first_imgWe have a Klay Thompson sighting.The Warriors’ binge scorer showed up at the “Space Jam 2” movie set Wednesday where he met with LeBron James and Warriors teammate Draymond Green. According to TMZ Sports, Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard were also on the set.Thompson moved around with the aid of crutches to protect his left knee, which he injured during Game 6 of the NBA Finals. On Monday, Warriors general manager Bob Myers told reporters that Thompson would have surgery this week to repair …last_img read more


first_img(Visited 273 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Lee Berger’s remarkable cache of hominid bones found deep in a South African cave is generating a lot of news, but major questions remain.At one level, it’s a great adventure story: squeezing through narrow cave passages and finding bones all over the floor, so hard to reach that a team of skinny female investigators had to be recruited to map and retrieve them. But at a scientific level, what these bones mean is not clear. Lee Berger (champion of Australopithecus sediba, 12/08/11) has given the bones a new species name within our genus: Homo naledi. He is almost as controversial, however, as the fossils themselves.The bones appear to be from about 15 individuals. No other mammal bones were found there, leading to speculations it was an intentional burial site. The skeletons seem to be mosaics of human and australopith features; some think they fit within Homo erectus. But since no dates have been assigned to the fossils yet, even evolutionary paleoanthropologists are reluctant to draw conclusions.It’s premature, therefore, to evaluate this find. What we can do is draw attention to the variety of opinions in the press.Evolutionary OpinionsHomo naledi, a new species of the genus Homo from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa (eLife). This is the lead paper by Berger et al. announcing the find.Geological and taphonomic context for the new hominin species Homo naledi from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa (eLife). This companion paper describes the conditions in which the bones were found.Crowdsourcing digs up an early human species (Nature). This news article begins with a photo of Lee Berger smiling triumphantly outside Rising Star Cave where the bones were found. Ewen Callaway describes how Berger recruited cavers to excavate the room deep inside the cave, and gives some preliminary opinions of other paleoanthropologists.New human species discovered (Science Magazine). Veteran hominid news reporter Ann Gibbons describes the process of finding the fossils, giving Lee Berger a chance to assure readers that his expedition”isn’t a media stunt.”South Africa’s new human ancestor sparks racial row (PhysOrg). Some South Africans are taking offense at possible racial overtones to the evolutionary claims made about Homo naledi.From the archives: The scientist behind those controversial new hominin fossils (Science Magazine). Michael Balter asks “Why is this enthusiastic paleontologist so controversial?” and points to a 2011 feature story about Lee Berger.New Human Ancestor Elicits Awe—and Many Questions (National Geographic). Jamie Shreeve discusses frustration over not having dates for the bones, and perplexity of how they got there. The possibility of radiocarbon dating is discussed.Mystery Lingers Over Ritual Behavior of New Human Ancestor (National Geographic). This entry begins with artwork of creatures with human-like bodies but ape-like facial features carrying their dead into the cave for burial. Writer Nadia Drake discusses whether ritual behavior over death of kin is unique to humans.Human Evolution 101 (National Geographic). Nadia Drake takes advantage of the news about Homo naledi to ask leading questions like, “Why are scientists certain that human evolution happened?”12 Theories of How We Became Human, and Why They’re All Wrong (National Geographic). Balancing out Drake’s positivism, Mark Strauss recounts the many ideas about human evolution that have fallen by the wayside over the years. He doesn’t mention Homo naledi.Opinion: What about Homo naledi’s geologic age? (PhysOrg). Darren Curnoe laments over not having established a geological age for the fossils. “Its just the sort of thing that infuriates many scientists and detracts from an otherwise significant discovery; pity really.”New species of extinct human found in cave may rewrite history (New Scientist). Colin Barras includes photos of the fossils, artwork of the presumed facial features, and a map of the cave chamber where they were found. “ONE thousand four hundred bones, 140 teeth, belonging to at least 15 individual skeletons – and that’s just what was recovered in a single short field session,” he begins.Homo naledi: Unanswered questions about the newest human species (New Scientist). Rowan Hooper briefly discusses the main questions regarding the find. “We don’t even know how old H. naledi was. It could be millions of years old, making it one of the very earliest species of Homo, or only tens or hundreds of thousands of years old, making it a relict species of human that survived into modern times,” he says. “…The team say it may be possible to use isotope testing to age the remains, and that no attempt has yet been made to extract DNA.”Researcher argues that there’s more to the genus Homo than we may think (PhysOrg). This is not specifically about Homo naledi. Joe Miksch discusses the views of Jeffrey Schwarz, who complains, “If we want to be objective, we shall almost certainly have to scrap the iconic list of (genus and species) names in which hominid fossil specimens have historically been trapped and start from the