
I.e. 0.002% faster. It is more likely that the experiment was mistaken than general and special relativity are wrong, given all the experimental support for these theories. Especially as neutrinos are now thought to have some rest mass unlike photons, enabling them to oscillate between types and solve the solar neutrino shortfall.

That may be true but it seems the scientists were competent and accounted for the major sources of error and when adding the total error margins together it shouldn't get near the amount needed for the neutrinos to be travelling slower than light (in absolute time the neutrinos arrived 60ns before they ought to have). So at this stage it's still unknown.

My money is on either experimental error or some new phenomenon which somehow causes the neutrinos to tunnel outside of standard space-time with odds of about 50-50 either way. :) Whatever the answer, special relativity is still incredibly useful and so you could see this result (if not an error) and telling us more about the applicability special relativity than totally invalidating it. (In the same way that Newtonian Mechanics is still very useful today).

Hobbes
25-09-2011, 12:50 AM
http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/neutrinos.png (https://www.xkcd.com/955/)

Capablanca-Fan
28-09-2011, 02:02 AM
Why OPERA’s claim for faster-than-light neutrinos is not wrong (http://johncostella.webs.com/neutrino-blunder.pdf)
John P. Costella, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia
(25 September 2011)

Rincewind
28-09-2011, 09:22 AM
A more accurate description of that would be "why the reason I thought the neutrino was wrong, was wrong" :)

Capablanca-Fan
01-10-2011, 11:52 AM
Now theorists are proposing reasons why v > c:

Superluminal neutrinos at the OPERA? (http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/1109/1109.5749v1.pdf)
Robert B. Mann and Utpal Sarkar

Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada

Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad 380009, India
3McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis, MO 63112, USA.


We argue that the recent measurement of the neutrino velocity to be higher than the velocity of light could be due to violation of Lorentz invariance by the muon neutrinos. This result need not undermine special-relativistic foundational notions of causality. …

It is natural to ask why neutrinos are different from other particles. One reason emerges from the observation that if neutrinos form condensates to explain the cosmological constant [ref.], background neutrino condensate dark energy can, in principle, affect the dynamics of the neutrinos compared to other particles. For example, a νµ with momentum p can collide with a condensate [anti-]νµ−νµ pair and bind with the [anti-]νµ. The liberated νµ, located at a distance x away from its condensate partner, will continue with momentum p due to momentum conservation. As this process is repeated, the net effect is that the νµ “hops” through the condensate at an effective speed greater than unity, resulting in a different maximum attainable velocity for the neutrinos. Since no other particles couple to the νµ, they do not experience this effect.

Ian Murray
01-10-2011, 01:54 PM
''For example, a νµ with momentum p can collide with a condensate [anti-]νµ−νµ pair and bind with the [anti-]νµ. The liberated νµ, located at a distance x away from its condensate partner, will continue with momentum p due to momentum conservation. As this process is repeated, the net effect is that the νµ “hops” through the condensate at an effective speed greater than unity, resulting in a different maximum attainable velocity for the neutrinos. Since no other particles couple to the νµ, they do not experience this effect''
Ah, that explains everything :)

Rincewind
02-10-2011, 10:15 AM
Ah, that explains everything :)

To me, this sounds very similar to quantum tunnelling (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_tunnelling) and something like this is what must be happening if the result is not in error. We know from lots of other experimental results that special relativity is pretty good so this result likely to be some new phenomenon which is outside of rather than contradictory to SR.

Igor_Goldenberg
03-10-2011, 04:33 PM
Measuring neutrino speed is a very difficult task (mostly because it's very unlikely to interact with matter). Minuscule experimental error (such as measuring the distance underground, synchronising the clock, etc.), which are usually of no consequence, might lead to this result.
However, it is still possible that experiment was correct, it'll take a couple of months to work out if it's the case.



We argue that the recent measurement of the neutrino velocity to be higher than the velocity of light could be due to violation of Lorentz invariance by the muon neutrinos.
That would be the first observed violation of Lorentz invariance. While it does not undermine relativity theory, it would be interesting to see what are the implications.

Rincewind
04-10-2011, 09:55 AM
Here is a sciam blog on another theoretical objection to the results

Superluminal Neutrinos Would Wimp Out En Route (http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/degrees-of-freedom/2011/10/02/superluminal-neutrinos-would-wimp-out-en-route/)


In a terse, peremptory-sounding paper posted online on September 29, Andrew Cohen and Sheldon Glashow of Boston University calculate that any neutrinos traveling faster than light would radiate energy away, leaving a wake of slower particles analogous to the sonic boom of a supersonic fighter jet. Their findings cast doubt on the veracity of measurements recently announced at CERN that clocked neutrinos going a sliver faster than light.

Hobbes
05-10-2011, 10:10 AM
Seems to be stuck on yesterday as I post this, but anyway:-


http://www.evk2cnr.org/WebCams/PyramidOne/current.jpg (http://www.evk2cnr.org/WebCams/PyramidOne/everest-webcam.html)

Capablanca-Fan
07-10-2011, 01:18 PM
My current take on superluminal neutrinos (http://creation.com/neutrinos-faster-than-light).

Capablanca-Fan
08-10-2011, 11:13 AM
"We don't allow faster-than-light neutrinos in here," says the bartender.
A neutrino walks into a bar.

Hobbes
16-10-2011, 09:15 PM
Patrick Mallucci, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at University College London finds ideal breast shape (http://tinyurl.com/3m35cqg)

Igor_Goldenberg
20-10-2011, 03:27 PM
Possible explanation:
Researchers used GPS to synchronise two different clocks at the origin and destination. Then they calculated speed using two different observers. Had they done so using one observer (according to SRT), the measurement would be within the calculation error of speed of light.

Interested in more details can look here (http://arxiv.org/abs/1110.2685)

Rincewind
20-10-2011, 11:31 PM
At the moment a search for "OPERA" in the arXiv finds 176 manuscripts. Many and perhaps the majority of these deal with explaining the superluminal neutrino experiment.

S-word
05-11-2011, 04:46 PM
At the moment a search for "OPERA" in the arXiv finds 176 manuscripts. Many and perhaps the majority of these deal with explaining the superluminal neutrino experiment.

I was going to add to this debate, in relation to that which can travel at speeds beyond that of Light, but not wanting to be accused of attempting to hijack this thread, I will start a new one, titled, "The Speed of Light."

Desmond
09-11-2011, 08:28 PM
Patrick Mallucci, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at University College London finds ideal breast shape (http://tinyurl.com/3m35cqg)
I for one would like to buy this man a beer.

Agent Smith
12-11-2011, 06:01 AM
http://news.discovery.com/space/zooms/big-bang-gas-stars-111110.html

Which is kind-of amazing.

I know astronomy is a decent science, but I've never had much confidence in the big bang theory. Now they'll be able to do some real solid analysis.

Agent Smith
12-11-2011, 06:13 AM
"We don't allow faster-than-light neutrinos in here," says the bartender.
A neutrino walks into a bar.
haha
But how solid is subatomic physics ? It all seems like pie-in-the-sky to me. These things are just too small for us to know what's happening.

Rincewind
12-11-2011, 09:15 AM
But how solid is subatomic physics ?

There's plenty of room at the bottom. - Richard Feynman. ;)

Agent Smith
19-11-2011, 08:20 AM
"The wavefunction is a real physical object after all, say researchers. ... the new paper, by a trio of physicists led by Matthew Pusey at Imperial College London, presents a theorem showing that if a quantum wavefunction were purely a statistical tool, then even quantum states that are unconnected across space and time would be able to communicate with each other. As that seems very unlikely to be true, the researchers conclude that the wavefunction must be physically real after all. David Wallace, a philosopher of physics at the University of Oxford, UK, says that the theorem is the most important result in the foundations of quantum mechanics that he has seen in his 15-year professional career. 'This strips away obscurity and shows you can't have an interpretation of a quantum state as probabilistic,' he says."

Amen

Rincewind
19-11-2011, 09:42 AM
Amen

Well not yet peer reviewed but it looks a nice paper. You can download it from the arxiv here... http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1111.3328

Agent Smith
19-11-2011, 12:27 PM
I *was* being a little sarcastic. :P
They're kind-of like priests in that no-one knows what they're talking about, even themselves ?

Agent Smith
17-12-2011, 07:25 AM
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/methane-discovery-stokes-new-global-warming-fears-shock-as-retreat-of-arctic-releases-greenhouse-gas-6276278.html


We carried out checks at about 115 stationary points and discovered methane fields of a fantastic scale - I think on a scale not seen before. Some of the plumes were a kilometre or more wide and the emissions went directly into the atmosphere - the concentration was a hundred times higher than normal

If this is correct, it appears the Siberian permafrost is looking quite vulnerable.


However, with the melting of Arctic sea ice and permafrost, the huge stores of methane that have been locked away underground for many thousands of years might be released over a relatively short period of time, Dr Shakhova said.

"I am concerned about this process, I am really concerned. But no-one can tell the timescale of catastrophic releases. There is a probability of future massive releases might occur within the decadal scale, but to be more accurate about how high that probability is, we just don't know," Dr Shakova said.

Hobbes
06-01-2012, 11:27 AM
The brain begins to decline much earlier than previously thought, with new research showing memory, reasoning and comprehension skills can deteriorate from the age of 45. (http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/breaking-news/brain-food-its-all-downhill-from-45-study/story-e6freuyi-1226238161240)

Kevin Bonham
06-01-2012, 11:30 AM
I thought it was supposed to be to some degree downhill from 16!

Agent Smith
03-02-2012, 03:10 PM
The earth may have a nuclear core (or, georeactor).
http://www.spacedaily.com/news/earth-03k.html

Not only does it threaten to change the way we view our own Earth and planetary formation in general but the very origin of the stars might need to be rewritten.

Some trivial facts - the earth's radius is over 6000 km. The deepest hole ever drilled is slightly over 12 km, where temperatures reached 180 deg celius.
Considering this, and the above article, it indeed seems possible that our core is a nuclear reactor of sorts.

Rincewind
03-02-2012, 05:15 PM
The earth may have a nuclear core (or, georeactor).
http://www.spacedaily.com/news/earth-03k.html


Some trivial facts - the earth's radius is over 6000 km. The deepest hole ever drilled is slightly over 12 km, where temperatures reached 180 deg celius.
Considering this, and the above article, it indeed seems possible that our core is a nuclear reactor of sorts.

