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Evidence of God

Has science proven that God does exist and created the universe and everything? This video clip says yes there is strong scientific evidence of God.

Universe

Evidence of God

This YouTube video clip posted by Scripture and Science has some sound scientific background backing up it’s claim that there is strong evidence for God. It seems that today many scientists are struck by the parallel of a one time creation event from nothing with the Biblical event in Genesis 1:1. Agnostic scientist Robert Jastrow admits ‘Now we see how the astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origins of the world’. Add to that the latest discoveries in DNA science and there is a compelling argument for a creator. Check out the video for the full story. Enjoy.

 

 

 
 

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If you believe in Darwinism and evolution then you should read this.

OK Crypto fans. How far do you want to blow your mind? Do you believe in Darwinism or Creationism?

This one deals with our actual existence as a menagerie of animals occupying a planet. In a galaxy. In a universe. In space somewhere.

Does all life come from goo? Spontaneously coming into existence? Or God – some kind of amazing alien creator who designed the whole box and dice.

If you do or don’t believe in Darwinism and evolution, then you should watch this clip. It’s from a documentary called  Unlocking the Mystery of Life (Illustra Media) and looks at the basics science of molecular biology and the validity of Darwinism in the 21st century.

Sounds a bit too deep? Don’t you believe it. If I get it, then you will get it. It’ll stimulate you intellect and excite your soul.

It won’t change your mind but it will make you think. Trigger that basic question in your head. Why?

Basically this video is looking at the very basics of what life is. The chemistry. The mechanics. The mathematics but in a very simply and exciting way. Looking how bio-chemistry works with Darwinism.

No really, I mean exciting. Get you’re mind around what they are saying. Whether their take on it is right or wrong. It’s certainly arguable in my book.


“The science is solid and the computer animations are superb. This is a great film.”

Philip S. Skell, Ph.D. Member, National Academy of Sciences


This next clip is much simpler but you really need to have watched the other clip (above) to give you full understanding of their argument.

You could watch this clip first but it will leave you with questions the other clip will have answered.

Nevertheless enjoy this brain food and please leave a comment.

Click here to go to their website for more information.

 
 

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Fibonacci image

Want to know what this is? Then click here to find out.

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If you don’t believe in Darwinism and evolution, then you should watch this clip.

OK Crypto fans. How far do you want to blow your mind?

This one deals with our actual existence as a menagerie of animals occupying a planet. In a galaxy. In a universe. In space somewhere.

Does all life come from goo? Spontaneously coming into existence? Or God – some kind of amazing alien creator who designed the whole box and dice.

If you don’t believe in Darwinism and evolution, then you should watch this clip. It’s from a documentary called  Unlocking the Mystery of Life (Illustra Media) and looks at the basics science of molecular biology and the validity of Darwinism in the 21st century.

Sounds a bit too deep? Don’t you believe it. If I get it, then you will get it. It’ll stimulate you intellect and excite your soul.

It won’t change your mind but it will make you think. Trigger that basic question in your head. Why?

Basically this video is looking at the very basics of what life is. The chemistry. The mechanics. The mathematics but in a very simply and exciting way. Looking how bio-chemistry works with Darwinism.

No really, I mean exciting. Get you’re mind around what they are saying. Whether their take on it is right or wrong. It’s certainly arguable in my book.


“The science is solid and the computer animations are superb. This is a great film.”

Philip S. Skell, Ph.D. Member, National Academy of Sciences



This next clip is much simpler but you really need to have watched the other clip (above) to give you full understanding of their argument.

You could watch this clip first but it will leave you with questions the other clip will have answered.

Nevertheless enjoy this brain food and please leave a comment.

Click here to go to their website for more information.

 

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Fibonacci image

Want to know what this is? Then click here to find out.

 
 

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The Science Delusion, the banned TedTalk

The Science Delusion, the banned TedTalk

By Mike Searle, Animal X

Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and author of more than 80 scientific papers and ten books. He was among the top 100 Global Thought Leaders for 2013, as ranked by the Duttweiler Institute, Zurich, Switzerland’s leading think tank. He studied natural sciences at Cambridge University, where he was a Scholar of Clare College, took a double first class honours degree and was awarded the University Botany Prize (1963).

He has appeared in a number of Animal X epsiodes. See below.

Sheldrake

Richard Sheldrake TedTalk

On January 12th, 2013, Rupert gave a talk entitled The Science Delusion at TEDxWhitechapel. The theme for the night was Visions for Transition: Challenging existing paradigms and redefining values (for a more beautiful world). In response to protests from two militant materialist bloggers in the US, the talk was later taken down by TED and placed in a special corner of their website. Before it was removed from their main website it had had about 35,000 views. Since it was “banned” it has been seen by at least half a million people.