beginning.”Non-Evolutionary OpinionsHomo naledi as Spin Detector (Evolution News & Views). Ann Gauger gives an intelligent-design perspective on the bones, taking issue with some of the initial interpretations, providing quotes that illustrate spin doctoring. Her earlier piece on ENV also concentrates on separating fact from interpretation. Gauger was co-author with Douglas Axe and Casey Luskin of the Discovery Institute book, Science and Human Origins.Scientists dispute ‘new’ species discovery (World Magazine). Casey Luskin gets a quote in Daniel James Devine’s article on Homo naledi, a fairly straightforward account of the find. Luskin comments, “Whenever you hear the word ‘mosaic’ in evolutionary lingo, what that means is this species does not fit very well into our preferred phylogenic scheme.” In World, an ID-friendly Christian news magazine, Devine says that Berger admits “the fossils might be only tens of thousands of years old.” He also points out that “some scientists dispute Berger’s contention that all 1,500 bones came from the same species.”What to make of Homo naledi? More pseudo-scientific claims of human ancestry (CMI). Marc Ambler discusses the flamboyant character of Lee Berger. He notes that all other fossils in the area had been australopiths. Central point is cautionary:One will have to wait and see whether the evolutionary scientific community come down on the side of the remains being Homo, or just Australopithecus. But why label the remains Homo naledi if there is so much indication that these may have been ordinary humans with some unique anatomical variations just as there are variations today between different people groups but all descended from the first two people created by God—Adam and Eve? University of California’s Tim White, who holds a different interpretation of human evolution, believes the remains belong to the species H. erectus, named in the 19th century. He is reported as saying that “New species should not be created willy-nilly. In order to claim a new species one has to demonstrate that it’s different from anything that’s ever been known.”Homo naledi, a New Human Ancestor? (ICR). Frank Sherwin gives his initial take on the fossils, ending with a suggestion that the individuals are more ape-like than human-like, pointing to doubts about the intentional burial interpretation. Incidentally, ICR is about to release its new 4-part DVD production on the human body, Made in His Image; click here for trailer and information.Other Human-Evolution NewsAlmost buried in the news about Homo naledi was another major announcement about Homo bones in a cave in Spain. In Science Magazine, Ann Gibbons writes about the new dates assigned to Denisovans, ranging from 50,000 to as much as 170,000 years ago. Gibbons thinks “they help solidify our murky view of Denisovans,” but can such a vast range of dates be plausible for individuals with many of the capabilities of Neanderthals and modern humans? And how much can be learned from a tiny fragment of a pinky fingerbone? “Denisovans occupied Denisova Cave repeatedly over more than 100,000 years,” she claims in a related Science Magazine article without winking a skeptical eye. “Neandertals slipped in as well, and modern humans were the last to live there.”Gibbons also claimed in a recent Science Magazine piece that Neanderthal DNA is shaking up the family tree. But that’s old news. She leaves science for the humanities in “Humanity’s Long, Lonely Road,” speculating this way and that about the relationships of Denisovans, Neanderthals and so-called modern humans (although the differences between all three are slight). Her speculations put modern humans on a long, lonely road as far back as 3/4 of a million years ago. “That would mean that the ancestors of humans were already wandering down a solitary path, apart from the other kinds of archaic humans on the planet, 100,000 to 400,000 years earlier than expected.” It sure took these lookalikes a long time to learn farming.Most curious in the early-man news is Michael Balter’s suggestion in Science Magazine that the “world’s oldest oatmeal” may have been discovered in an Italian cave. Estimated 32,000 years old, that would make it 25,000 years before the invention of farming. One would think they would tire of the same breakfast cereal after two weeks, let alone 25,000 years.New Scientist, meanwhile, drags in climate change to explain “key moments in human evolution.” Climate change becomes an all-purpose gimmick for explaining any evolutionary mystery, but it has a problem: why didn’t all the other species change accordingly? It explains opposite outcomes; therefore, it explains nothing.Eskimos are human, aren’t they? Sure they are. But changes to their stature—genetic mutations and all—occurred rapidly (geologically speaking) due to their high fat diet, Julie Hussin writes in The Conversation. She attributes this to natural selection, but hey: the Inuit can marry Europeans or Chinese and have happy kids.It’s an appropriate time to remember Ian Tattersal and Jeffrey Schwarz’s critical comments in Science Magazine about defining the genus Homo. These veteran paleoanthropologists think their colleagues have been going about it all wrong. There is no simple ancestor-descendent relationship to be found in human fossils. “If we want to be objective, we shall almost certainly have to scrap the iconic list of names in which hominin fossil specimens have historically been trapped, and start from the beginning by hypothesizing morphs, building testable theories of relatedness, and rethinking genera and species.” What does that imply for “Homo naledi“?In conclusion, we remind readers that “the myth of the missing link does science no favors,” as