Fossils continue to turn up surprises. Some of them appear in the wrong place, in the wrong time, or in the wrong order. Darwinian theory never seems to have a problem, though. Evolutionary paleontologists always find a way to stretch or shrink their phylogenetic trees to accommodate the new discoveries, or make up new imaginary tales, to fit the new findings into the all-encompassing story of universal common descent by natural selection.Proto-squid: What was Nectocaris? The strange fossil in the Burgess Shale, one of many strange fossils in the Burgess Shale, defied classification since its discovery 100 years ago. Was it a mollusc? Was it an arthropod? After looking at dozens of them, scientists publishing in Nature decided this week,1 based on one trait, that it must have been the ancestor of squids and octopi. That trait appears to have been an organ of jet propulsion that modern squid, cuttlefish and octopi use to scoot through the water. This organ on Nectocaris doesn’t look quite the same; it’s at right angles to the creature, for one thing, as if it would have spun the poor animal in circles. Perhaps it had a pivot so it could be aimed in various directions. The creature has eyes and tentacles but lacks some other characteristic cephalopod traits. Nevertheless, Smith and Caron put their theory out there anyway, and Stefan Bengtson liked the theory enough to title his commentary, “A little Kraken wakes.”2 The news media immediately jumped on the bandwagon with headlines like the one on PhysOrg, “Palaeontologists solve mystery of 500 million-year-old squid-like carnivore.” Even if Smith and Caron are right, it doesn’t help Darwin’s story. Smith wrote in the press release printed by PhysOrg, “This is significant because it means that primitive cephalopods were around much earlier than we thought, and offers a reinterpretation of the long-held origins of this important group of marine animals.” Like the other Cambrian body plans, a complex cephalopod emerged out of nowhere. Smith continued, “We know very little about the relationships between the major groups of molluscs, and the early history of the group,” yet somehow, he said, “Fossils like Nectocaris help us to map out how the groups alive today might be related, and how they evolved.” If this is indeed a cephalopod in Cambrian strata, it exacerbates the problem of complex life appearing early in the fossil record. “Far from being mindless filterers or grazers, they [cephalopods] are active predators possessing the most advanced nervous system known among invertebrates. Their brain-to-body ratio exceeds that of most vertebrates,” Bengtson said. “They are masters of camouflage, changing shape, surface pattern, texture and colour in the blink of an eye – and they do have good eyes.”Swimming tank: Imagine a triceratops swimming across the ocean. That’s almost what a story in Live Science is asking us to believe: “Newfound Horned Dinosaur Probably Island-Hopped to Europe.” Horned dinosaurs of a type normally known from the Gobi Desert have been identified in Europe. How did they get there? Based on another paper published in Nature this week,3 Charles Q. Choi reported that the ancestors of this kind of dinosaur were only known from the far east. Based on what the scientists said, he imagined this scenario: “Their ancestors might have swum westward from island to island, or they might have walked to these areas when the islands were landlocked, only to get separated later when sea levels rose,” he said. Perhaps you can think of other mental pictures. Xing Xu of feathered dinosaur fame commented on this find in Nature.4 He began by mentioning the large gaps in the record: “Reconstructing the historical distribution of Earth’s fauna and flora is a challenging task, not least because of the incomplete, often poorly dated, nature of the fossil record,” he said. “Such problems are particularly severe with respect to European biogeography in the Late Cretaceous period (about 100 million to 65 million years ago), when Europe was an archipelago.” A shipload of Darwin caulk is necessary for such situations; maybe even an Ark load.Reset button: Science Daily told a mystery tale of catastrophe: something hit the reset button, and killed almost everything, but fortunately we survived. “A mass extinction of fish 360 million years ago hit the reset button on Earth’s life, setting the stage for modern vertebrate biodiversity, a new study reports.” What was it? Nobody knows, but “Those few species that survived the bottleneck were the evolutionary starting point for all vertebrates — including humans — that exist today,” we are told. It was a global extinction. It left a completely different world. Maybe the world got drunk, because the article said the 15-million-year gap “was the hangover after the traumatic Hangenberg event.” Somewhere out of the hangover, our grandpappy emerged. “When tetrapods finally recovered, those survivors were likely the great-great-grandfathers to the vast majority of