Count Steve Mariucci among those who were surprised when the Raiders traded receiver Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys on Monday.“I didn’t think the Raiders, when I heard rumors about this, were going to get a No. 1 pick, I really didn’t,” Mariucci said Monday appearing on 95.7 The Game. “And the way Dallas is playing, that first-round pick is going to be relatively early, or at least in the middle of the first round. So that’s a win for the Raiders.”We know from Mariucci’s time as head …
A book on skin just was published – no, not one of those books, but a book on the physiology of human skin. Nina Jablonski wrote Skin: A Natural History (UC Berkeley, 2006) and Qais Al-Awqati (Columbia U) reviewed it in Science.1 The reviewer noticed that “In its discussion of the human skin, the book’s principal theme is evolution, and almost every page contains that word.” So, how did Jablonski do? Did she satisfy the reviewer’s hopes that Darwin can explain the naked ape?Although the author wants to provide an evolutionary perspective on all attributes of skin biology, the accounts she provides seldom rise above the provision of plausible hypotheses. Is it really true that we were selected to be hairless sweaty creatures? That sounds possible, but what is the actual evidence for such an assertion? Is it also true that vitamin D synthesis, a major locus of interaction between sunlight and diet, is the dominant factor in the natural selection of skin color? This idea is simply presented without any of the documentation that would make a convincing story. One would like to see the evidence of how rickets (vitamin D deficiency) might act as an agent of evolutionary selection.Even in the areas of sociology, “The thorny issue of the social construction of the roles of skin color is reduced again to a brief survey of skin color biology and its evolutionary implications.” At the end of the review, Al-Awqati tried to find a few things to praise, but the shallowness of Jablonski’s evolutionary theorizing extended to her own research. “Although only a few of Jablonski’s research papers address skin evolution,” he said, “the lack of deep expertise need not prevent a nonspecialist from pulling together findings from different fields to generate an exciting, even fresh view of nature.” Apparently this book “fell short” of this mark also.1Qais Al-Awqati, “Anthropology: Showing Some Skin,” Science, 2 March 2007: Vol. 315. no. 5816, p. 1223, DOI: 10.1126/science.1138921.If even a fellow evolutionist comes looking for evidence for evolutionary myths and can’t find it, why should anyone else pay attention? It’s not just the sociology of skin that is Darwin’s thorn in the flesh. Heat regulation in furry apes is much different than the sweating response in human skin. Sweat glands are complex structures under the control of the nervous system. The skin is not just a surface; it has multiple layers with veins, arteries, glands, nerves, hair muscles, sebaceous glands, pores and specialized receptors for touch, heat and pain. Werner Gitt in The Wonder of Man says that one square centimeter of skin contains 6 million cells, 100 sweat glands, 15 sebaceous glands, 5,000 sensory corpuscles, 200 pain points, 25 pressure points, 12 cold-sensitive points and 2 heat-sensitive points. Skin sloughs off dead cells while regenerating new ones in a precise balance. It is an important barrier to disease germs, and a protection from injury and dehydration. It performs a respiratory function, absorbing some of the oxygen we use, while letting some carbon dioxide in and out. Human skin is an incomparable substance. Burn victims are not given artificial plastics; they are given skin transplants from live humans. How does evolution explain the fact that a newborn infant arrives into the world with a vernix coating to protect its skin? What evolutionary process led to the precise timing of a multitude of changes that occur in the right sequence when a baby is born? These are all matters of life and death; without them, there would be no human race. These observational facts demand causes equal to them. Creationists have no problem with the question. Jablonski wrote a whole book on the theme of skin evolution, mentioning the E word on practically every page. The reviewer was itching for evidence, but only received rash excuses. Scratch that.(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
(Visited 628 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 How deep should lunar dust get over billions of years? Opinions have vacillated between extremes, but a new study might open up the debate again.Before the first soft landing on the moon by Surveyor 1 in 1966, scientists were quite worried about lunar dust being too deep to land on. The NASA-JPL page about Surveyor 1 explains:Before humans could take their first steps on the moon, that mysterious and forbidding surface had to be reconnoitered by robots. When President John Kennedy set a goal of landing astronauts on the lunar surface in 1961, little was known of that world, beyond what could be gleaned from observations by telescopes.We knew it was rocky, bleak and heavily cratered — how might these conditions affect the landing of a spacecraft there? Was the surface sufficiently solid to support the 33,500-pound Apollo lunar lander? Or was it so deeply covered in dust from billions of years of meteorite impacts, as some theorized, that the lunar module would simply sink out of sight, dooming