Possible but I doubt it. The georeactor is an idea of an individual which has not received much in the way of scientific verification. A lack of holes in the ground all the way to the mantle or core is not evidence for the georeactor. For example one could just as easily say...

Some trivial facts - the earth's radius is over 6000 km. The deepest hole ever drilled is slightly over 12 km, where temperatures reached 180 deg celius. Considering this, and the above article, it indeed seems possible that our core is melted rocky-road ice-cream with little bit of marshmallow floating in it.

Capablanca-Fan
07-02-2012, 04:15 AM
More space travel problems: g-forces (http://creation.com/g-forces-space-travel-problem)

A spacecraft travelling at merely a third of the speed of light would take over four years to reach the nearest star. But slowing down and turning would generate fatal g-forces.

Rincewind
07-02-2012, 09:22 AM
More space travel problems: g-forces (http://creation.com/g-forces-space-travel-problem)

A spacecraft travelling at merely a third of the speed of light would take over four years to reach the nearest star. But slowing down and turning would generate fatal g-forces.

Was that article meant to be a joke? It seemed to consist of a sprinkling of high school physics with constantly begging the question to come to the conclusion that interstellar travel is impossible? What a joke.

Capablanca-Fan
07-02-2012, 10:21 AM
Was that article meant to be a joke? It seemed to consist of a sprinkling of high school physics with constantly begging the question to come to the conclusion that interstellar travel is impossible? What a joke.
Typical of atheopathic whingers; not a single mistake in the article is documented.

Indeed, the physics is very straightforward; relativistic effects need not even be considered for a speed like c/3, but the g-forces at such speeds would be fatal when stopping or turning. It follows on from an earlier post calculating the energy required to reach c/10 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=234482#post234482), and the energy produced by collisions, and you didn't have a problem with that one although the physics was equally simple.

But how many alien junkies actually consider this simple physics?

antichrist
07-02-2012, 10:34 AM
Typical of atheopathic whingers; not a single mistake in the article is documented.

Indeed, the physics is very straightforward; relativistic effects need not even be considered for a speed like c/3, but the g-forces at such speeds would be fatal when stopping or turning. It follows on from an earlier post calculating the energy required to reach c/10 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=234482#post234482), and the energy produced by collisions, and you didn't have a problem with that one although the physics was equally simple.

But how many alien junkies actually consider this simple physics?

I am with you Jono on this one, I can't stand those alien junkies they live in a fantasy world. How come aliens always have one head, two hands and two legs just like us humans, they talk as well etc etc - they make the alien in our image

Rincewind
07-02-2012, 10:48 AM
Typical of atheopathic whingers; not a single mistake in the article is documented.

They are obvious. Many of the "problems" you cite are not issues at all.

Stopping time of 4.5 days no issue. Given a total travel time of 13 years even a two week deceleration time would be quite acceptable.

Secondly the deceleration distance of 30 AU is likewise a non-issue. We are talking of interstellar space where the distances are vast and the space is empty. As the hypothetical spaceship arrives into the outer planetary orbits, it would have slowed to only a fraction of its interstellar speed.

Turning is also a complete non-issue. The interstellar trajectories could be worked out years or even centuries in advance. There is no need for an interstellar craft to make sharp turns. The only possible problem is collision with other interstellar bodies but the scope of that problem is difficult to quantify. We know interstellar space is mostly very empty but the craft would likely need to be big enough to withstand collisions with small objects at high relative speed. Obviously there are more objects to avoid within solar systems, but in that case the speeds are necessarily orders of magnitude smaller.

Finally your conclusion is poorly written but you appear to be ruling out space travel for all possible lifeforms in the universe while your article only examined the biology of homo sapiens. Although your piece does show that interstellar travel is possible (although difficult) for homo sapiens provided they could accelerate a vehicle to c/3 and prepared to stay 13 years in transit. But you don't consider the g-loading tolerances of other lifeforms. While we can only speculate at the tolerances of alien life, some lifeforms on earth like some forms of bacteria can withstand sustain loading of 100,000's of g-forces and so a more robust biology could withstand the g-forces required for massive acceleration and deceleration.

Your final sentence "The problems in basic physics are insurmountable" is not argued at all. At best you can say that with present technology interstellar travel is difficult but none of the problems you raise (as shown above) are even major issues, let alone insurmountable. The major problem is the long travel times even at c/3. Of course there is also the cost versus benefit. Sending people to another solar system has no benefit for anyone here on earth unless they send something back.

For now I think we should concentrate on more realisable goal like manned interplanetary mission or establishing more permanent space stations or possibly a permanent presence on the moon.

Garrett
07-02-2012, 10:58 AM
Secondly the deceleration distance of 30 AU is likewise a non-issue. We are talking of interstellar space where the distances are vast and the space is empty. As the hypothetical spaceship arrives into the outer planetary orbits, it would have slowed to only a fraction of its interstellar speed.


I probably wouldn't approach a solar system through the ecliptic plane.

Rincewind
07-02-2012, 11:09 AM
I probably wouldn't approach a solar system through the ecliptic plane.

True that would help avoid a lot of solar system based objects. However it may be inconvenient depending on the orientation of the destination plane relative to your starting location. It is an issue which needs to be tackled though as presumably your destination is in the ecliptic plane of the destination system. However, it's not a deal breaker.

The main issue with Jono's article is the maneuvering issues he raises are mostly non-issues in interstellar space which is precisely where the high speeds are required. Within solar systems, avoidance of other bodies, etc are more of an issue but by the same token, massive speeds (like c/3) are not required.

Capablanca-Fan
07-02-2012, 11:15 AM
Stopping time of 4.5 days no issue. Given a total travel time of 13 years even a two week deceleration time would be quite acceptable.
Not if there is an obstacle to avoid. Granted the premise of alien life, this could include other spaceships.


Secondly the deceleration distance of 30 AU is likewise a non-issue. We are talking of interstellar space where the distances are vast and the space is empty. As the hypothetical spaceship arrives into the outer planetary orbits, it would have slowed to only a fraction of its interstellar speed.
There is plenty of interstellar debris to avoid.


Turning is also a complete non-issue. The interstellar trajectories could be worked out years or even centuries in advance.
Small objects, which I showed in the other post would be a problem, and would not be able to be accounted for.


There is no need for an interstellar craft to make sharp turns. The only possible problem is collision with other interstellar bodies but the scope of that problem is difficult to quantify.
Again, dealt with in the other post. You didn't bitch and moan about that one, although the physics is equally simple.


We know interstellar space is mostly very empty but the craft would likely need to be big enough to withstand collisions with small objects at high relative speed.
See my previous posts for collision energies even of tiny grains with a relative speed of c/3.


Obviously there are more objects to avoid within solar systems, but in that case the speeds are necessarily orders of magnitude smaller.

[QUOTE=Rincewind]Finally your conclusion is poorly written
A best-selling author (by Australian and NZ standards) like me doesn't need to pay attention to your stylistic whinges.

[QUOTE=Rincewind]but you appear to be ruling out space travel for all possible lifeforms in the universe while your article only examined the biology of homo sapiens.
It shows the constraints on humanoids, and it's most likely that no multicellular creatures could survive at the g-forces discussed.


Although your piece does show that interstellar travel is possible (although difficult) for homo sapiens provided they could accelerate a vehicle to c/3 and prepared to stay 13 years in transit. But you don't consider the g-loading tolerances of other lifeforms. While we can only speculate at the tolerances of alien life, some lifeforms on earth like some forms of bacteria can withstand sustain loading of 100,000's of g-forces and so a more robust biology could withstand the g-forces required for massive acceleration and deceleration.
If bacteria could build space ships, you might have a point. But my analysis would apply to humanoid life, like on Star Trek. Even the sturdy Jem Hadar were crushed in one DS9 episode when their inertial dampers failed.


Your final sentence "The problems in basic physics are insurmountable" is not argued at all. At best you can say that with present technology interstellar travel is difficult but none of the problems you raise (as shown above) are even major issues, let alone insurmountable. The major problem is the long travel times even at c/3.
And of course the energy requirements to reach such speeds.


Of course there is also the cost versus benefit. Sending people to another solar system has no benefit for anyone here on earth unless they send something back.
This is another issue, and serves to strengthen my case.


For now I think we should concentrate on more realisable goal like manned interplanetary mission or establishing more permanent space stations or possibly a permanent presence on the moon.
Fine, but that is a different issue, not a mistake.

Capablanca-Fan
07-02-2012, 11:17 AM
I probably wouldn't approach a solar system through the ecliptic plane.
Although the hypothetical Oort cloud is supposed to be spherical.

Rincewind
07-02-2012, 11:54 AM
Not if there is an obstacle to avoid. Granted the premise of alien life, this could include other spaceships.

Space is big and based on my observations the density of spaceships exceedingly small. Avoiding collision with other spacecraft would be a very small problem.

Your objection is like saying the space shuttle was impossible because it could not avoid another space shuttle and come to a complete stop within 10 seconds during re-entry. Luckily, no one told NASA.


There is plenty of interstellar debris to avoid.

Mostly in the form of dust, gas and cosmic rays. Any interstellar craft would have to withstand this as it is the medium through which it travels. The density of larger objects is difficult to quantify but assumed to be small. Also the location of large dust clouds are known and therefore can be avoided.


Small objects, which I showed in the other post would be a problem, and would not be able to be accounted for.

I didn't read the "other" post and was reviewing the new one on it's merits. You discussed the problem of high speed maneuvering which I don;t think was well-motivated. There is no way to avoid collisions with small particles and thus their existence does not motivate your objection. The space craft would necessarily have to withstand the pressure of interstellar matter travelling at its cruise speed.


Again, dealt with in the other post. You didn't bitch and moan about that one, although the physics is equally simple.

Again your post should stand on it's merits. As I said avoiding small particles is not practical and so their existence doesn't motivate the need for rapid maneuvering.


See my previous posts for collision energies even of tiny grains with a relative speed of c/3.

Yes, I don't doubt the collision energy calculation but that does not equate to the need for maneuvering. The density of larger particles is the issue and as I said difficult to quantify. As far as we know such objects are not common. And with a sufficiently well designed craft I can't see why they would not be avoidable necessitating only very small changes in trajectory provided their existence can be discovered early enough.