Dr. Sheldrake says science claims to already know the nature of reality in principle and we just have to fill in the blanks. This is a very wide spread belief system that says ‘I don’t believe in God I believe in science”.

But there’s a conflict in science as a method of inquiry based on reason, evidence, examination and investigation; and science as a belief system and a world view. This world view, he says has come to restrict and inhibit the very essence of science, which is the life blood of scientific investigation.

Since the late 19th century science has been investigated under the world belief system of ‘philosophical materialism’.

Sheldrake says that the sciences are now wholly owned subsidiaries of the materialist world view.

He says there are 10 dogma’s in science that holds the official ‘default worldview’ together. These are embraced by the vast majority of scientists, world governments, National Health Service, Medical Councils et el. But are they solid and unchanging as science would have us believe?

Rupert Sheldrake, author and biologist says these 10 dogmas of science need to be challenged. He says they are not consistent and should be challenged if science isn’t to stagnate. default view of most educated

The ten dogmas are:

  1. We live in a machine world. That the universe is a machine animals are machine, we are machines. Lumbering robots as Richard Dawkins puts it. That our brains are genetically programmed computers.
  2. All matter is unconcious. The universe is made up of unconscious matter.  No consciousness in stars, planets, animals, plants, or even us!
  3. The laws of nature and the constants of nature are fixed. The same now as they were in the beginning (the Big Bang)
  4. The total amount of mater and energy is the same today as it was in the beginning
  5. There is no purpose in nature. Nature is purposeless. Evolution has no purpose or direction.
  6. Bio hereditary is material. Everything you are is in your genes.
  7. Memories are stored in your brain as material traces, modified nerve endings, chemicals and electrical impulses
  8. Your mind is restricted is inside your head. All your consciousness is the activity of your brain. Again chemicals squirting around.
  9. Psychic phenomenon is impossible. Telepathy is impossible. Paranormal activity is impossible. it’s all an illusion.
  10. Mechanistic medicine is all there is. No value or import in alternative forms of medicine.

He’s his TedTalk by the way was eventually banned by TedTalk.


 

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Here is Rupert Sheldrake talking about Psychic Pets in Animal X. It’s the third story in the episode.




And here about animal psychic abilities in general in Animal Heroes

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Marsupial mole makes rare appearance in WA

Marsupial mole makes rare appearance in WA

From the ABC By Erin Parke

Mole

Rare Marsupial mole in WA’s Kimberley


Aboriginal women in Western Australia’s north have encountered a strange, silky-haired mole that is only spotted a handful of times each decade.

The marsupial mole is found only in desert areas of northern and central Australia, and rarely surfaces from underground.

Kate Crossing, who co-ordinates an Indigenous Protected Area in the Gibson Desert, said she was stunned to see one of the animals during a field trip with the local Aboriginal rangers near the Northern Territory border.

“We saw this little golden creature run along the track in front of us, and as I brought the car to a stop, one of our rangers, Yelti, yelled out ‘Kakarratul!’ and jumped out and grabbed hold of it,” Ms Crossing said.

“It was less than the size of your hand, and it’s just this golden-coloured animal, with a little pink nose, and it lives almost all its life underground.

“It is so rare to see them above ground, so we were just amazed … we were so lucky.”
 

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The women, who are from the remote community of Kiwirrkurra, quickly took some photographs and video footage, before releasing the animal a little way off the road.

Ms Crossing said there was tremendous excitement as they were able to touch the fast-burrowing creature, which they call Kakarratul.

“Some of the people who’ve spent more time in the desert before [white] contact had seen a mole before, but not for many years, and there were younger people who’d never seen one properly,” she said.

“It had beautifully soft fur, and it looked really delicate … but it also had really strong front legs and feet. When we put it down, off the road, it went straight down and it was gone in less than 30 seconds.”

Relatively little is known about the marsupial mole, which is so well adapted to living underground it has no functioning eyes or ears.

Found near the Northern Territory border.

Marsupial mole found by WA Indigenous rangers

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Crab hordes heading for Australia

Crab hordes heading for Australia

Crabs

It is believed the crabs gather together for protection, although an alternative theory posits that mating is behind the behaviour



A marine scientist who was scuba diving off Melbourne has filmed a giant spider crab aggregation on the shores of Port Phillip Bay.

Victorian-based aquatic scientist Sheree Marris said approximately hundreds of thousands of crustaceans make their way to southern Australia’s shores between May and July each year as the ocean waters cool.

“What I found really interesting about this aggregation is I’ve never seen so many before,” she told the ABC.

“I swam in a straight line for four-and-a-half minutes and the crabs were thick on the sandy shallows. It was gobsmackingly amazing.

“[In previous years] I’ve swam maybe a minute-and-a-half to two minutes and [this year] I wasn’t going slow.