the astronauts? These and a hundred other questions about the surface composition dogged mission planners, so a robot would make the dangerous journey first – the lunar lander from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.Surveyor 1, 1966Dr Henry Richter, the instrument manager for the Explorer, Ranger and Surveyor missions, recalls lunar dust was a “real concern” in those years (personal communication). Scientists were relieved when the Surveyors landed successfully without sinking out of sight; even so, the Surveyors and Apollo lunar modules were equipped with wide footpads just in case. The Apollo astronauts were rather surprised to find the dust layer very shallow, just a few inches deep. Often, they could scrape bedrock with their boots.Many creationists used this fact to argue for a young moon. If the moon were 4.5 billion years old, they said, it should have accumulated great depths of dust. The fact that it did not suggested to them that the moon was not as old as claimed. The amount of dust accumulation, however, was later found to be based on flawed estimates of incoming dust, and perhaps by the assumption that particles would softly settle onto the lunar surface rather than slam in at high speeds, where it might melt and harden. Vitriolic critics lambasted the argument, and so many creationists sheepishly backed away from it – although, as we see from JPL’s quote, it was not just creationists who assumed great volumes of dust should be there. Snelling and Rush at ICR said in 1993,Unfortunately, attempted counter-responses by creationists have so far failed because of spurious arguments or faulty calculations. Thus, until new evidence is forthcoming, creationists should not continue to use the dust on the moon as evidence against an old age for the moon and the solar system.Wishing to use only the strongest arguments for youth, apologists like those at CMI have urged caution, listing the lunar dust argument among those that creationists should not use. “Nevertheless, as we have indicated before,” CMI continues, keeping the door slightly open, “creationists as well as evolutionists need to be prepared to re-examine arguments as new and better data emerges.”New and Better Data Are HereWhen particles slam into the moon, they “garden” the surface (regolith), by overturning layers and re-depositing them on the surface. Impacting bodies vary over 12 orders of magnitude, from nanometer-sized particles to large asteroids. Impactor size follows a power law, with big impacts being more rare than small ones. The last major mathematical model of regolith mixing (impact gardening) was done by Gault et al in 1974. Now, a new model by Costello, Ghent and Lucey, published in Icarus, has identified a major oversight in Gault’s model. While appreciative of the pioneering work on mixing done back then, Costello points out that Gault’s model only considered mixing due to primary impacts. What happens when secondaries are taken into account? [Note: primaries are original impacts; secondaries are fallback material launched from a primary impact.] Secondaries make a big difference!Our most important update is the inclusion of secondary impacts. Our calculations show that secondaries are necessary to produce the reworking rate inferred from the depth distribution of surface-correlated material in Apollo cores …. Overturn calculations that only consider the impact of primaries fail to describe observed reworking rates at all depths and timescales. We conclude that secondary impacts dominate mixing in the top meter of lunar regolith.We have reported before in these pages several times about the “impact” of secondary craters on crater count dating (e.g., 22 May 2012, 19 Oct 2015, 12 Oct 2016). One impact on Mars could launch a million secondaries, and some secondaries can travel between bodies, such as between Jupiter’s moons. So serious was the failure to account for secondary impacts, it rendered all previous calculations of surface dates based on crater counts questionable. Is a similar situation about to happen with Costello’s paper on the question of lunar dust accumulation?While primary impactors arrive at high speeds (20 km/sec) enough to melt rock, secondary impactors would tend to be smaller and drift down to the surface on ballistic paths. The astronauts were very familiar with the behavior of dust as they walked around and drove around in the rovers. They could see it float back down after being kicked up by their boots. And as we have reported, electrostatic forces can propel fine dust for long distances (10 Jan 2017, 28 Feb 2018). Continuing for millions and billions of years, would these processes not predict heavy accumulations of fine dust?Costello’s new model, which takes secondaries into account, finds better agreement with Apollo rock samples.Overturn due only to primary impacts is much too infrequent and shallow to produce the thorough mixing implied by the depth distribution of 26Al in the Apollo cores. It takes a flux of primary impactors hundreds of millions of years to reach 3 cm depth just once with 50% probability. The homogeneous distribution of 26Al suggests many more than one overturn event has occurred in less than a million years. The flux of secondary impacts appears to be much more effective, thoroughly reworking the regolith at 2–3 cm in less than a million years: a rate consistent with inferences from 26Al in the Apollo cores.This statement does not mean that the surface is a