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Date: Mon, 29 Feb 2016 11:54:02 -0000
Subject: "Is evolution more intelligent than we thought?

Seems there are more semi-questioning articles on `Evolution' being allowed these days.  The one below is interesting in a way, because it _might_ go some way to answering Roger Penrose's musings:

"To my way of thinking, there is still something mysterious about evolution, with its apparent 'groping' towards some future purpose.  Things at least seem to organize themselves somewhat better than they 'ought' to, just on the basis of blind-chance evolution and natural selection."

Yet much more than this will be needed to explain, for instance, how reptiles evolved into mammals.

I.e. reptilian DNA chains are huge compared to our mammalian DNA info., because reptiles mainly lay eggs which have to cope with very diverse temperature and humidity conditions.

So how did all that reptile DNA get wiped to produce mammals (with much fewer reproductive DNA instructions) without killing-off that particular reptile species?  Catch 22?

Ray D
Science Newsfrom research organizations
Is evolution more intelligent than we thought?

Date: Mon, 29 Feb 2016 09:28:47 -0000
Subject: "Start the Week - Nature or Nurture?

Start the Week - Nature or Nurture?

Interesting - Oliver James makes the point that the holy `Genome Project' has found almost NO indications of genetic influence on personality or mental capability or stability.  He added that the majority of folk with mental illness can be attributed to childhood traumas - not to any genetic inheritance.

(Got interested so googled a phrase he used: "the missing heritability" and found a lot of recent research papers saying approximately the same thing)

Ray D
PS - maybe check our own findings at : genes8.html and links.
Nature or Nurture?
Start the Week

On Start the Week Mary-Ann Sieghart asks why some people succeed while others fail. She talks to the journalist Helen Pearson about the Life Project, a study of the health, wellbeing and life chances of thousands of British children, started in 1946. The television producer Joseph Bullman also charts a series of families back to the Victorian times to look at social mobility through the generations. The scientist Marcus Munafň says there is increasing evidence of genetic links to who we are and what we do, while the psychologist Oliver James wades into the nature/ nurture debate by arguing that we are the result of our environment and upbringing.
Producer: Katy Hickman.

Date: Wed, 24 Feb 2016 11:20:33 -0000
Subject: "Penguins presumed dead after disappearing in Antarctica may have just moved on

Yup, was suspicious about the hasty shout of "150,000 penguins all dead - killed by climate change!" - for the obvious reason that, just like polar bears in the Arctic, penguins are used to coping with large changes of temperature and local conditions.

And, knowing that much greater changes of temperature and conditions have happened during the last few thousand years, the fact that penguins and polar bears are still around should tell us to be wary of media and `experts' rushing to call calamity.

Ray D
Penguins presumed dead after disappearing in Antarctica may have just moved on
150,000 Adelie penguins were thought to have perished after they were landlocked by an enormous iceberg
But now Michelle De La Rue, a penguin population researcher at the University of Minnesota in the US, said the birds could simply have waddled off to join other penguins closer to the water.

"Just because there are a lot fewer birds observed doesn't automatically mean the ones that were there before have perished," said Ms LaRue, who did not take part in the study with the Australian team.
She added: "They easily could have moved elsewhere, which would make sense if nearby colonies are thriving

Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2016 03:24:56 -0000
Subject: "Scientists believe modern humans lived among other ancient human species

Right, like all these `changing narratives' we find the `experts' gradually and reluctantly pushing back what were their preferred [short] time-lines - of Earth, earth-life, and of humankind.

A few decades ago it was 30-40,000 yrs for humans, then about ten years ago we got the dogma of `out-of-Africa 60,000 yrs ago' - and now the unacknowledged evidence is piling up;  it says that human history is probably much longer than that.  Probably longer even than this article's `Timeline of evolution' for humans.

Ray D
PS - + evidence that humans have been around much longer; as Matt Ridley wrote recently: "In the Mesolithic (around 50,000 years ago) human brains averaged 1,468 cc (in females) and 1,567 cc (in males).  Today the numbers have fallen to 1,210 cc and 1,248 cc, and, even allowing for some reduction in body weight, this seems to be a steep decline." [p. 35 `Nature Via Nurture'].
N.b. - such a decrease in brain size is what happens when a species becomes domesticated; they no longer need to think so much.  So what happened to us? - RD
'Planet of the Apes': Scientists believe modern humans lived among other ancient human species
Lateline By Margot O'Neill | Posted Wed at 6:21am

Modern humans were likely to have been just one human species among many in a real-life version of Planet of the Apes.

Evolutionary scientists believe recent discoveries are rewriting the story of human origins after uncovering new human species and surprising evidence of complex behaviour.
Timeline of evolution:

4 billion years ago: First signs of life on Earth
590 million years ago: First animals appeared
230 - 66 million years ago: Dinosaurs
77 million years ago: Primates and apes appeared
7 million years ago: Two footed apes came along. They were upright but still swung from trees
3 million years ago: First humans or Homo species including Homo erectus, Neanderthals and Homo naledi
200,000 years ago: Homo sapiens or modern humans appeared

Associate Professor Curnoe says Neanderthals had brains the same size or even slightly larger than modern humans.

Evidence suggests they used fire and sophisticated hunting weapons, buried their dead, wore jewellery and cared for the weak and elderly.
It is believed that Neanderthals may have passed on red hair and improved immunity.

The Denisovans are believed to have also passed on better immunity as well as providing the gene found in Tibetans for surviving high altitudes.

Date: Sat, 20 Feb 2016 14:39:27 -0000
Subject: "1 in 10 people to be at risk of blindness by 2050 - study

Yup, that primary cause of myopia (short-sightedness) - not enough time outdoors - rings true  (thankful I've spent much of my life outdoors - so now suffer only from normal male long-sightedness).

Although we should bear in mind that female myopia tends to be fairly normal (at least in the West).  As an aside, an English girl-friend who used to wear specs at home but not outdoors told me she was used to being `chatted-up' when out and about, before she got contacts.  Apparently dilated pupils give women a look of affection or impressionability.

Ray D
1 in 10 people to be at risk of blindness by 2050 - study
Published time: 18 Feb, 2016 23:39

One in ten humans could become blind by 2050, with a half of the world's population predicted to be short-sighted (myopic), scientists say, pointing out that people must take immediate measures to stop the spread of myopia.

Having analyzed vast amounts of international data on myopia, researchers from Brien Holden Vision Institute, at the University of New South Wales Australia and Singapore Eye Research Institute found the drastic growth of people suffering from shortsightedness since 2000.

Based on the revealed trend the research team predicted further increase of the number of short-sighted people - up to about five million of a half of world's population by 2050, says the study published in the Ophthalmology journal.

The scientists also showed that there are sharp differences in the percentage of myopic people in different regions. The least myopic-prone region is Africa while the most affected regions are East Asia, South East Asia as well as high income North American countries. The team believes that these differences will remain actual by 2050.
(more ...)

Date: Sat, 20 Feb 2016 06:40:50 -0000
Subject: Re: "Oldest known case of Neanderthal-human sex

Yup Roy, too right.

My problem is that in science generally today there are heavy pressures to have only one `standard model', especially in sensitive areas - like particle physics and cosmology (apparently western gov'ts have propaganda interests in a short-lived universe, if possible with a doomed future, and scientists get approval, tenure and limelight if they conform).

And we have seen that in the overlapping fields of archeology, paleontology, anthropology there exists a strong establishment desire to have only a short history for humankind, with a description of most human experience being `nasty brutish and short'.

So when I see periods like 60,000 yrs or 100,000 yrs being quoted I suspect they are only the ones they can't avoid showing.  Whereas I know of human sites dated at over 200,000 - 300,000 yrs old which are ignored or suppressed - often with heavy-handed local gov't destruction of evidence.

Here's a minor example of destruction of evidence by so-called `scientists' (there are many more appearing on Youtube under "forbidden archeology" etc):

Date: Sat, 8 Jun 2013 23:03:10 +0100
Subject: FWD - More evidence of VIKINGS in America

The news report is interesting and backs up a lot of stuff that the mainstream have been covering-up and denying for years.  I recall a logger from Oregon wrote me some years ago; here's his mail: (original here)

Date: Sat, 1 Jul 2006 02:16:35 +0100

Good Job!   This is a good site.  A lot of information here.

I once found what I believe to have been a grave of somesort in southern Oregon.  It was in the area of the old Fort Klamath.  I told a Forest Service Archaeologist where it was.  the next year I looked and the site had been destroyed.  When I asked, I was told that it was none of my business, that it was out of place and didn't belong there.

It was a wall about eight feet tall with five crosses, I believe they are nordic or gothic. all the limbs tapered to the center and they stood out from the wall.  It was built out of carefully cut stone and older than old.  Now they deny that it ever existed.

Dave Clyburn
(address supplied)

Keep up the good work. I was a logger.
New North America Viking Voyage Discovered

Some 1,000 years ago, the Vikings set off on a voyage to Notre Dame Bay in modern-day Newfoundland, Canada, new evidence suggests.

The journey would have taken the Vikings, also called the Norse, from L'Anse aux Meadows on the northern tip of the same island to a densely populated part of Newfoundland and may have led to the first contact between Europeans and the indigenous people of the New World.
(more ...)


So, to avoid `preaching to the choir' I pretend to go along with their `standard models', especially when I want to point out the ridiculous contradictions which inevitably arise - because new evidence is continually sneaking through the net of suppression.


Sent: Friday, February 19, 2016 9:26 PM
Subject: Re: "Oldest known case of Neanderthal-human sex

Hi Ray,

How would you propose to view the dates such as 60,000 or 100,000 years ago which are mentioned in the article? You know and I know that the chronology is to put it mildly spurious. To do justice to the system do you not think that it would be sensible to mention that the dating may be somewhat in error?

I am not criticising - just questioning ? What do you think?

Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2016 20:03:04 -0000
Subject: "Oldest known case of Neanderthal-human sex

So Neanderthal mated with Homo sapiens at least once, 100,000 years ago, and probably in the Russian Far-East (Mongolian border).
Ha!  Think that puts in question the `Out of Africa 60,000 yrs ago' myth that mainstream science has been trying to foist on us.

Ray D
Oldest known case of Neanderthal-human sex revealed by DNA test
Traces of DNA found in remains Neanderthal woman show date of first human-Neanderthal couplings is tens of millennia earlier than previously thought

The DNA discovery shows that both Neanderthals and modern humans inherited DNA from prehistoric trysts.
Wednesday 17 February 2016 18.20 GMT Last modified on Wednesday 17 February 2016 18.22 GMT

A Neanderthal woman who lived and died in a Siberian cave 50,000 years ago has led researchers to the oldest known case of sex between modern humans and their beefy, thick-browed cousins.

Tests revealed that the female, whose remains were recovered from the Altai mountains on the Russia-Mongolia border, carried traces of DNA from Homo sapiens who appear to have mated with her ancestors 100,000 years ago.

The discovery pushes back - by tens of millennia - the date of the first known couplings between the two groups, and shows that both Neanderthals and modern humans inherited DNA from the prehistoric trysts.

Researchers have known since 2010 that people alive today carry as much as 4% Neanderthal DNA. The genetic legacy, which may affect human immune systems, and the risk of depression and even nicotine addiction, is a smoking gun for interbreeding that took place after modern humans left Africa 60,000 years ago and met up with the Neanderthals.

The latest study is the first to ask whether the archaic genes flowed in both directions. It finds that while European Neanderthals bore no traces of modern human DNA, the Altai Neanderthal did. The scientists narrowed the suspects down to early human pioneers who left Africa about 40,000 years before the great migration that saw humans colonise the world. Their adventure was not entirely successful: like the Neanderthals, they appear eventually to have died out.

"An early modern human population left Africa much earlier than had been shown before and met with Neanderthals, possibly those moving from Europe towards the East, some time around 100,000 years ago," said Sergi Castellano, who led the study at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

Writing in the journal, Nature, the researchers describe how they compared complete and partial Neanderthal genomes with those from modern Africans who do not carry Neanderthal DNA. They found no trace of modern human DNA in Neanderthals from Spain or Croatia, but the Altai Neanderthal had strands of DNA that closely matched those of the modern Africans. One strand of modern human DNA found in the Altai Neanderthal involved a gene called FOXP2 which has been linked to language development, but Castellano said it was too early to say whether Neanderthals benefited from the DNA.

Modern humans evolved in Africa about 200,000 years ago. When they left the continent for the north, they encountered Neanderthals who had already settled in Europe and Asia and adapted to the cooler temperatures, lack of sunlight, and different diseases. The interbreeding swapped genes among the two groups.

Scientists have other evidence that Homo sapiens left Africa early but failed to establish themselves beyond the continent. They have recovered 100,000-year-old modern human skeletons from the Skhul and Qafzeh caves in Israel. Meanwhile, a set of 47 modern human teeth found in a cave in southern China was recently dated to at least 80,000 years old.

"Not only is this the first evidence of modern human DNA entering Neanderthal populations, rather than the reverse process, but this is also a separate and much earlier interbreeding than the one placed at 60,000 years onwards," said Chris Stringer, head of human origins at the Natural History Museum in London. He said that the interbreeding could have occurred anywhere in southern Asia.
(more ...)

Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2016 13:40:02 -0000
Subject: Anti-gravity and other clues

Anti-gravity and other clues

To avoid mental indigestion will often read myself to sleep with a technical book which needs concentration on a different subject from that I'd been working on in the day.

Last night picked up a small dense volume, meant more as a text-book and manual for other scientists and engineers in areas of avionics, automotive and general engineering - concentrating on acoustics and allied subjects.

In the closing chapters the author allowed himself to become more discursive, speculating on future developments in engineering sciences, particularly avionics.  Then I was surprised to read a throwaway sentence:  "I know of one group who are busily working now on what they call an `anti-gravity device'".  That edition was printed in 1975.

So who has been working on anti-gravity for at least 40 years, while the mainstream media _and_ the science establishment have been telling the public that the concept is ridiculous?