I certainly cannot think of a reason (and the article provides no plausible scenario) where a craft travelling through interstellar space at c/3 would need to make a dramatic stop within 10 seconds. Even conventional space vehicles are not engineered to make transitions from top speed to zero in 10 seconds. In many cases, like atmosphere reentry, that is impossible.


A best-selling author (by Australian and NZ standards) like me doesn't need to pay attention to your stylistic whinges.

I was talking logic rather than style. The final sentence is not supported by the article as demonstrated above.


It shows the constraints on humanoids, and it's most likely that no multicellular creatures could survive at the g-forces discussed.

"Most likely"? I didn't see a probabilistic argument in your final sentence. Perhaps this is a new usage of the word "insurmountable"...


If bacteria could build space ships, you might have a point. But my analysis would apply to humanoid life, like on Star Trek. Even the sturdy Jem Hadar were crushed in one DS9 episode when their inertial dampers failed.

I just used bacteria as an example of a lifeform which extreme g-forge loading tolerances. Assuming that alien life is humanoid is an extremely strong assumption and it is not hard to think of hypothetical humanoidal forms which would have higher g-force tolerance. The issue is that we are basically soft bags of water with low shock tolerance.


And of course the energy requirements to reach such speeds.

Yes again - not the object of the present article.


This is another issue, and serves to strengthen my case.

No you were making a case for it being insurmountable. I was making a case that it is not insurmountable and perhaps close to being possible with present technologies. However if so, why is there no interstellar travel? The problems are the long travel times and extreme cost.


Fine, but that is a different issue, not a mistake.

Yes, but I like to finish on a positive point and steps well within reach and will lead to future technological advantages and improve our understanding of extraterrestrial environments. Making interstellar travel by homo sapiens even more possible.

Rincewind
07-02-2012, 11:59 AM
Although the hypothetical Oort cloud is supposed to be spherical.

The existence is as you point out hypothetical and the density of matter in the Oort cloud is speculative but unlikely to form a "pea soup".

Capablanca-Fan
07-02-2012, 02:31 PM
Space is big and based on my observations the density of spaceships exceedingly small. Avoiding collision with other spacecraft would be a very small problem.
Oh, but there are heaps of aliens out there. Don't you watch Star Trek?


Your objection is like saying the space shuttle was impossible because it could not avoid another space shuttle and come to a complete stop within 10 seconds during re-entry. Luckily, no one told NASA.
Not at all like it. The speeds are far smaller, as you explained to Ian Murray on the other thread.


Mostly in the form of dust, gas and cosmic rays. Any interstellar craft would have to withstand this as it is the medium through which it travels. The density of larger objects is difficult to quantify but assumed to be small. Also the location of large dust clouds are known and therefore can be avoided.
You only need one grain to collide, and it would be undetectable in time. In a cylinder the diameter of the spacecraft and length 4 ly long, there would be something. It would be a very serious case of outdriving one's stopping distance.


I didn't read the "other" post and was reviewing the new one on it's merits.
You did read it before.


You discussed the problem of high speed maneuvering which I don;t think was well-motivated. There is no way to avoid collisions with small particles and thus their existence does not motivate your objection. The space craft would necessarily have to withstand the pressure of interstellar matter travelling at its cruise speed.
But at that speed, it would take only a tiny particle to cause enormous damage. Even at ordinary space speeds, a tiny paint fleck has cracked a space shuttle window (http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/2008/09/the-solar-systems-biggest-junkyard-2/).

Here is an astronomy page (http://www.astronomycafe.net/qadir/q2720.html) that recognizes the problem (although this uses c/2 instead of c/3):


At 50 percent the speed of light which is the minimum for interstellar travel you will cover enough distance in a short amount of time, that your liklihood of encountering a large interstellar dust grain becomes significant. Only one such impact would be enough to cause severe spacecraft damage given the kinetic energy involved.

A large dust grain might have a mass of a few milligrams. Traveling at 50% the speed of light, its kinetic energy is given non-relativistically by 1/2 mv^2 so E = .5 (0.001 grams) x (0.5 x 3 x 10^10 cm/sec) = 1.1 x 10^17 ergs. This, equals the kinetic energy of a 10 gram bullet traveling at a speed of 1500 kilometers per second, or the energy of a 100 pound person traveling at 13 miles per second! The point is that at these speeds, even a dust grain would explode like a pinpoint bomb, forming an intense fireball that would melt through the skin like a hot poker melts a block of cheese.

The dust grains at interstellar speeds become lethal interstellar 'BB shots' pummeling your spacecraft like rain. They puncture your ship, exploding in a brief fireball at the instant of contact.

Your likelihood of encountering a deadly dust grain is simply dependent on the volume of space your spacecraft sweeps out. The speed at which you do this only determines how often you will encounter the dust grain in your journey. At 10,000 times the space shuttle's speed, the collision vaporizes the particles and a fair depth of the spacecraft bulkhead along the path of travel.

But the situation could well be worse than this if the interstellar medium contains lots of ice globules from ancient comets and other things we cannot begin to detect in interstellar space. These impacts even at 0.1c would be fatal...we just don't know what the 'size spectrum' of matter is between interstellar 'micron-sized' dust grains, and small stars, in interstellar space.

My gut feeling is that interstellar space is rather filthy, and this would make interstellar, relativistic travel, not only technically difficult but impossible to boot! Safe speeds for current technology would be only slightly higher that space shuttle speeds especially if interstellar space contains chunks of comet ice.


Yes, I don't doubt the collision energy calculation but that does not equate to the need for maneuvering. The density of larger particles is the issue and as I said difficult to quantify. As far as we know such objects are not common. And with a sufficiently well designed craft I can't see why they would not be avoidable necessitating only very small changes in trajectory provided their existence can be discovered early enough.
Extremely small change in trajectory, since the minimum turning radius is so large.


I certainly cannot think of a reason (and the article provides no plausible scenario) where a craft travelling through interstellar space at c/3 would need to make a dramatic stop within 10 seconds. Even conventional space vehicles are not engineered to make transitions from top speed to zero in 10 seconds. In many cases, like atmosphere reentry, that is impossible.
OK, but I could think of a scenario where they need to make a dramatic stop in six hours, say.


I just used bacteria as an example of a lifeform which extreme g-forge loading tolerances. Assuming that alien life is humanoid is an extremely strong assumption and it is not hard to think of hypothetical humanoidal forms which would have higher g-force tolerance. The issue is that we are basically soft bags of water with low shock tolerance.
There would be constraints even for creatures with the g-force tolerance of the hardiest bacteria.


Yes, but I like to finish on a positive point and steps well within reach and will lead to future technological advantages and improve our understanding of extraterrestrial environments. Making interstellar travel by homo sapiens even more possible.
OK, no problem with that.

Rincewind
07-02-2012, 04:08 PM
Oh, but there are heaps of aliens out there. Don't you watch Star Trek?

I haven't been that interested in Star Trek since the William Shatner days. In my experience aliens are either exceedingly rare or exceedingly shy or both.


Not at all like it. The speeds are far smaller, as you explained to Ian Murray on the other thread.

I don't recall the "other thread" the point of the analogy was that even conventional spacecraft have design constraints preventing sudden deceleration and this does not equate to an insurmountable problem with conventional space travel.


You only need one grain to collide, and it would be undetectable in time. In a cylinder the diameter of the spacecraft and length 4 ly long, there would be something. It would be a very serious case of outdriving one's stopping distance.

Seems you argument is stretching and I posit that designing a craft that could withstand collisions is a given since maneuvering to avoid small particles is impractical. How many grains and how big is speculation but it only begins to be an issue when these objects are of a "substantial" size.


You did read it before.

Did I? It mustn't have been that memorable, sorry.


But at that speed, it would take only a tiny particle to cause enormous damage.


...The point is that at these speeds, even a dust grain would explode like a pinpoint bomb, forming an intense fireball that would melt through the skin like a hot poker melts a block of cheese...

...My gut feeling is that interstellar space is rather filthy, and this would make interstellar, relativistic travel, not only technically difficult but impossible to boot! Safe speeds for current technology would be only slightly higher that space shuttle speeds especially if interstellar space contains chunks of comet ice.

I'm not sure by what process the space dust would form a "fire ball" and the final paragraph seems quite wishy-washy relying on "gut feel" and begging the question on the presence of comet ice.

I think is is fair to assume that gas, dust and cosmic rays would have to be engineered into the tolerances of the vehicle. Larger collisions are more speculative and difficult to quantify but there would have to be something of a cut off size where everything smaller than that size could be effectively ignored and everything larger would need to be avoided.


Extremely small change in trajectory, since the minimum turning radius is so large.

This is just a question of being aware of dangerous collisions enough in advance.


OK, but I could think of a scenario where they need to make a dramatic stop in six hours, say.

The only scenarios I can think of involve a large object being in the direct flight path which can avoided by minor changes to trajectory from far enough away. The more massive the obstacle the longer the required lead time but luckily the more massive the object generally the easier it is to detect and so the problem sort of fixes itself.


There would be constraints even for creatures with the g-force tolerance of the hardiest bacteria.

There are constraints on any engineering project. However it renders the back-of-an-envelope calculations redundant as they are only upper bounds on what homo sapiens might be able to withstand, while saying nothing about other species let alone speculative ETs.

Agent Smith
07-02-2012, 04:38 PM
Haha - I agree with the creationists for the first time ever. Space travel outside our solar system *is* absolutely impossible, and for quite a few reasons i can think of.

But i'm not sure about the turning idea. Space is pretty empty actually. There's no turning required except for sling shot effects, which i imagine are a realtively low speed manouver.

Rincewind
07-02-2012, 04:52 PM
Haha - I agree with the creationists for the first time ever. Space travel outside our solar system *is* absolutely impossible, and for quite a few reasons i can think of.

I try to avoid absolutes when it comes to engineering problems. Engineers have a surprising knack of doing the "absolutely impossible". Simply challenging problems can take them a little longer.

Rincewind
07-02-2012, 04:58 PM
Here is a cute science story...

Fossil cricket reveals Jurassic love song (http://www.bris.ac.uk/news/2012/8210.html)


The love song of an extinct cricket that lived 165 million years ago has been brought back to life by scientists at the University of Bristol. The song – possibly the most ancient known musical song documented to date – was reconstructed from microscopic wing features on a fossil discovered in North East China. It allows us to listen to one of the sounds that would have been heard by dinosaurs and other creatures roaming Jurassic forests at night.

You have to listen carefully to hear the cricket.