million years old. What it does mean is that earlier models significantly overlooked the effects of secondary impacts.Building on the core statistical concept presented by Gault et al. (1974) we present a generalized model that describes the rate and probability a point at depth experiences overturn as a function of time. By using material parameters consistent with lunar regolith and lunar impact flux, we calculate the rate and probability of overturn on the Moon. Compared to the overturn rate driven by the modern flux of primaries, overturn due to secondaries is in much better agreement with the Morris (1978) reworking rate and the depth-distribution of 26Al measured in Apollo cores. This is especially true at short timescales and shallow depths. Further, overturn due to secondaries better describes the rate at which surface features such as splotches rework the regolith and the rate at which cold spots and rays are reworked into the background. We conclude from these comparisons that secondaries are the dominant driver of overturn in the top meter of lunar regolith.Figure 9(c) in the paper shows what the new model predicts geologists would find in a one-meter drill core after one billion years. Everything down to a meter should show some evidence of reworking. Everything shallower than 50 centimeters should have been thoroughly reworked, being overturned 100 times. Everything shallower than 10 centimeters should be homogeneous, having been reworked at least 10,000 times! Multiply these values by 4.5 to get closer to the actual prediction old-agers would expect. Does that match what the Apollo astronauts actually found when they scraped hard rock with their boots?Even Costello’s new model is not complete. The estimates could be lower limits. Here are just a few of the uncertainties that still remain in this latest model, 49 years after Apollo 11:Superficially, calculations of overturn driven by micrometeorites could be improved by using the dust flux from studies of LADEE and LDEF data (e.g. Meshishnek et al., 1993; Horányi et al., 2015; Szalay and Horányi, 2016). More fundamentally, future incarnations of our model should include cratering laws and energy-partitioning that are designed specifically to describe micro-impacts. Another fundamental issue remains unaddressed in this treatment of micrometeorite overturn: the effects of micro-secondaries…. Evidence of mixing does not discriminate between primaries, secondaries, slumping, jetting or astronaut footprints. The depth-distribution of surface correlated materials observed in Apollo cores and the rate at which cold spots and rays disappear are the result of a complicated system of mixers. Determining the relative influence of each mixing driver is important for future modeling of regolith evolution. Here we have treated only one kind of regolith mixing: vertical excavation form cratering events. Because the mixing rates we predict with a flux of secondary impacts included are reasonable, one could argue that the vertical mixing of regolith is dominantly driven by secondary distal ejecta that produce secondary craters. Inferences about lateral transport and horizontal mixing are currently beyond the scope of this model; however, by better constraining the treatment of secondaries, we may be able to investigate mixing in three dimensions and compare our results to lateral mixing models (e.g Huang et al., 2017) in the future. The treatment of secondaries used in this work could be improved to first order by a piece-wise power law or polynomial re-casting of flux as well as a treatment of the velocity and impact angle distributions of secondary projectiles. Recall that in this work we crudely assume that all secondaries impact the lunar surface at 0.5 km s−1, the minimum in the range of maximum spall velocities….These and other shortcomings in the new model will require more analysis, the Costello team admits. The old model’s reliance on primaries alone, however, “casts a pall of uncertainty on the fundamental assumption” Gault used to model the distribution of material on the surface.Expect big celebrations on July 19, 2019We share this paper not to do the analysis ourselves, but to show that the door is open to reconsider lunar dust accumulation as evidence for a young moon. On the verge of the 50th Anniversary of Apollo, the time has come to “re-examine arguments as new and better data” have been provided. Perhaps the lunar dust argument will emerge stronger, and will drop off the list of arguments creationists should not use.We see that CMI left the door open a bit by responding to an earlier CEH entry (21 Nov 2013) by adding a footnote to Snelling and Rush’s detailed 1993 refutation of the moon-dust argument (which included some consideration of secondaries, although not as up-to-date as Costello’s paper). CMI’s footnote said on 3 July 2014, New NASA data has turned up that is said to have been on ‘long-lost’ tapes*, and shows a dust influx rate some ten times that of previous measurements. At face value it seems to raise the possibility of at least a partial revival of the moon dust argument. Given the very careful and detailed creationist analyses which led to its abandonment in the first place, and the other factors that could potentially affect these results (see this summary by a friend and ally), any reassessment would need to be similarly thorough and careful.We agree and hope that this latest entry will stimulate a new thorough and careful analysis.
