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  1. #1261
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    Re: Let's Discuss Science

    My friends and family in Puerto Rico tell me 75% of the island is without electricity--some of that left over from Irma--and Maria hasn't even hit yet. The bigger concern is safe drinking water. Much of the island hasn't had water restored since Irma, and there is no water to buy at stores.
    Become a Kiva lender and help people lift themselves out of poverty. To find loans that are safe, secular, and mostly short in term, go to the A+ Convenience Store at Or, if you would like to support repeat borrowers with a proven track record of repayment, check out CraigsList at Happy lending!

  2. #1262

    Re: Let's Discuss Science

    Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth (paraphrased)

  3. #1263

    Re: Let's Discuss Science

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    Just in case anyone couldn't figure this out.

  4. #1264

    Re: Let's Discuss Science


    They get me every time!
    Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth (paraphrased)

  5. #1265

    Re: Let's Discuss Science

    Gilbert Stork, one the luminaries of the golden age of organic chemistry, died two weeks ago at age 95. Remarkably he published his last scientific article about two months ago. At the very end there was this footnote...

    “At this point, we realised that we did not have enough material (a few milligrams) to go through the several steps for this conversion. One would have to restart the whole synthesis. But I (G.S.) am now 95 years old.”
    Roger forever

  6. #1266

    Re: Let's Discuss Science

    ‘Always remember: You’re a Madison’
    Oral history said she was descended from a president and an enslaved woman. But what would her DNA say?

    By Krissah Thompson
    Nov. 14, 2017

    ORANGE, Va. — In her mind’s eye, Bettye Kearse could see her ancestor walking the worn path that led from the big house to the slave quarters.

    She thought of that path each time she pulled up the long, winding driveway leading to Montpelier, the rural Virginia plantation that was once home to President James Madison.

    “The first time I came here was in 1992, and the moment I actually got on the grounds I felt I belonged,” said Kearse, a retired pediatrician who lives in the Boston area.

    As an African American descendant of slaves, her feelings about the Founding Father, as a man and a historical figure, are decidedly ambivalent. But she has come to love his home. From the time she was a child, her mother had told her the family’s known history began on Madison’s property — and that they were, in fact, descendants of the president and an enslaved cook named Coreen. During each of her visits to Montpelier, Kearse felt the weight of her mother’s daunting request that she carry their story through oral history, following in the West African tradition of griots, or storytellers.

    Kearse’s most recent visit to Madison’s plantation promised to be even more emotionally affecting than usual: Her family’s long-held narrative would converge with modern science, giving her the chance to confirm that she, an African American woman, is related to a president. For more than a decade, she had searched for a Madison descendant to whom she could compare her DNA, and finally it was happening.
    Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth (paraphrased)

  7. #1267

    Re: Let's Discuss Science

    Local boy rewrites human history
    Studies of the DNA of a 2 000-year-old skeleton found in the Sibudu cave near Tongaat in the 1960’s, have led scientists to push back the date for the emergence of modern humans worldwide
    October 4, 2017

    Allan Troskie Journalist

    A 2000-year-old local boy has propelled the Dolphin Coast into the forefront of the archealogical world.

    Studies of the DNA of a 2 000-year-old skeleton found in the Sibudu cave near Tongaat in the 1960’s, have led scientists to push back the date for the emergence of modern humans worldwide by as much as 100 000 years.

    Marlize Lombard, a professor of stone age archaeology at the University of Johannesburg, collaborated with geneticists from Sweden and the University of Witwatersrand in these studies.

    They reconstructed the full genome of the Sibudu child and the other skeletons, finding that the individuals that lived between 2300 and 1800 years ago were related to Khoi-San groups today, whereas the other four who lived between 500 and 300 years ago were genetically related to people of West African descent.

    Because the Dolphin Coast boy lived at a time before migrants from further north in Africa arrived, his DNA was a pure, undiluted representation of the earliest humans in Africa, meaning that when his genomes were compared with that of the later African settlers in the area, it could be used to estimate the original split between modern humans and earlier, pre-Homo Sapiens groups.

    “This means that modern humans emerged earlier than previously thought,” said Swedish geneticist Mattias Jakobsson.

    Until recently it was believed that Homo Sapiens arose slightly more than 200 000 years ago, however gene sequencing of the skeleton – along with that of six others who lived in KZN between 300 and 2000 years ago – has now shown that the evolutionary split between Homo Sapiens and previous human groups occurred 260 000 to 350 000 years ago.