That's only the latest of many small clues, arising in all areas of scientific and historical research, which tell me we're not getting the whole truth from the `experts', and definitely not from the mainstream media.

Here's some examples:
ANCIENT GIANTS existed - Best Full Documentary
(all `giant' relics, some of which _were_on display in local museums in Europe, the Med and the Aegean, have since been withdrawn and are no longer admitted to exist. Those found in the USA were all confiscated by the Smithsonian (owned by the Gov't) and have since disappeared.)
Civilization Lost

And those are only in the field of archeology.  The story is much the same in written history - long ruled by the Church, which burned people at the stake if they tried to tell the truth - see magic4.html#btw - and even in general theoretical physics.

As Lee Smolin said, perhaps in innocence, "We've made no progress since the '70s" - meaning there's been no public knowledge of progress since then (coincidentally for over 40 years).

Taking a step back and looking at the total picture, you and me could be forgiven for thinking that Richard Dolan's `breakaway civilization' has indeed been operating in all areas of science and even history - in secret - for several decades, perhaps since the middle of last century.

Ray D

Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2016 12:02:25 -0200
Subject: Re: Anti-gravity and other clues


Another theme subject to intense ridicule is the free energy converter / generator, prone to being burnt at the stake for even mentioning it.  Even amicable discussions around this, fueled by pints of beers or glasses of wine, cannot be achieved. No "out of the box" attitude attainable.

Anti-gravity, free-energy, FTL, and some other themes, seem to be the Holy Graal of few and heretics' thoughts to most.

Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2016 16:44:16 -0000
Subject: Re: Anti-gravity and other clues

Hi Carlos,

Right, a long time ago I learnt to ask the `naive' question to see who'd do the ridicule thing.  In every instance I found the most ignorant people rushing to ridicule - quoting outdated text books and, on probing, with no real knowledge of whatever subject I'd been asking about.

Like Tom Van Flandern used to say: "You get the most flak when you're on target".  So we can presume that a `free energy field' exists, and that might link with `anti-gravity' - and that the powers-that-be don't want it known.


Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2016 15:24:59 -0200
Subject: Re: Anti-gravity and other clues

Same here Ray,

I am no surfer for the big waves of tech discussions.  I feel more at ease to ride the smaller ones.  Being no scientist, my background is engineering and I am married to "accepted" text books for profession.  However I do love to flert with the wondrous beauty of infinite possibilities, and as in real mundane affairs, this is something that we do not shout about at a metro station.

Back to anti-gravity, after sending my last email, coincidentally I had exactly the same thought you mentioned that gravity (and anti-gravity) may be related to free-energy, besides the "easier-to-understand" electro-magnetic forces.

I do hope to come to know before leaving this existence that serious and open research is being done with the intent of freeing us all from toxic waste, wildlife destruction and high costs of energy generation. This is one of the big slavery instruments under which mankind is dependent upon to jump into a golden new era.

Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2016 18:30:29 -0000
Subject: Re: Anti-gravity and other clues

Hello Carlos,
yes, think rotation is the key to observation of any significant field effect (because rotation amplifies the interaction with the surrounding field).

As a matter of fact you can demonstrate an "unknown field" (one presently not explained by science) by spinning a coin on a table-top.  The coin stands upright for as long as it spins fast enough.  Physics can't explain that - except by labelling it as the `gyroscopic principle' (which is no explanation at all).


PS - here's some folk saying the same thing - putting a label on it _doesn't_ explain it:-

Erwin Chargaff - "In most sciences the question `Why?' is forbidden and the answer is actually to the question `How?' - Science is much better in explaining than in understanding, but it likes to mistake one for the other"

V.A. Firsoff - "Yet knowing the elements involved in a process is not the same as understanding the means by which the process is performed, and such understanding is conspicuous by its absence" re: viral invasion of cells. p. 74 `Life Among the Stars' London 1974

Konrad Lorenz - "We are all familiar with the term 'reproductive instinct'. However, we should not imagine - as many vitalistic students of instinct did - that the invention of such a term provides the explanation of the process in question" from `Das Sogenannte Böse' - `On Aggression'

Charles Darwin - "It is so easy to hide our ignorance ... and to think that we give an explanation when we only restate a fact." speaking truer than he knew, in the conclusion to `On the Origin of Species'

Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2016 22:36:10 -0200
Subject: Re: Anti-gravity and other clues

You are right Ray about no answer to "why" questions from science for the upright spinning coin.  I have not thought about that.  I took the explanation of how for a why, more interested (at the time of learning) in the gyro effect and its applications.

Spinning is about moving with permanent acceleration across a field or many.  By the way, spinning (of different sorts) is employed in almost every sci-fi movie where a space-time reorganization is intended.  I remember "CONTACT", which I liked very much (Jodie Foster added a reasonable bit to my liking the movie, though).  The big space-time machine was built on spinning rings.

Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2016 06:33:48 -0000
Subject: Re: Anti-gravity and other clues

Right Carlos
And we can illustrate the effects of the unknown (inertial) field which holds up a spinning coin (or stabilises a gyroscope) _and_ the fact that modern science does not know how it works.

As Dr Richard Haines (ex NASA) says in a 2 min video clip: which should start at 8 mins 20 secs - "from a physics point of view - we don't know how to do that" (talking of a case where a plane's gyro-compasses were influenced by a change in that unknown force).


Date: Sun, 14 Feb 2016 18:51:54 -0000
Subject: "Majority of humans unemployed"? Or a new Utopia?

"Majority of humans unemployed"? Or a new Utopia?

Have seen a few articles on this, and they've all failed to make a logical leap:  if more than half the population hasn't got a job, then that is the new norm and a different ecology (and economy) takes over.

Most folk will be hobbying and/or volunteering to help others, and of course joining artistic / self-development / ecological groups on a grand scale.  At the same time a national wage (as already being started in Switzerland) ensures roughly equal incomes for all.

So the laws of supply / demand (which decide changes of perceived `goods') will award public esteem (and self-esteem) to entirely new and different types of people - which will be interesting to observe.

Ray D
PS - some of you will know there are records (classed as `myth & legend') of such `utopian' states in pre-historic times - e.g. a perfect `welfare state' was said to exist in ancient Hibernia
Robots `will make majority of humans unemployed within 30 years'
Developments in robotics and artificial intelligence will create a workplace revolution unlike any other seen since the start of the industrial age, it is believed

The pace at which robots and intelligent machines are able to take over the jobs traditionally performed by humans will result in more than half the population being unemployed within 30 years, an expert in computing has predicted.

While some may look forward to a life of leisure, many others face the dismal prospect of long-term unemployment as a result of the rise of smart machines, from self-driving cars and intelligent drones to smart financial-trading machines, said Moshe Vardi, professor of computational engineering at Rice University in Houston, Texas.

Speaking at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Washington, Professor Vardi predicted that developments in robotics and artificial intelligence will create a workplace revolution unlike any other seen since the start of the industrial age more than two centuries ago.
(more ...)

Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2016 03:11:21 +0800
Subject: Re: "Majority of humans unemployed"? Or a new Utopia?

You know Ray, it's just days ago I was tinkering and pondering of what kind of society they are having in ancient China during that Golden Age epoch., and why they revered it that much.

Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2016 09:18:39 -0000
Subject: Re: "Majority of humans unemployed"? Or a new Utopia?

Right Choong,
it's interesting that just beyond the historical horizon - i.e. further back than writing, say 5,000 yrs ago - we find archeological remains of civilizations which had good quality housing for all, with _no_ palaces, _no_ prisons, _no_ barracks (soldiery) and _no_ slums.

See Westward page
Koutroulou Magoula, Greece - dates c. 7,300 to 7,800 years old
Indus Valley Civilization (Indus - Sarasvati Valleys) - from 7,000 - 8,000 years ago or earlier
Çatalhöyük, Turkey - up to 9,500 yrs ago
Göbekli Tepe, Urfa, S-E Turkey - about 11,000 to 13,000 years old

and we're still waiting for results from that under-sea city of about nine to ten thousand years ago, off the NW coast of India (Gulf of Cambay).

Date: Sun, 14 Feb 2016 02:04:27 -0000
Subject: Civilization Lost

Most of you probably know that I believe human history is much older than mainstream scientists presently say.

This short video presents some evidence that bolsters my beliefs and also gives us reasons for urgent preparations of self-defence - against meteorite impacts and even against super-volcanoes (if that might be possible).
Ray D
Civilization Lost

Date: Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:52:42 -0000
Subject: SETI so far: a glass of water from Earth's oceans

Jill Tarter is the most honest and realistic of the prominent SETI folk.

Shostak & Co were shouting the odds saying they were searching efficiently for years etc. but only recently admitted they wouldn't have recognized even modern human radio signals for much of that time - technology evolves.

Bearing that in mind, what different forms of (faster) communications will be being used now, by beings a thousand (or a million) years in advance of us?

Ray D
Why We Haven't Met Aliens Yet As Explained By SETI Scientist
The Huffington Post UK | By Nitya Rajan | Posted: 08/02/2016 12:25 GMT Updated: 08/02/2016 12:59 GMT

The main reasons why we haven't met aliens yet could offer fans extraterrestrial fans some hope in the near future.

SETI scientist, Jill Tarter, explained how two main barriers stand in our way of making contact.

Speaking to TechCruch, she said, we have, so far, only "searched for an incredible small portion of the universe for intelligent life."

In an effort to contextualise our search of intelligent life, she added: "if you set the search space equal to the size of the Earth's oceans, we've only examined one glass of water from those oceans for intelligent life.  We've only looked at one small part of a very large picture."

The second reason, she continued, is that we have not "invented the right way to do this yet."

In January, scientists proposed another theory less promising than Tarter's.

Aditya Chopra and Charles H. Lineweaver published a paper suggesting that aliens are extinct.

However, Tarter seemed unperturbed by these predictions. She told TechCrunch: "If they [aliens] showed up on our doorstep, that means they have technologies that are considerably advanced with respect to ours."

She added: "And because of that, they're going to be the ones that set the rules."

Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2016 12:12:42 +0800
Subject: Re: SETI so far: a glass of water from Earth's oceans

Some of them are still earth centric supremacists!


Date: Mon, 8 Feb 2016 23:02:32 -0000
Subject: "Sea-level rise 'could last twice as long as human history'

Hmm, this is interesting - the alarmist tone is to be expected but shouting those so-called "facts" is significant because they ignore (or `forget') that for much of the last ten thousand years the temperatures were much higher than now, and therefore sea-levels were much higher than now.  All without any human "industrial CO2".

And that's backed-up by all those `elevated beaches' [Wiki ref], proof of higher sea-levels) that we find around UK and around the world.  Around the Thames (and the Med) the elevated beaches are about 25 feet, then 60 feet, then 90 feet and then 120 feet higher than present sea-levels.  All presumably caused by solar radiation fluctuations, because humans weren't producing "industrial CO2" then.

So what's changed?  Nothing!
Ray D
[ Facts - pro and con - are shown at glacials.html ]
Sea-level rise 'could last twice as long as human history'
Research warns of the long timescale of climate change impacts unless urgent action is taken to cut emissions drastically

Monday 8 February 2016 16.00 GMT Last modified on Monday 8 February 2016 16.02 GMT

Huge sea-level rises caused by climate change will last far longer than the entire history of human civilisation to date, according to new research, unless the brief window of opportunity of the next few decades is used to cut carbon emissions drastically.

Even if global warming is capped at governments' target of 2C - which is already seen as difficult - 20% of the world's population will eventually have to migrate away from coasts swamped by rising oceans. Cities including New York, London, Rio de Janeiro, Cairo, Calcutta, Jakarta and Shanghai would all be submerged.

"Much of the carbon we are putting in the air from burning fossil fuels will stay there for thousands of years," said Prof Peter Clark, at Oregon State University in the US and who led the new work. "People need to understand that the effects of climate change won't go away, at least not for thousands of generations."
(more ...)

Date: Fri, 5 Feb 2016 13:11:17 -0000
Subject: "The former director of SETI says Stephen Hawking is wrong

Not for the first time, think Jill Tarter presents the sensible (and less scare-mongering) view of our present situation.  Whereas folk like Hawking [and Seth Shostak (scroll)] manage to be hide-bound skeptic (anti-ET-evidence) _and_ headline-hunting "crying wolf" at the same time.

Ray D
The former director of SETI says Stephen Hawking is wrong about a key point in our search for aliens
JESSICA ORWIG JAN 21 2016, 8:40 AM

For decades, humans have been hunting for extraterrestrial intelligence, but 32 years after the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute was founded, the cosmos remains eerily quiet.

This silence has influenced a new group of experts over recent years which says it's time to stop listening and start talking - by deliberately transmitting messages into space for anyone who might be searching for them. They call the project Active SETI.

Many intellectual leaders of our age, including Stephen Hawking, say the idea behind Active SETI should be avoided at all cost, but co-founder and former director of the SETI Institute Jill Tarter pointed out a serious flaw in Hawking's philosophy.

While Hawking fears that giving aliens our cosmic address could potentially bring death and ruin - much like what happened to many groups of Native Americans when Europeans invaded North America - Tarter thinks that aliens advanced enough to skip across star systems and reach Earth will be friendly, not aggressive.

"The idea of a civilisation which has managed to survive far longer than we have - and the fact that that technology remains an aggressive one, to me, doesn't make sense," Tarter told Business Insider. "The pressure of long-term survival - of limiting population - I think requires that the evolutionary trends that ratcheted up our intelligence - continues to evolve into something that's cooperative and take on global scale problems."

As humans continue to evolve, our society and the way we handle controversies changes along with us. "We're kinder and gentler than we've ever been in the past," Tarter said. According to one cross-cultural study of 31 hunter-gatherer tribes, researchers discovered evidence that more than half - 64% - engaged in warfare within a two-year period. Yet that taste for warfare has dwindled over the years, says Tarter, with the aid of emerging technologies and innovation.

So, if growing kindness is a direct consequence of humanity's time on Earth, then, according to Tarter's theory, we can expect 10,000 years from now to be less warlike than we are today - and Tarter suspects the same for other intelligent civilizations beyond our solar system.