Capablanca-Fan
08-02-2012, 04:14 AM
I haven't been that interested in Star Trek since the William Shatner days. In my experience aliens are either exceedingly rare or exceedingly shy or both.
Same. But not according to the alien visitation school.


I'm not sure by what process the space dust would form a "fire ball" and the final paragraph seems quite wishy-washy relying on "gut feel" and begging the question on the presence of comet ice.
Because the kinetic energy must become some other form of energy, unless the particle goes through the spaceship.


The only scenarios I can think of involve a large object being in the direct flight path which can avoided by minor changes to trajectory from far enough away.
But as shown, it would have to be extremely far away to stop in time, or turn with a huge radius.


The more massive the obstacle the longer the required lead time but luckily the more massive the object generally the easier it is to detect and so the problem sort of fixes itself.
But as can be easily calculated, both in my previous post and in the article I linked to, even a very tiny speck has enormous kinetic energy at a relative speed of around c/3.

Rincewind
08-02-2012, 08:14 AM
Same. But not according to the alien visitation school.

So it is the case of one lunatic fringe (YEC) attacking another (UFO)? If you are allowed to take on the assumptions of the UFO crowd then they have witnesses to their visits so interstellar travel must be possible because it happens.


Because the kinetic energy must become some other form of energy, unless the particle goes through the spaceship.

Not if the particle is reflected elastically. However what worried me more was that to my mind a fireball involves some form of combustion and usually a reasonable quantity of the oxydising element is required.


But as shown, it would have to be extremely far away to stop in time, or turn with a huge radius.

Yes the distances are huge interstellar space which is why people generally don't measure those distances in AU.


But as can be easily calculated, both in my previous post and in the article I linked to, even a very tiny speck has enormous kinetic energy at a relative speed of around c/3.

Yes but as you don;t seem to be appreciating. Avoiding small particles is not a motivation for rapid manoeuvring. Such collisions would have to be coped with by the design of the vehicle. Large collisions may need to be avoided but in that case they can be avoided well ahead of time, obviating the need for sudden course changes.

Capablanca-Fan
08-02-2012, 08:40 AM
So it is the case of one lunatic fringe (YEC) attacking another (UFO)?
Even from your bigoted perspective, you should be happy that one opponent is dealing with another.


If you are allowed to take on the assumptions of the UFO crowd then they have witnesses to their visits so interstellar travel must be possible because it happens.
No, just granting their premises for the purpose of the arguments.


Not if the particle is reflected elastically.
That would have a problems of its own. Would it even be possible at such speeds, since they are greater than the speed of sound in solids? I mean, the information that the frontmost end is receiving an elastic force would not reach the rearmost end, which would still be travelling under its own inertia. Then there is the problem that the momentum change of the rebounding particle must be conserved in the spacecraft.


However what worried me more was that to my mind a fireball involves some form of combustion and usually a reasonable quantity of the oxydising element is required.
I didn't get that impression. Just an enormous conversion of kinetic energy to heat, which would make the object incandescent.


Yes the distances are huge interstellar space which is why people generally don't measure those distances in AU.
Yes, light years or parsecs.


Yes but as you don;t seem to be appreciating. Avoiding small particles is not a motivation for rapid manoeuvring. Such collisions would have to be coped with by the design of the vehicle. Large collisions may need to be avoided but in that case they can be avoided well ahead of time, obviating the need for sudden course changes.
The problem is, what we normally think of as "small" is still huge in terms of energy, as calculated here (http://creation.com/did-life-come-from-outer-space#energy):


Even a snowflake colliding at such a speed has almost as much kinetic energy as 4 tons of TNT, which must be released somewhere in the craft, or else it will shoot through everything in its path. A 1-kg body colliding and releasing all its energy would be like a one-megaton hydrogen bomb.

Rincewind
08-02-2012, 09:45 AM
Even from your bigoted perspective, you should be happy that one opponent is dealing with another.

I don't see the UFO crowd as much of a threat to reason. I much prefer your mob and the day-agers to knock yourselves out on each other. :)


No, just granting their premises for the purpose of the arguments.

But as I said that gives you far too much to work with. The conclusion of the article clearly states that interstellar travel faces insurmountable obstacles from a consideration of the physics alone. You should not need to invoke high volumes of alien space vehicles to support your case.


That would have a problems of its own. Would it even be possible at such speeds, since they are greater than the speed of sound in solids? I mean, the information that the frontmost end is receiving an elastic force would not reach the rearmost end, which would still be travelling under its own inertia. Then there is the problem that the momentum change of the rebounding particle must be conserved in the spacecraft.

Yes that is true but we are assuming the vehicle is many order of magnitude more massive than the dust particle and travelling at c/3 and so in possession of the lion's share of the momentum in the collision. Some loss of momentum would be experienced and need to be accounted for either in slowing the vehicle or would need to be countered by additional propulsion.


I didn't get that impression. Just an enormous conversion of kinetic energy to heat, which would make the object incandescent.

It is a linguistic point but I would say that the original article was imprecise to call that a "fireball".


Yes, light years or parsecs.

Exactly so provided that collisions can be predicted sufficiently in advance a turning circle with the radius of Nuptune's orbit is not a problem.


The problem is, what we normally think of as "small" is still huge in terms of energy.

Yes everyone gets the implication of 1/2 mv^2 but I maintain that collision with dust, gas molecules and cosmic rays cannot be avoided and so would have to be engineered into the vehicle. Larger collisions may need to avoided but that should be possible within the parameters you give in the article due to the vast emptiness of interstellar space. Finally, the g-force loading issue upon which the whole article rests is only an issue for homo sapiens and other known lifeforms have much higher g-force loading tolerances and thus there is no reason to think that other possible alien lifeform would have tolerances approximating our own.

Hobbes
23-02-2012, 10:36 AM
http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/loose-cable-blamed-for-upending-einstein-theory-20120223-1tp7u.html

Rincewind
23-02-2012, 11:30 AM
http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/loose-cable-blamed-for-upending-einstein-theory-20120223-1tp7u.html

If it turns out that this is the source of the discrepancy, then that is a bit embarrassing.

Capablanca-Fan
24-02-2012, 05:56 AM
If it turns out that this is the source of the discrepancy, then that is a bit embarrassing.
Indeed, although it seems to cancel out Faster-than-Light Neutrino Puzzle Claimed Solved by Special Relativity: The relativistic motion of clocks on board GPS satellites exactly accounts for the superluminal effect, says physicist (http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/27260/).

Capablanca-Fan
28-02-2012, 02:31 AM
A salt-free primordial soup? (http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-01-salt-free-primordial-soup.html)
By Michael Schirber
Physorg.com, 19 January 2012


Bursting life's bubble
The problem with seawater, according to Deamer, isn't the salt, per se. Seawater also contains other ions, like those of magnesium and calcium, which carry a charge of +2. These so-called divalent ions react unfavorably with certain building blocks of life.

For example, calcium ions readily bind with phosphate, thus making this molecule unavailable for important biological functions, such as energy transfer (in the case of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP) and genetic coding (as part of the backbone of DNA and RNA).

Deamer is especially concerned with the effect that divalent ions have on simple fatty acids. These "soapy" molecules – generically called lipids – line up together to form closed vesicles. Several scientists have theorized that self-forming "bubbles" of this sort might have served as a kind of rudimentary cell membrane for the very first organisms.

However, the simple vesicles can't form in seawater because the divalent ions react with the fatty acids. People with mineral-rich "hard" water in their homes are familiar with this chemistry. Soap products don't lather as well with hard water, which has high concentrations of calcium and magnesium ions that react with the soap molecules to form a solid that we call soap scum.
"Seawater would definitely precipitate fatty acids, preventing membrane formation," says Jack Szostak of Harvard University. "So I agree with Dave Deamer that primitive cells had to live in a fresh water environment. "

Throwing the catalyst out with the seawater
The challenge for Deamer is that those divalent ions are far from a nuisance when it comes to other aspects of biochemistry.
DasSarma points out that divalent magnesium ions are needed for important phosphate chemistry, and calcium ions play a vital role in cellular signaling.

Rincewind
28-02-2012, 08:44 AM
The challenge for Deamer is that those divalent ions are far from a nuisance when it comes to other aspects of biochemistry.
DasSarma points out that divalent magnesium ions are needed for important phosphate chemistry, and calcium ions play a vital role in cellular signaling.


Regarding cellular signalling. Sure this is only an issue for multicellular life - well after life gets started in the singular cell. The arguments if true don't seem to prevent life from starting just indicate fresh water is a more life friendly environment. Life could get going in fresh water environments and then adapt and move into salt water as the competition in fresh water intensifies.

Hobbes
29-02-2012, 08:52 AM
He also believes the discovery - a possible world-first - may help solve a food poisoning puzzle.

Dr Beaumont said eggs sometimes contained salmonella, a potentially fatal food poisoning often carried by other lizards.

"Maybe this happens all the time,'' he said. "Maybe geckos regularly crawl inside chickens for a feed. (http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/weird/body-of-lizard-found-in-chicken-egg/story-e6frev20-1111116345287)

Capablanca-Fan
29-02-2012, 01:36 PM
Regarding cellular signalling. Sure this is only an issue for multicellular life - well after life gets started in the singular cell.
Yet these metal ions are important in unicellular life too.


The arguments if true don't seem to prevent life from starting just indicate fresh water is a more life friendly environment. Life could get going in fresh water environments and then adapt and move into salt water as the competition in fresh water intensifies.
All they show is that saltwater is an especially unlikely place. This doesn't prove that life could start in freshwater either. Water in general is a lousy place because of hydrolysis—see Origin of life: the polymerization problem (http://creation.com/origin-of-life-the-polymerization-problem).

Rincewind
29-02-2012, 01:55 PM
Yet these metal ions are important in unicellular life too.

No doubt but modern single cell life may be quite different from the very first forms of cellular life and thus less reliant on them, or not. My point was simply that arguing an element is an essential part of cellular signalling is pretty irrelevant when it comes to applying such issues to the problem of life getting started.


All they show is that saltwater is an especially unlikely place. This doesn't prove that life could start in freshwater either. Water in general is a lousy place because of hydrolysis—see Origin of life: the polymerization problem (http://creation.com/origin-of-life-the-polymerization-problem).

How life got started and where is still a very open question with a number of hypotheses, some more fanciful than others. Spontaneous life from the primordial soup is not a scientific theory and just one of a number of competing hypotheses. Perhaps it is the frontrunner, but so too for a time was the cosmic ether.

