(Visited 56 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Fantastical scenarios with no evidence – sometimes contrary to evidence – continue to get good publicity in science venues.Imagining Dyson Spheres: No one has ever seen a Dyson sphere (a theoretical way for an alien civilization to conserve all the energy from a dying star). No one has seen an alien civilization, for that matter. It didn’t stop Live Science from describing the “incredible technology” of Dyson spheres and how they will enable SETI researchers to find aliens. Live Science took another step into Fantasyland by posting an “infographic” about objects we have no information about. What would its editors think of an infographic about heaven, which arguably has more information from multiple sources? Would that qualify for a science news post? Yet Dyson spheres (imagined by futurist Freeman Dyson) were described as devices by which “advanced civilizations would conquer the galaxy.” Presumably they would have to be intelligently designed, but ID is shunned by Live Science except for ridicule.Imagining superhabitable worlds: National Geographic posted a discussion about planets that are more habitable than Earth. None of these are known; they are only supposed as possible. To its credit, the article gives views of skeptics who think the question is vacuous. Still, “If superhabitable planets exist, and if we develop the means to find them, they may turn out to be more common than Earthlike planets,” the article speculates. Just thinking about it “could broaden our chances of discovering life on other worlds,” the speculation continues, “because it opens up the possibility that there may be some super-Earth planets with appropriate conditions for life.”Imagining many ways to unguided life: An extremely optimistic article about the origin of life was printed by Science Magazine on January 17. In a response to pessimistic thoughts recently expressed by Steven Benner (see 8/28/13, 9/07/13 and 12/31/13), Jimmy Gollihar, Matthew Levy and Andrew D. Ellington are highly confident that science is on the verge of finding the way life evolved. Indeed they are impressed with the “many paths to the origin of life” that create an embarrassment of riches:The origin of life remains a daunting mystery in part because rather than knowing too little, we increasingly know about too many possible mechanisms that might have led to the self-sustaining replication of nucleic acids and the cellularization of genetic material that is the basis of life on Earth.To speak so optimistically, they have to virtually leap over conceptual canyons. Difficulties with homochirality, adverse reactions forming tars, the problem of compartmentalization and other daunting challenges (such as the improbability of reaching functional information from nonliving chemistry) are treated as low hurdles that primordial cells would rush forth to conquer like Olympic athletes. Those cells could have even used teamwork:As RNA or an alternative precursor nucleic acid begins to self-replicate, protection from molecular parasites and the low concentrations of needed substrates become paramount in propagating chemical information content. Compartmentalization of the genetic/catalytic machinery would have necessarily been an early invention or co-option of a self-replicase. The demonstration of protocell division based on simple physical and chemical mechanisms lends credence to the idea that nucleic acid and vesicle replicators got together for mutual benefit.In closing Gollihar, Levy and Ellington point back to the Miller experiment for inspiration:The great benefit of the demonstration of prebiotic amino acid synthesis from a simple gas mix and an electrical spark was not that it was a cookbook for how things occurred, but rather that it was the identification of a plausible path to an origin of life that would continue to bear experimental fruit.Being translated, an experiment that failed to serve as a cookbook inspired other cookbooks that so far have cooked up only imaginary scenarios after 50 years of trying by intelligent cooks in the kitchen.This last article was ungodly awful; Baloney Detector apprentices should use it as a case study. Its perhapsimaybecouldness index saturated our meters: 4 could‘s, 4 may‘s, and 5 might‘s in the short article (and those are only the overt indicators). Faster than a speeding bull**it, more powerful than a “loco” motive, able to leap tall futilities in a single bound, it’s absurd. It’s insane. It’s Supermad. Yet it was published in Science Magazine, not Marvel Comics. These delusional sciopaths simply imagined solutions to every show-stopper the more realistic scientists and philosophers have wept over their beer about. It “is easy to imagine how such simple replicators might have evolved in complexity,” they said. (Speak for thyselves, dreamers.) Later “an origin can be imagined that involves” blah blah blah, till, “Ultimately, a fully functional RNA polymerase should evolve from the heady broth of reactions in the primordial soup.” Ah yes, primordial soup. Old mythoids die hard.The perceptive Baloney Detector finds instances of personification scattered throughout the scenario: “it is possible that prebiotic analogs of these enzymes might