“It’s pretty awesome.”

But marine research biologist Dr Julian Finn from Museum Victoria said it is hard to know the exact number of crabs coming to Port Phillip Bay and why they choose to aggregate in large piles, because there is not a lot of research available about the crustaceans.

“But it is fantastic what is happening. It’s an amazing spectacle that people should go and see,” he said.

“We are really lucky that such an amazing thing happens near Melbourne.”

Ms Marris said the sight of all the crabs made her feel “like a kid on Christmas day, getting all their presents”.

“I was excited. I was like a kid in a candy shop. The ocean is my happy place,” she said, noting that, unlike most people, she is not afraid of the crabs.

Sheree Marris

Ms Marris is a sea life enthusiast who once won a Young Australian of the Year award

Ms Marris said the aggregation allows crabs to moult with “safety in numbers”.

“When the crabs have freshly moulted, their bodies are soft, making them vulnerable to predators such as rays and sharks,” she said.

“That’s why they commit to the shallows. For crustaceans, for them to grow, they need to shed their shell, which is really hard.

“They get out of their old shell and they grow a new shell, which is really soft and takes time to harden.

“So by being in this aggregation, it reduces their chances of being eaten. It’s like a case of safety in numbers.”

Display was like a ‘moving blanket of legs and claws’

In terms of deciding which crabs go on top of the pile, “it’s every crab for themselves,” Ms Marris said.

“There’s no hierarchy. It’s just this orange chaos of legs and claws. It’s a moving blanket of legs and claws really, it’s pretty awesome,” she said.

“At times they kind of just stack on top of each other and the maximum I’ve seen is 10.

“But that’s how deep it can actually get, which makes sense because if you’re on the top, you’re going to be more vulnerable, especially if they’ve just freshly moulted.”

The moulting process is determined by some biological cues and some environmental cues as well, Ms Marris said.

“What happens is when one starts moulting, it sets off a chain reaction and then you’ll get these massive moults. At the end of the video, you can see where they do start moulting,” she said.

“Some people freak out when they do start seeing [what they think has been] a mass death of crabs.”




A Wasp That Turns a Spider Into the Walking Dead

A Wasp That Turns a Spider Into the Walking Dead

by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell from AnswersinGenisis.org

 

The wasp that turns spiders into the walking dead

A parasitoid wasp (Pteromalus puparum) (Credit: John Abbott/NPL)

 

Spiders turned into zombies by parasitic wasps modify their webs to serve their new masters.
When a parasitic wasp skewers an orb spider and glues an egg to its back, she sets off a chain of events that soon alters the behavior and destiny of the spider. A new study from the host-parasite pair’s Japanese homeland shows that, some time after the egg hatches, the spider abruptly abandons its former lifestyle and follows a precisely choreographed sequence of actions that modify its normal web-building activities to produce the best possible home for a developing wasp.
wasp that turns spiders in to the walking dead

zombie spider

Zombie Web Design

Transformed by the ichneumonid wasp Reclinervellus nielseni’s sting into an obedient zombie, the orb-weaving spider Cyclosa argenteoalba does more than nourish the wasp’s larva with its own inward parts. The zombie spider serves its new master by modifying its web design to make a stronger-than-normal web devoted to the protection of the wasp’s pupal cocoon. No longer concerned with catching prey for itself, the spider reworks its web to build a hammock of extra-strong non-sticky silks that will ultimately cradle the cocoon.

Kobe University’s Keizo Takasuka and colleagues, who published their work in The Journal of Experimental Biology, painstakingly searched for spiders already parasitized by the wasp and then observed how the spiders’ behavior was affected. They also collected and observed the behavior of normal spiders.

This modified web design is actually an enhanced version of the resting web the orb spider normally builds to protect itself when molting. A spider sheds its exoskeleton in order to grow and is helpless during this time. A normal spider molts nestled in its resting web for just two days, but to accommodate the 10-day period wasps require to pupate in their cocoons, the parasitized spider builds an unusually durable web. It spends 10 hours repeating certain web-building steps over and over, reinforcing the web with additional threads until it produces a web of large-diameter silks with increased tensile strength. It leaves out the sticky stuff. Once its construction operation is complete, the zombie spider sits in the center of the web until the larva consumes the rest of its body fluids and kills it. Then the larva morphs into a pupa and emerges 10 days later as a mature wasp

Shining in the Light

The zombie spider decorates this specialized resting web with ultraviolet-reflecting silks. These deter web-destroying collisions with birds. Scientists used to think that the ultraviolet-reflecting silks in spider webs attracted prey, but their routine inclusion in resting webs of molting spiders and the webs of nocturnal spiders suggests otherwise. The fact that these particular zombie spiders, following their detailed and very pragmatic altered programming, include UV-reflecting décor in their cocoon webs while leaving out sticky fibers altogether is consistent with this view. So is the fact that the prey-capture regions of the normal orb webs studied by this Japanese team were unadorned with UV-reflecting fibers.