Having spent most of her career as director of the SETI Institute, Tarter is one of the world's leading experts on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Her work caught the attention of Carl Sagan, who drew strongly from Tarter's life for his sci-fi book `Contact', which was later adapted into the 1997 film of the same title.

Tarter said the idea of transmitting messages into space, as opposed to listening for them, has been on members' minds since the very beginning of SETI. And while she doesn't think a visit from aliens would spell disaster, she agrees with Hawking that humanity should not be sending signals into space - at least, not yet.

"I think that when we grow up and are an advanced technology, and can take on very long-term projects, then we ought to begin transmitting," she said. "But at the moment, in our very youthful state as an emerging technology we should listen, first."
(more ...)

Date: Sun, 31 Jan 2016 14:39:27 -0000
Subject: "Summer Temperatures in Europe are the Warmest of the Last Two Millennia

Yet they fail to see the obvious: that two thousand years ago it was as hot or hotter than now - without human-generated "industrial CO2".
Which means there's something stronger than human activity controlling heat/cold on Earth - like maybe the SUN?

check full facts, historical & modern, at glacials.html
Summer Temperatures in Europe are the Warmest of the Last Two Millennia

Recent summer temperatures in Europe may tip the thermometers in terms of warming. Scientists have found that these temperatures were likely the warmest of the last two millennia.
(more ...)

Date: Tue, 26 Jan 2016 09:12:32 -0000
Subject: The Reith Lectures, Professor Stephen Hawking: Black Holes

Might try a listen - reception not too good, that forecast rainstorm (ex-Jonas?) seems to be coming over.  Mind you, going on past performances I expect a lot of high-falutin (and maybe mystical) wordage without much substance - he's a mathematical theorist after all.

(Maybe see Feynman's reservations re: mathematicians - at feyngrav.txt and inertfey.txt
- and my personal view at "No Black Holes" page.]

Stephen Hawking: Do black holes have no hair?

The Reith Lectures, Professor Stephen Hawking: Black Holes
On air - Today - 09:00 - BBC RADIO 4 FM - 28 minutes

Professor Stephen Hawking delivers the first of his two BBC Reith Lectures on black holes.

These collapsed stars challenge the very nature of space and time, as they contain a singularity - a phenomenon where the normal rules of the universe break down. They have held an enduring fascination for Professor Hawking throughout his life. Rather than see them as a scary, destructive and dark he says if properly understood, they could unlock the deepest secrets of the cosmos.

Professor Hawking describes the history of scientific thinking about black holes, and explains how they have posed tough challenges to conventional understanding of the laws which govern the universe.

The programmes are recorded in front of an audience of Radio 4 listeners and some of the country's leading scientists at the Royal Institution of Great Britain in London.

Sue Lawley introduces the evening and chairs a question-and-answer session with Professor Hawking. Radio 4 listeners submitted questions in their hundreds, of which a selection were invited to attend the event to put their questions in person to Professor Hawking.

Date: Tue, 29 Dec 2015 14:09:05 -0000
Subject: "Royal Society Meeting to Discuss Evolution Paradigm Shift, What That Means for Science and for All

Can maybe understand the air of suppressed excitement running through this report.  Only five or ten years ago the "religious Darwinists" wouldn't have allowed such a debate - but nowadays it is seen that most of their dogma is empty rhetoric: frankly unbelievable.

A quick check of a summary of arguments might illustrate how surprising this turn around really is.
Ray D
Suzan Mazur | Author, 'The Origin of Life Circus: A How To Make Life Extravaganza'
Royal Society Meeting to Discuss Evolution Paradigm Shift, What That Means for Science and for All
Posted: 12/25/2015 2:50 pm EST Updated: 12/25/2015 2:59 pm EST

Sir Paul Nurse has just completed his five-year term as president of the Royal Society. The Nobel laureate and molecular biologist has been succeeded by Nobel laureate Sir Venkatraman "Venki" Ramakrishnan, who is a structural biologist.

But Nurse, who will continue in his role as chief of Francis Crick Institute, has not left the Royal Society without first ensuring that the world's oldest scientific society remains relevant: a major Royal Society meeting in London has been called for November 7-9, 2016 on evolution paradigm shift with the understated working title, "New Trends in Evolutionary Biology: Philosophical and Social Science Implications." The conference is being co-sponsored by the British Academy for the humanities and social sciences. While specific details of the event have not yet been announced, I'm told that many of the 50 or so scientists associated with The Third Way of Evolution -- who I call "The Paradigm Shifters" -- will attend, one commenting to me about the upcoming meeting:
"The bandwagon is therefore quite definitely rolling."

Paul Nurse has been thinking about these matters for some time. As president of Rockefeller University, for example, he presided over a pivotal evolution symposium in 2008 - open to the public - featuring Jack Szostak, Eugene Koonin et al., and that summer at the World Science Festival said the following:

"Maybe biology is on the edge of something similar to 1905 physics with the emerging complexity of biological systems -- in fact, a move from straight forward linear causality. And I wonder whether biology may go through a revolution in the coming decades."
Nurse made these remarks about evolutionary biology during a conversation with me for a 2008 book interview:
Paul Nurse: "It may require a different sort of language, by which I mean, quite often what biologists do is make interaction maps. Does A touch B touch C touch D and so on.

But, in fact, the nature of those interactions varies. Sometimes they just touch and do nothing. Sometimes they touch and turn into something else. Sometimes they touch and change another connection.

Using simple network analogies, like transport networks for example -- it's not appropriate because it's not reflecting the biology. It's reflecting a man-made simplified interaction network. So we may need different language which could lead to different mathematics to describe this -- and that this is not going to be intuitive, to go back to an earlier point.

We perhaps have to think, I've sometimes argued this, of better ways to move from the chemistry of life, which we're rather good at describing, into how that chemistry is translated into the management of information. . . ."

Nurse also told me he thought it was "very important for science and scientists to be talking to the general public." Let's hope Venki Ramakrishnan feels the same way and that the Royal Society considers the Rockefeller University and 2013 NASA/Princeton Origins of Life conferences a precedent, invites the media and streams the proceedings over the Internet. . .

Date: Sun, 27 Dec 2015 06:28:39 -0000
Subject: "Mental health crisis - Troubled children add to NHS burden

Now this is a bit worrying - not so much for the bare facts as for what might be a greater threat behind them.
Face it, children are our future and an apparent worsening of the mental stability of children is a threat to us all.

So what might be behind it?

Well, some opt for psychological / sociological causes and blame the increasing complexity of our techno civilization.

Others stick with material physiological reasons - the massive amounts of chemical interventions in our foodstuffs (many known to have degenerative mental effects), fluoride in our tap water etc. all of which can reasonably be expected to affect the vulnerable unborn and newly born child much more than adults.

Our problem seems to be that short-term thinking (of political tenures) and the need for immediate profit (from gov't + big pharma initiatives) are all driving the implementation of methods which are really untried in the long-term.

So maybe that's why societies collapse?

A&Es hit by children's mental health crisis
Troubled children add to NHS burden as concern grows over lack of out-of-hours care
Daniel Boffey | Saturday 26 December 2015 21.01 GMT Last modified on Sunday 27 December 2015 00.20 GMT

The dire state of care for children with mental illnesses is revealed today, as figures show the numbers arriving at A&E departments with psychiatric conditions has risen to nearly 20,000 a year -- more than double the number four years ago.

Experts say a chief cause is an absence of out-of-hours community care for vulnerable under-18s, with children being advised to attend A&E after 5pm. The scale of the problem is proving to be a significant extra burden on already struggling emergency departments. The NHS recorded the highest ever number of A&E attendances, and 111 and ambulance calls over the last 12 months.

According to official data released yesterday, total emergency admissions via major A&E departments have also risen by 44% between 2004-05 and 2014-15, prompting NHS England to appeal for people who can do so to stay away from A&E over the busy new year period.

Professor Keith Willett, the national clinical director for acute care, said: "A&E experiences a surge in the days following Christmas and the new year. Younger, fitter people can help our hardworking NHS doctors and nurses by only attending if it's absolutely necessary."

The number of attendances of children at A&E with psychiatric conditions is up 8% to 18,673 in 2014-15, compared with 17,278 last year. That is double the 9,328 total of 2010-11. The number then going on to hospital wards has also risen: last year there were 12,309 admissions of under-18s in which the primary diagnosis was `mental and behavioural disorders', against 12,126 the previous year.
(more at page ...)

Date: Sat, 19 Dec 2015 18:54:48 -0000
Subject: "100 mn years of ice ages and global warming kick-started evolution of life on Earth

Yup, the paleo stuff shows that CO2 was way higher than now, about 700 mn yrs ago, (maybe 2000% higher than present-day levels) BUT temperatures were low.

You can trace the rise in oxygen (by the fall in CO2) and subsequent rise in temps to ten or twenty degrees higher than now. (at about 570 to 560 mn yrs ago) on chart at Geological_Timescale.jpg.

Ray D
BTW - here's data summary
100 mn years of ice ages and global warming kick-started evolution of life on Earth - study
Published time: 18 Dec, 2015 21:07

Several long ice ages over 100 million years were responsible for releasing enough oxygen for life to flourish, says a new geological study. Previously, some scientists believed newly-evolved lifeforms oxygenated the planet.
Accepted theories state that oxygen first appeared in significant quantities over 2.3 billion years ago, but the rise of the larger, more complex, air-breathing species could not happen until a sudden spike in O2 levels approximately about 600 million years ago.

Trying to decipher how and why it occurred united scientists from UCL, Birkbeck, Bristol University, University of Washington, University of Leeds, Utah State University and University of Southern Denmark. Working in parallel teams, they measured selenium isotopes in rock samples dating from the period that have been found in Canada, China and the US.

"We want to find out how the evolution of life links to the evolution of our climate. The question on how strongly life has actively modified Earth's climate, and why the Earth has been habitable for so long is extremely important for understanding both the climate system, and why life is on Earth in the first place," said the lead researcher on the project, Philip Pogge von Strandmann from UCL Earth Sciences.

Accepted theories postulated that the single Gaskiers glaciation - that froze almost the entirety of the planet - followed by a thaw that dumped nutrients into the ocean sparked the process. The nutrients allowed cyanobacteria, known as blue-green algae, to produce more oxygen than was consumed in the depth of the oceans, oxidizing them, and creating multicellular organisms.

A fashionable theory has stated that these organisms themselves - initially simple sponges, or pizza disc-like underwater nutrient filters - produced a virtuous circle, where even more oxygen was pumped out, enabling even more complex and mobile creatures.

But the international team, which has published its findings in Nature Communications this Friday, says that the process was more gradual, likely taking three different glaciations, over 120 million years.

"We took a new approach by using selenium isotope tracers to analyze marine shales which gave us more information about the gradual changes in oxygen levels than is possible using the more conventional techniques used previously. We were surprised to see how long it took Earth to produce oxygen and our findings dispel theories that it was a quick process caused by a change in animal behavior," said von Strandmann.

And that each new freeze-thaw cycle drove evolution, not the animals themselves.

"Oxygen was like a slow fuse to the explosion of animal life. Around 635 Ma, enough oxygen probably existed to support tiny sponges. Then, after 580 Ma, strange creatures, as thin as crępes, lived on a lightly oxygenated seafloor. Fifty million years later, vertebrate ancestors were gliding through oxygen-rich seawater. Tracking how oxygen increased is the first step towards understanding why it took so long," explained David Catling, from the University of Washington Earth and Space Sciences.

Catling claims the knowledge will not only settle what has been one of the most heated and mysterious geological debates - the question of how the Earth became oxygenated - but will help us understand if similar processes can occur further afield.

"Ultimately, a grasp of geologic controls on oxygen levels can help us understand whether animal-like life might exist or not on Earth-like planets elsewhere," said Catling.

Date: Fri, 18 Dec 2015 11:25:20 -0000
Subject: FWD - "Tiny dwarf star influencing monster planet's unusual orbit

Seem to recall some sci-fi stories speculating on the maybe exotic kinds of life (adapted to drastic seasonal changes over long periods) on planets in gravitationally-bound multiple star systems [Wiki].

Needless to say mundane `big-sci experts' mocked those ideas.  And now we see this:
Cosmic dance party: Tiny dwarf star influencing monster planet's unusual orbit
Published time: 17 Dec, 2015 13:50

A huge planet is having quite the party in space, dancing between its cosmic companions rather eccentrically - all thanks to a tiny dwarf star which influences its bizarre movements. The new finding makes for a rather peculiar planetary system.

Measuring about eight times the mass of Jupiter, the enormous planet was discovered in 2011. At the time of its discovery, it was found to be orbiting a sun-like star called HD 4779 with high eccentricity. That is, its movements were far from perfectly circular - the further from a circle the trajectory is, the more eccentric it is.

But the eccentric orbit led a team made up almost entirely of current and former Carnegie scientists to speculate that something else may be influencing the monster planet's movements. They tested that theory with the Magellan adaptive optics (MagAO) instrument suite, which allowed them to take extremely high-resolution images and gave them a sharper look at the night sky than ever before. Their speculation was then confirmed.

"At the telescope, we saw the object within seconds, and that told us it had to be a dwarf star," said lead author Timothy Rodigas in a press release. The dwarf star was tiny, measuring at only 20 percent of the mass of our sun.
(more ...)

Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2015 09:26:30 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Future detector of "lethal stampedes" and "suicide bombers"

Future detector of "lethal stampedes" and "suicide bombers"

Had wondered, over the years, why religious gatherings (usually, but not exclusively, Hindu or Muslim) were prone to mass suicide-by-stampede, when ordinary sensible folk easily regulate their own walking pace and routes.

More recently was also wondering if, in the future, applied psychometrics (maybe sophisticated encephalographs) would give us a detector of potential mass murderers - i.e. suicide bombers / jihadis / fundy holdouts.