have assisted in chemical syntheses” (contrary to the laws of chemistry), they presume; “millions of years of a poor replicator (a blink on the geological time scale) might well have been necessary to craft a feedback cycle” (there’s the moyboys‘ magic wand); replicators “got together for mutual benefit,” while a better replicator arises “that could better feed itself by directing the chemistry around it.” Imagine that; a non-living molecule with a mind, will, and even leadership! In other places they hid their Tinker Bell fairy in passive voice, speaking of “the evolution of,” or how things “arose” or “led to” this or that.Where is the science? Realize that the actions of intelligent agents in a chemistry lab have nothing to do with their subject matter. They are using intelligent design! Listen: “Ribozymes have been crafted that make carbon-carbon bonds, glycosidic bonds, phosphodiester bonds, and others, and it is possible that prebiotic analogs of these enzymes might have….” blah blah blah, and so on, and so forth, etc. What’s another word for “crafted,” students? Intelligently designed! How about “possible” and “might”? Speculation! You can’t design a robot and then speculate that rocks can do the same. (Well, you can, but don’t call it science.)At one point, the authors used the word “unguided” properly: “Initial insights that biological compounds could be generated by prebiotic means quickly ran up against a gap in our understanding of how unguided syntheses could result in defined templates for replication.” That’s what they are stuck with: unguided processes. They need to keep their intelligently guided hands off the story and watch it implode. These unguided molecules are simply not going to do what they need them to do. (Notice that words like “prebiotic” build evolutionary assumptions into them by the power of suggestion.)It is atrocious that imagineers without a leg to stand on empirically can get away with dreaming on the job in science magazines and websites. These are the same ones who refuse to consider intelligent design, which has tons of empirical backing for its scientific principles (e.g., archaeology, cryptology, forensics), as they repeat ad nauseum the long-debunked canard that if something is not 100% materialistic, it must be religious. It’s about time to declare Tinker Bell worship as a religion: the preferred “mystery religion” of the scientism crowd.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The overall forecast it unchanged in its basic form, as we are only making a few tweaks to this weekend’s late precipitation chance. We remain dry through most of Sunday with sunshine and blue skies. Temperatures will work higher today and even higher still tomorrow before pulling back a few degrees for Sunday as clouds build. We look for daytime highs of 87-92 today and 88-94 for the weekend, with tomorrow being the hottest day. Humidity will be climbing slightly too, so heat index values will be in the triple digits for at least tomorrow afternoon, perhaps Sunday. The map at right shows high temps for Saturday. The temperatures shown to the southeast part of the state are over done because this particular model does not handle the elevation changes of the Appalachians well, and is overzealous of surface highs because of that. Still, its going to be warm! Scattered showers move into NW Ohio well after midnight Sunday night, and will impact most of the state through the day Monday. Rain totals are still not that impressive, and we will keep a tenth to half an inch as our overall range, with coverage at 60% of the state. The chances of thunderstorms stay over Indiana, and with out that threat, higher rain totals we don’t believe are likely at this point. Rain likely is done mid to late afternoon in many areas, but we may see a few showers linger in far eastern Ohio into the evening. The map at right chows rain potential for the state out of the system through Monday evening.Dry weather is back for Tuesday on through the end of the week. We won’t rule out some scattered showers each afternoon Tuesday and Wednesday (Independence Day) but we don’t think it will be wide spread or have any intensity. As the week progresses, temps climb back up into a range from 88-92 over most of the state, meaning we are above normal, but not as warm as what we expect this weekend.We are leaving the extended period completely alone this morning. We may have to keep an eye out for a few scattered showers with 40% coverage around the 10th, rain totals of no more than .4”, and then we are dry again for Wednesday the 11th through the morning of the 12th. A strong front remains in sight late in the period, for the afternoon of the 12th through the 13th, with half to 1.5” rains over 90% of the state. We swing back dry with strong high pressure building in for the 14th forward.So, nothing changes in our thought process this morning. We are very warm short term, and rains definitely fall off from what we have seen for most of June. But, the rains that we do see around have good enough timing, and the moisture we have in our soil profile is good enough, that we should make it through mid-July with only concerns, not any real problem. But…the pattern will catch the eye of the markets, sooner or later.