It appears the UV-reflecting webs are God’s design to protect spider webs from being destroyed by bird collisions. Studies have shown the UV-reflecting silks really do deter bird collisions. At least one company is now manufacturing glass incorporating a web of UV-reflecting strips to prevent birds from crashing into windows. This example of biomimicry—technology based on designs found in nature—now protects birds soaring around the observation tower on the Holy Island of Lindesfarne, a center for Celtic Christianity off the coast of England dating back to the 6th century.

Biomimicry

UV-reflecting silk is just one of many biomimetic applications the study of spiders has provided. For instance, spiders produce several different kinds of silk. A gene that produces a protein in the dragline silk of one species of orb spider has been used to produce transgenic goats that produce recoverable silk in their milk, a protein that can be used to produce fibers stronger than steel for use in artificial joints, bulletproof vests, and parachutes. Biomimetic breakthroughs in technology are imitations of God’s designs. Zombie-creating parasites like this wasp and its parasitized partner can reveal much about the common designs created by God and how even their variations and derangement can work together to perpetuate species in this sin-cursed world.



World Gone Wrong

The fallen world we live in since man sinned supplies an endless variety of examples illustrating what can go wrong. Or, from the point of view of parasitic wasps fulfilling their instinct to multiply using the best available resources, what can go right! How do such parasitic relationships develop?

Parasites survive at the expense of their victims, ordinarily sparing the life of the victim until it is no longer needed.Parasites that manipulate host behavior do so in a way to enhance their own growth or dispersion. Ichneumonid wasps ensure their larvae will be fed by recruiting insects or spiders to donate their bodily fluids to nourish wasp larvae. And the Reclinervellus wasp is not the only ichneumonid that reproduces by providing its larvae with living meals while also manipulating the spider’s web-building behavior to provide each pupa a haven. A Costa Rican wasp, for instance, Hymenoepimecis argyraphaga, follows a similar strategy utilizing the orb-weaving spider Plesiometa argyra.

In fact it was to the Ichneumonidae family of wasps that Charles Darwin referred when he wrote to botanist Asa Gray, questioning how a good God could create such a cruel system. Darwin wrote, “There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars.”5

God created a perfectly good world (Genesis 1:31) and presented it to man (Genesis 1:26–28). Darwin failed to recognize that God’s good world went wrong because of man’s sinful rebellion. The New Testament reinforces this Old Testament truth, Romans 8:19–23 confirming that that the whole of creation groans in slavery to corruption in the wake of man’s sin. (Read more about this in “The Fall and the Problem of Millions of Years of Natural Evil.”) Thedeath and suffering that afflict not only people but also animals are consequences of human rebellion against God.

Cruelty and the Curse

Darwin complained that he could not envision the cruelty of nature as part of a good God’s design, yet in order for the living things in this sin-cursed world to endure for the past 6,000 years, variations and even derangements of God’s designs have allowed life to go on. Many organisms have adapted by developing defense and attack structures. (Read more about these in “How Did Defense/Attack Structures Come About?” and entomologist Dr. Gordon Wilson’s article on “Divinely Designed Defenses.”) The study of parasites like the ichneumonid wasps will help answer Darwin’s concern by helping us understand what good purposes these organisms were designed to serve in the pre-Fall world as well as the changes that led to the development of parasitic lifestyles after the Fall. Be sure to read more about this in Dr. Matthew Ingle’s article “Parasitology and Creation.”

Spiders today are carnivores, most paralyzing prey caught in their webs and enzymatically digesting and consuming them. (It is curious that most news articles about these zombie spiders paint a horrific image of the spiders’ fate but fail to mention the daily dietary practices of spiders, which are certainly no kinder.) Carnivory and parasitism are both consequences of sin’s curse. We know from God’s Word (Genesis 1:29–30) that animals did not originally eat other animals.

So what did spiders eat? We cannot be dogmatic about the behavior of pre-Fall animals 6,000 years removed from our ability to observe them, but we can reasonably speculate that they could have subsisted on pollen grains caught in their webs. This is not idle speculation. While spiders today are not generally herbivorous, a mostly herbivorous spider living on the Bullhorn acacia tree feeds on the tree’s Beltian bodies.6 And a 2013 study found that 25% of the diet of the juvenile orb-weaving spiders analyzed consisted of pollen grains caught in their webs. The pollen grains in the study were large enough to require active digestion by the spiders’ extraoral enzymes and were likely consumed while the spiders were recycling their webs.7 Thus it is no stretch to propose that before the Fall spiders wereherbivorous, and spider webs may have originally functioned as pollen catchers.