    These and other recent discoveries suggest that the human species did not arise in one place, such as east Africa, but in multiple places across the continent in what is called a pan-African origin.

    The Sibudu rock shelter lies a few kilometres outside Tongaat. It is an important archaeological site with evidence of human habitation stretching back more than 70 000 years.

    The site is also famous for producing the earliest known use of bedding which was made of sedge plants.

    This has been dated back to almost 77 000 years ago. Among the findings at Sibudu are a number of stone age tools known as lithic flakes, which were made between 70 000 years and the Middle Stone Age, around 38 000 years ago.

    There are also tools and other items from early Iron Age occupation, around 1000 years BC.

    Despite its obvious tourism qualities, the cave is not likely to allow visitors for years to come because it is still a delicate site and tourism could disturb the work being done.

    So, wherever you find yourself today – remember to wish your fellow humans a happy 350 000th birthday!
    Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth (paraphrased)

  8. #1268

    Re: Let's Discuss Science

    No, no, no!!!! One god, a pool of mud, one prototype and then one rib. Damn, it is not that difficult, people!
    (Is this some sort of Golden Age for anthropology?)
    Starry starry night

  9. #1269

    Re: Let's Discuss Science

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    No, no, no!!!! One god, a pool of mud, one prototype and then one rib. Damn, it is not that difficult, people!
    (Is this some sort of Golden Age for anthropology?)
    You forgot that the rib, etc happened a mere 6,000 years ago.
    Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth (paraphrased)

  10. #1270

    Re: Let's Discuss Science


    Dark matter and dark energy—the mystery forces believed to govern the universe—may not exist after all. In a newly developed model, astronomer André Maeder has found that neither of these concepts are needed in order for the universe to be expanding at an accelerating rate.

    It is generally accepted that normal matter—the stuff that makes up everything we ses, including stars and planets—makes up just five percent of the universe. Dark matter, which cannot be seen or detected, is said to make up a further 27 percent. Scientists believe it exists because of the gravitational influence it apparently has over galaxies: It is thought that without it, they would rotate so fast they would be torn apart.

    The rest of the universe is thought to be made up of dark energy, the force seen as driving the expansion of the universe.

    Since their discovery, however, scientists have been unable to define either dark energy or dark matter.

    In the new study, published in The Astrophysical Journal¸ Maeder focuses on “scale invariance.” This is the concept that says a feature of an object will not change even if its length or energy scales are multiplied by a common factor.

    The universe is normally considered through three main theories: Einstein’s general relativity, Newton’s universal gravitation and quantum mechanics. The most prevalent theory of universe formation is the Big Bang, according to which it started from an infinitely small and dense point and then expanded rapidly after an explosion.

    Maeder, who is from the University of Geneva, Switzerland, says this model is incomplete. "There is a starting hypothesis that hasn't been taken into account, in my opinion," he said in a statement. "By that I mean the scale invariance of the empty space; in other words, the empty space and its properties do not change following a dilatation or contraction."

    Empty space is a cosmological constant—something that does not change and can be used in models of the universe. Maeder uses the idea of scale invariance and applies it to models of the universe. His findings show we do not need dark matter and dark energy to explain the expansion of the universe. His model predicts an accelerated expansion of the universe without dark energy. It can also be used to explain the speeds of galaxies and stars within them—meaning dark matter is unnecessary too.

    “The announcement of this model, which at last solves two of astronomy's greatest mysteries, remains true to the spirit of science: nothing can ever be taken for granted, not in terms of experience, observation or the reasoning of human beings," he said.

    The findings, however, are likely to be questioned by other physicists. Previous research suggesting dark matter and dark energy do not exist has been largely dismissed by the wider scientific community.

    Concluding, Maeder says the research now needs to be expanded with further study: “If true, the hypotheses we made have many other implications in astrophysics and cosmology,” he wrote. “For now these cosmological models evidently need to be further thoroughly checked with many other possible astrophysical tests in order to confirm or infirm them.”
    Meet again we do, old foe...

  11. #1271

    Re: Let's Discuss Science

    Sara Silverman gives a truly depressing statement. Depressing because I think she is right:
    People aren’t changed by facts, they’re changed by emotions. We’re changed by our feelings,” she stressed, “and we’re changed by exposure.

    End quote.
    Starry starry night

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