Airbus CEO Tom Enders. Photo: Steve Creedy. The A380 superjumbo is not dead, it’s just resting.That was the message from Airbus and one of its major customers in Toulouse on Friday as speculation continues about the superjumbo’s future.Airbus announced earlier this year that it will more than halve production of the superjumbo from the current 2.5 per month to one a month because of lacklustre demand.But Airbus chief executive Tom Enders, speaking at an event to celebrate the manufacturer’s 10,000th aircraft delivery, predicted there would still be a demand for the A380 into the future.Read: The world needs more A380s“We’ve pulled down the rates for some time but we are very confident we will produce an aircraft for many years to come,’’ he said.Enders said Airbus was continuously making small improvements to the A380.“And we’ve said many times that bigger improvements such as the famous re-engining is not so much a question of if, but of when,’’ he said.The manufacturer’s head salesman, John Leahy, said the A380 continued to generate passenger interest around the world.“People go out of their way to fly on the A380,’’ he said, adding that 10 per cent of passengers using London Heathrow Airport this year would be getting on or off one of the superjumbos.Singapore Airlines chief executive Goh Choon Phong said he continued to see a role for the double-decker aircraft his airline helped launch flying on high demand, high density routes where there were slot constraints.“So we will continue to see demand for such aircraft types,’’ he said.The Singaporean carrier is acquiring five new A380s but created waves for Airbus when it decided not to renew the 10-year lease on its first Airbus A380. The announcement came as Malaysia Airlines revealed it was in discussions with airlines in the region about offloading its fleet of six A380s.SIA may also not renew four more leases due to end, although Goh reiterated that a decision on that had yet to be made.The Singaporean carrier has also said it will launch new cabin products with the arrival in the second half of next year of the first new A380.Goh said the new products, developed over “the last few years’, would wow customers and would ensure that the airline retained an industry-leading position on products.
Families of two Dalit children who were allegedly killed for defecating in the open in Bhavkhedi village in Shivpuri district would be moved into two houses in the city, Congress leader Jyotiradtiya Scindia has said.“I had promised them that I will leave the village only after settling them in Shivpuri,” Mr. Scindia told reporters. “For now, they have been moved into two temporary houses having a room, a kitchen and a courtyard each…Nothing can cure the deep wounds the family has suffered. But being people’s servants, the least we can do is bring them succour,” he said. The construction of permanent houses would at least take a month, Mr. Scindia told the family. “I am going to pay ₹5 – 5.5 lakh from my own pocket for it,” he added. Besides, he said, adult members of the family would be given employment, and children their education. “Both the families will start staying at the houses from tomorrow,” Mr. Scindia tweeted on Monday, after meeting the families.Two houses had been arranged for the families, he said, besides ensuring their adult members employment and children their education. The houses would be allotted to them under a government scheme, District Deputy Collector Manoj Garwal told The Hindu. “As for a job, we will have to see what kind of work they will be able to do. Most probably, it will be a daily wage job,” he said. Besides, Mr. Scindia on Monday wrote to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath appealing to him to provide lifetime support to the families as they “belonged to the Dalit community” and were “poor”.Requesting assistance on humanitarian ground, he said both the families should be given 10 ‘bigha’ land each. Moreover, “immediate financial support of ₹50 lakh each for the affected families was important”.On September 25, as the two children were defecating in the open along a village road, two Yadav men struck lathis on their heads, killing them. They were later arrested.During an interaction with Mr. Scindia, the father of one of the victims pleaded with him for a house outside the village. “I am going mad here. I may consume poison. I want justice,” he said. The father of one of the victims had earlier told The Hindu the family had lived in fear since then and had decided to leave the village fearing intimidation by the family of the accused.“I don’t see people of my region on religious or caste lines. Only a cruel person could commit something like this… I cannot believe someone in my region could even think of doing something like this,” Mr. Scindia told the father.