Sean Nee argues in The Conversation. Depending on the traits one focuses on, or one’s starting metanarrative, any story of relationships can be concocted; “we must choose our metaphors wisely, lest we be misled,” he says. “The Great Chain of Being, strung through evolutionary space by Blind Watchmakers, with missing links waiting to be discovered, isn’t going to help us understand infectious disease” or anything else that matters to us. Fossils like those announced by Lee Berger need to be interpreted on their own terms.Update 9/21/15: At Evolution News & Views, Casey Luskin provides a detailed look at four major controversies about these fossils, including their classification, whether they were buried or chase into the cave, whether they comprise multiple species, and more. He provides many quotes from the literature.We provide these links as preliminary coverage regarding so-called Homo naledi. Obviously many questions are floating around, and without dates, even the evolutionists don’t know what to think. If original unfossilized tissue or radiocarbon is found, the evolutionary story will be moot; evolutionists would have to claim, like with Homo floresiensis (the “hobbit”) that the creatures were relicts of earlier evolution, caught in some kind of refugium away from evolving modern humans. That would seem hard to maintain. Rather than rely on the opinions of experts, go to the original papers and read them critically, asking the kinds of questions evolutionists don’t think about.In a profound new peer-reviewed paper in Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling, creation geneticist John Sanford and team have shown that human evolution is unworkable anyway. There is simply not enough time, using realistic models of fixation and population size, for the mutations needed to change an ape into a man to have occurred (this is similar to the argument against whale evolution in the new film Living Waters). And that’s only one of numerous falsifications of neo-Darwinism.With unguided mechanisms off the table, the only rational alternative for interpreting the bones from Rising Star Cave will be to start with intelligent design or Genesis 1.last_img read more


first_img16 October 2015Vuma Glenton Mashinini has been appointed the chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of South Africa.The position has been vacant since the resignation of Pansy Tlakula in 2014, filled by Terry Tselane in an acting capacity in the interim. The Presidency made the announcement of Mashinini’s appointment on 14 October.Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found Tlakula “guilty of gross maladministration” for the lease agreement of the IEC’s headquarters in Centurion.Mashinini was appointed as a commissioner of the IEC in April.He has previously served as a special projects adviser to President Jacob Zuma, as well as deputy chief electoral officer of the IEC from 1998 to 2001. In the latter post he was responsible for the establishment and administration of the national head office, all nine provincial electoral offices and approximately 350 municipal electoral offices.About MashininiMashinini was born on 22 January 1961 in Joburg. His family emigrated to Australia in 1980, where he studied business and commerce at Curtin University.Mashinini’s political life includes the position of race relations officer at the Curtin University Students Union, according to the SABC. “His work saw him joining the African National Congress (ANC) in Western Australia, where he co-ordinated anti-apartheid campaigns. He also worked for the Campaign Against Racial Exploitation, an Australian anti-apartheid movement.”Zuma wished Mashinini all the best in his new responsibility.The IECThe IEC is a permanent body established by the Constitution to promote and safeguard democracy in South Africa. It is a publicly funded body and while it is accountable to Parliament, it is independent of government.It was established in 1993, has five full-time commissioners, appointed by the president, whose brief is to deliver regular, free and fair elections at all levels of government – national, provincial and local.In terms of the Electoral Commission Act of 1996, the IEC has to compile and maintain the voters’ roll and it is responsible for counting, verifying and declaring the results of an election, which must be done within seven days of the close of the election.The IEC is also responsible for:Compiling and maintaining a register of parties;Undertaking and promoting research into electoral matters;Developing and promoting the development of electoral expertise and technology in all spheres of government;Continuously reviewing electoral laws and proposed electoral laws, and making recommendations; and,Promoting voter education.SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more


first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest I hunted with a cat the other evening. I was after deer while the feline was stalking smaller mammals as I watched it undetected from my treestand above its perch. We shared a small swamp flanked by harvested bean and corn fields and accessed by narrow, overgrown fencerows connecting to wood lots. The farmer had left some standing corn and beans in the corners and around a wind-fallen ash tree, and the bonus grain and cover was a magnet to the local game, both feathered and furred.I know fellows who say they shoot feral cats when they see them in the field, taking care to target felines that are far from any farmhouse where they might double as pets. The argument is that the cats have gone native and, with no natural predators, ravage local game- and song-bird populations. You may have read about some recent