The Congress has said that people, issued notices to appear for verification of their documents on flimsy grounds, are “coerced to move at very short notice”, lest their names are struck off the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that is being updated in Assam. A delegation led by Assam Pradesh Congress Committee president Ripun Bora on Friday met State Coordinator for NRC Prateek Hajela and submitted a memorandum for checking “harassment of people in the name of verification of documents” for preparation of the Supreme Court-monitored NRC. Also Read “It appears that the State Coordinator for NRC is acting under the direct instruction of the ruling State government, which has its own agenda,” Mr. Bora said, demanding an end to the practice of calling people to verification centres at very short notice. The nine-point memorandum submitted by the Congress includes the appointment of sensitised personnel at the verification centres to help poor and illiterate people who have no clue about the NRC updating process. May 31 deadline Registrar General of India, Sailesh said the second and final draft of NRC will be published by May 31. He made this assurance to delegations of All Assam Students’ Union and All Assam Minority Students’ Union that met him on Thursday. The first draft, recognising 1.9 crore of the 3.29 crore applicants for inclusion of names in the updated NRC of 1951, was published at the stroke of midnight on December 31. The updating exercise is according the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985 that wants the State to be rid of illegal migrants who entered Assam after March 24, 1971. The verification process for the 1.39 crore applicants left out of the first draft began in January. This phase has been tricky because of the verification of citizenship documents of 29 lakh married women, mostly migrant Muslims, that began on April 2. The process has been running simultaneously with the verification of 48 lakh cases of mismatches in family tree that began on February 17. The mismatch, officials said, is because of faulty or presumably forged legacy data provided by applicants. The lowdown on Assam’s NRC drive Assam citizenship: SC refuses to extend May 31 deadline for updating NRC The Congress claimed the citizens, primarily in remote rural areas low on literacy, were being subjected to harassment and that the entire exercise is executed in haste. ”There seems to be a never-ending issuance of notices and circulars to various districts for citizens to appear in remote corners of the State for verification of their documents,” the memorandum signed by Mr. Bora said. ”The system put in place by the State Coordinator of NRC is fundamentally flawed and if this mode of functioning is allowed to continue, it will snowball into a major humanitarian crisis and the people will be forced to take to the streets,” it said. The Congress also referred to complaints about incompetence of officials at the verification centres in processing the documents, besides shortage of people for doing the job without any glitch. Also Read
TORONTO – No winning ticket was sold for the $9 million jackpot in Saturday night’s Lotto 649 draw.However, the guaranteed $1 million prize went to a ticket holder in the Prairies.The jackpot for the next Lotto 649 draw on June 7 will be approximately $12 million.
A 55-year-old woman was killed by a covered van which hit her while crossing the road in the capital’s Badda area in front of Fuji Tower on Saturday morning.The deceased, Rizia Begum, 55, is from Gangni of Kushtia. She came to Dhaka to visit her son Abdul Mannan.Leaving her son’s house, Rizia was crossing the road on the way to the bus stop. The van hit her then.The deceased was immediately rushed to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital’s (DMCH) emergency unit. The physicians there declared her dead.Sub-inspector Md Bacchu Miah of DMCH police camp said the body had been sent to the morgue for autopsy.Police seized the van and are looking for the driver to arrest him, added the SI.
Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Friday refused to stay the election for the Mayoral post in Kolkata Municipal Corporation, which will be held on Monday, December 3. KMC chairperson Mala Roy held a meeting with the councillors and urged them to be present for the voting and use their democratic rights. 114 out of 122 elected councillors of Trinamool Congress attended the meeting.It may be mentioned that Firhad Hakim, who holds the post of state Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister, has been chosen as the Mayor designate by the councillors of Trinamool Congress, following former Mayor Sovan Chatterjee’s resignation from the post. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeCPI(M) councillor Bilquis Begum had moved the High Court, challenging Hakim’s election on the ground that he was not an elected councillor from any of the wards of the civic body. Justice Debangshu Basak on Friday directed the state and KMC to file affidavits in opposition to the petition of the CPI(M) councillor and said that the matter will be further heard on December 17. The petitioner has challenged the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2018, which was passed by the state Assembly recently. It has also received the assent of the Governor, which allows a person who is not an elected councillor, to be made a Mayor of KMC. The person, however, would have to be elected within six months, in order to continue in the post. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”Some of the councillors could not turn up today (Friday) because of ill health and two of them are presently abroad. But all of them are expected to attend the elections on Monday, which will be held from 1 to 2.30 pm,” said Roy. When asked whether Sovan Chatterjee, who is a councillor of ward 131, will turn up for voting, Roy said: “The message regarding the elections has been passed to all the councillors.” There will be four booths where councillors will be voting. The oath-taking ceremony of the Mayor is also expected to take place on Monday after the announcement of the results. Mina Debi Purohit from BJP will contest against Hakim for the Mayoral post, while Left Front and Congress have announced that they will boycott the voting.