But what about parasites like the ichneumonid wasps? If God did not originally design these wasps to turn their hosts into zombies, how did they get to be that way? While we cannot go back and observe the process by which an animal, plant, or fungus became a parasite, we can be confident that all the original created kinds of organisms fulfilled helpful, not harmful, roles in the good world God made. Since the Fall, a combination of mutations and other genetic mechanisms, phenotypic plasticity, natural selection, and environmental changes that have altered available resources have produced many harmful varieties of organisms as well as created both symbiotic and parasiticrelationships that ultimately ensure the survival of many species that might otherwise become extinct.

And if the incidence of parasitism in this Japanese pair is any indication, the spider population is not exactly being decimated by the predations of parasitic wasps. It took Keizo Takasuka’s team many days to find 23 parasitized spiders among the 1,615 spiders they inspected.8 Similarly, in a study of zombie ants last year, scientists found that a parasitic fungus infected only a small percentage of the carpenter ants in its ecosystem in order to survive. (Read more about it in “Zombie Ants and Genesis.”) Thus in the post-Fall world in which we live, carpenter ant populations survive to decompose dead wood, wasps survive to continue their valuable pollinating activities, and plenty of spiders survive to continue controlling insect populations.

Usurping the Normal, Not Evolving the New

Further research is needed to discover the chemical agent(s) the wasp or its larva uses to induce the spider’s zombification, causing it to repeat various steps in the normal web-building process over and over while eliminating others. However, a spider’s hormones normally trigger the molting process for which the spider builds a resting web. Therefore, Takasuka and colleagues suspect the wasp is injecting a chemical that mimics the hormone that normally directs the spider to molt.

The same is true of a behavior-altering virus that induces zombie-like behavior in gypsy moth caterpillars. It deactivates their molting hormone, prompting infected caterpillars to climb to treetops where they die and rain their viral load over a wide area. (See “Parasites Affect Behavior of Moths.”)

None of these parasitic relationships or zombie-generating species result from molecules-to-man evolution. This parasitic partnership is an example of an extended phenotype—all the effects a wasp’s gene has, including its effects on another organism (the spider). Parasitic wasps are still wasps, just a family of wasps that now depends on a rather elaborate form of carnivory to reproduce. The spider is still a spider, and even its behavior is a modification of an existing one. Indeed, if these wasps are able to supply a biochemical mimic of the spider’s own hormone, as the authors suggest, such a biochemical similarity exists because all creatures share a common Designer. These and other extraordinary variations were designed by our wise God to be somehow manifested after the Fall. Even though these insidious lifecycles highlight the ugliness of death due to sin’s curse, they still allow the created kinds to reproduce in a fallen world.

Learn more about the beneficial pre-Fall roles today’s parasites likely played in the pre-Fall world in “The Genesis of Malaria: The Origin of Mosquitos and Their Protistan Cargo, Plasmodium falciparum,” how parasitology helps us understand the changes in nature after the Fall in “Parasitology and Creation,” and how deadly venom seems to have developed from harmless but essential biochemicals in “Evolution of Snake Venom: A New Use for Old Genes?” and “Mamba Venom Derives from Gene Duplication.” You can find out more about real-life zombies and parasitic host manipulation in “Zombie Ants and Genesis,” “Parasites Affect Behavior of Moths,” “Brain Chemistry In Rats Altered By Parasite,” and “Zombies Existing in Nature.”

 

 

Age of ‘Hobbit’ species revised

Age of the Hobbit species revised

Artist’s impression: So much about the Hobbits remains an enigma

Age of ‘Hobbit’ species revised

By Jonathan Amos BBC Science Correspondent


The diminutive human species nicknamed “the Hobbit” is older than previously recognised, scientists now say.

The discovery of Homo floresiensis in 2003 caused a sensation because it seemed the creature could have been alive in the quite recent past. But now the Age of ‘Hobbit’ species has been revised.

A new analysis indicates the little hominin probably went extinct at least 50,000 years ago – not the 12,000 years ago initially thought to be the case.

Researchers report their revised assessment in the journal Nature.

Prof Bert Roberts, from the University of Wollongong, Australia, says the new dating actually resolves what had always been a head-scratcher: how it was possible for floresiensis to survive for 30,000 to 40,000 years after modern humans are believed to have passed through Indonesia.

“Well, it now seems we weren’t living alongside this little species for very long, if at all. And once again it smells of modern humans having a role in the downfall of yet another species,” he told BBC News.

“Every time modern humans arrived somewhere new, it tended to be bad news for the endemic fauna. Things would go pear-shaped pretty quickly.”