land vertebrates present today.” It would be nice to know what happened, but: “What remains mysterious is exactly what happened 360 million years ago to trigger this mass extinction, the authors said.” If you thought trees were our friends, “The first appearance of forest-like environments in some regions might also have produced atmospheric changes catastrophic to animal life.” What did the forest trees evolve from? They didn’t say. Perhaps they just “appeared.” Maybe this study helped the scientists learn some things about evolution: “The research also raises questions about the pattern of evolution after the extinction event. It remains unclear why groups that were abundant before the event did not recover, while other groups spread and diversified in radical new ways.” Your tax dollars at work: “Funding for the research was provided by the National Science Foundation, the University of Chicago Hinds Fund, the Paleontological Society, the Palaeontological Association, the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, and the Evolving Earth Foundation.”The cannibal in the family tree: National Geographic, always one to overdo the shock and awe (how do they fit so many “Annual Shark Week” events in a year?) decided to introduce the cannibal in our ancestry, Homo gautengensis. If you hadn’t heard of this particular Uncle Harry, or how they knew someone 800,000 years ago liked the taste of human flesh, the story gets a little sketchy the more you get into the fine print. First, you find there’s not enough bone to make a valid reconstruction. There’s not enough bone to know whether it spent time in the trees, to know what it ate, to know whether it talked, or to know how it lived. Then you find there’s dispute among experts whether it was Homo at all, or rather Australopithecus. Then you learn that it doesn’t really matter, because it and Australopithecus sediba, another contender for human ancestor, were contemporaries – casting the evolutionary status of both fossils into doubt. Then you learn that the dating of both of these fossils is also very questionable; no one is certain when they lived. Finally, you learn that the author of the paper about this dude isn’t even sure what he is holding in his hand: “It is up to my colleagues to decide whether they are convinced that a new species is warranted and whether they will use [the designation] in their research.” As for its evolutionary value, he said, “The real significance of the new species is that it shows just how complicated, how bushy, our evolutionary tree was.” So by this time, the reader can judge the scientific value of the caulk holding together a picture of a tree-swinging human ancestor that scraped the brains out of other Homo things for food, as the National Geographic shock-and-awe article opened, into the grand scheme of human evolution. Let’s return to the opening: “There’s a good chance it was a tiny little cannibalistic tree swinger, but the newly identified Homo gautengensis is family, according to a new study. Thought to have used tools—and possibly fire—the creature is the oldest named species in the human genus, Homo, study author Darren Curnoe says.” Wanna bet on it?National Geographic went on to speculate that the Homo gautengensis creature even had rudimentary language. Strangely, the article did not consider how it would be possible for a creature intelligent enough to build fire, use tools, and speak to walk the planet for 795,000 years before ever thinking about inventing a wheel, planting a farm, building a city, riding a horse, or writing his thoughts down – or why in about 3500 B.C. all those things exploded into existence suddenly in the Fertile Crescent, with long-distance trade, mining, manufacturing, and shipping, too. But Darwin didn’t live till the 19th century A.D., and by then, humans had steam locomotives to transport all the caulk anyone could ever need.1. Martin R. Smith & Jean-Bernard Caron, “Primitive soft-bodied cephalopods from the Cambrian,” Nature 465, 469-472 (27 May 2010) | doi:10.1038/nature09068.2. Stefan Bengtson, “Palaeontology: A little Kraken wakes,” Nature 465, 427-428 (27 May 2010) | doi:10.1038/465427a.3. Osi, Butler and Weishampel, “A Late Cretaceous ceratopsian dinosaur from Europe with Asian affinities,” Nature 465, 466-468 (27 May 2010) | doi:10.1038/nature09019.4. Xing Xu, “Biogeography: Horned dinosaurs venture abroad,” Nature 465, 431-432 (27 May 2010) | doi:10.1038/465431a.Do you see how we’ve been scammed? This isn’t science. This is a racket. This is the biggest con job ever pulled off in the name of science. You should see the phylogenetic tree in the squid paper. It’s all dots, with a few tiny dashes representing actual data. The dots are imagination! The chart tries to connect Kimberella, one of the Ediacaran creatures that went extinct, with Nectocaris, and those with squids! Kimberella looks nothing like Nectocaris. It’s all a convoluted story, because Darwin needs connections between things to form a