Then realized the two questions were probably inextricably linked: i.e. that the detector would have to be a `moron register' - because only morons willingly put themselves into lethal positions (crushing each other to death), and only morons believe promises (requiring fatalities +/or suicide) from religious / political leaders.

Which means the "detector" will have to be extremely finely tuned - otherwise it will be picking up all members of all political parties, and all churches.

Ray D
PS - on second thoughts will have to abandon the idea - there's probably no way of distinguishing between types of moron.

Date: Sun, 29 Nov 2015 19:19:30 -0000
Subject: "The scientists whose garden unlocked the secret to good health

Very interesting little read.  These two folk live in Seattle, on what was `glacial till': hard-packed clay with small rocks.
The scientists whose garden unlocked the secret to good health

When Anne Biklé and David Montgomery fed their failing soil with organic matter, they were astonished by the results. Stimulating the microbes that live beneath the surface led the garden to flourish. Then, when Biklé was diagnosed with cancer, the couple had an idea ...
(more ...)

Date: Tue, 24 Nov 2015 10:17:58 -0000
Subject: California Edu tells the truth!

Congratulations to California Edu, which is representing the science accurately  (there is no such thing as `settled science' - all theories are suspect;  I.e. a theory cannot be absolutely `proven' - only disproven by later discoveries).

And shame on the alarmists, who are ignoring and covering up the fact that many scientists (espec. real climate scientists) disagree with the `settled science' claims that are trying to bounce us into panicky and ill-considered actions (which, incidentally will enrich those alarmists and their backers - corporates and political groups).

Ray D
Climate Change Misrepresented As Debate Instead Of Fact In Middle-School Textbooks, Study Finds

Scientists found textbooks from major publishers soften the facts about climate change.
By Rebekah Marcarelli | Nov 23, 2015 09:50 PM EST

A team of Stanford University researchers found some California science textbooks from major publishers portray climate changes as a point of debate instead of scientific fact.

The research team is concerned these misrepresentations are having a negative impact on youth in the United States.

"We found that through language choices, the text portrayed climate change as uncertain along several lines, such as whether climate change was happening, whether humans were causing it and what the effects will be," said K.C. Busch, a doctoral candidate in science education at Stanford Graduate School of Education.
(more at page ...)

Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2015 08:56:15 -0000
Subject: "`Out of Africa' Theory Officially Debunked"

Great - if all the refs check out this is back-up to what many of us have been saying for some years:

that the `Out of Africa 60,000 yrs ago' theory is obviously wrong: and that there are too many deep differences between various peoples (espec. between Euros and Sinos for example) to have occurred in that short "60,000 yr" separation; and that the common ancestor must be located much further back in time - maybe a million or more years ago.

Here's a couple of our earlier mails on the subject - and Choong knows there's a lot more if you search for them, because he posted many of them.

Ray D
answers029.html#older - answers035.html#old2
BTW thanks to William Michael Mott for the link to this article - RD
Saturday, May 3, 2014
`Out of Africa' Theory Officially Debunked

Scientific evidence refuting the theory of modern humanity's African genesis is common knowledge among those familiar with the most recent scientific papers on the human Genome, Mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosomes. Regrettably, within mainstream press and academia circles, there seems to be a conspicuous - and dare we say it - deliberate vacuum when it comes to reporting news of these recent studies and their obvious implications.

Australian historian Greg Jefferys explains that, "The whole `Out of Africa' myth has its roots in the mainstream academic campaign in the 1990's to remove the concept of Race. When I did my degree they all spent a lot of time on the `Out of Africa' thing but it's been completely disproved by genetics. Mainstream still hold on to it."

It did begin the early 90's. And the academics most responsible for cementing both the Out-of Africa theory and the complementary common ancestral African mother - given the name of `Eve' - in the public arena and nearly every curriculum, were Professors Alan C. Wilson and Rebecca L. Cann.

In their defense, the authors of this paper were fully aware that genealogy is not in any way linked to geography, and that their placement of Eve in Africa was an assumption, never an assertion.

A very recent paper on Y-chromosomes published in 2012, (Re-Examing the `Out of Africa' Theory and the Origin of Europeoids (Caucasians) in the Light of DNA Genealogy written by Anatole A. Klyosov and Igor L. Rozhanski) only confirms the denial of any African ancestry in non-Africans, and strongly supports the existence of a `common ancestor' who "would not necessarily be in Africa. In fact, it was never proven that he lived in Africa."

Central to results of this extensive examination of haplogroups (7,556) was the absence of any African genes. So lacking was the sampling of African genetic involvement, the researchers stated in their introduction that, "the finding that the Europeoid haplogroups did not descend from `African' haplogroups A or B is supported by the fact that bearers of the Europeoid, as well as all non-African groups do not carry either SNI's M91, P97, M31, P82, M23, M114, P262"

With the haplogroups not present in any African genes and an absence of dozens of African genetic markers, it is very difficult nigh on impossible to sustain any link to Africa. The researchers are adamant that their extensive study "offers evidence to re-examine the validity of the Out-of-Africa concept".
(more at page...)
Re-Examining the "Out of Africa" Theory and the Origin of Europeoids (Caucasoids) in Light of DNA Genealogy
Author(s) Anatole A. Klyosov, Igor L. Rozhanskii | Affiliation(s) The Academy of DNA Genealogy, Newton, USA.

Seven thousand five hundred fifty-six (7556) haplotypes of 46 subclades in 17 major haplogroups were considered in terms of their base (ancestral) haplotypes and timespans to their common ancestors, for the purposes of designing of time-balanced haplogroup tree.

It was found that African haplogroup A (originated 132,000 ± 12,000 years before present) is very remote time-wise from all other haplogroups, which have a separate common ancestor, named ß-haplogroup, and originated 64,000 ± 6000 ybp.

It includes a family of Europeoid (Caucasoid) haplogroups from F through T that originated 58,000 ± 5000 ybp.

A downstream common ancestor for haplogroup A and ß-haplogroup, coined the a-haplogroup emerged 160,000 ± 12,000 ybp. A territorial origin of haplogroups a- and ß-remains unknown; however, the most likely origin for each of them is a vast triangle stretched from Central Europe in the west through the Russian Plain to the east and to Levant to the south.

Haplogroup B is descended from ß-haplogroup (and not from haplogroup A, from which it is very distant, and separated by as much as 123,000 years of `lat- eral' mutational evolution) likely migrated to Africa after 46,000 ybp.

The finding that the Europeoid haplogroups did not descend from `African' haplogroups A or B is supported by the fact that bearers of the Europeoid haplogroups, as well as all non-African haplogroups do not carry either SNPs M91, P97, M31, P82, M23, M114, P262, M32, M59, P289, P291, P102, M13, M171, M118 (haplogroup A and its subclades SNPs) or M60, M181, P90 (haplogroup B), as it was shown recently in `Walk through Y" FTDNA Project (the reference is incorporated therein) on several hundred people from various haplogroups.

Y Chromosome, Mutations, Haplotypes, Haplogroups, TMRCA, STR, SNP, `Out of Africa'
Cite this paper
Klyosov, A. & Rozhanskii, I. (2012). Re-Examining the "Out of Africa" Theory and the Origin of Europeoids (Caucasoids) in Light of DNA Genealogy. Advances in Anthropology, 2, 80-86. doi: 10.4236/aa.2012.22009.

Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2015 07:24:06 -0000
Subject: "How does an insect that has never flown long distances decide to fly from Canada to Mexico?

Right - the question asked below can equally be asked of the actions of many other forms of life:  birds, whales and dolphins etc, other insects, sea-life and even simpler organisms - and Big Science (which claims to know almost everything) has NO ANSWERS to all those questions.

In fact Big Science's materialist / reductionist concepts imply that all the above actions and abilities should be IMPOSSIBLE!
Ray D
How does an insect that has never flown long distances decide to fly from Canada to Mexico? And how does it land on the same tree that was home to its great, great grandparents? The milkweed-hungry monarch caterpillar will outgrow and shed its skin four times. On the fifth time the caterpillar dissolves into a chrysalis and ten days later, the monarch butterfly emerges.
(more ...)

Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2015 11:58:26 -0000
Subject:- "Solved! Mystery of Stars and Galaxies Magnetic Fields

Right - and the mainstream have known this for many years (check for the work of Hannes Alfvén - more detail here) but refused to allow publication.  The status quo had to be maintained.
Solved! Mystery of Stars and Galaxies Magnetic Fields

An enduring astronomical mystery is how stars and galaxies acquire their magnetic fields. Physicists Jonathan Squire and Amitava Bhattacharjee at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have found a clue to the answer in the collective behavior of small magnetic disturbances. In a paper published in October in Physical Review Letters, the scientists report that small magnetic perturbations can combine to form large-scale magnetic fields just like those found throughout the universe.
(more at page ...)

Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2015 11:49:34 -0000
Subject: "Idea of slow climate change in the earth's past misleading

Like a real climate scientist has said `climate changes all the time, for natural reasons - no year or century or millenium is the same so there is no "norm" to return to'.

Check the facts at try-logic.txt

Idea of slow climate change in the earth's past misleading
FAU researchers show that global warming happened just as fast in the past as today
November 10, 2015

Climate change in the earth's past faster than previously thought

Together with a British colleagues, palaeobiologist Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kießling and geosciences student Kilian Eichenseer, both from FAU, have published a pioneering study in Nature Communications explaining that the idea that environmental changes in the earth's past happened slowly in comparison to current, rapid climate change is wrong.

The reason for this incorrect assumption is the different time periods that are examined in climate research. `Today we can measure the smallest fluctuations in climate whenever they occur,' Kilian Eichenseer explains. `Yet when we look at geological history we're lucky if we can determine a change in climate over a period of ten thousand years.'

Therefore, if we compare global warming over recent decades with the increase in temperature that happened 250 million years ago over the Permian-Triassic boundary, current climate change seems incredibly fast.

Between 1960 and 2010, the temperature of the oceans rose at a rate of 0.007 degrees per year. `That doesn't seem like much,' Prof. Kießling says, `but it's 42 times faster than the temperature increase that we are able to measure over the Permian-Triassic boundary. Back then the temperature of the oceans rose by 10 degrees, but as we are only able to limit the period to 60,000 years, this equates to a seemingly low rate of 0.00017 degrees per year.'

Rapid changes are invisible, not absent

In their study the researchers looked at around two hundred analyses of changes in climate from various periods in geological history. It became clear that the apparent speed of climate change appears slower the longer the time periods over which increases or decreases in temperature are observed.

The reason for this is that over long periods rapid changes in climate do not happen constantly in one direction. There are always phases during which the temperatures remain constant or even sink - a phenomenon that has also been observed in the current period of global warming.

`However, we are unable to prove such fast fluctuations during past periods of climate change with the available methods of analysis. As a consequence, the data leads us to believe that climate change was always much slower in geological history than it is today, even when the greatest catastrophes occurred.

However, that is not the case,' Prof. Kießling says. If we consider these scaling effects, the temperate increase over the Permian-Triassic boundary was no different to current climate change in terms of speed. The increase in temperature during this event is associated with a mass extinction event during which 90 percent of marine animals died out.

*Kemp, D. B., K. Eichenseer, and W. Kiessling. 2015. Maximum rates of climate change are systematically underestimated in the geological record. Nature Communications DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9890

Date: Wed, 11 Nov 2015 21:12:28 -0000
Subject: "Nonconformity and Freethinking Now Considered Mental Illnesses

Ha!  More proof, if you need it, that psychiatry is a fake science.  Real science creates theories, based on logical analysis of facts, which are then tested and maybe confirmed by repeatable experiment.

Psychiatry has none of that - it's all opinions, and fails every time it's tested.
Check the facts about those tests at subindex.html#psych

But gov'ts just love psychiatrists, because they're willing to say anything to increase their own power - and to lock up people who disagree - just like gov'ts.

PS - "psychologists just get drunk, psychiatrists get drunk and break things." - Roger Zelazny
Nonconformity and Freethinking Now Considered Mental Illnesses
News | Nov 16, 2013

Is nonconformity and freethinking a mental illness? According to the newest addition of the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), it certainly is. The manual identifies a new mental illness called `oppositional defiant disorder' or ODD. Defined as an `ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behavior,' symptoms include questioning authority, negativity, defiance, argumentativeness, and being easily annoyed.

The DSM-IV is the manual used by psychiatrists to diagnose mental illnesses and, with each new edition, there are scores of new mental illnesses. Are we becoming sicker? Is it getting harder to be mentally healthy? Authors of the DSM-IV say that it's because they're better able to identify these illnesses today. Critics charge that it's because they have too much time on their hands.

New mental illnesses identified by the DSM-IV include arrogance, narcissism, above-average creativity, cynicism, and antisocial behavior. In the past, these were called `personality traits,' but now they're diseases. And there are treatments available.
(more at page ...)

Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2015 13:04:42 -0000
Subject: WRONG - "Global warming poised to pass 1C threshold"

Don't panic (although they want you to).  There is no "1C threshold"!  I.e. the Earth has been a lot warmer than that, even in recent times.  We are now finding physical evidence that glaciers in both northern and southern hemispheres were quite a lot smaller than they are now, only five to seven thousand years ago.

The politicos and alarmists are only making it worse for themselves by constant repetition of false alarms, using fake `adjusted' data.  Suspect that in a few more years the general public will begin totally rejecting _all_ science claims.  In fact that might be their plan.

`Global warming poised to pass 1C threshold'
Last Updated: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 16:42 | Zee Media Bureau

London: Average global temperatures will rise one degree celcius above industrial levels this year for the first time, according to the UK's Met Office.

Data from the Met Office and the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, shows 2015 global mean temperatures at 1.02 degrees celcius above levels recorded in the period 1850-1900.

This means the world has already reached the halfway point towards the arbitrary `threshold' of a 2C increase on pre-industrial levels that could result in dangerous global warming.

According to the scientists, the one degree mark will be broken in 2015 because of a combination of carbon emissions and the impact of the El Nino weather phenomenon.

