Scientific Claims Are Reversible

first_imgHow much confidence can the public put in scientific claims today, given that some long-lived dogmas have been reversed?Sodium reversal:  Jesus said, “Salt is good” (Mark 9:50), referring to spiritual seasoning.  Scientists, speaking of dietary seasoning, have long proclaimed “Salt is bad,” urging people to reduce sodium intake drastically.  For instance, Medical Xpress continues to warn that “9 out of 10 American kids eat too much salt,” based on government guidelines.  But just the previous day, Medical Xpress reported that sodium’s influence on blood pressure (one of the chief worries) is negligible.  In a large study, sodium intake had an insignificant effect on systolic blood pressure among 8,670 French adults monitored for body mass index, fruit and vegetable consumption, exercise and sodium intake.  None of the participants were taking blood pressure medicine during the experiment.  This contra-consensus finding is important, the researchers felt, because “though the lifestyle factors measured in the study are often targeted by physicians as areas for adjustment in patients with hypertension, there is surprisingly little data on their individual effects on blood pressure within pharmacologically untreated populations.”  In other words, salt’s risk to blood pressure appears to be a commonly-accepted truism with little evidential support, leaving open the possibility that some people may be getting too little of the mineral.Volcano reversal:  The “textbook theory of volcanoes may be wrong,” Science Daily announced, publishing a press release from Caltech.  Mantle plumes do not rise up through narrow jets to the surface.  The opposite is true:The new measurements suggest that what is really happening is just the opposite: Instead of narrow jets, there are broad upwellings, which are balanced by narrow channels of sinking material called slabs. What is driving this motion is not heat from the core, but cooling at Earth’s surface. In fact, Anderson says, the behavior is the regular mantle convection first proposed more than a century ago by Lord Kelvin. When material in the planet’s crust cools, it sinks, displacing material deeper in the mantle and forcing it upward.Caltech geophysicist Don Anderson is calling this “top-down tectonics.” He says it is “based on Kelvin’s initial principles of mantle convection.”  But then, how and why did the mantle plume hypothesis gain such traction for so many decades?  Anderson’s answer sounds disgustingly familiar:“Mantle plumes have never had a sound physical or logical basis,” Anderson says. “They are akin to Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Just So Stories’ about how giraffes got their long necks.“Neuroscience reversal:  A potential paradigm shift is in progress in neuroscience.  On PhysOrg, John Hewitt discusses recent findings that show neural pulses can pass through each other and continue on, contrary to a long-held belief that they annihilate on collision.  That sounds minor, but Hewitt claims it is “shaking the foundations of neuroscience.”  Since 1949, neuroscience has accepted the results of Ichiji Tasaki’s experiments that seemed to show annihilation.  “In other words, he was the man with the plan,” Hewitt says, showing the power of authority in science.  “If Tasaki found that spikes failed to penetrate each other then that would be good enough for me, and in fact it was good enough for neuroscience for the next half a century.”  The old view also comported well with existing theory.  New experiments by Thomas Heimburg may bring that dogma crashing down.Mammal reversal:  Heard the one about mammals being small, shrew-like animals scampering in the underbrush to escape dinosaur feet?  Three new fossils described on National Geographic are “revising our image of the first furry beasts,” the article says, showing squirrel-like mammals with long toes and prehensile tails happily living in the trees. “Three newly described species suggest that mammals evolved earlier, and faster, than previously thought.”  The old picture of mammal evolution “needs to be repainted,”  now that we can see they lived in various habitats.  “They walked on the ground; they also swam, dug to burrow, and glided in the forests,” the article says.  This paradigm shift also shows that mammals were diverse and well adapted at their first known appearance in the fossil record.  How long before the museum displays are updated to include a variety of mammals?  Some scientists are likely to be unhappy with the “shifting picture of mammal evolution” —“I expect this will be contentious,” [Anne] Weil [of Oklahoma State] says, but the study is an important addition to investigations of where mammals came from.“I think it’s going to be part of an argument that will be going on for some time,” Weil says, “and I expect paleontology as a whole will learn a lot from questions gleaned from these animals about the antiquity of Mammalia.“PhysOrg, reporting on the three new fossils, adds that these new species (1-10 oz. in weight) had complex teeth and the typical mammalian middle ear with three ossicles.  Their advanced state requires proposing a much earlier date for the first mammal common ancestor, at least 25 million years earlier, or as much as 74 million:However, the placement of the new species within Mammalia poses another issue: Based on the age of the Euharamiyida species and their kin, the divergence of mammals from reptiles had to have happened much earlier than some research has estimated. Instead of originating in the middle Jurassic (between 176 and 161 million years ago), mammals likely first appeared in the late Triassic (between 235 and 201 million years ago). This finding corresponds with some studies that used DNA data.Genetics reversal:  In “Biology’s Quiet Revolution” on Evolution News & View, Dr. Jonathan Wells recounts the major reversal in molecular biology since 1980.  Prior to that, scientists were confident they understood the “Central Dogma” of genetics, “DNA makes RNA makes protein makes us” – a concept amenable to genetic determinism and neo-Darwinism.  In a verbal victory dance, Jacques Monod proclaimed in 1970, “the mechanism of Darwinism is at last securely founded, and man has to realize that he is a mere accident.”  That was then.  Now, Wells shows with links to major papers, geneticists have repeatedly been astonished at major finds that have undermined much of the 1980s consensus, showing that the level of information in cells is much vaster than previously realized.  The Central Dogma has become “discredited myth,” Wells says, that must be discarded to answer the “huge questions” that remain.But science is self-correcting!  Science has a method to avoid human bias!  Science is superior to every other method of discovering knowledge!  That notion is reversible, too.It’s interesting that one of Lord Kelvin’s geological theories is being vindicated over a century after the fact (see our biography of Lord Kelvin).  Wells repeats a mythoid that Lord Kelvin was overconfident about science.  According to the citation, he said, “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.”  Wikipedia says this about that oft-repeated joke: “The statement … is given in a number of sources, but without citation. It is reputed to be Kelvin’s remark made in an address to the British Association for the Advancement of Science (1900). It is often found quoted without any footnote giving the source.  However, another author reports in a footnote that his search to document the quote failed to find any direct evidence supporting it.  Very similar statements have been attributed to other physicists contemporary to Kelvin.”  The statement may well have been made by someone else and wrongly attributed to Kelvin; or, he may have been quoted out of context. (Visited 33 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Mario Vrancic blasts Norwich past Blackburn and into the Premier League