Problems with chemistry of salt water are of interest but they don't seem to be show-stoppers for the primordial soup hypothesis, given life could have begin in more friendly fresh water environments and only later adapt to harsher marine ones.

MantaMan
29-02-2012, 10:43 PM
Sorry but I had to bite

I don't subscribe to any particular theory or belief on the genesis argument.


Speaking as a chemist, I find the arguments and vague hypotheses put forward in the article that Jono linked to just basically pseudo science

Salt water might make it harder on the basis of 'general principles' but it is by no means impossible for the self organisation of lipids to form some kind of structure in salt water.


It is possible to form stable 'micelles' in salt water and in fact many of the chemicals that support and aid in the formation of these kind of structures are 'lipid' based.

Q: Have you ever tried to break a stable emulsion ???

Furthermore, while the supposed experts talk about 'affinity' for chemical reaction they completely ignore equilibrium and kinetic arguments.

Some "grist for the mill"

J

Rincewind
29-02-2012, 11:25 PM
I don't subscribe to any particular theory or belief on the genesis argument.

Very wise in my view. My favourite hypothesis is the interstellar panspermia, but I certainly don't subscribe to it. It is just the one that appeals most to me aesthetically. :D

antichrist
01-03-2012, 12:26 AM
Sorry but I had to bite

I don't subscribe to any particular theory or belief on the genesis argument.


Speaking as a chemist, I find the arguments and vague hypotheses put forward in the article that Jono linked to just basically pseudo science

Salt water might make it harder on the basis of 'general principles' but it is by no means impossible for the self organisation of lipids to form some kind of structure in salt water.


It is possible to form stable 'micelles' in salt water and in fact many of the chemicals that support and aid in the formation of these kind of structures are 'lipid' based.

Q: Have you ever tried to break a stable emulsion ???

Furthermore, while the supposed experts talk about 'affinity' for chemical reaction they completely ignore equilibrium and kinetic arguments.

Some "grist for the mill"

J

didn't Charles Darwin do experiments with coconuts or something using salt water and found that salt water was not detrimental

Capablanca-Fan
01-03-2012, 02:30 AM
Speaking as a chemist, I find the arguments and vague hypotheses put forward in the article that Jono linked to just basically pseudo science
I'm a chemist too, so such comments don't impress me. These people favour chemical evolution, yet pointed out severe problems with a salt water scenario.


Salt water might make it harder on the basis of 'general principles' but it is by no means impossible for the self organisation of lipids to form some kind of structure in salt water.
The point was the ready precipitation of fatty acids and phosphate by Ca2+ ions.


Q: Have you ever tried to break a stable emulsion ???
"Salting out" colloids is well known, even to Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salting_out). High ionic strength favours flocculation (by screening electrostatic repulsion between colloid particles, as per the DLVO theory).


Furthermore, while the supposed experts talk about 'affinity' for chemical reaction they completely ignore equilibrium and kinetic arguments.
How so? The arguments about precipitation implicitly include the solubility equilibria, approximated by the solubility product. And it happens very quickly, which is kinetics.

Capablanca-Fan
01-03-2012, 02:31 AM
didn't Charles Darwin do experiments with coconuts or something using salt water and found that salt water was not detrimental
Yes, he found that many seeds will still germinate after months of submersion in brine.

MantaMan
01-03-2012, 10:06 AM
Jono,

not sure if it was my comments you didn't like or the article's.

Anyway, the chemistry of salt solutions and lipids, fats and surfactants etc... is complex and I don't think the article does this area of chemistry any justice and that is the basis for my opinion.

Increasing ionic strength to 'salt out' or break an emulsion is indeed well known - I threw the question out there as, from personal experience, when you need to do this to solve a particular problem it can be more difficult than initially thought.

MM

Rincewind
01-03-2012, 10:27 AM
Blood-sucking mega-fleas once stalked Earth (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-01/blood-sucking-mega-fleas-stalked-earth/3861504)


The giant dinosaurs that roamed the world some 150 million years ago shared the planet with equally daunting parasites: blood-gobbling fleas that were up two centimetres long.

Maybe this is what happened to the dinosaurs? Eaten by giant parasites. :)

antichrist
01-03-2012, 01:10 PM
well Jono if life cannot be formed from nature at the time scientists estimate it was formed, how and when was life formed?

Capablanca-Fan
10-03-2012, 10:04 AM
Deciphering academese ;)

Rincewind
10-03-2012, 10:54 AM
The most important academese phrase is missing.

"With all due respect..."

The academic equivalent to "I'll meet you in the car park for a fight in five minutes".

Rincewind
21-03-2012, 08:44 PM
Here is an interesting article from BBC News Magazine.

Should the location of newly discovered species be hidden? (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17386764)

Discovering a new species can be the defining moment of a biologist's career, but for some it can also mean exposing rare and vulnerable animals to the dark world of the wildlife pet trade, with catastrophic results.

I guess some species are more prone to this threat than others but it is something to consider. Also I didn't realise the amphibian black-market was as large as it appears to be from this article.

Ian Murray
02-04-2012, 08:49 AM
Scientists refine Earth's Clock (http://www.lifesciencesworld.com/news/view/206375)

New research has revealed that some events in Earth's history happened more recently than previously thought. Scientists from the British Geological Survey and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, publishing this week in the journal Science, have refined the data used to determine how much time has passed since a mineral or rock was formed. They report uranium isotopic composition of minerals, used to date major geological events, which are more accurate than previously published. The major effect of this is to reduce previous age determinations by up to 700,000 years....

Jay
02-04-2012, 05:00 PM
Interesting,

I recall a lot of the time dating of ice-cores from Antarctica was also being done using U238/235 ratios back in the late 80's

I wonder how this effects things.

- J

Kevin Bonham
02-04-2012, 05:06 PM
Note that the 700,000 year change relates to materials 4.5 billion years old, but I doubt that will stop creationists getting excited over nothing. :lol:

Ian Murray
02-04-2012, 05:23 PM
Note that the 700,000 year change relates to materials 4.5 billion years old, but I doubt that will stop creationists getting excited over nothing. :lol:
The same thought crossed my mind - definitive proof of a Young(er) Earth :)

Ian Murray
09-04-2012, 11:11 PM
‘Wrong sign paradox’ finally resolved? (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/04/wrong-sign-paradox-finally-resolved/)
RealClimate
1 April 2012

A group of colleagues has all but solved one of the greatest remaining puzzles in climate science. But the story is not one of scientific triumph – rather, it is so embarrassing that we had controversial discussions in our group whether to break this to a wider public at all. ...

Desmond
10-04-2012, 07:23 AM
^ :lol:

Rincewind
07-05-2012, 09:35 AM
Good news story...

Tests confirm sighting of endangered tiger quoll (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-05-07/tests-confirm-sighting-of-endangered-tiger-quoll/3994814)

Now if we could just convince the panthers and thylacines living in the Otway ranges to provide droppings for genetic testing we can also resolve the status of those species.

Kevin Bonham
07-05-2012, 11:53 AM
Now if we could just convince the panthers and thylacines living in the Otway ranges to provide droppings for genetic testing we can also resolve the status of those species.

:lol:

Ian Murray
28-05-2012, 08:41 AM
The Square Kilometre Array finally has a home (or two) (http://theconversation.edu.au/the-square-kilometre-array-finally-has-a-home-or-two-7274?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+28+M ay+2012&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+28+Ma y+2012+CID_92d0631f80afa8ee8baecbc9ebc653d7&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=The+Square+Kilometre+Array+finally+has+a+ home+or+two)
Lisa Harvey-Smith
SKA Project Scientist at CSIRO
26 May 2012

And so, the universe can breathe again. After a meeting of members at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport last night (AEST), the International SKA Organisation has announced that the world’s largest radio telescope – the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) – will be shared between two sites: one in South Africa and the other in Western Australia....

Rincewind
01-06-2012, 11:04 AM
An amusing story on how at around the turn of last century the Indiana legislature almost redefined pi as 3.2...

http://www.agecon.purdue.edu/crd/localgov/second%20level%20pages/Indiana_Pi_Story.htm

Igor_Goldenberg
01-06-2012, 11:45 AM
The Square Kilometre Array finally has a home (or two) (http://theconversation.edu.au/the-square-kilometre-array-finally-has-a-home-or-two-7274?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+28+M ay+2012&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+28+Ma y+2012+CID_92d0631f80afa8ee8baecbc9ebc653d7&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=The+Square+Kilometre+Array+finally+has+a+ home+or+two)
Lisa Harvey-Smith
SKA Project Scientist at CSIRO
26 May 2012

And so, the universe can breathe again. After a meeting of members at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport last night (AEST), the International SKA Organisation has announced that the world’s largest radio telescope – the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) – will be shared between two sites: one in South Africa and the other in Western Australia....
Half a square kilometre each?

Ian Murray
01-06-2012, 01:52 PM
Half a square kilometre each?
...The decision was a complex one, and one which recognised the enormous amount of international investment needed to make the SKA happen: the array will be split between Africa and Australia/New Zealand.

What this does not mean is that half the telescope will be built on each continent. Each site will get a full square kilometre of collecting area, with the full scientific functionality originally envisaged.

However, the SKA’s science goals require a facility that can tune into radio waves ranging from 70 MHz to more than 10,000 MHz. It’s impossible for any single technology to cover this vast range, so the plan has always been to build two or even three different types of antennas which, together, can span the full range needed...

http://theconversation.edu.au/splitting-the-ska-why-a-dual-site-setup-is-a-win-for-everyone-7273

Rincewind
01-06-2012, 02:03 PM
It's a pity the LIGO-Australia plans did not come to fruition or else W.A. would really have become an astrophysics hotspot.

Agent Smith
01-06-2012, 08:18 PM
An amusing story on how at around the turn of last century the Indiana legislature almost redefined pi as 3.2...

http://www.agecon.purdue.edu/crd/localgov/second%20level%20pages/Indiana_Pi_Story.htm
;) :eek:

Desmond
04-06-2012, 08:33 PM
The Lunar eclipse (http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/lunar-eclipse-june-2012.html) is happening right now, quite nicely visible on Brisbane's north.

Ian Murray
06-06-2012, 09:29 AM
Transit of Venus now in progress. Don't look directly at the sun - causes eye damage. Video feeds at space.com

Igor_Goldenberg
06-06-2012, 02:56 PM
Don't look directly at the sun - causes eye damage. You can at the the sun through the telescope twice: once with left eye and once with right eye.