The World Meteorological Organization had reported that average levels of carbon dioxide exceeded 400 parts per million in the early months of 2015, a rise of 43 percent over pre-industrial levels.

The reports are likely to add urgency to political negotiations in Paris later this month as diplomats from more than 190 countries participate in the UN talks aimed at securing a new global climate treaty.

Date: Thu, 5 Nov 2015 21:41:06 -0000
Subject: The mathematical problem of P versus NP

Listening now.

Think Roger Penrose (and maybe American philosopher John Searle) have a fairly strong opinion that computers (algorithmic operators) will _never_ be able to `think' as we do and therefore will never be able to recognise things like Gödel's Paradox  (there will be mathematical statements which may or may not be true, but which are unprovable by any mathematical means), which we humans _can_ recognize as TRUE, without being able to prove it mathematically.

So maybe passwords are safe after all.
In Our Time
P v NP
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the problem of P versus NP, which has a bearing on online security.

There is a $1,000,000 prize on offer from the Clay Mathematical Institute for the first person to come up with a complete solution.

At its heart is the question "are there problems for which the answers can be checked by computers, but not found in a reasonable time?" If the answer to that is yes, then P does not equal NP. However, if all answers can be found easily as well as checked, if only we knew how, then P equals NP.

The area has intrigued mathematicians and computer scientists since Alan Turing, in 1936, found that it's impossible to decide in general whether an algorithm will run forever on some problems.

Resting on P versus NP is the security of all online transactions which are currently encrypted: if it transpires that P=NP, if answers could be found as easily as checked, computers could crack passwords in moments.

Colva Roney-Dougal
Reader in Pure Mathematics at the University of St Andrews
Timothy Gowers
Royal Society Research Professor in Mathematics at the University of Cambridge
Leslie Ann Goldberg
Professor of Computer Science and Fellow of St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford

Date: Wed, 4 Nov 2015 17:39:18 -0000

Like we discussed earlier, it seems that real science is now secret - all we get to hear about is the crappy recycled rubbish that top professionals know is outdated.

There were 5,579 invention secrecy orders in effect at the end of fiscal year 2015. This was an increase from 5,520 the year before and is the highest number of such secrecy orders in more than a decade.

Under the Invention Secrecy Act of 1951, secrecy orders may be imposed on patent applications when a government agency finds that granting the patent and publishing it would be "detrimental" to national security.

Most of the current invention secrecy orders were renewals of orders granted in past years. According to statistics released under the Freedom of Information Act by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, there were 95 new secrecy orders imposed last year, while 36 prior orders were rescinded. More information on the newly rescinded orders is forthcoming.

Of the 95 new orders, 15 were so-called "John Doe" secrecy orders, meaning that they were imposed on private inventors in cases where the government had no property claim on the invention. The prohibition on disclosure in such cases therefore raises potential First Amendment issues.

Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2015 14:29:43 -0000
Subject "The Meaning of Trees: Pine

Ha! Checking (glacials.html#ice-age1) we find that `increase in temperature some 5000 years ago' was actually a fast re-heat to temperatures much warmer than now - like most of the last ten thousand years.
The Meaning of Trees: Pine
Series 2 Episode 1 of 5

Essay One: Pine
Fiona Stafford, Professor of Literature at Somerville College Oxford, explores the symbolism, importance, topicality and surprises of five trees common in the UK. In this second series, she explores our ambiguous relationship with trees.

Pine is a big native Scot and economically the world's most important tree, not just the obvious uses in the furniture, building and paper industries, but also its medicinal properties in treating bronchitis and pneumonia for millennia and its resin used for turpentine, adhesives, wax, waterproofing and fragrances. It has been a British native tree for over 4000 years and yet its modernity is also assured as the tree that furnished the world.

Forests of native pine were plentiful but there was an increase in temperature some 5000 years ago meaning that pines were driven out by deciduous trees which took over. Pine is also responsible for fuelling the industrial revolution, along with coal, and this along with its presence in cheap household articles gives a sad image to a huge, majestic, truly ancient British tree that has had its dignity stripped by the modern world, along with its bark.

Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2015 15:09:45 -0000
Subject: "French weatherman Verdier 'sacked' for writing skeptic climate change book ahead of UN summit

Yup, mainstream `Big Science' is in a sorry state of corrupt tenure-dependency, ruled by politicized Gov't funding and career blackmail.

And that's been the case for some decades, as I realized when reading James P Hogan's account of the rigged `trial' of Velikovsky by a `kangaroo court'.   Sagan's (& others') shameful complicity was later reported at - saying:

"Most surprising was the number of statements made by Sagan that proved to be clearly untrue.  Further reading reinforced this discovery of the glaringly unscientific and unscholarly quality of Sagan's paper.  What was much worse, was that it was difficult to imagine that even Sagan was unaware of the misrepresentation of evidence presented as scholarly criticism by him".

So I take more than a pinch of salt when reading ANY report, statement or decree from Big Science these days.
PS - All of `Big Science' spoke against Velikovsky, and they all misrepresented evidence and most - like Sagan - lied outright; but they control the Media so, even though Velikovsky has since been proven right on all important points, most folk are still ignorant of the facts.
French weatherman Verdier 'sacked' for writing skeptic climate change book ahead of UN summit
Published time: 2 Nov, 2015 11:56

A famous French weatherman has broadcast the news of his sacking in an online video, saying he was fired for writing a book challenging climate change. It comes just weeks before Paris is set to host a UN conference on the controversial topic.

Philippe Verdier, arguably France's most popular weatherman, is the author of the book 'Climat Investigation' (Climate Investigation), in which he accuses state-funded climate change scientists of having been `manipulated' and `politicized.' He goes on to accuse the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of publishing deliberately misleading data.

Verdier also says that global warming could be a positive thing for France, boosting tourism, reducing energy bills, and improving health.

The weatherman said he was inspired to write the book after French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius met with TV meteorologists and asked them to highlight climate change issues in their broadcasts.

"I was horrified by this speech," Verdier told French magazine Les Inrockuptibles.

The book led to Verdier's suspension last month. He was put `on leave' on October 12 and summoned to a disciplinary hearing two weeks ago.

"My book `Climate Investigation' was published one month ago. It got me banned from the air waves," the weatherman says in the online video.

The footage goes on to show the weatherman reading the letter in silence while a caption reads: "Philippe Verdier, journalist weatherman. Fired by France Televisions one month before COP 21 (UN conference on climate change)."

Referencing the UN climate change summit while speaking to RTL radio last month, Verdiers said he put himself "in the path of COP21, which is a bulldozer, and this is the result.""

Verdier's supporters believe he has fallen victim to French President Francois Hollande's campaign to present a united front before the much anticipated conference. The summit is scheduled to take place in Paris from November 30 to December 11.

More than 15,000 people have signed a petition in support of Verdier, including 10 opposition MPs. The politicians said he had "enriched the debate and helped to make democracy live."

Date: Sun, 1 Nov 2015 20:51:18 -0000
Subject: "Jupiter ejected its icy brother giant from solar system, its moon implies

Interesting - and either of these `new' hypotheses back-up Tom Van Flandern's theory that Mars was once a moon of a much larger primary: a gas giant planet. That's because Mars' characteristics are those of a once tidally locked moon - NOT those of a planet:

1) difference in crustal thickness (thickest side pointing away from primary, like with our Moon), and many more craters on that `backside', as you'd expect;
2) a one-time dense atmosphere and deep oceans which have disappeared, probably due to losing the protection of the magnetic field of the primary;
3) a massive `scar' or `trench' (the Valles Marineris) dug across the planet, probably by collision, either with the primary, the interloper or with very large debris
Ray D
PS - don't mention Velikovsky, although he's been proven right about most things.
Jupiter ejected its icy brother giant from solar system, its moon implies
Published time: 1 Nov, 2015 13:15

There was a fifth giant planet in the solar system, but it was ejected after a close encounter with Jupiter, a computer model made by Canadian astronomers suggests. They studied the orbits of a Jovian moon for proof.

The dominant scientific view of how our star system came to be as it is now is called the Nice model after the French city, where it was first developed. It is pretty good at explaining most, but not all things. For example, Jupiter is too far from the Sun to fit the model.

One possible explanation is a fifth giant planet in addition to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, which was ejected after a close encounter about 4 billion years ago. This would have been similar to how probes use planetary gravitational pull to slingshot themselves towards their next destination during interplanetary missions.

The hypothesis was proposed in 2011. Alternatively, another giant could have kicked the fifth planet out of the solar system: Saturn.

Canadian astronomers at the University of Toronto found new proof of the hypothesis that point to Jupiter as the culprit after studying the orbits of Callisto and Iapetus, two moons orbiting Jupiter and Saturn respectively.

They used computer modeling to assess how likely the moons would be to have their current trajectories after their host planet ejected the hypothetical giant. The team estimates that for Jupiter such an event would be 42 percent probable, while the Kronian satellite orbit gives only a one-percent likelihood.

The study was published in Sunday's issue of the Astrophysical Journal and is also available on the preprint website

The icy giant's current whereabouts are unknown. Apparently it joined the estimated hundreds or thousands (or even billion) of so-called rogue planets traveling across the interstellar space of the Milky Way.

Date: Tue, 20 Oct 2015 15:34:32 +0100
Subject: WRONG "Earth was one of the first habitable planets in the universe

Heck - there are so many faults in this story!

For a start they don't seem even to be aware of the fact that we recently found solar systems (link) - complete with planets - that are about 11 billion years old (using all current `standard model' assumptions) which means life on those planets can be at least twice as old as us (that is, they could be four or six billion years more advanced than us).

Second, the fact that Earth has gold deposits, as well as uranium etc., - i.e. metals heavier than iron (the stop-point of normal stellar element formation) means that our solar system had to have been formed amid the debris of several generations of older stars, which had earlier gone nova and indeed super-nova (because that's the only way such heavy elements get generated).

All in all, this article seems to be a `keep the people misinformed' job - similar to the crappy stuff we've been fed for the last half-century (link).

Ray D
Earth was one of the universe's first habitable planets, and we're likely to miss chance to meet future alien civilisations, study claims
Andrew Griffin | 20 Oct 2015

Earth was one of the first habitable planets in the universe, according to a new study.

We were among the first 8 per cent of worlds that could potentially support life when we came into being 4.6 billion years ago, according the astronomers behind the study. Many of the other Earth-supporting planets won't turn be around for some time - and are likely to come about after our own sun burns out in six billion years.

Astronomers looked at data from the Hubble and Kepler space telescopes to come to the conclusion. The latter was built in part to look for the kind of earth-supporting planets that could be sustaining life elsewhere in the universe.

Lead researcher Dr Peter Behroozi, from the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, US, said: "Our main motivation was understanding the Earth's place in the context of the rest of the universe. Compared to all the planets that will ever form in the universe, the Earth is actually quite early."

Humanity arrived early enough to be able to see back into the beginnings of the universe with telescopes like Hubble and other equipment.

But that same understanding might be off-limits to future civilisations. Because the universe is expanding so fast, any observable evidence of its beginnings is likely to be erased - leaving people in the future with no clue about how the universe got to where they are.

Galaxy observations show that 10 billion years ago stars were forming rapidly, but the process used only a fraction of all the hydrogen and helium in the universe.

Today, stars are being born at a much slower rate and, with the amount of raw material still available are likely to continue being created for a very long time to come.

Kepler had shown that Earth-sized planets occupying "habitable zones" - the orbital path just the right distance from a star to allow liquid surface water - are common in our galaxy, the Milky Way, the scientists added.

They estimate there could be one billion Earth-sized worlds in the Milky Way, a large proportion of which are rocky.
That figure soars when the other 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe are taken into account.

The last star is not expected to snuff out until 100 trillion years from now, providing time for untold numbers of potentially life-sustaining Earth-like planets to form in habitable zones.

Future Earths are more likely to appear inside giant galaxy clusters and dwarf galaxies which still have large reserves of star-building gas, said the scientists.

The research is published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Additional reporting by Press Association

Date: Tue, 20 Oct 2015 09:16:52 +0100
Subject: Life on Earth likely started 4.1 billion years ago

As some commentators have noted:  this much increases the odds in favour of life being widespread in the Universe - because life seems to start easily, soon as Earth was barely habitable.
Life on Earth likely started 4.1 billion years ago -- much earlier than scientists thought
October 19, 2015
UCLA geochemists have found evidence that life likely existed on Earth at least 4.1 billion years ago - 300 million years earlier than previous research suggested. The discovery indicates that life may have begun shortly after the planet formed 4.54 billion years ago.
(more ...)

Date: Sun, 18 Oct 2015 08:06:45 +0100
Subject: A weird universal `coincidence'

A weird universal `coincidence'

Seems quite a few scientists in the recent past have speculated on a weird linkage or `coincidence' in the strengths of fundamental forces and the range of sizes in the universe.
(Here's wiki's entry for Dirac's own speculation - but lots of others have dabbled, from Eddington onwards.)

So - If you compare the strong nuclear force with the gravitational force, you'll find the ratio is about 1040.  I.e. the nuclear force is about 10000,000000,000000,000000,000000,000000,000000 times stronger than the gravitational force.

And if you compare the apparent physical size of the universe with the apparent size of a proton, you find the ratio is about 1040.  I.e. the universe is about 10000,000000,000000,000000,000000,000000,000000 times bigger than a proton.

See for the various forces' strengths
and for relative sizes of universe vs. proton.

Now, if there _is_ a linkage between those two ratios, that raises a big problem for the science mainstream and its `standard model'.

It's hardly conceivable that we live at the one and only (short period of) time when the linkage is true, which means it's not likely that the universe is changing size - so that means the Big Bang is out, and an Eternalist or Steady State universe is the reality.

And that seems to be backed by most recent data - on "Red Shift" etc. - as summarized at (and scroll).

Ray D

Date: Wed, 14 Oct 2015 09:58:15 +0100
Subject: Re: Sad State of Big Science

Hi Mark,
Have just realized had already checked out `inertia' some years ago  (I have a suspicion that the two biggest mysteries in the Universe - Gravitation and Inertia - are basically linked, and due to same cause).