first_img Substitutes Goal attempts 37 Aarons (s 46′) 1 Raya 31 Hanley 29 Evans 23 McLean BLA43NOR57% 7 Armstrong The Observer 11 Rhodes (s 90′) 18 Stiepermann Championship Fouls 10 Leitner 7 8 BLA NOR 31 Bennett 26 Lenihan 11 2 Leutwiler had to be sharper moments later to thwart Stiepermann after a pull-back by Pukki. By the interval Norwich were halfway to where they wanted to be – but not quite close enough for comfort.Straight after the break they went about pursuing the goal that would chase away any lingering doubts. Emi Buendía almost produced it with an overhead kick from eight yards but Leutwiler foiled him. Then Hernández went close, skittering in from the left and curling a shot from 18 yards against the crossbar.Norwich never did get a third goal and even had to defend late on as Blackburn rallied, but it did not matter. They have done more than enough this to justify their return to the elite. Substitutes Share on LinkedIn 11 Chapman 12 Lewis 17 Emi 17 Norwich Off target 7 Blackburn 7 Norwich On target 1 Blackburn Blackburn Some chance. Farke is the toast of Norwich now. It is a far cry from earlier in the season, when some fans wanted rid of him after one win from the first six matches following last season’s ho-hum 14th-place finish. The faithless did not get their wish and instead Farke demonstrated the benefit of giving a good manager time to cultivate a fluent team.Norwich’s rise is not the result of a cash injection, instead a reward for talent, audacity and intelligence – and all while slashing their budget. Their slick play is performed by a mixture of homegrown youngsters and bargain signings, such as Teemu Pukki, who arrived for free last summer and has since plundered 28 league goals. Norwich’s slick, energetic passing and movement make them not only devilishly hard to play against but divine to watch.“It’s a little miracle that we could promoted under these circumstances, with financial pressure and these young lads,” said Farke. “This achievement, in the style we achieved it, is really extraordinary. It’s a fantastic effort for this club that was in a really difficult situation. All the credit goes to our board. We had to earn so much money to keep this club running. They were brave enough to change their approach to reach their targets.”Before this match there was still a risk that promotion would elude Norwich, albeit through a freakish series of results. Nerves, however, can play havoc with even the most accomplished sides. Farke admitted that some of his younger players have had trouble staving off jitters in recent weeks, partly explaining why the team had stuttered to draws in their previous four matches. Meanwhile, Blackburn arrived in carefree mood, with nothing to play for here but the mischievous glee of sabotaging Norwich’s party plans.A capacity crowd at Carrow Road was giddy with optimism before kick-off. Norwich, as is their custom, attacked from the first whistle. Blackburn battened down the hatches and hoped the storm would pass. Their luck ran out in the 13th minute. Mario Vrancic, first to a loose ball after a shot by Onel Hernández was blocked, teed up Marco Stiepermann, who rammed a low effort into the net from 20 yards.Rovers caught a break in the 18th minute when the referee decided to show Darragh Lenihan only a yellow card after the defender resorted to a desperate hack to stop Pukki from running through on goal. Vrancic meted out punishment himself. Allowed to size up a shot from 25 yards, the Bosnian tonked a ferocious effort past Jayson Leutwiler and into the net. There was no stopping that.Norwich looked unstoppable until Lewis Travis surprisingly found the net from 20 yards from Blackburn’s first attack. His low curler rolled towards goal like a bowling ball towards a jack, and the 31-year-old Tim Krul creaked like a man three times his age as he slowly lowered himself towards it in a feeble attempt to save. Norwich 4 Godfrey Blackburn Rovers Read more 19 Brereton 15 Klose Share on Facebook (s 90′) match reports 32 Conway Share on WhatsApp Sheffield United on verge of promotion after Hogan and O’Connell sink Ipswich 13 Leutwiler 2 Nyambe 27 Tettey Possession 36 Cantwell 27 Travis 17 Bell 3 Williams (s 71′) 8 Rothwell 8 Vrancic Norwich confirmed their return to the Premier League with a swagger, winning here with the brio that has become the leitmotif under their German manager, Daniel Farke. They will go up as title winners if they earn a point or more next Sunday at Aston Villa. Not that Farke was thinking about that immediately after a promotion he described as “a sensation and a miracle”.Nor was his mind on the daunting challenges that await next season. “I don’t want to be too scared so I’m not thinking about Pep Guardiola or Jürgen Klopp’s side,” he said. “Today I’m just interested in celebrating. Even if the rest of the club wants to go to bed, I will celebrate on my own.” 5 Rodwell 33 McGovern 43 57 (s 58′) 14 Mulgrew Corners 1 Krul Norwich City 25 Hernandez 23 Dack Topics Reuse this content 10 Graham 6 Zimmermann 22 Pukki Norwich 2-1 Blackburn: Canaries promoted from Championship – as it happened (s 90′) Share on Twitter Lineups Share via Email Share on Pinterest Read more Share on Messenger Match statslast_img read more