H. floresiensis – A sensational finding on Flores Island

Age of the Hobbit species revised

Work continues to excavate the sediments in Liang Bua Cave

  • Remains of individuals discovered 6m below Liang Bua cave surface in 2003
  • Officially announced in 2004; Lord of the Rings films popular at the time
  • Fully grown, a H. floresiensis adult probably stood about a metre tall
  • Brain was extremely small – the size of a chimpanzee’s (about 400 cu cm)
  • Hobbits may be a dwarf version of the archaic species Homo erectus
  • New dating work suggests they disappeared around 50,000 years ago
  • Other animals such as pygmy ‘elephants’ also go missing at this time
  • Arrival of modern humans could have pressured them all into extinction

This does not mean we necessarily killed the Hobbits; it may just have been that we made life miserable for them.

Modern humans could have outcompeted the little people for the best food resources and land, for example.

The Liang Bua cave on the island of Flores where the Hobbit fossils were unearthed continues to be investigated.

The intervening years have seen researchers dig down through new areas, to get a better picture of how the sediments are structured.

It now transpires that the first floresiensis specimens were lodged just below an unconformity – a missing, eroded layer of material.

The absence of this sediment made the context of the 2003 finds appear younger than they actually were.

Various dating technologies have subsequently been applied to the contents of the cave – charcoal, sediments, flowstones, volcanic ash and even the H. floresiensis bones themselves – to help build a new timeline.

This points to the skeletal remains of floresiensis being between about 100,000 and 60,000 years old.

“But then we have some stone tools that were 50,000 years old and these were very likely made by Hobbits,” explained Prof Roberts.

“We say ‘very likely’, not because they were small stone tools able to fit in their hands, but because they were made from a volcanic rock called silicified tuff, which they seemed to prefer.

“When modern humans came through that region, we used stone tools made of chert, for example.

“So, 50,000 years ago is when the Hobbits disappear, as far as we can determine. But then we haven’t excavated the whole cave yet.”

Age of the Hobbit species revised

The Hobbits were found in sediments aged between 100,000 and 60,000 years ago



One of the key implications of the new dating is that it fells one of the early counter-theories about the origin of the Hobbits – that they might not have been a separate species but merely a diseased form of modern human.

But if the Hobbits were living on Flores 100,000 years ago, this view is no longer tenable: no modern humans have been recorded in south-east Asia so far back in time.

Prof Chris Stringer, from the Natural History Museum in London, UK, is an expert on ancient humans.

He agrees that the new research helps straighten out the story of the Hobbits, and makes it much more likely that we were involved in their extinction somehow.

“The other fascinating and tricky thing to think about is the possibility of interbreeding. We know modern humans interbred with Neanderthals and Denisovans (other archaic human species), so could they have got together with floresiensis? Are there people on Earth today who have a little bit of Hobbit DNA in them? You couldn’t rule it out.”


Project Greenglow and the battle with gravity

Project Greenglow and the battle with gravity

Dr Ron Evans, the man behind Project Greenglow

From BBC Magazine



A handful of leftfield scientists have been trying to harness the power of gravity. Welcome to the world of Project Greenglow, writes Nic Young.

In science there exists a uniquely potent partnership between theory and engineering. It’s what’s given us atomic energy, the Large Hadron Collider and space-flight, to name a few of the more headline acts.

The theorists say: “This is theoretically possible.” The engineers then figure out how to make it work, confident the maths is correct and the theory stands up.

These camps are not mutually exclusive of course. Theorists understand engineering. Engineers draw on their deep understanding of the theory. It’s normally a pretty harmonious, if competitive, relationship.

Yet occasionally these two worlds collide. The theorists say something is just not possible and the engineers say: “We’re going to try it anyway – it’s worth a shot.”

There is one field of science where just such a contest has been raging for years, perhaps the most contentious field in all science/engineering – gravity control.

When, in the late 1980s, the aerospace engineer Dr Ron Evans went to his bosses at BAE Systems and asked if they’d let him attempt some form of gravity control, they should probably have offered him a cup of tea and a lie down. Gravity control was a notion beloved of science fiction writers that every respectable theoretical physicist said was impossible.

Project Greenglow and the battle with gravity.

Project Greenglow the battle with gravity

Project Greenglow: The Quest For Gravity Control – written and directed by Nic Young – is a Horizon programme, broadcast at 20:00 GMT on BBC Two, 23 March – catch up on BBC iPlayer

As Evans himself admits, it was a tough sell. “Let’s be clear – there were many people in the company who felt we shouldn’t do it because we made aeroplanes and this was highly speculative.” Pushing against gravity with wings and jets was BAE’s multi-billion pound business, why dabble in scientific heresy? Because, as Evans puts it: “The potential was absolutely enormous. It could totally change aerospace.”