If interested in the nitty-gritty maybe try ansci903.html#re-inert, but be warned it calls for some deep thought and gives me a headache each time I really concentrate on it.

You've probably noticed that, although the experts know these two - Gravitation and Inertia - are the biggest mysteries, they get no mention in the hypes of `Big Science' (mostly re-runs of crappy fake `discoveries', see Smolin quote below).

The reality is:  Big Sci is powerless today and might even be under (gov't?) suppression these days - like Smolin said"We know no more than we did in 1975 - and that's not good".
Ray D

From: Ray D
Sent: Wednesday, October 14, 2015 6:26 AM
Subject: Re: Sad State of Big Science

> Ha! Right Mark, yet I could've included Feynman's admissions re: Quantum physics:
>> re: the two-slit experiment - "it is impossible, absolutely impossible, to explain in any classical way ... In reality, it contains the only mystery ... the basic peculiarities of all quantum mechanics" - Feynman, Leighton, and Sands, vol. 3, p. 1-1
>> "I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics." - from The Character of Physical Law ---
> So that's THREE big fundamental mysteries really
> Ray

From: Mark Mc****
Sent: Wednesday, October 14, 2015 12:00 AM
Subject: Re: Sad State of Big Science

> On Tue, Oct 13, 2015 at 1:20 AM, Ray Dickenson wrote:
>> Liking to keep up with things, started with Feynman's published lectures - Physics, Quantum & Gravitation -
>> "Gravitation is, so far, not understandable in terms of other phenomena." - p. 4 of `Q.E.D'
>> "The reason why things coast for ever has never been found out. The law of inertia has no known origin" - p. 19 `The Character of Physical Law'

No shit.  Two big, fundamental mysteries.  I'm sticking with, "I don't know anything, but I have some ideas."?


Date: Tue, 13 Oct 2015 07:20:44 +0100
Subject: Sad State of Big Science

Liking to keep up with things, started with Feynman's published lectures on Physics, Quantum & Gravitation:
"Gravitation is, so far, not understandable in terms of other phenomena." - p. 4 of `Q.E.D'
"The reason why things coast for ever has never been found out.  The law of inertia has no known origin" - p. 19 `The Character of Physical Law'

Got a bit more updated with Lee Smolin:
"There is at least one good reason not to believe the physics that is taught in most courses for non-scientists.  It isn't true.  For a reason that after many years of university teaching remains opaque to me, physics is the only subject in the university curriculum in which the first year's study rarely gets beyond what was known in 1900." - p. 25
"Must all of our scientific understanding of the world really come down to a mythological story in which nothing exists before twenty billion years ago, save some disembodied intelligence who, desiring to start a world, chooses the initial conditions and then wills matter into being?" - p. 183 `The Life of the Cosmos'
"For all time, science has depended not just on journeyman scientists, but also visionaries who explore wild new ideas and think outside the box. But because of the nature of the University system, and its funding in the last quarter century, virtually all these visionaries have been pushed to the outside and receive little funding. What's left are a group of sheep who are herded by a few leaders" - `The Trouble With Physics'

Then even more, with Roger Penrose's two recent books:
"... it is our present lack of understanding of the fundamental laws of physics that prevents us from coming to grips with the concept of `mind' in physical or logical terms." - p. 4;
"our present picture of physical reality, particularly in relation to the nature of time, is due for a grand shake up" - `The Emperor's New Mind' p. 480
"As we have seen ... there are other deeply mysterious issues about which we have very little comprehension." - Roger Penrose - `The Road to Reality' p.1043

You can see they all express some frustration at the state of physics, whether quantum or other kinds. In fact Smolin said, in a later BBC interview, "We know no more than we did in 1975 - and that's not good".

So last night, went back to Prof. B.K Ridley's `Time, Space & Things' - a great read which looks deeper into some of its selected areas than even the folk above.  He also agrees that mainstream physics has huge holes, where nothing is really known, but BigSci assigns names and labels - like "Big Bang" "Dark Matter", "Dark Energy" etc. as if they knew what the heck was going on.  They don't!

Liked one of his comments: "We can describe what happens quite accurately and we think we understand.  But really we do not.  The invisible influences of gravitation and electromagnetic fields remain magic; describable, but nevertheless implacable, non-human, alien, magic."

Ray D

Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2015 08:31:07 +0100
Subject: "Don't let the Nobel prize fool you. Economics is not a science

He's right - and that same false impression is abused by psychiatry (no science - no cures) and maybe all the so-called `social sciences'.
In truth they're just a collection of opinions - mostly wrong ones.
Don't let the Nobel prize fool you. Economics is not a science
Joris Luyendijk | Sunday 11 October 2015 19.08 BST

Seven years ago this autumn, practically the entire mainstream economics profession was caught off guard by the global financial crash and the `worst panic since the 1930s' that followed. And yet on Monday the glorification of economics as a scientific field on a par with physics, chemistry and medicine will continue.
(more ...)

Date: Fri, 9 Oct 2015 20:42:00 +0100
Subject: Spooky action at a distance

Nice exposition of `spooky action at a distance' / entanglement / teleportation - although they don't show all the implications.
[Set it for 22min 22 secs to save you boredom].

As they (eventually) show, John Bell's statistical approach finally resolved the Einstein vs. Bohr dichotomy - and proved that a "signal" does instantaneously travel (thru arbitrary distance - a mile or a billion miles) to immediately change the state of a particle - a photon / electron or even larger.

[Like Penrose et al have said - that _could_ enable teleportation - like Star Trek.]

Problem is - to read the state of your neurons (to transmit your `consciousness') the mechanism will have to destroy the original (i.e. quantum states are wiped by measuring them).  So you have to volunteer to `die' in order to be tele-ported.
Quantum Physics NOVA - HD | Space Documentary 2015

Date: Tue, 6 Oct 2015 19:58:53 +0100
Subject: Re: FWD - ""First cracks in the Standard Model"

Right Roy - along with almost everyone else.
Yet `particle physics' should be the upper floors of quantum physics, and actually is, (or would be if it were correct, which it isn't) the foundations and ground floor of basic physics and cosmology.

I.e. if the `standard model' were actual science, derived from first principles and explaining all parameters along the way, then hard and fast constraints would apply to basic physics, and especially to cosmology.  I.e. maybe no possibility of `Big Bang' OR `Big Crunch' if the total mass ratios of the Universe said so; and maybe an infinite Eternalist Universe if the light/heavy element ratios said so.

But in fact the `standard model' is a lash-up, mostly applied after the fact and so claiming to include everything while actually explaining nothing (no particle's size or mass is predicted - all are pasted in after being approximately found by experiment).

Date: Tue, 6 Oct 2015 13:33:37 +0100
Subject: "First cracks in the Standard Model"

"First cracks in the Standard Model"

Prof Kajita, from the University of Tokyo - "I think the significance is - clearly there is physics that is beyond the standard model."
Prof Stefan Soldner-Rembold, particle physicist, University of Manchester - "The discovery of neutrino masses and of neutrino oscillations are the first cracks in the Standard Model of particle physics,"

Interesting that these two should feel emboldened to express what many scientists have been thinking but weren't allowed to say before - under duress from the BigSci Mafia (Unis and Gov'ts).
BTW - critiques of the `standard model' are at ansci-page and a summary is at creation page
Neutrino 'flip' discovery clinches physics Nobel
By Jonathan Webb | Science reporter, BBC News

The discovery that neutrinos switch between different "flavours" has won the 2015 Nobel Prize in physics.
Neutrinos are ubiquitous subatomic particles with almost no mass and which rarely interact with anything else, making them very difficult to study.
Takaaki Kajita and Arthur McDonald led two teams which made crucial neutrino observations, using huge subterranean instruments in Japan and Canada.  They were named at a news conference in Stockholm, Sweden.

Second most abundant particle in the Universe, after photons of light
Means 'small neutral one' in Italian; was first proposed by Wolfgang Pauli in 1930
Uncharged, and created in nuclear reactions and some radioactive decay chains
Shown to have a tiny mass, but hardly interacts with other particles of matter
Comes in three flavours, or types, referred to as muon, tau and electron
These flavours are able to oscillate - flip from one type to another - during flight

Goran Hansson, secretary general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which decides on the award, declared: "This year's prize is about changes of identity among some of the most abundant inhabitants of the Universe."

Phoning Prof McDonald from the conference, he said: "Good morning again - I'm the guy who woke you up about 45 minutes ago."  Prof McDonald was in Canada, where he is a professor of particle physics at Queen's University in Kingston. He said hearing the news was "a very daunting experience".  "Fortunately, I have many colleagues as well, who share this prize with me," he added. "[It's] a tremendous amount of work that they have done to accomplish this measurement. "We have been able to add to the world's knowledge at a very fundamental level."

Prof Kajita, from the University of Tokyo, described the win as "kind of unbelievable". He said he thought his work was important because it had contradicted previous assumptions. "I think the significance is - clearly there is physics that is beyond the standard model."

Shape shifters
In the late 1990s, physicists were faced with a mystery: all their Earth-based detectors were picking out far fewer neutrinos than theoretical models predicted - based on how many should be produced by distant nuclear reactions, from our own Sun to far-flung supernovas.
Those detectors are generally huge volumes of fluid, buried deep underground to avoid interference. When such a vast space is littered with light detectors, neutrinos can be glimpsed because of the tiny flashes of light that occur when they - very occasionally - bump into an atom.
They include the Super-Kamiokande detector beneath Japan's Mount Kamioka, where Prof Kajita still works, and the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory in Ontario, Canada, run by Prof McDonald. Both are housed in disused mines.

In 1998, Prof Kajita's team reported that neutrinos they had caught, bouncing out of collisions in the Earth's atmosphere, had switched identity: they were a different "flavour" from what those collisions must have released.

Then in 2001, the group led by Prof McDonald announced that the neutrinos they were detecting in Ontario, which started out in the Sun, had also "flipped" from their expected identity.

This discovery of the particle's wobbly flavours had crucial implications. It explained why neutrino detections had not matched the predicted quantities - and it meant that the baffling particles must have a mass.

This contradicted the Standard Model of particle physics and changed calculations about the nature of the Universe, including its eternal expansion.

Prof Olga Botner, a member of the prize committee from Uppsala University, said although the work was done by huge teams of physicists, the prize went to two of the field's pioneers.

She said Prof McDonald had proposed and overseen the building of the Sudbury observatory in the 1980s, and been its director since 1990. "He has been the organisational and intellectual leader of this venture."

Prof Kajita, meanwhile, did his PhD research at Kamiokande and then led the atmospheric neutrino group, "trying to make sense of the data they were getting" in the late 1990s.

Cracked model
Prof Stefan Soldner-Rembold, a particle physicist at the University of Manchester, said the prize recognised "a ground-breaking discovery by two large experimental collaborations" led by the two laureates.

"The discovery of neutrino masses and of neutrino oscillations are the first cracks in the Standard Model of particle physics," he told the BBC, adding that with other large-scale experiments currently being planned, "the era of exciting discoveries in neutrino physics has only just begun".

Date: Mon, 5 Oct 2015 14:58:20 +0100
Subject: Fraudulent `scientists' want truth-tellers imprisoned, books burned, data hidden / destroyed.

Fraudulent `scientists' want truth-tellers imprisoned, books burned, data hidden / destroyed.
[ Ha!  That's all happened before.  See our `outsource' file and `great-cycle' page. ]

The evidence is mounting that US and UK agencies (governments?), in cahoots with the most greedy, least scrupulous `scientists' they could find, have been carefully mounting a campaign of lies and deception over the past two or three decades.

Personally feel the three liars featured here (1 in article, 2 below it):  Professor Jagadish Shukla (USA), Professor Phil Jones (UK), and Dr Richard A. Feely (USA), although only the tip of the iceberg, should each be prosecuted for fraud and corruption, and, as they've each brought science into disrepute (by lying, hiding data +/or destroying data), they should be stripped of all "academic" status and positions.

PS - the real evidence of the last few decades has been collected at glacials.html#ice-age1

Thanks to William Michael Mott (& FB) for this link:
by JAMES DELINGPOLE  |  2 Oct 20155,715

The plan by climate alarmists to have other scientists imprisoned for their `global warming' skepticism is backfiring horribly, and the chief alarmist is now facing a House investigation into what has been called "the largest science scandal in US history."

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Space, Science and Technology, has written to Professor Jagadish Shukla of George Mason University, in Virginia, requesting that he release all relevant documents pertaining to his activities as head of a non-profit organization called the Institute of Global Environment And Society.

Smith has two main areas of concern.

First, the apparent engagement by the institute in "partisan political activity" - which, as a non-profit, it is forbidden by law from doing.

Second, what precisely has the IGES institute done with the $63 million in taxpayer grants which it has received since 2001 and which appears to have resulted in remarkably little published research?

For example, as Watts Up With That? notes, a $4.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to one of the institute's offshoots appears to have resulted in just one published paper.

But the amount which has gone into the pockets of Shukla and his cronies runs into the many hundreds of thousands of dollars. In 2013 and 2014, for example, Shukla and his wife enjoyed a combined income in excess of $800,000 a year.

Steve McIntyre, the investigator who shattered Michael Mann's global-warming `Hockey Stick' claim, has done a detailed breakdown of the sums involved. He calls it Shukla's Gold.

In 2001, the earliest year thus far publicly available, in 2001, in addition to his university salary (not yet available, but presumably about $125,000), Shukla and his wife received a further $214,496 in compensation from IGES (Shukla -$128,796; Anne Shukla - $85,700). Their combined compensation from IGES doubled over the next two years to approximately $400,000 (additional to Shukla's university salary of say $130,000), for combined compensation of about $530,000 by 2004.