Rincewind
06-06-2012, 03:10 PM
Using a telescope or one side of a pair of binoculars however it is possible to project an image of the sun onto a sheet of paper (or a similar surface) and get a good image of the transit.

A basic write up of the technique is described here...
http://spaceweather.com/sunspots/doityourself.html

among other places.

Although it is too late now to be of any use for witnessing the Venus transit you can see sun spots and partial eclipses using the same technique.

Ian Murray
06-06-2012, 08:08 PM
Using a telescope or one side of a pair of binoculars however it is possible to project an image of the sun onto a sheet of paper (or a similar surface) and get a good image of the transit.
I tried the poor man's option, a masked mirror, but without success so I settled for the webcasts.

BTW I'm gaining on your SETI scores by leaps and bounds - should overtake you any decade now.

Ian Murray
16-06-2012, 07:17 PM
We can relax a little - the risk of an asteroid strike in 2040 has eased.

No Earth Impact in 2040: NASA Releases Workshop Data and Findings On Asteroid 2011 AG5 (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120615143235.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop _environment+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+News+--+Top+Environment%29)

ScienceDaily (June 15, 2012) — Researchers anticipate that asteroid 2011 AG5, discovered in January 2011, will fly safely past and not impact Earth in 2040.

Current findings and analysis data were reported at a May 29 workshop at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., attended by scientists and engineers from around the world. Discussions focused on observations of potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs).

Observations to date indicate there is a slight chance that AG5 could impact Earth in 2040. Attendees expressed confidence that in the next four years, analysis of space and ground-based observations will show the likelihood of 2011 AG5 missing Earth to be greater than 99 percent....

Capablanca-Fan
17-06-2012, 02:08 PM
Cool explanation and animation of different types of Mandelbrot sets (http://htwins.net/mandy/).

Rincewind
18-06-2012, 12:08 PM
Recalculating the Distance to Interstellar Space (http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/news/recalculating_space.html)

Scientists analyzing recent data from NASA's Voyager and Cassini spacecraft have calculated that Voyager 1 could cross over into the frontier of interstellar space at any time and much earlier than previously thought.

Rincewind
04-07-2012, 11:19 PM
Higgs boson-like particle discovery claimed at LHC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-18702455)


CERN scientists reporting from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) have claimed the discovery of a new particle consistent with the Higgs boson.

Rincewind
11-07-2012, 11:18 AM
I see the religious folk have gotten onto the Higgs boson bandwagon (http://creation.com/higgs-boson-god-particle) too. And in the commentary below there is some interesting feedback. Including a comment by our own resident psuedoscientist who still erroneously believes that the cardinality of the continuum is aleph-1 despite being told this is not proven and merely a hypothesis (here (http://www.chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=266468&postcount=4260)) more than two years ago. The mathematical content of his post is probably ok if he changed the aleph notation to beth notation when beth-0 = aleph-0 and beth-n = 2^[beth-(n-1)].

Capablanca-Fan
13-07-2012, 03:59 AM
I see the religious folk have gotten onto the Higgs boson bandwagon (http://creation.com/higgs-boson-god-particle) too.
Well some Christian religious folk, to counter the hype of the atheopathic religious folk.


And in the commentary below there is some interesting feedback. Including a comment by our own resident psuedoscientist
Who would that be? :hmm: There are some comments by me, a genuine Ph.D. (physical chemistry) scientist.


who still erroneously believes that the cardinality of the continuum is aleph-1 despite being told this is not proven
Not proven is not the same as erroneous.


and merely a hypothesis (here (http://www.chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=266468&postcount=4260)) more than two years ago. The mathematical content of his post is probably ok if he changed the aleph notation to beth notation when beth-0 = aleph-0 and beth-n = 2^[beth-(n-1)].
Do you remember everything from two years ago? Fixed now. Unfortunately, I can't work out how to write beth(subscript-1) in HTML so it doesn't appear backwards. With the aleph, there is a separate symbol for the infinite numbers ℵ (HTML code ℵ) to avoid the problem with the code for the Hebrew alphabet.

Actually, that dialogue in that thread suggested an additional point to add to that comment, so thanks for the reminder :P :cool:

Rincewind
13-07-2012, 10:34 AM
Well some Christian religious folk, to counter the hype of the atheopathic religious folk.

I haven't seen their hype but the discovery is one of the biggest things to happen in experimental particle physics for some time.


Who would that be? :hmm: There are some comments by me, a genuine Ph.D. (physical chemistry) scientist.

Who hasn't published real science for nearly two decades but has produced mountains of pseudoscientific swill.


Not proven is not the same as erroneous.

Believing it is proven when it hasn't been is erroneous.


Do you remember everything from two years ago? Fixed now. Unfortunately, I can't work out how to write beth(subscript-1) in HTML so it doesn't appear backwards. With the aleph, there is a separate symbol for the infinite numbers ℵ (HTML code ℵ) to avoid the problem with the code for the Hebrew alphabet.

You can also use c or 2^aleph-0 as they are both equivalent to beth-1.


Actually, that dialogue in that thread suggested an additional point to add to that comment, so thanks for the reminder :P :cool:

While you're correcting errors you should also change the pages that say that the earth isn't ~4.5 billions years old.

Capablanca-Fan
13-07-2012, 12:11 PM
I haven't seen their hype but the discovery is one of the biggest things to happen in experimental particle physics for some time.
Yes it is. But the hype includes the god substitute.


Who hasn't published real science for nearly two decades but has produced mountains of pseudoscientific swill.
Not that you'd know, and of course there is plenty of real science, unlike Dawkins who hasn't set foot in a lab in 40 years and is just a professional atheopath. Actually even some atheistic philosophers are so disgusted with his errors that they think he's no professional but a rank amateur.


Believing it is proven when it hasn't been is erroneous.
Said that I erroneously believed that the cardinality of the reals was ℵ1. But you have not proved that the statement was errant.


You can also use c or 2^aleph-0 as they are both equivalent to beth-1.
I used the latter in the revised comment.


While you're correcting errors you should also change the pages that say that the earth isn't ~4.5 billions years old.
There wasn't any demonstrated error, as shown. We will fix any errors if proven, but your wacky claims about the age of the earth are not even close.

Rincewind
13-07-2012, 12:54 PM
Yes it is. But the hype includes the god substitute.

I don't know anyone who thinks the Higgs boson is a god substitute. After all we have evidence that the Higgs boson actually exists.


Not that you'd know, and of course there is plenty of real science, unlike Dawkins who hasn't set foot in a lab in 40 years and is just a professional atheopath.

Ipse Dixit.


Actually even some atheistic philosophers are so disgusted with his errors that they think he's no professional but a rank amateur.

There are many who would say he is not a professional philosopher but since you constructed the straw man in your previous sentence have fun smashing it down.


Said that I erroneously believed that the cardinality of the reals was ℵ1. But you have not proved that the statement was errant.

I made it clear in my first post what your error was and you corrected it. You claimed a result was true which has not been proved. I know that is the way you normally do your pseudoscience but in the real world we are more careful than that.


There wasn't any demonstrated error, as shown. We will fix any errors if proven, but your wacky claims about the age of the earth are not even close.

They aren't my wacky claims that they are the mainstream position of 99% of the world's experts in geology.

The only thing wacky are people thinking the world could only possibly be 6,000 years old and that there was a global flood 4,500 years ago. That is so mind-bogglingly wacky that 'batshit crazy' doesn't even do it justice.

Agent Smith
13-07-2012, 04:10 PM
The only thing wacky are people thinking the world could only possibly be 6,000 years old and that there was a global flood 4,500 years ago. That is so mind-bogglingly wacky that 'batshit crazy' doesn't even do it justice.
Haha. :)
I used to know Tas Walker....

Desmond
13-07-2012, 05:19 PM
Haha. :)
I used to know know Tas Walker.... But i wish the science forum wasn't hijacked by religion. KB ?Better the forum than the classroom. :)

Desmond
04-09-2012, 06:34 AM
AdHjRZki9Qc

Mrs Jono
06-09-2012, 06:52 AM
YOUTUBE

Eye of the Leopard (http://docuwiki.net/index.php?title=Eye_of_the_Leopard)


Nature Documentary narrated by Jeremy Irons and published by National Geographic in 2007

Adamski
06-09-2012, 01:54 PM
Haha. :)
I used to know Tas Walker....
I too know Tas and last saw him last year speaking at a CMI event. Jono, of course, works with him and knows him very well. For NSW and ex-NSW residents, check out Tas' booklet on the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains as evidence for the global flood c. 6000 years ago.

Rincewind
06-09-2012, 02:41 PM
For NSW and ex-NSW residents, check out Tas' booklet on the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains as evidence for the global flood c. 6000 years ago.

But only if you are interested in reading BS.

Mrs Jono
08-09-2012, 03:02 AM
check out Tas' booklet on the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains as evidence for the global flood c. 6000 years ago.
He has an article (http://creation.com/three-sisters-evidence-for-noahs-flood) as well.

Desmond
08-09-2012, 05:58 AM
But only if you are interested in reading BS.
I prefer the rainbow serpent myths, myself.

Rincewind
08-09-2012, 11:42 AM
He has an article (http://creation.com/three-sisters-evidence-for-noahs-flood) as well.

And why it is BS can be found here

http://www.noanswersingenesis.org.au/walker_three_sisters_blake.htm

Demonstrating yet again the woefully poor standards of articles written for creation.com, including in this instance Tas Walker either deliberately lying or else not being aware of the content of the articles he himself cites.

Rincewind
08-09-2012, 12:02 PM
I prefer the rainbow serpent myths, myself.

The legend that visitors are told about the three sisters was that they were three human sisters who were the daughters of a magic using tribal leader who turned them into stone for their own protection and then went off to fight someone or other. Unfortunately he either died or for some reason was unable to turn them back.

This is still told today, see http://www.bluemts.com.au/tourist/thingstodo/threesisters/

But according to Dr Martin Thomas in "The artificial horizon: imagining the Blue Mountains" this was a fabrication and unknown prior to 1920s and probably a creation of the non-Aboriginal Blue Mountains local Mel Ward in the late 1920s.