If it was possible to make gravity push instead of pull, they would have a potentially infinite – and free – source of propulsion. It would put BAE Systems at the forefront of the greatest technological breakthrough since the invention of powered flight. It might just be worth a small punt.

They asked Evans to go away, consult with his colleagues and come up with some concepts. He brought them a drawing of a vertical take-off plane, powered by an as-yet non-existent “gravity engine”.

He worried it didn’t look visionary enough, so he asked the artist to add some green rays emanating from the plane – a green glow. When Evans’s bosses decided to give him a small budget and an office, Project Greenglow was born. “It was incredible, everyone was captivated by what we were trying to do. We were overwhelmed.”


Project Greenglow and the battle with gravity

One of the original sketches for Project Greenglow

Evans soon discovered he was able to call on engineers at leading UK universities to help with the research, and it wasn’t just academic curiosity. Like BAE, everyone was looking for the next propulsion paradigm. Wings and jets had reached their limits.

In the US, Nasa aerospace engineer Marc Millis began a parallel project – the Breakthrough Physics Propulsion Program. Nasa had committed to getting beyond the solar system within a generation, but knew conventional rockets would never get them there.

According to Millis: “If you wanted to go to our nearest neighbouring star, and say you want to do it in 50 years, you’re having to go at a tenth of the speed of light. Well, the amount of propellant you’d need for that journey is about the mass of our entire sun. We needed something radically different.” Like Evans, Millis was told: “To think radical, and think big.”

Out of the blue, a Russian chemist called Dr Eugene Podkletnov claimed he’d stumbled on the answer by accident. By using rapidly spinning superconductors Podkletnov claimed he’d managed to create a “gravity shield”.

Around the world, gravity labs like Greenglow and Nasa jumped on the news and tried to replicate Podkletnov’s “breakthrough”. They failed.

In Dresden, Dr Martin Tajmar was given the funds to thoroughly test every possible avenue. Germany’s space programme was just as hungry as the US’s for a breakthrough. “Anti-gravity is a kind of synonym for saying, ‘I’m trying to do the impossible, yeah’. But always be ready for the surprise,” says Tajmar.

Yet to theorists like Dr John Ellis, at Cern, it was no surprise when nothing came of it: “So this guy had the idea that by messing around with superconductors he could change the strength of the earth’s gravitational field? Crap!”

Project Greenglow battle with gravity

Martin Tajmar of Dresden University

Further Podkletnov breakthroughs went the way of the first and there was no shortage of theoretical physicists to point out the reasons.

First of all, there was the big, big problem of scale. As Dr Clifford Johnson from the University of Southern California puts it: “We tend to think of gravity as very strong – after all it’s what binds us to the earth. But actually of all the forces we know in nature, gravity’s the weakest.

“Let me give you a number. It’s 10 to the power 40 times weaker than electromagnetism, that’s a one with 40 zeros after it!” It seemed that even if one could manipulate gravity in the lab, there was almost nothing there to create any meaningful effect.

In short, to alter the gravity of a planet, you need the mass of another planet.

Project Greenglow battle with gravity

USC’s Cliff Johnson: “Of all the forces we know in nature, gravity’s the weakest”

Yet just when it seemed the engineers were running out of ideas, it was theoretical physics which threw them a lifeline.

Recently it was discovered that the universe was not just expanding, but accelerating in its expansion, and suddenly the theorists had some explaining to do. According to Dr Tamara Davis from Queensland University: “Something’s accelerating the galaxies away from each other. Gravity appears to be ‘pushing’.”

Some theorists are now breaking ranks to offer radical explanations, among them Dr Dragan Hajdukovic at Cern, who has developed a theory that gravitational polarity does exist. He says: “So far, we believe that gravity’s only a force of attraction. It may be that gravity can also be a force of repulsion but not between matter and matter but between matter and anti-matter.”

It’s a theory Cern is gearing up to test next year. If Hajdukovic can show that anti-matter particles fall “upwards”, he not only opens the way to some form of demonstrable anti-gravity on earth, he almost certainly wins a Nobel prize into the bargain.

Yet even if he is proved right, harnessing such a phenomenon in any practical sense could be beyond our engineering capability.

What is Gravity

Project Greenglow and the battle with gravity

What is gravity

  • Newton’s law of gravitation states that any particle of matter in the universe attracts any other with a force varying directly as the product of the masses and inversely as the square of the distance between them (expressed in the equation above)
  • Isaac Newton put forward the law in 1687 and used it to explain the observed motions of the planets and their moons
  • Newton’s law was superseded by Einstein’s general theory of relativity, but it is still considered accurate enough for most small calculations

Other even more outlandish proposals are now on the table. For example one idea championed by Tajmar is to use a purely conceptual substance – “negative mass”. Theoretically when negative mass is brought into proximity with positive mass it would create a powerful repulsive force – an infinitely accelerating drive, or to borrow from Star Trek, a warp drive.