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) and forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrate after their team scored against the Los Angeles Clippers in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/John Hefti)OAKLAND, Calif. — On a night the Los Angeles Clippers set records with their 3-point shooting, Steph Curry won the game for Golden State at the rim.Curry made a layup with 0.5 seconds left and the Warriors outlasted the Clippers 129-127 in an emotionally charged game Sunday night.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting “That’s just who they are,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said about Curry and Durant. “They’re aggressive, they’re talented, and they both had just incredible moments during that game where they each took over.”Harris led Los Angeles with 32 points, and Lou Williams added 25.The Clippers’ shot 81.2 percent from 3-point range in the first half (13 for 16), setting an NBA record for highest 3-point percentage in a half (minimum 13 made). Those 13 first-half 3s also set a franchise record for most in a half.“We don’t really take moral victories,” Beverley said. “We could have, and we should have, won today, but we came up short.”As for his flare-up with Curry, Beverley said: “We’re a tough team, they’re a tough team, too. … It’s basketball. It’s going to stay basketball.”ADVERTISEMENT Curry had 42 points to tie his second-highest scoring output of the season. He also got the last laugh after he exchanged heated words with Clippers guard Patrick Beverley in the first quarter, a sequence that earned both players a technical foul.The Clippers’ Avery Bradley tied it at 127 with a dunk with 20.6 seconds remaining. On the next possession, Curry had Montrezl Harrell on him at the top of the key, drove down the middle of the lane and converted the layup off the glass for the winner.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefTobias Harris missed a shot as time expired, giving the Warriors their eighth victory in 10 games.Kevin Durant added 35 points for Golden State to help offset the Clippers’ 78-percent (18 of 23) 3-point shooting. Warriors: Durant has scored 30 or more points in four of the last six games. … It was Golden State’s second of three back-to-backs with both games at Oracle.UP NEXTClippers: Host Sacramento on Wednesday night.Warriors: Host LeBron James and the Lakers in a marquee Christmas game Tuesday night. James played in Oakland last Christmas with Cleveland ahead of a fourth straight NBA Finals matchup against the Warriors.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Valdez, Ravena nip Soriano, de Guzman Durant had 14 points in the third quarter and Curry added 11 as the Warriors outscored the Clippers 36-23 to take a 103-94 lead into the fourth.Harris was 5 for 5 from long distance in the first half and had 19 points as Los Angeles led 71-67 at the break.Curry had 22 points in the half, but Golden State was 5 of 16 from 3-point range. However, they outscored Los Angeles 24-10 from the free throw line in the first two quarters and that kept it close.INJURY UPDATEDurant landed awkwardly and rolled his left ankle in the first quarter. He got up gingerly but stayed in the game and played with a wrap on his ankle.“I don’t think it’s anything serious, but we’ll see how he holds up when he comes in tomorrow,” Kerr said.SPECIAL BOBBLEHEADThe Warriors had a little fun with Curry, decorating a bobblehead box to make it astronaut-themed and leaving it at the two-time MVP’s locker Sunday, in light of Curry’s recent comments about not believing there was ever a U.S. moon landing. Curry held a lengthy Skype chat last weekend with astronaut Scott Kelly to tell Kelly and others he meant no harm with the joke about not believing in the moon landing.TIP-INSClippers: The Clippers have lost 14 of the past 16 regular-season meetings against Golden State. … Los Angeles won 125-106 last Jan. 10 at Oracle Arena to snap an 11-game losing streak on the Warriors’ home floor. 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