Capablanca-Fan
08-09-2012, 12:57 PM
And why it is BS can be found here

http://www.noanswersingenesis.org.au/walker_three_sisters_blake.htm

Demonstrating yet again the woefully poor standards of articles written for creation.com, including in this instance Tas Walker either deliberately lying or else not being aware of the content of the articles he himself cites.
Trust RW to appeal to a gutter atheopathic site (http://www.trueorigin.org/noaig.asp) like that.

Capablanca-Fan
08-09-2012, 12:59 PM
ENCODE Study Forces Evolutionists to Retract “Junk DNA” Myth (http://crev.info/2012/09/encode-study-junk-dna/)
6 September 2012

At least 80% of the human genome is functional, scientists now say, based on a genetic survey called ENCODE that may force reassessment of what a gene is.

The big news in human genetics this week is the publication of results by the ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements) consortium, “the most ambitious human genetics project to date,” and what it reveals about function in the human genome. When the human genome was first published, scientists were surprised that only about 3% of it coded for proteins. That was before they knew about all the coded information in the “epigenome,” which includes RNA transcripts that regulate the code. The new results show that at least 80% of the human genome is, in fact, functional, rendering the evolutionary notion of “junk DNA” (leftovers from our evolutionary past) incorrect. Evolutionists themselves are writing the “eulogy for junk DNA.”

There is so much buzz about this story that came out in Nature this week, all we can do is list some of the more prominent headlines. References to Nature are from the 26 September 2012 issue, volume 489, no. 54. ...

Rincewind
08-09-2012, 01:00 PM
Trust RW to appeal to a gutter atheopathic site (http://www.trueorigin.org/noaig.asp) like that.

Trust Jono to descend to name calling when the woeful scholarship of creation.com is pointed out.

Adamski
08-09-2012, 05:26 PM
He has an article (http://creation.com/three-sisters-evidence-for-noahs-flood) as well.
Thanks for the link Mrs J!:)

Ian Murray
02-10-2012, 09:00 PM
Hubble Telescope Reveals Farthermost View into the Universe
(http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=hubble-telescope-farthest-view)
Scientific American
26.9.2012


The Hubble Space Telescope has captured the farthest-ever view into the universe, a photo that reveals thousands of galaxies billions of light-years away.

The picture, called eXtreme Deep Field, or XDF, combines 10 years of Hubble telescope views of one patch of sky. Only the accumulated light gathered over so many observation sessions can reveal such distant objects, some of which are one ten-billionth the brightness that the human eye can see.

The photo is a sequel to the original "Hubble Ultra Deep Field," a picture the Hubble Space Telescope took in 2003 and 2004 that collected light over many hours to reveal thousands of distant galaxies in what was the deepest view of the universe so far. The XDF goes even farther, peering back 13.2 billion years into the universe's past. The universe is thought to be about 13.7 billion years old....

http://www.scientificamerican.com/media/inline/hubble-telescope-reveals_1.jpg

Ian Murray
13-10-2012, 08:50 AM
Get ready to duck - another asteroid is due to zoom overhead today.

House-Size Asteroid Gives Earth a Close Shave Today

Adamski
17-10-2012, 11:32 PM
Get ready to duck - another asteroid is due to zoom overhead today.

House-Size Asteroid Gives Earth a Close Shave Today
Isn't it funny how these asteroid visits always make the news before the event, but once they have occurred one struggles to find much mention in the press.

Ian Murray
19-10-2012, 10:55 AM
Small, furry creatures from Alpha Centauri? (http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2012/10/exoplanets)
The Economist
17.10.2012


Sadly, no. But one of Earth’s nearest stellar neighbours has an Earth-sized planet going round it

EXOPLANETS—those that orbit stars other than the sun—are one of the hottest topics in astronomy. The first was found in 1992, going round a neutron star (a strange beast made of matter as dense as that in an atomic nucleus) 1,000 light-years from Earth with the rather pedestrian name of PSR 1257 +12. Planets going round more conventional stars turned up three years later, and since then the initial trickle of discoveries has become a flood. The present tally is 841 confirmed (through a mix of ground-based searches and space-based telescopes) and another couple of thousand probables.

So it takes a lot, these days, for news of a freshly discovered planet to raise eyebrows. But it still happens from time to time. And October 16th was one of those times. On that day a paper was published by Nature, in which a team from the Geneva Observatory claimed to have found evidence of an Earth-sized planet orbiting a star called Alpha Centauri B.

If the name sounds familiar, that is because, at just over four light-years away, the Alpha Centauri system—a group of three gravitationally bound stars—is the sun’s nearest neighbour. The planet, therefore, is not only the closest to Earth ever discovered, it is just about as close to Earth as any exoplanet can be....

Adamski
19-10-2012, 06:38 PM
Get ready to duck - another asteroid is due to zoom overhead today.

House-Size Asteroid Gives Earth a Close Shave Today
Or was it just sprouty having another go at that asteroid game?

Capablanca-Fan
29-11-2012, 03:29 PM
Firefly lanterns inspire LED lenses (http://creation.com/firefly-lanterns-led-lenses)

Firefly lenses have fine structure allowing optimal light transmission. LED lenses inspired by that structure similarly allow more light transmission.

Rincewind
29-11-2012, 04:24 PM
Firefly lanterns inspire LED lenses (http://creation.com/firefly-lanterns-led-lenses)

Firefly lenses have fine structure allowing optimal light transmission. LED lenses inspired by that structure similarly allow more light transmission.


If the plagiarized copies required brilliant design, how much more the originals?

Not at all. By the accumulation of small improvement over millions of years you find out what works and what doesn't.

There are over 2,000 species of fireflies almost all requiring a warm environment and they spend the majority of their yearly lifecycle as lavae living in soil. Seems to cause on or two problems for the Noah's Ark myth.

Capablanca-Fan
30-11-2012, 12:52 PM
If the plagiarized copies required brilliant design, how much more the originals?

Not at all. By the accumulation of small improvement over millions of years you find out what works and what doesn't.
But half a luciferin molecule doesn't shine half as brightly.


There are over 2,000 species of fireflies almost all requiring a warm environment and they spend the majority of their yearly lifecycle as lavae living in soil. Seems to cause on or two problems for the Noah's Ark myth.
Insects were not obligate passengers on the Ark, as I explained long ago (http://creation.com/how-did-all-the-animals-fit-on-noahs-ark) (and more recently to some atheopaths in the comments).

Rincewind
30-11-2012, 01:34 PM
But half a luciferin molecule doesn't shine half as brightly.

Evolutionary trajectories do not require the linear construction the way certain lazy ID proponents argue as irreducible complexity.


Insects were not obligate passengers on the Ark, as I explained long ago (http://creation.com/how-did-all-the-animals-fit-on-noahs-ark) (and more recently to some atheopaths in the comments).

There is no way 2,000 different species fireflies survived for a year on mats of floating vegetation. Like many insect larvae they are subterranean and would not have been in the vegetation in the first place. And the few that might have been in adult form would have no way to survive for one year or reproduce as there is no viable environment for the next generation.

Capablanca-Fan
01-12-2012, 04:12 AM
Evolutionary trajectories do not require the linear construction the way certain lazy ID proponents argue as irreducible complexity.
But for Darwinian natural selection to work, each small step must be an advantage over the previous one.


There is no way 2,000 different species fireflies survived for a year on mats of floating vegetation.
Why not? And many of the different "species" were descended from comparatively few created kinds. Creationists long before Darwin recognized that there must be a process that we now call "speciation". It was rather Darwin's mentor Lyell who pushed the nonsensical "fixity of species".

Rincewind
01-12-2012, 09:03 AM
But for Darwinian natural selection to work, each small step must be an advantage over the previous one.

By and large however that does not mean you need "half a luciferin molecule".


Why not?

For the reasons I said and you didn't reply to. Just in case you are suffering from a bad case of selective blindness I'll reiterate...

Like many insect larvae they are subterranean and would not have been in the vegetation in the first place. And the few that might have been in adult form would have no way to survive for one year or reproduce as there is no viable environment for the next generation.

Kevin Bonham
01-12-2012, 02:26 PM
But for Darwinian natural selection to work, each small step must be an advantage over the previous one.

Natural selection holds that advantageous attributes tend to be preserved while disadvantageous ones tend to be eliminated. But it does not follow from that that every small change in the history of the evolution of a feature must have been an advantage.

Capablanca-Fan
01-12-2012, 02:32 PM
Natural selection holds that advantageous attributes tend to be preserved while disadvantageous ones tend to be eliminated.
Yes, we know about selection coefficients. But the way Dawko argues, cumulative natural selection of small probabilities is the only way to “climb Mt Improbable.” (http://creation.com/book-review-of-dawkins-climbing-mount-improbable)


But it does not follow from that that every small change in the history of the evolution of a feature must have been an advantage.
Darwin argued just this.

Kevin Bonham
01-12-2012, 04:23 PM
But the way Dawko argues, cumulative natural selection of small probabilities is the only way to “climb Mt Improbable.” (http://creation.com/book-review-of-dawkins-climbing-mount-improbable)

That does not amount to the view that all changes during that process are necessarily beneficial. It just means that a major change will be the sum of a number of minor changes including many beneficial ones.


Darwin argued just this.

I think you'll need to quote him to establish that. In any case it is not correct to always tie current understanding of "natural selection" to the exact words of Darwin.

Capablanca-Fan
02-12-2012, 11:27 AM
That does not amount to the view that all changes during that process are necessarily beneficial. It just means that a major change will be the sum of a number of minor changes including many beneficial ones.
Dawkins' whole argument is trying to overcome the vanishingly small probability of a major novelty arising by cumulative selection of tiny advantageous changes, following Darwin. He also used an analogy of Fisher's adjusting the focus of a microscope: a big adjustment either way is more likely to make the image blurrier, while for a very small adjustment, there is a reasonable probability that it will become sharper. Natural selection can supposedly work on similarly small advantageous mutations. The problem is, the smaller the mutation, the lower the selective advantage, and most mutations fall inside Kimura's neutrality threshold.


I think you'll need to quote him to establish that.
Origin ch. 4:

It may be said that natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinising, throughout the world, every variation, even the slightest; rejecting that which is bad, preserving and adding up all that is good; silently and insensibly working, whenever and wherever opportunity offers, at the improvement of each organic being in relation to its organic and inorganic conditions of life. We see nothing of these slow changes in progress, until the hand of time has marked the long lapses of ages, and then so imperfect is our view into long past geological ages, that we only see that the forms of life are now different from what they formerly were.