continuous lineage. What if they (in actual fact) had nothing to do with each other? His disciples are playing dot-to-dot games with dots that are far apart and not obviously connected. The connections are in their minds, not in the data. Ditto for the dots in the horned dinosaur chart – it’s mostly dots, not dashes, and the dashes are almost all in contemporary groupings. If anything, the dots, representing ancestral links, are getting farther and farther apart. They exist only in the imagination of Darwinists. The Burgess Shale is an ecological zone of extinct creatures found in the Canadian Rockies, not an evolutionary time period. The data exist in the present, not in the past (pause and think about that). The Burgess Shale fossils were forced into an evolutionary story by evolutionary-minded human beings. What the Darwinists should be reading from the fossil record, as the film Darwin’s Dilemma so powerfully shows, is the abrupt appearance of all the animal phyla without evolutionary precursors. In spite of this strong evidence, the Darwinian story is like a big stage show, with painted sets, fogma machines (05/14/2007) and special effects that trained stage hands operate on cue. Scientists are the actors. They speak their memorized lines with gusto. Data are the props that give the audience the illusion of reality, just like props on a stage. And just like theater, it’s all about a story, not reality. If you want entertainment, you can stay and watch the Darwin Theater of the Absurd, and laugh at how their miracles emerge on cue thanks to the rigging and special effects and industrial light and magic. But if you want reality, you have to step outside,* where design is clearly seen, such that men are without excuse. (Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
2 August 2004South Africa’s ostrich industry may have had its wings clipped by international competitition, but experts say the country can maintain its dominant position in the global market – and that the industry presents a key opportunity for emerging farmers.According to Business Day’s trade supplement, The South African Exporter, more ostrich meat is exported from South Africa than any other red meat.South Africa currently has around 600 export-registered ostrich farms, with roughly 300 000 ostriches slaughtered in the country each year. The industry employes around 20 000 workers, and total investment in production and processing is around R2.1-billion per annum.The European Union, which places tough requirements on exporters, is the largest consumer of South Africa’s ostrich meat, while Asia is also a major export destination.The potential market for ostrich meat was highlighted during the mad cow disease scare of the 1990s. At the time, much of the local industry was concentrated in the Karoo, with Oudtshoorn accounting for around three-quarters of South African production.Since then, other parts of the country – including the Free State, Gauteng and Limpopo – have begun producing ostrich meat competitively.Staying ahead of the competitionSo too, however, have Namibia, Zambia, China, Japan, Canada and the United States. In 1995 South Africa was responsible for 82% of ostrich slaughters worldwide; since 2000 this has dropped to 65%.China, in particular, is seen as a threat to the local industry. With governmental and private backing, Chinese ostrich farmers are growing in strength.Industry players say, however, that South Africa has a historical advantage over newcomers in the industry – as well as natural conditions that favour ostrich farming.The main source of South Africa’s world domination is the ostrich leather market, accounting for around 65% of total ostrich export earnings. In 2003, South Africa supplied 79% of the world’s ostrich skins.According to the South African Ostrich Business Chamber (SAOBC), South Africa has a comparative advantage over Europe in that local operations permit economies of scale.In South Africa, the value of a slaughtered bird is broken down into 45% skin, 45% meat and 10% feather. This contrasts with Europe, where the breakdown is 75% meat and 25% skin. The chamber says SA’s competitors still have to explore income from feathers, which involves very labour-intensive operations. The value of the oil from Ostrich fat also remains underdeveloped.Involving SA’s emerging farmersIn the Strategic Plan for South African Agriculture – which the SAOBC argues is the most important agricultural initiative since 1994 – the Department of Agriculture, Agri South Africa and the National African Farmers’ Union mapped out a vision for a united and prosperous agricultural sector.According to the SAOBC, there are several obstacles to entering the industry. High start-up and running costs, the risk of disease, inexperience, the absence of guaranteed markets and a lack of export expertise are among the reasons why new ostrich farmers and processors fail.Because ostrich farming does not lend itself towards subsistence farming, there are few emerging