Dedication of NewlyRefurbished Stephen Dillet Primary School

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, October 4, 2017 – Nassau – Minister of Education, Science and Technology, the Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd gave the keynote address on Monday at the Dedication of newly-refurbished Stephen Dillet Primary School.    Addressing students, parents, administrators, teachers, other staff of Stephen Dillet Primary School, and senior Ministry of Education officials, Minister Lloyd said $4 million was spent on the refurbishment which took place from June 1 to October 1, 2017.Thirty general classrooms, two pre-school classrooms, a Tuck Shop, a lunchtime area and offices are all among amendments and improvements made to the physical plant of the Wulff Road & Windsor Lane urban educational establishment.   Fr. William Quiamjot dedicated the school through prayer.   Minister Lloyd is pictured chatting with descendants of the late Stephen Dillet for whom the school is named.(BIS Photos/Derek Smith) Related Items:last_img read more

We will frustrate Chelsea – Vokes

first_imgBurnley forward Sam Vokes says they are planning to frustrate Chelsea at Turf Moor on Sunday.Chelsea travel to Burnley on Sunday to play Sean Dyche’s side and Vokes has revealed that they plan to frustrate the visitors.Burnley suffered a heavy 5-0 loss last weekend at the hands of Champions Manchester City, while Chelsea are still unbeaten so far in the Premier League this season.Tammy Abraham, ChelseaChelsea hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham hopes for more Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Tammy Abraham hopes this season will be his big breakthrough at Chelsea after firing his first hat-trick for the club in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Wolves.Speaking ahead of the game, Vokes told Sky Sports: “You obviously have to look at the opposition and we do a lot of analysis before the game, but we know what they’re about and how they play,”“It’s just important for us to look at how we play against them and concentrate on ourselves, especially at home we need to take the game to them.”“I’m sure they’ll be looking at coming here with confidence after their start to the season so for us it’s about frustrating them, getting into them and making it a game for ourselves.”last_img read more

House Panel Wants to Highlight Opportunities for Shedding Unneeded Facilities

first_imgIn addition to requesting a study that could help determine whether a new BRAC round is required, the House Appropriations Committee directs DOD to submit a report highlighting underutilized facilities out of concern that it is spending significant sums on unneeded infrastructure.“The committee is concerned that Department of Defense officials have stated an estimated 30 percent of defense facilities are in excess of mission requirements, a fiscally unsustainable diversion of scarce resources from readiness,” according to the committee report accompanying the fiscal 2016 military construction-veterans affairs spending measure that was released Tuesday.The report should include:each DOD facility with a utilization rate lower than 50 percent of available capacity;number of uniformed personnel and civilian employees at each of those facilities;annual budget for personnel; andoperations and maintenance costs associated with each facility.The study, due 60 days after the legislation is enacted, also should identify “any facility determined to be 100 percent in excess of mission requirements,” the committee report states.A separate item directs each service’s installations chief to prepare a strategic plan for managing excess real property efficiently. The plan should describe what opportunities there are to consolidate underutilized facilities that would result in reducing the operating and maintenance costs for those facilities, according to the committee report.The lawmakers cited long-term challenges facing DOD in maintaining its portfolio of facilities, along with the need for the military departments to improve the ability of their real property databases to identify consolidation opportunities.The full Appropriations Committee marks up the milcon spending bill today. The committee report can be found on the Appropriations website. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more