studies done on the subject. I did, and have invited one feral cat expert on to my show next month to learn more about the issue. I’ll welcome Matt Clayton to Buckeye Sportsman on the Dec. 9 broadcast.I watched that cat as it crept up to the end of a branch off a fallen tree, settling in from that higher vantage point much the way I had in my stand 17 feet above. While I had the benefit of head to toe woodland camouflage to blend in with our shared surroundings, the feline had an unfortunate coloration: pure white but for a tail ringed like a raccoon and a pair of grown eye patches. You could see the stark-white predator working its way through the brush and stalks from clear across the field. The poor cat’s unnatural camo couldn’t be worse, I thought, then shuddered with a blast of the north wind that found its way down the back of my neck. That’s when it occurred to me that when the snow flies and living off the land is at its leanest, that cat’s coat will fit right in when it needs it the most. I wished the feline luck as it eventually padded off into a thick clump of timothy, and I sat shivering ‘til dark waiting for game that never showed. Waterfowl IDSpeaking of hunting, with waterfowl seasons in full swing across the state as Ohio’s duck and goose seasons begin, hunters are encouraged to familiarize themselves with waterfowl identification before heading out. Ohio waterfowl hunters frequently encounter a variety of species of birds when in the field and marsh, and some species of ducks, geese and swans may look similar.Some species, like the state-threatened trumpeter swans and occasionally migrating tundra swans, are protected and may be encountered. Although waterfowl hunters in Ohio rarely encounter snow geese, hunters should still be able to distinguish between swans and snow geese. With proper species identification and attention, there should be little confusion between the species. Trumpeter swan (threatened and protected species)• Mature birds have pure-white plumage (sometime stained heads) and young birds are more gray• Long necks relative to the body size• Length of 4 to 5 feet with a wingspan of 7 feet and weight of 17 to 28 pounds. Tundra swan (protected species)• Mature birds have pure- white plumage and young birds are more gray• Long necks relative to the body size• Length of 4.5 feet with a wingspan of 5.5 feet and weight of 8 to 23 pounds. Canada goose (legal game species)• Black-necked plumage with chin strap, black head, tan breast, brown back, long necks• Length of 2.5 to 3.5 feet with a wingspan of 4 to 5.5 feet, and weight of 6.5 to 20 pounds. Snow goose (legal game species)• White with black wing tips, short necks relative to the body size• Length of 2.5 feet with a wingspan of 4.5 feet and weight 3.5 to 7 pounds.For more information about waterfowl hunting in Ohio visit wildohio.gov.last_img read more


first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest More wet and cold weather passed through Ohio last week keeping many operators out of the fields. There were 1.4 day suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending April 15, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Confined livestock continued to be stressed during the last cold, wet week. Oats were planted last week at a slower pace compared to the 5-year planted progress average. No reports of corn or soybeans going in the ground as planted progress continued to fall behind recent years due to poor weather conditions. Winter Wheat condition remains similar to last week and is rated mostly good to excellent, despite the weather.See the full report herelast_img read more


first_imgMicrosoft recently rolled out new Windows Phone Developer Tools, which include, among many things, the anticipated copy-and-paste functionality that will arrive in the operating system’s first major update. The public launch of that update is still unknown at this time, however.Says Microsoft, the toolkit will let developers build apps using the new assemblies that ship with the forthcoming Windows Phone OS update. Plus, any app built using these tools will also work on phones that have not yet been updated to the new OS.What’s Included in the New ToolsAccording to a Microsoft blog post from Brandon Watson, the update includes copy-and-paste functionality, improved app performance, updated reference assemblies and “other enhancements.” He also mentioned that Microsoft just crossed the 1 million download mark for the tools, which is notable since they have been out for less than a year.For an OS that’s not selling well enough for Microsoft to publicly tout sales figures, it certainly has strong developer interest. There are now 27,000 registered developers with Microsoft’s AppHub and over 7,500 apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace, says Watson.In addition, Microsoft also announced it has partnered with Zones.com, its OEMs and operator partners to sell phones to developers without a voice or data contract. To get this deal, developers are advised to go to http://www.zones.com/windowsphonedeveloperpurchase.For a bit of fun, a new infographic has also been making its rounds on the Web lately, showcasing stats related to the WP7 ecosystem. Unfortunately, it’s already out of date – the image is only current as of January 17, it says. And the number of apps it cites is just 5,855. Assuming that number was accurate at the time, the Windows Phone app store is seeing rapid growth if now, only a couple of weeks later, there are 7,500 apps available. Related Posts sarah perez Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#Microsoft#mobile#news center_img What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagementlast_img read more