Shukla's university salary increased dramatically over the decade reaching $250,866 by 2013 and $314,000 by 2014. (In this latter year, Shukla was paid much more than Ed Wegman, a George Mason professor of similar seniority). Meanwhile, despite the apparent transition of IGES to George Mason, the income of the Shuklas from IGES continued to increase, reaching $547,000 by 2013. Combined with Shukla's university salary, the total compensation of Shukla and his wife exceeded $800,000 in both 2013 and 2014. In addition, as noted above, Shukla's daughter continued to be employed by IGES in 2014; IGES also distributed $100,000 from its climate grant revenue to support an educational charity in India which Shukla had founded.

The story began last month when, as we reported at Breitbart, twenty alarmist scientists - led by Shukla - wrote a letter to President Obama urging him to use RICO laws to crush climate skeptics.

Shukla's second big mistake was to send the letter not from his university address but from his non-profit, the IGES.

But his first, far bigger mistake, was his hubris in organizing the letter in the first place. It drew the attention of Shukla's critics to something which, presumably, he would have preferred to keep secret: that for nearly 14 years, he, his family and his friends have been gorging themselves on taxpayers' money at IGES; and that this money comes on top of the very generous salary he receives for doing much the same work at George Mason University (GMU).

It's the latter detail which has led former Virginia State Climatologist Pat Michaels - one of the skeptics who might have been affected by Shukla's proposed RICO prosecutions - to describe this as "the largest science scandal in US history."

Under federal law, state employees may not be remunerated for doing work which falls under their state employee remit. As a Professor at GMU, Shukla is definitely an employee of the state. And the work for which he has most lavishly been rewarding himself at IGES appears to be remarkably similar to the work he does at GMU as professor of climate dynamics.

If GMU was aware of these extra-curricular payments, then it was in breach of its own policy on "financial conflicts of interest in federally funded research."

If it wasn't aware of them, then, Shukla legally may be required to send half of that $63 million in federal grants to his employer, GMU.

For many readers, though, perhaps the biggest take-home message of this extraordinary story is: Who do these climate alarmists think they are?

Perhaps $63 million in federal grants is just peanuts if you're gorging on the climate-change smorgasbord, but for most of the rest of us, that constitutes a serious sum of money. Especially when we know it is being taken from us in the form of taxes.

Do they really feel under no obligation to spend it well?

Do they actually feel so sanctified by the rightness of their cause that they deserve to be immune from scrutiny or criticism?
Professor Phil Jones - 13 Aug 2009
Dr Richard A. Feely - December 22, 2014

Date: Sun, 4 Oct 2015 12:06:49 +0100
Subject: "Ancient ecosystem response to 'big five' mass extinction

Slightly interesting, depending on the role you think we play.

I.e. some years ago had noted [see *horizons], from research dating back forty / fifty years or more, that after a noticeable eco-change (large or small extinction event - called an `horizon' by paleontologists) the usual outcome is that predator species go extinct while their prey survive and adapt to fill new niches.

Which is common sense when you consider their relative dependencies on regular meals.
Ancient ecosystem response to 'big five' mass extinction
Ingenious modeling shows that the stability of ancient ecosystems depended on species with important, big-picture roles in food web
Date: October 1, 2015 | Source: California Academy of Sciences

A new study explores one of the 'big five' mass extinctions, the Permian-Triassic event, revealing unexpected results about the types of animals that were most vulnerable to extinction, and the factors that might best predict community stability during times of great change. The authors say cutting-edge modeling techniques helped highlight the critical importance of understanding food webs (knowing 'who eats what') when trying to predict what communities look like before, during, and after a mass extinction.

The study's authors--including Peter Roopnarine, PhD, of the California Academy of Sciences--say inventive, cutting-edge modeling techniques helped highlight the critical importance of understanding food webs (knowing "who eats what") when trying to predict what communities look like before, during, and after a mass extinction. The thought-provoking study is the first of its kind, and is published today in Science.

"Vital clues" in deep time
"There is no real precedent for what's happening to our planet at the moment," says Roopnarine, who co-authored the study with Kenneth Angielczyk, PhD, of Chicago's Field Museum. "We can't look into recent history and find this particular cocktail of accelerated climate change, habitat destruction, and global extinction. We can, however, explore instances of extreme crises in the fossil record--looking far back in time to reconstruct what happened, and how ecosystems responded."

As Curator of Geology, Roopnarine is accustomed to thinking in "deep time"--a geologic reference to the vast, multimillion-year timeframe some scientists use to unravel mysteries from Earth's pre-human existence. Past extinctions and climate perturbations may lack the human factors driving today's phenomena, but Roopnarine says those periods "contain vital clues" about the ways natural communities respond to crises and rebuild.

"The challenge with researching extinctions that happened more than 200 million years ago is that there is not enough fossil or other geological evidence to recreate a perfectly complete ecosystem," says Roopnarine. "It's a bit like knowing a long, complex experiment - a mass extinction - was conducted, but nobody took notes. That's where the reconstruction and modeling comes in."

Modeling ancient extinctions
Roopnarine and Angielczyk were interested in the factors that encouraged or impeded stability while these ancient South African communities faced large-scale disturbances. They wondered whether the roles each species played in the broader ecosystem had more influence on stability than species richness--the number of different species in a system-- and the number and strength of interactions among species. The scientists decided to use a clever form of mathematical modeling to dig into the importance of these variables in (sometimes spotty) fossil food webs.

"It's difficult to compare food webs over such an enormous timeframe - especially when there are gaps in the fossil record," says Roopnarine. "For each time slice, we used a 'real' pre-extinction ecosystem full of the species we know existed to help create several alternate models of food webs for the same place and time. We always held the number of species constant, but made changes to the roles each animal played as well as the links between predators and their prey."

After generating several alternate food webs for each important period, the scientists examined each to see how stable they might have been. Results were surprising.

"We saw that, after disturbing a pre-extinction community and all of its alternate models, the real community always emerged as the most stable," says Roopnarine. "Since we held species richness constant, we know that each species' ecological roles--the jobs in the food web--are the key factors influencing big-picture stability. It's amazing that some of these ecosystems may have remained relatively stable despite huge biodiversity loss."

"A bad time to be a rat"
Aside from the glaring absence of human influence, mass extinctions during the Permian still looked quite different than the ecological upheaval we see on Earth today. Modern conservation efforts tend to center around large animals--such as tigers, elephants, and wolves--and top predators in peril, while Roopnarine and Angielczyk show that small amniotes (reptiles and ancient mammal relatives) were most vulnerable during the early phase of this long-ago period of extinction.

"It's surprising that small amniotes were the species initially most at-risk," says Roopnarine. "It doesn't fit with the terrestrial extinctions we see today, but it makes sense when you think about how different Earth looks after so much time and change."

"What I'm saying," Roopnarine adds, "is that it was a bad time to be a rat. We think they can survive anything now, but during the Permian and Triassic, their ancient cousins played an unlucky role in the larger community. The food webs at the time could remain stable if they were dominated by large amniotes and lacked smaller ones, but not the other way around. Though individually successful, collectively the smaller species could not support very stable communities. Over time, the quality of a single business matters less than the quality of the overall economy."

Food webs as conservation tools
Every line in an intricate food web represents powerful ecosystem interactions and exchanges of energy. Clues from past systems that recovered or failed following disasters help scientists peer into the future of the ever-changing natural world. This study's results are an urgent call for an increased focus on modern food webs--an area of research Roopnarine says needs increased attention in a time of unprecedented environmental stress.

"We need to understand the relationships between the species we're driving to extinction, and the roles they play in ecosystem stability," says Roopnarine. "We know the collapse of Atlantic cod wreaked havoc on marine ecosystems, but we know very little about the ways most species' ecologies relate to stability. It can be surprising which species help hold ecosystems together. We desperately need more data for the modern environment."

Roopnarine says museum collections, including the Academy's nearly 46 million specimens, are powerful tools in the race to understand what helps an environment remain stable. When applied to scientific specimens, new technologies and advanced techniques help uncover the complex relationships inherent in biodiverse--and threatened-- regions worldwide.

Journal Reference:
Science 2 October 2015 | Vol. 350 no. 6256 pp. 90-93

Community stability and selective extinction during the Permian-Triassic mass extinction
Peter D. Roopnarine, Kenneth D. Angielczyk

The fossil record contains exemplars of extreme biodiversity crises. Here, we examined the stability of terrestrial paleocommunities from South Africa during Earth's most severe mass extinction, the Permian-Triassic. We show that stability depended critically on functional diversity and patterns of guild interaction, regardless of species richness. Paleocommunities exhibited less transient instability - relative to model communities with alternative community organization - and significantly greater probabilities of being locally stable during the mass extinction. Functional patterns that have evolved during an ecosystem's history support significantly more stable communities than hypothetical alternatives.
Accepted for publication 18 August 2015.

Date: Sun, 4 Oct 2015 13:17:49 +0100
Subject: What could possibly go wrong?

What could possibly go wrong?

Especially with the marine project - imagine all oceans covered with a thick goo of enzymes busy digesting plastics - and maybe all life below that.
And on land we might see wall-to-wall Darkling beetles - or their (new?) predators (see

Plastic-eating worms may offer solution to mounting waste, researchers discover
September 30, 2015 by Rob Jordan

Consider the plastic foam cup. Every year, Americans throw away 2.5 billion of them. And yet, that waste is just a fraction of the 33 million tons of plastic Americans discard every year. Less than 10 percent of that total gets recycled, and the remainder presents challenges ranging from water contamination to animal poisoning.

Enter the mighty mealworm. The tiny worm, which is the larvae form of the darkling beetle, can subsist on a diet of Styrofoam and other forms of polystyrene, according to two companion studies co-authored by Wei-Min Wu, a senior research engineer in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford. Microorganisms in the worms' guts biodegrade the plastic in the process - a surprising and hopeful finding. "Our findings have opened a new door to solve the global plastic pollution problem," Wu said.

The papers, published in Environmental Science and Technology, are the first to provide detailed evidence of bacterial degradation of plastic in an animal's gut. Understanding how bacteria within mealworms carry out this feat could potentially enable new options for safe management of plastic waste.
"There's a possibility of really important research coming out of bizarre places," said Craig Criddle, a professor of civil and environmental engineering who supervises plastics research by Wu and others at Stanford. "Sometimes, science surprises us. This is a shock."

Plastic for dinner
In the lab, 100 mealworms ate between 34 and 39 milligrams of Styrofoam - about the weight of a small pill - per day. The worms converted about half of the Styrofoam into carbon dioxide, as they would with any food source.

Within 24 hours, they excreted the bulk of the remaining plastic as biodegraded fragments that look similar to tiny rabbit droppings. Mealworms fed a steady diet of Styrofoam were as healthy as those eating a normal diet, Wu said, and their waste appeared to be safe to use as soil for crops.
Researchers, including Wu, have shown in earlier research that waxworms, the larvae of Indian mealmoths, have microorganisms in their guts that can biodegrade polyethylene, a plastic used in filmy products such as trash bags. The new research on mealworms is significant, however, because Styrofoam was thought to have been non-biodegradable and more problematic for the environment.

Researchers led by Criddle, a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, are collaborating on ongoing studies with the project leader and papers' lead author, Jun Yang of Beihang University in China, and other Chinese researchers. Together, they plan to study whether microorganisms within mealworms and other insects can biodegrade plastics such as polypropylene (used in products ranging from textiles to automotive components), microbeads (tiny bits used as exfoliants) and bioplastics (derived from renewable biomass sources such as corn or biogas methane).

As part of a "cradle-to-cradle" approach, the researchers will explore the fate of these materials when consumed by small animals, which are, in turn, consumed by other animals.

Marine diners sought
Another area of research could involve searching for a marine equivalent of the mealworm to digest plastics, Criddle said. Plastic waste is a particular concern in the ocean, where it fouls habitat and kills countless seabirds, fish, turtles and other marine life.
More research is needed, however, to understand conditions favorable to plastic degradation and the enzymes that break down polymers. This, in turn, could help scientists engineer more powerful enzymes for plastic degradation, and guide manufacturers in the design of polymers that do not accumulate in the environment or in food chains.
Criddle's plastics research was originally inspired by a 2004 project to evaluate the feasibility of biodegradable building materials. That investigation was funded by the Stanford Woods Institute's Environmental Venture Projects seed grant program. It led to the launch of a company that is developing economically competitive, nontoxic bioplastics.

More information: "Biodegradation and Mineralization of Polystyrene by Plastic-Eating Mealworms. 1. Chemical and Physical Characterization and Isotopic Tests." Environ. Sci. Technol., Just Accepted Manuscript DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b02661
"Biodegradation and Mineralization of Polystyrene by Plastic-Eating Mealworms. 2. Role of Gut Microorganisms." Environ. Sci. Technol., Just Accepted Manuscript DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b02663

Date: Sun, 4 Oct 2015 09:52:06 +0100
Subject: "An 11-year Cosmic Search Casts Black Hole Doubts

Ha!  The `big lie method' (constant repetition of a lie makes most folk accept it as true) is beginning to fail for the standard model of mainstream cosmology.

Those on the inside are privately starting to back-off (but only in secret conferences and auto-bios for later publication).  `Privately' because most based their careers on fake science and can't risk exposure just yet.

Maybe see earlier (2008) conversation at present.html#nblckhls, for signs already visible then.
CSIRO Australia | Mon, 09/28/2015 - 8:57am
An 11-year Cosmic Search Casts Black Hole Doubts

One hundred years since Einstein proposed gravitational waves as part of his general theory of relativity, an 11-year search performed with CSIRO's Parkes telescope has failed to detect them, casting doubt on our understanding of galaxies and black holes. For scientists gravitational waves exert a powerful appeal, as it is believed they carry information allowing us to look back into the very beginnings of the Universe. Although there is strong circumstantial evidence for their existence, they have not yet been directly detected.

Using the high-precision Parkes telescope scientists spent 11 years looking for the existence of gravitational waves, but have detected nothing.

The work, led by Ryan Shannon of CSIRO and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, was published in the journal Science.

Using Parkes, the scientists expected to detect a background 'rumble' of the waves, coming from the merging galaxies throughout the Universe.