Johnson is quick to point out the theoretical problems – it would effectively invert Einstein’s accepted model of universal space-time and create a runaway physics nightmare. Davis’s objection is more practical: “[You had] better hope the people you want to visit in your warp-drive spacecraft are people you don’t like because you’d annihilate them in the process of getting there.”

Now there are theories of how anti-gravity might work, it’s the engineers who seemingly cannot provide practical ways to bring them to life.

Ron Evans retired when Project Greenglow was finally wound up in 2005, with no practical form of gravity control on offer. Yet the story does not quite end there.

One device survived, almost unnoticed, from the Greenglow days – a propellant-less electromagnetic or EmDrive, created by British aerospace engineer Roger Shawyer.

What sets the EmDrive apart from other concepts? As Shawyer puts it: “We’re no longer looking to control gravity itself. We’re beating gravity the smart way.” Because the EmDrive actually appears to do something. In tests, it seems to move under its own steam.


Project Greenglow and the battle with gravity

Roger Shawyer with the EmDrive

Shawyer claims his concept uses a known property of microwave energy called “cut-off” to generate thrust. According to Shawyer, the conical shape of the closed box causes the microwaves to effectively stop at one end of the cavity, while continuing to vibrate against the other, creating a difference in pressure.

With a solar power supply, Shawyer claims he would be able to accelerate the EmDrive in any direction almost continually. “You would suddenly have a lift engine, which simply hovers there, or indeed accelerates upwards. So you can envisage launching large payloads into space on an EmDrive-driven space plane.”

The theorists are deeply sceptical of these claims because the EmDrive seems to defy Newton’s law of conservation of momentum. John Ellis at Cern is particularly scathing: “With the EmDrive, unlike a rocket, nothing comes out of it. So I don’t see how you can generate momentum out of nothing.”

Yet engineers like Ron Evans are predictably unrepentant: “My view is, who cares? It’s the experiment that counts. If the experiment works, it’s up to the theoretical people to put a theory round why it works.”

The experiments and the debates continue. Meanwhile, Boeing has apparently licensed its own version of the EmDrive and the Pentagon has shown a keen interest.

As the saying goes – watch this space.

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Now here’s a strange video of ‘something’ defying gravity. What do you think it is? Alien, apparition, fake?


Northern Lights Spectacular

Northern Lights Spectacular

northern lights

From Visit Norway website



 
The Northern Lights are one of the most spectacular natural phenomena.

The night sky is lit up by the most amazing colours.

WHAT ARE NORTHERN LIGHTS?

The bright dancing lights of the aurora are actually collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere.

The lights are seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres. They are known as ‘Aurora borealis’ in the north and ‘Aurora Australis’ in the south.

Auroral displays appear in many colours although pale green and pink are the most common. Shades of red, yellow, green, blue, and violet have been reported.

The lights appear in many forms from patches or scattered clouds of light to streamers, arcs, rippling curtains or shooting rays that light up the sky with an eerie glow.

WHAT CAUSES THE NORTHERN LIGHTS?

The Northern Lights are actually the result of collisions between gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere with charged particles released from the sun’s atmosphere. Variations in colour are due to the type of gas particles that are colliding.

The most common auroral color, a pale yellowish-green, is produced by oxygen molecules located about 60 miles above the earth. Rare, all-red auroras are produced by high-altitude oxygen, at heights of up to 200 miles. Nitrogen produces blue or purplish-red aurora.

The connection between the Northern Lights and sunspot activity has been suspected since about 1880.

Thanks to research conducted since the 1950’s, we now know that electrons and protons from the sun are blown towards the earth on the ‘solar wind’. (Note: 1957-58 was International Geophysical Year and the atmosphere was studied extensively with balloons, radar, rockets and satellites.

Rocket research is still conducted by scientists at Poker Flats, a facility under the direction of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks – see web page http://www.gi.alaska.edu/

The temperature above the surface of the sun is millions of degrees Celsius. At this temperature, collisions between gas molecules are frequent and explosive.

Free electrons and protons are thrown from the sun’s atmosphere by the rotation of the sun and escape through holes in the magnetic field. Blown towards the earth by the solar wind, the charged particles are largely deflected by the earth’s magnetic field.

However, the earth’s magnetic field is weaker at either pole and therefore some particles enter the earth’s atmosphere and collide with gas particles. These collisions emit light that we perceive as the dancing lights of the north (and the south).

The lights of the Aurora generally extend from 80 kilometres (50 miles) to as high as 640 kilometres (400 miles) above the earth’s surface.

For more information on the North Lights check out Northernlightscentre.ca



 


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