farmers in the industry. The learning curve for new farmers is steep, as they grapple with the intricacies of general farm management and the industry-specific pitfalls of ostrich farming.Since its inception, the SAOBC has been laying foundations for easier access and improved equity in the ostrich industry. So far, it has reviewed the challenges facing the industry in creating equitable access to and participation in ostrich farming, the deracialising of land and enterprise ownership, and unlocking the entrepreneurial potential in the sector.In consultation with its members, the SAOBC is drafting an action plan with objectives that are both realistic and attainable. The final plan will contain key performance indicators, service delivery standards, monitoring and evaluation systems, a conflict resolution mechanism and well-defined timeframes, the chamber says.One of the flagship empowerment projects in the ostrich industry is the Community-Based Ostrich Farming Project (CBOFP), which was initiated by the Camdeboo Meat Processors in Graaff-Reinet.At Camdeboo’s request, the association for commercial ostrich farmers in the province, the Eastern Cape Ostrich Producers’ Association, donated seed money for the project and pledged to provide mentorship to the fledgling farmers.“The more we work on the plan, the more we find ways of removing obstacles which have traditionally hindered access to our industry”, says SAOBC general manager Francois Hanekom.“I am confident that, as the sense of unity among old and new participants in our industry grows, we will be able to remove the remaining obstacles through mentorship and strategic partnerships. Ultimately we want a strong industry which is both representative and competitive.”SouthAfrica.info reporter
The president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors says that he will propose a resolution requiring all new buildings in the city, both residential and commercial, to include rooftop photovoltaic (PV) arrays where feasible, SFGate.com reports.There is “potential for sustainability on every single roof in the city,” David Chiu said. He called for PV arrays, rooftop gardens, or both on all new construction in an initiative called “Solar Vision 2020,” which would simultaneously reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the city and benefit the solar industry.Chiu acknowledged that might not be practical on all buildings. HVAC equipment can take up a lot of space on the roofs of high-rise towers, for example, and some houses don’t lend themselves to rooftop PV installations.“Certainly for commercial buildings we believe this is absolutely feasible,” he told SFGate. “If it were up to me we would do it on larger residential [buildings] and then see what’s possible on smaller residential. But at this point we need to get the conversation going.” Solar Vision 2020 has broad goalsChiu’s proposal contains several other provisions:A San Francisco program that helps homeowners and business owners pay for the installation of solar panels, now scheduled to expire in 2018, would be made permanent.By the year 2020, the capacity of PV installations in the city would double, from its current level of 26 megawatts (MW) to 50 MW.PV arrays with a combined capacity of 2 MW would be installed at “tenant-occupied residences” each year.The director of the Housing Action Coalition, Tim Colen, didn’t argue with the intent of the initiative. But he said that California already has the toughest standards in the country for new construction and that Chiu’s plan could increase construction costs “at a time when we’ve got a crisis in affordability,” the web site reported.
Police have claimed to have “solved” the triple murder case in Murshidabad district with the arrest of a mason named Utpal Behra.Bandhu Prakash Pal, a 35-year-old schoolteacher, his wife and their child were found dead in their home about a week ago.Superintendent of Police Mukesh Kumar said Behra had deposited money in a savings scheme run by Pal. The latter had refused to give Behra a receipt for a part of the payment he had made. This led to a confrontation for a period of time and finally resulted in the murders, Mr. Kumar said.Political overtonesThe incident had acquired political overtones with the BJP and West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar hitting out at the Mamata Banerjee government and the RSS claiming that the teacher was its supporter. The victims’ family, however, insisted that Pal had no political affiliations.Pal collected money from small investors in and around Jiaganj town in Murshidabad. Behra, a man without a steady income, had invested in two schemes. He told interrogators that Pal gave him a receipt for the first scheme but refused to give him one for the other.Weapon recovered“For the last few weeks, Pal and Behra used to quarrel over this. Pal even insulted him, after which Behra decided to kill him,” Mr. Kumar told journalists. The weapon used in the crime has been recovered.
Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients Foton will defend its title against eight other teams in the biggest Grand Prix to date.This season’s Grand Prix will feature nine teams—Foton, Petron, Cocolife, F2 Logistics, Generika, Sta. Lucia, Iriga, Cignal, and guest team University of Santo Tomas. Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City LATEST STORIES Iceland prepared for World Cup debut with 2 games in Qatar BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Coaches Ramil de Jesus of F2 Logistics, Francis Vicente of Generika-Ayala, Parley Tupaz of Iriga City, George Pascua of Cignal, Moro Branislav of Foton, Shaq Delos Santos of Petron, John Paul Dolorias of UST, Kungfu Reyes of Cocolife and Macky Carino of Sta. Lucia declare readiness to compete in the Chooks To Go Philippine Superliga Grand Prix starting Saturday at Filoil Flying CentreFoton has been the ruler of the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix Conference and head coach Moro Branislav has been preparing his team to keep it that way this 2017.“My opinion is, Foton will bring a very big surprise this conference,” said Branislav Wednesday during the pre-season press conference atr Viking Venue. “I’ve been preparing my team and we’ll see how we’ll finish so good luck to all the other coaches.”ADVERTISEMENT Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Read Next Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP The Tornadoes are shooting for their third straight title, but they have to do it without 2015 Grand Prix MVP Lindsay Stalzer, who was instrumental in their last two championships.Stalzer has jump shipped to Petron, the team Foton beat twice for the titles, in a move which Branislav respects.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“We respect all players, and thanks to Lindsay because she played very hard last year for Foton.”Helping Branislav in his quest for a third straight Grand Prix title are Dragana Perunicnic, Sara Klisura, and libero Katarina Vukomanovic. MOST READ View comments
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant MOST READ NGCP on security risk: Chinese just technical advisers National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress LATEST STORIES View comments Kotetsu Boku vs Filipino fighter Eric Kelly in their ONE Championship bout in Macau. PHOTO FROM ONE CHAMPIONSHIPMACAU—–Kotetsu Boku played spoiler to Eric Kelly’s return to MMA after earning a technical knockout win in ONE Championship: Kings & Conquerors Saturday at Cotai Arena here.The Japanese improved to 26-11-2 after pounding away on the grounded Kelly with 3:28 into the third and final round.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Cool Smashers show they can still dominate as Valdez cheers on FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ The Filipino bet hasn’t fought in more than a year but now saw his record slip to 12-4 after losing his third straight match.The Natural showed flashes of brilliance especially in the first round when he knocked Boku down twice but wasn’t able to sustain the momentum into the latter stages of the fight.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games
In the first qualifier of IPL7, the Kolkata Knight Riders beat the Kings XI Punjab by two wickets, after intermittent rain threatened to cancel the match in Kolkata. In case of a washout, Kings XI Punjab would have made it to the finals. But the 70,000-odd crowd at Eden Gardens were treated to a humdinger and their team did not disappoint them. Set a target of 164 to win, the team from Mohali scored 135 for 8 in their quota of 20 overs.No team this season have scored their runs as quickly (tournament run rate: 9.03 r/o) as Kings XI Punjab and no team this season has been as frugal with the ball (economy rate: 7.93) as Kolkata Knight Riders. For the complete scorecard, click here.Here are the playing elevens of both sides:KXIP: Virender Sehwag, Manan Vohra, Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, George Bailey (C), Wriddhiman Saha (W), Akshar Patel, Mitchell Johnson, Rishi Dhawan, Karanveer Singh, Parvinder AwanaKKKR: Robin Uthappa (W), Gautam Gambhir (C), Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Ryan ten Doeschate, Shakib Al Hasan, Suryakumar Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Umesh Yadav, Morne Morkel, Sunil Narine
Matty Longstaff eager to settle new terms with Newcastleby Paul Vegas13 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveMatty Longstaff is eager to settle new terms with Newcastle United.The midfielder is inside the final year of his deal and will be free to negotiate with overseas clubs from January.“Yeah, obviously I want to stay at Newcastle but the biggest thing for me is just to carry on playing well and that will take care of itself,” Longstaff told ChronicleLive.Longstaff was originally due to go out on loan to League Two clubs, with Bradford City keen to offer him first team football.But after impressing in pre-season, Steve Bruce decided to keep him at St James’ Park and he now looks set to reprise his midfield partnership with brother Sean at Chelsea as the pair’s meteoric rise continues. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Arsenal hero Wright slams Emery over Ceballos selection: Start him!by Freddie Taylor3 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal hero Ian Wright has questioned Unai Emery’s decision not to start Dani Ceballos in Monday’s loss to Sheffield United.The Spaniard was brought on as a second-half substitute and immediately provided the creative spark which Arsenal were severely lacking.Wright told Premier League Productions: “I think he’s [Emery] got to come here and Ceballos has to play. He’s played the youngsters and I’m pleased to see them in there, with Saka.”But Saka, for an 18-year-old, if you’re leaving Ozil totally out of the squad, then we have to see more from him [Saka], we have to see more from Joe [Willock].”Unfortunately, it was a game where it passed them both by and then it comes down to the manager and his choices.”He’s made the change at half-time, with Ceballos, so you’re thinking to yourself: ‘Why didn’t you start him in the first place?'”Start him. He’s someone that gets on the ball when they want to try and play out, [Matteo] Guendouzi’s got a lot of energy and get the boys playing.”[Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang didn’t have anything to play off because there wasn’t any creativity.”