"But we heard nothing. Not even a whimper," said Shannon. "It seems to be all quiet on the cosmic front -- at least for the kind of waves we are looking for."

Galaxies grow by merging and every large one is thought to have a supermassive black hole at its heart. When two galaxies unite, the black holes are drawn together and form an orbiting pair. At this point, Einstein's theory is expected to take hold, with the pair predicted to succumb to a death spiral, sending ripples known as gravitational waves through space-time, the very fabric of the Universe.

Although Einstein's general theory of relativity has withstood every test thrown at it by scientists, gravitational waves remain its only unconfirmed prediction.

To look for the waves, Shannon's team used the Parkes telescope to monitor a set of 'millisecond pulsars'. These small stars produce highly regular trains of radio pulses and act like clocks in space. The scientists recorded the arrival times of the pulsar signals to an accuracy of ten billionths of a second.

A gravitational wave passing between Earth and a millisecond pulsar squeezes and stretches space, changing the distance between them by about 10 meters -- a tiny fraction of the pulsar's distance from Earth. This changes, very slightly, the time that the pulsar's signals arrive on Earth.

The scientists studied their pulsars for 11 years, which should have been long enough to reveal gravitational waves.

So why weren't they found? There could be a few reasons, but the scientists suspect it's because black holes merge very fast, spending little time spiralling together and generating gravitational waves.

"There could be gas surrounding the black holes that creates friction and carries away their energy, letting them come to the clinch quite quickly," said team member Paul Lasky, a postdoctoral research fellow at Monash University.

Whatever the explanation, it means that if astronomers want to detect gravitational waves by timing pulsars they'll have to record them for many more years.

"There might also be an advantage in going to a higher frequency," said Lindley Lentati of the University of Cambridge, UK, a member of the research team who specializes in pulsar-timing techniques. Astronomers will also gain an advantage with the highly sensitive Square Kilometre Array telescope, set to start construction in 2018.

Not finding gravitational waves through pulsar timing has no implications for ground-based gravitational wave detectors such as Advanced LIGO (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory), which began its own observations of the Universe last week.

"Ground-based detectors are looking for higher-frequency gravitational waves generated by other sources, such as coalescing neutron stars," said Vikram Ravi, a member of the research team from Swinburne University (now at Caltech, in Pasadena, California).

Date: Thu, 1 Oct 2015 08:31:15 +0100
Subject:"Why are we the only human species still alive?

More on extinction odds and a lot of speculation - but notice they try to cram all our history into last 60,000 to 200,000 years.  OK that's more than they said quite recently but personally suspect we go much further back.
Why are we the only human species still alive?
Once Earth was home to a host of human species, from Neanderthals to hobbits. But today only we survive

By Melissa Hogenboom | 29 September 2015

Two million years ago in Africa, several species of human-like creatures roamed the landscape. Some looked surprisingly similar to each other, while others had distinct, defining features. In September 2015, another species was added to the list. Hundreds of bones discovered in a South African cave are now believed to belong to a new species, known as Homo naledi. There may well be many more extinct hominin species waiting to be uncovered.

Our own species appeared around 200,000 years ago, at a time when several others existed. Yet today, only we remain. Why did we manage to survive when all of our closest relatives have died out?

To start with, it's worth pointing out that extinction is a normal part of evolution. In that sense it may not seem surprising that human-like species - known as "hominins" - have died out. There is no evidence they were systematically preying on large animals

But it is not obvious that the world only has room for one species of human. Our closest living relatives are the great apes, and there are 6 species alive today: chimpanzees, bonobos, two species of gorilla and two species of orangutan.

There are some clues that reveal why some of our forebears were more successful than others. Several million years ago, when a great many hominin species lived side-by-side, they mainly ate plants. "There is no evidence they were systematically preying on large animals," says John Shea of Stony Brook University in New York, US.

But as conditions changed, and hominins moved from the forests and trees to the drier open savannahs, they became increasingly carnivorous. Until quite recently, we still shared the planet with other early humans

The problem was, the animals they hunted also had fewer plants to eat, so overall there was less food to go around. That competition drove some species extinct. "As human evolution pushed some members to be more carnivorous, you would expect to see less and less of them," says Shea.

But while the switch to meat-eating clearly took its toll, it did not come close to leaving Earth a one-human planet. Until quite recently, we still shared the planet with other early humans.

Rewind to 30,000 years ago. As well as modern humans, three other hominin species were around: the Neanderthals in Europe and western Asia, the Denisovans in Asia, and the "hobbits" from the Indonesian island of Flores.

The Neanderthals were displaced very soon after modern humans encroached on their habitat

The hobbits could have survived until as recently as 18,000 years ago. They may have been wiped out by a large volcanic eruption, according to geological evidence from the area. Living on one small island will also leave a species more vulnerable to extinction when disaster strikes.

We do not know enough about the Denisovans to even ask why they died out. All we have from them is a small finger bone and two teeth. However, we know a lot more about the Neanderthals, simply because we have known about them for much longer and have many fossils. So to get at why we are the only human species left standing, we must rely on figuring out why they died out.

The archaeological evidence strongly suggests that the Neanderthals somehow lost out to modern humans, says Jean-Jacques Hublin of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. The Neanderthals were displaced very soon after modern humans encroached on their habitat, which Hublin says can't be a coincidence. Neanderthals were better adapted to hunting in woodland environments than modern humans

Neanderthals evolved long before us, and lived in Europe well before we arrived. By the time we got to Europe, just over 40,000 years ago, Neanderthals had been successfully living there for over 200,000 years, ample time to adapt to the chilly climate. They wore warm clothes, were formidable hunters and had sophisticated stone tools. But when Europe began experiencing rapid climate change, some researchers argue, the Neanderthals may have struggled.

The temperature was not the main issue, says John Stewart of Bournemouth University in the UK. Instead, the colder climate changed the landscape they lived in, and they did not adapt their hunting style to suit it.

Neanderthals were better adapted to hunting in woodland environments than modern humans. But when Europe's climate began fluctuating, the forests became more open, becoming more like the African savannahs that modern humans were used to. The forests, which provided most of Neanderthals' food, dwindled and could no longer sustain them.

Modern humans also seemed to hunt a greater range of species.

As well as large game, they also hunted smaller animals like hares and rabbits.

In contrast, there is little evidence that Neanderthals hunted similar small ground mammals according to analyses of archaeological sites in Iberia where the Neanderthals clung on the longest.

We had a greater range of innovative and deadly tools

Their tools were better suited for hunting bigger animals, so even if they tried, they may not have been successful at catching small animals. Though there is evidence they ate birds, they may have lured them in with the remains of other dead animal carcasses, rather than actively hunting them in the sky.

All in all, "modern humans seemed to have a greater number of things they could do when put under stress," says Stewart. This ability to innovate and adapt may explain why we replaced Neanderthals so quickly.

"Faster innovation leads to better efficiency and exploitation in the environment and therefore a higher reproductive success," says Hublin. He believes that there is something intrinsic to modern humans that helped us adapt so quickly. There is some evidence for that.

We know Neanderthal tools were remarkably efficient for the tasks they used them for, but when we arrived into Europe ours were better. The archaeological evidence suggests that we had a greater range of innovative and deadly tools.

But tools are not the only things modern humans made. We also created something else, which helped us outcompete every other species on Earth: symbolic art.

Talking Neanderthals
Our extinct relatives may have been able to speak Genetic analysis suggests that Neanderthals and Denisovans both had the capacity for language. They carried the genes that allow us to finely control how our tongues move.

However, our heads were shaped differently to theirs, says Shea. That suggests we are better at making certain sounds.

Our face is situated directly under our brain, allowing us to break up sounds in short segments.

In contrast, Neanderthals and other ancient hominins had their faces further to the front of their skulls. "This makes it difficult to sort out particular sounds, like vowels," says Shea.

That does not necessarily mean they could not talk. Instead, it may indicate their language was more like song.
Shortly after modern humans left Africa, there is ample evidence that they were making art. Archaeologists have found ornaments, jewellery, figurative depictions of mythical animals and even musical instruments. "When modern humans hit the ground [in Europe], their populations went up quickly," says Nicholas Conard at the University of Tübingen in Germany, who has discovered several such relics. As our numbers swelled, we began living in much more complex social units, and needed more sophisticated ways to communicate.

By 40,000 years ago, humans in Europe were making things any of us would recognise as art. One of the most striking is a wooden carving of a lion-human statue, called the Löwenmensch, found in a cave in Germany. Similar sculptures from the same period have been found elsewhere in Europe. They didn't need a whole arsenal of symbolic artefacts to get the job done

This suggests that we were sharing information across cultural groups from different areas, rather than keeping knowledge to ourselves. It seems art was a critical part of our identity, helping to bring different groups together.

In other words, symbols were a kind of social glue. They could "help people organise their social and economic affairs with one another," says Conard. In stark contrast, Neanderthals didn't seem to need art or symbols. There is limited evidence they made some jewellery, but not to the extent we did. "They did their hunting, cooking, sleeping, eating, sex and recreation. They didn't need a whole arsenal of symbolic artefacts to get the job done."

For humans, the sharing of symbolic information has been crucial to our success. Every new idea we pick up has the chance to become immortal by being passed down through the generations. That is how language spread, for example.

They found a rut and were stuck in it
The fact that we made any art at all, using the same hands that made all those tools, also points to our unique capacity for behavioural variability, says Shea. "We do everything more than one distinct way," he says. "Often, the solutions we devise for one problem, we can repurpose to solve a different one. This is something we do exclusively well." Other ancient hominins seemed to do the same thing over and over again. "They found a rut and were stuck in it."

Did we have a superior brain to thank for this?
That has long been a popular view. Illustrations of human evolution like the one above often show a progression from ape-like creatures to modern humans, with ever bigger brains as things went on. Most Europeans only developed a tolerance to lactose when our ancestors started to eat more dairy produce

In reality, our evolutionary story is more complicated than that. Homo erectus survived for a long time and was the first hominin species to expand out of Africa - before even the Neanderthals - but its brain was quite small. As a result, some anthropologists are uncomfortable with the idea that big brains were the solution. Our big brains may have played a role in our success, but Neanderthals had equally large brains compared to their body size. Hublin says there is a more refined explanation.

We know that our behaviour, or the circumstances in which we find ourselves, can change our genetic make-up. There are important differences between us and our Neanderthal and Denisovan relatives

For instance, most Europeans only developed a tolerance to lactose when our ancestors started to eat more dairy produce. Genetic changes can also occur when large populations are faced with devastating diseases such as the Black Death in the 14th Century, which changed the genes of survivors.

In a similar vein, Hublin proposes that modern humans, at some point, benefited from key genetic changes. For the first 100,000 years of our existence, modern humans behaved much like Neanderthals. then something changed. Our tools became more complex, around the time when we started developing symbolic artefacts. We now have genetic evidence to suggest that our DNA changed at some point after we split from the common ancestor we shared with Neanderthals.

When peering into our genetic make-up, there are important differences between us and our Neanderthal and Denisovan relatives. Geneticists have identified several dozen points in our genome that are unique to us, and several of them are involved in brain development.

Before we developed these abilities, modern humans and other hominins were fairly evenly matched This suggests that while Neanderthals may have had a similar brain size to ours, it may have been the way our brains developed over our lifetimes that was key to our success.

We don't know what benefits these genetic changes had. But others have suggested that it is our hyper-social, cooperative brain that sets us apart. From language and culture to war and love, our most distinctively human behaviours all have a social element.

That means it could be our propensity for social living that led to our ability to use symbols and make art.

For tens of thousands of years, before we developed these abilities, modern humans and other hominins were fairly evenly matched, says Conard. Any other species could have taken our place.

But they did not, and eventually we out-competed them. As our population exploded, the other species retreated and eventually disappeared altogether. If that's true, we might have our creativity to thank for our survival.

But there is one other possibility, which we can't entirely ignore. Maybe it was pure chance. Maybe our species got lucky and survived, while the Neanderthals drew the short straw.

Date: Tue, 29 Sep 2015 09:00:56 +0100
Subject: Re: I-O-T - Perpetual Motion

Just got reminded (by FKTV) that the video series `Cosmology Quest' (we've discussed them before several times) has been re-compiled as a blockbuster to help oppose the mainstream fakery of an impossible "Big Bang".

The people featured are real scientists and many have been punished for telling the truth - by the corrupt vested interests which rule today's `Big Science'.

Date: Sun, 27 Sep 2015 09:45:36 +0100
Subject: Re: Re: Re: I-O-T - Perpetual Motion

Right Roy, as James P. Hogan wrote, paraphrasing Hannes Alfvén et al (in `Kicking the Sacred Cow' sacred-cow.txt - Section One: "Of Bangs and Braids") :- "a plasma focus can increase the power density of its emission by a factor of ten thousand trillion over energy supplied".

And Alfvén and his school went on to describe how such plasma braiding can explain the formation of Solar Systems (which is impossible under gravity only, due to the observed but unexplained transfer of most angular momentum from a condensing central proto-sun to the planetary disk).

Likewise similar plasma braiding - although on a much larger scale - accounts for spiral galaxies holding together AND their rotation speeds being maintained throughout the radii of their disks.  That is impossible under gravity only - indeed that's why our fake mainstream science has had to invent "dark matter" (which doesn't exist) and thence "dark energy" (also non-existent).

A careful look at Wiki's entries for Hannes Alfvén and the work of his inspirer Kristian Birkeland shows the origin of plasma universe thinking - which has been totally rejected, suppressed and fought at every stage by mediocre, uninformed mainstream `scientists' (mostly terrified bean-counters, without a creative or intelligent thought in their heads).


> Hi Ray,
> It seems to me that while the theory had been proposed it was only when the electric universe was discovered that the theory became reality. With the power of plasma having the power of something like 10 to the fortieth power and the same plasma dominating 99.9%of the known universe then the sensible thing to do would be to direct those interested to investigate plasma and become acquainted with the electric energies already identified by Wal Thornhill and associates thereby giving realism and life to an otherwise theoretical skeleton.
> Roy

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