In any case it is not correct to always tie current understanding of "natural selection" to the exact words of Darwin.
Well, obviously not on genetics, but his basic ideas are still the establishment, although New Scientist once argued against the supposed myth that Darwin is the ultimate authority on evolution (http://creation.com/refutation-of-new-scientists-evolution-24-myths-and-misconceptions-modern-evolution).

Kevin Bonham
02-12-2012, 07:15 PM
Dawkins' whole argument is trying to overcome the vanishingly small probability of a major novelty arising by cumulative selection of tiny advantageous changes, following Darwin. He also used an analogy of Fisher's adjusting the focus of a microscope: a big adjustment either way is more likely to make the image blurrier, while for a very small adjustment, there is a reasonable probability that it will become sharper. Natural selection can supposedly work on similarly small advantageous mutations. The problem is, the smaller the mutation, the lower the selective advantage, and most mutations fall inside Kimura's neutrality threshold.

OK, this now has nothing to do with the question of whether all mutations that are preserved are necessarily beneficial so you are no longer here supporting your false generalisation "each small step must be an advantage over the previous one."

Kimura's claim applies at molecular level not phenotypic level. Furthermore, even if neutral mutation is the dominant process (which is disputed), a mutation that is apparently neutral with reference to the environment in which it occurs may increase genetic diversity and hence increase the chance of a favourable selection under different circumstances.


Origin ch. 4:

It may be said that natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinising, throughout the world, every variation, even the slightest; rejecting that which is bad, preserving and adding up all that is good; silently and insensibly working, whenever and wherever opportunity offers, at the improvement of each organic being in relation to its organic and inorganic conditions of life. We see nothing of these slow changes in progress, until the hand of time has marked the long lapses of ages, and then so imperfect is our view into long past geological ages, that we only see that the forms of life are now different from what they formerly were.

Your quote does not go within a million miles of establishing what you claim it did as there is absolutely nothing there that entails that all changes must be advantageous. He suggests disadvantageous changes will be eliminated (overstating the certainty with which this will occur if they are only very mildly deleterious, IMO) but says nothing about neutral selections.

Indeed he was well aware of neutral selection:

"Variations neither useful nor injurious would not be affected by natural selection, and would be left a fluctuating element, as perhaps we see in the species called polymorphic. "

Capablanca-Fan
05-12-2012, 12:50 PM
OK, this now has nothing to do with the question of whether all mutations that are preserved are necessarily beneficial so you are no longer here supporting your false generalisation "each small step must be an advantage over the previous one."
Reading Dawkins (http://creation.com/atheism-agnosticism-and-humanism-godless-religions-questions-and-answers#dawkins)' Climbing Mt Improbable (http://creation.com/book-review-of-dawkins-climbing-mount-improbable) and his crass Weasel program (http://creation.com/weasel-a-flexible-program-for-invest-deterministic-computer-demonstrations-of-evolution), that's the impression one gets. If there is not positive selection, then chance is the only alternative, and Dawk rejects that.


Kimura's claim applies at molecular level not phenotypic level. Furthermore, even if neutral mutation is the dominant process (which is disputed),
Seems pretty certain that most mutations are bad near-neutral (http://creation.com/images/journal_of_creation/vol21/6102mutation-effect.jpg).

Capablanca-Fan
05-12-2012, 12:57 PM
DNA and bone cells in found in dinosaur bone

For the last 15 years, Dr Mary Schweitzer from Montana, an evolutionist herself, has been rocking the evolutionary/uniformitarian world with discoveries of soft tissue in dinosaur bones (http://creation.com/schweitzers-dangerous-discovery). This October, she and her team also found bone cells (osteocytes), proteins such as actin and tubulin, and DNA. None of these should be able to survive the supposed 65 million years since dinosaur extinction.

DNA is especially problematic. Most people think DNA is very stable, but in reality, about a million DNA letters are damaged in each of your cells every day. We would soon be a mutated mess without special repair enzymes (http://creation.com/DNA-repair-enzyme). And in the same month, researchers measured how long DNA could survive even protected by bone. They show even at below freezing (–5°C (23°F), DNA would be totally disintegrated after 6.83 million years—only about a tenth of the assumed evolutionary age. Yet Schweitzer’s team found DNA intact enough to form a double helix.

Could this be contamination from bacteria? No: the DNA was found right where we would expect it to be found in a dino cell. Further, Schweitzer’s team detected histones. These are little protein balls upon which DNA is wound in eukaryotes (organisms with cell nuclei) like dinosaurs and man, not in bacteria.

Read more at DNA and bone cells found in dinosaur bone (http://creation.com/dino-dna-bone-cells).


Schweitzer, M.H. et al., Molecular analyses of dinosaur osteocytes support the presence of endogenous molecules (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S875632821201318X), Bone, 17 October 2012 | doi:10.1016/j.bone.2012.10.010.
Allentoft, M.E. et al., The half-life of DNA in bone: measuring decay kinetics in 158 dated fossils (http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/279/1748/4724), Proc. Royal Society B 279(1748):4724-4733,7 December 2012 | doi:10.1098/rspb.2012.1745.

Kevin Bonham
05-12-2012, 02:15 PM
If there is not positive selection, then chance is the only alternative, and Dawk rejects that.

No-one is suggesting there is not positive selection. As for Dawkins' views on the matter, they are of no particular importance but this site (http://sandwalk.blogspot.com.au/2009/10/richard-dawkins-view-of-random-genetic.html) has a discussion of some of them. He accepts that "some version" of the neutral theory "is now widely accepted".

Rincewind
05-12-2012, 10:34 PM
For the last 15 years, Dr Mary Schweitzer from Montana, an evolutionist herself, has been rocking the evolutionary/uniformitarian world with discoveries of soft tissue in dinosaur bones (http://creation.com/schweitzers-dangerous-discovery). This October, she and her team also found bone cells (osteocytes), proteins such as actin and tubulin, and DNA. None of these should be able to survive the supposed 65 million years since dinosaur extinction.

Says some people, not Dr Mary Schweitzer, who is not a YEC but rather hypothesises on pathways whereby the reminents of Dinosaur bone cells (principally the collagen, but also alther proteins) somehow survives the geological timescales required.


DNA is especially problematic. Most people think DNA is very stable, but in reality, about a million DNA letters are damaged in each of your cells every day. We would soon be a mutated mess without special repair enzymes (http://creation.com/DNA-repair-enzyme).

That is not an issue in this case. The DNA repair enzymes are required to maintain a sufficiently high level of data integrity for cell duplication. We are talking strands with 1,000s of base-pairs. For the chemical tests performed by Schweitzer's group only 4 base pairs are required for a positive test. A four base pair strand of DNA is of no practical use to a living cell but it is interesting if its origin is from the same animal that left the fossil.


And in the same month, researchers measured how long DNA could survive even protected by bone. They show even at below freezing (–5°C (23°F), DNA would be totally disintegrated after 6.83 million years—only about a tenth of the assumed evolutionary age. Yet Schweitzer’s team found DNA intact enough to form a double helix.

The tests performed by Schweitzer neeed four base pairs for a positive result. A single twist of dsDNA spans approximatley 10.5 base pairs whether a 4bp segment "forms" a double helix is a little academic. It's certainly not proof of enough DNA of doing anything useful with using today's sequencing technology.


Read more at DNA and bone cells found in dinosaur bone (http://creation.com/dino-dna-bone-cells).

Please don't unless you are already a YEC and want to feel comforted that your silly little beliefs are also believed by other biblical literalists. However please do read the orginal papers, links to which Jono also included.



Schweitzer, M.H. et al., Molecular analyses of dinosaur osteocytes support the presence of endogenous molecules (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S875632821201318X), Bone, 17 October 2012 | doi:10.1016/j.bone.2012.10.010.
Allentoft, M.E. et al., The half-life of DNA in bone: measuring decay kinetics in 158 dated fossils (http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/279/1748/4724), Proc. Royal Society B 279(1748):4724-4733,7 December 2012 | doi:10.1098/rspb.2012.1745.


The only thing Jono's piece is good for is a laugh which is provided at the end with this gem...


But this just shows the grip of the long-age paradigm. A more reasonable and indeed scientific question would be:

This looks like modern bone; I have seen blood cells [and blood vessels] and detected hemoglobin [and now actin, tubulin, collagen, histones, and DNA], and real chemistry shows they can’t survive for 65 million years. What I don’t see is the claimed millions of years. So we should abandon this doctrine.

:lol:

Some salient quotes from these two papers are as follows...

From Schweitzer, et al...


These data are not sufficient to support the claim that DNA visualized in these cells is dinosaurian in origin; only sequence data can testify to its source. However, these data suggest that affinity purification using antibodies may provide a means of recovering and concentrating sufficient amounts of DNA to be useful for next generation genomic sequencing. Because only about 15%–20% of cells from the dinosaurs reacted positively, and because reactivity that was observed was minimal relative to extant cells, there may be insufficient DNA present to validate its origin by current sequencing technology.

From Allentoft, et al...


It is tempting to suggest that we can now predict the temporal limits of DNA survival, and finally refute the claims of authentic DNA from Cretaceous and Miocene specimens. This is, however, not straightforward. One needs information on the number of template molecules in living tissues, and estimates of post-mortem DNA decay rates for each tissue type. However, the half-life predictions (table 1) display the extreme improbability that an authentic 174 bp long mtDNA fragment of an 80–85Myr old bone could have been amplified [1].

Note that the extreme improbablity refered to here relates not to the work of Schweitzer but rather a controversal paper

1. Woodward, S. R., Weyand, N. J. & Bunnell, M. 1994 DNA-sequence from Cretaceous period bone fragments. Science 266, 1229–1232. (doi:10.1126/science.7973705)

As mentioned above. The tests described in Schweitzer's recent paper only confirmed the presence of 4bp sequences of DNA.

Capablanca-Fan
05-12-2012, 11:11 PM
That is not an issue in this case. The DNA repair enzymes are required to maintain a sufficiently high level of data integrity for cell duplication. We are talking strands with 1,000s of base-pairs. For the chemical tests performed by Schweitzer's group only 4 base pairs are required for a positive test. A four base pair strand of DNA is of no practical use to a living cell but it is interesting if its origin is from the same animal that left the fossil.
Where do you get 4bp from? Dr Robert Carter, who has published genetics work in secular journals, told me that much more would be required to have a stable double helix. One of the stains rests in the groove of a double helix.

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.