Astrobiology’s Fantasy Universe

first_img(Visited 117 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 The media glosses over difficulties in its blind quest to look for the ’emergence’ of life on other planets.If evolution skeptics had ten minutes on mainstream media to present scientific objections to origin-of-life scenarios, they would blow astrobiology out of the water. But evolutionary materialists are clever. They found a way to label anything other than their belief as ‘anti-science.’ As a result, reporters have free rein to present fact-free, fantastical stories like the following without any fear of critical analysis.poof spoof, n.: a phrase representing the evolutionists’ propensity to use words like “emergence” — a miracle word masquerading as a natural process.Looking for life in all the right places, with the right tool (Science Daily). Researchers publishing for the American Chemical Society have developed a tool for detecting amino acids with 10,000 times more sensitivity than before. That’s nice; it could be useful for organic chemists. But it means about as much to astrobiology as detecting iron atoms in rock means to explaining bridges and skyscrapers. Amino acids are quite common and have no significance unless arranged into long, precisely-sequenced, polypeptides that can fold into functional proteins. Not only is that hopelessly improbable (see the film Origin and our online book), but amino acids tend to fall apart in water (not join up) according to well-known laws of chemistry. They’re also useless unless one-handed, another huge improbability. That’s the science. None of those crucial facts are mentioned by the reporter. Extrapolating recklessly, he tempts imagination, saying, “this type of technology is under consideration for future missions to ocean worlds like Europa and also Enceladus,” adding,”The researchers say these are the best techniques yet to find signs of life on other worlds.”One sign the press is living in a fantasy universe is the high perhapsimaybecouldness index. Another clue is reliance on the Poof Spoof fallacy. Watch for them:Biochemical ‘fossil’ shows how life may have emerged without phosphate (Science Daily). Major premise: life as we know it depends on phosphate; it is “an essential building block of genetic and metabolic machinery in cells.” Minor premise: It has “poor accessibility on earth.” Conclusion: Maybe the first life didn’t need it.In a study published on March 9 in the journal Cell, researchers used systems biology approaches to tackle this long-standing conundrum, providing compelling, data-driven evidence that primitive life forms may not have relied on phosphate at all. Instead, a few simple, abundant molecules could have supported the emergence of a sulfur-based, phosphate-free metabolism, which expanded to form a rich network of biochemical reactions capable of supporting the synthesis of a broad category of key biomolecules.“The significance of this work is that future efforts to understand life’s origin should take into account the concrete possibility that phosphate-based processes, which are essential today, may not have been around when the first life-like processes started emerging,” says senior study author Daniel Segrè (@dsegre) of Boston University. “An early phosphate-independent metabolism capable of producing several key building blocks of living systems is in principle viable.”Is it really possible to have “compelling, data-driven evidence” for something that may or could have happened? Usually those adjectives describe what did happen. Do these scientists show any actual phosphate-free organisms? No, of course not. The “scenario” was all done with models. Do they explain how phosphate-free life evolved to depend on phosphate later? No, of course not. It’s nearly inconceivable to imagine life without ATP, DNA, RNA, which all require phosphate, to say nothing of the elaborate molecular machines that build and maintain them. Their model is pure fantasy, trying to imagine the “landscape of possible historical paths of metabolism” that have no observational basis. The article uses the word “emerged” or “emergence” seven times (the Poof Spoof).Synchronized chaotic targeting and acceleration of surface chemistry in prebiotic hydrothermal microenvironments (PNAS). Without controversy, it’s hard to get into the National Academy of Sciences. It’s hard to publish a paper in their journal PNAS. But no amount of knowledge can overcome faulty premises. For the same reasons as above, no amount of handwaving and Jargonwocky by these four materialists at Texas A&M University can overcome the heavy use of “emergence” and perhapsimaybecouldness they use in the paper. It ends up only “suggesting a new avenue to explain prebiotic emergence of macromolecules from dilute organic precursors—a key unanswered question in the origin of life on Earth and elsewhere.” For a taste of what they are up against, see the Santa Fe Institute‘s article “Life’s lower limits.” It explores the minimal energy requirements for living cells in the real world.The Future of Prebiotic Chemistry (ACS Central Science). This press release begins in an embarrassing way. “Here is a puzzle: in what area of organic synthesis research are synthetic organic chemists a minority? According to Albert Eschenmoser, it is in the field of prebiotic chemistry: the study of the reactions and molecules that led to the emergence of life on earth.” Maybe they know better what they are up against in astrobiology’s fantasy universe, and feel it more productive to work in the real world. “It may be that the challenge of finding funding for such an esoteric problem comes easier to established scientists in a world increasingly focused on practical applications.” The article goes on to praise the work of Matthew Powner and John Sutherland, without mentioning that Suzan Mazur essentially demolished their ‘RNA World’ scenario in The Origin of Life Circus (2014), using extensive quotes from leading origin-of-life (OOL) researchers she personally interviewed. Sutherland isn’t even working with RNA any more, but on a mythical molecule he calls ‘pre-proto-RNA’ that he is still searching for.Saturn’s moon Enceladus with “Tiger Stripes” fissures where geysers eruptThe search for extraterrestrial life in the water worlds close to home (The Conversation). A Cassini photo of Enceladus begins this speculative article by Martin and McMinn. It’s a complete distraction. “The discovery of seven exoplanets around a star 40 light years from our Sun has raised the possibility that they could harbour life,” they say. “Why? Because the astronomers who made the discovery believe some of the planets may have liquid water. And on Earth, wherever there is liquid water, there is life.” Thus they launch their Poof Spoof on the basis of hydrobioscopy. Their wonderland of confabulation reads like a religious text, with genuflections to Gaia and the energy god, full of positive vibes except for one moment of sobriety after admitting the only known life is here on our planet: “But ironically, we do not know when, where or how life originated on Earth.” Time out for a logic lesson. The existence of extremophiles in hot springs and at deep sea vents says nothing about how life might have emerged on other planets. If anything, it points to extreme examples of complexity required to survive in such conditions.Their mention of “seven exoplanets” refers to Nature‘s paper last week about an unusual red dwarf named Trappist-1 with seven roughly Earth-size planets in its habitable zone. The planets were only detected indirectly; there is no knowledge of their surfaces or whether they have atmospheres or water. As for life, that would be highly unlikely, given that red dwarfs are prone to deadly superflares, and planets around them tend to be tidally locked. Regardless of those inconvenient truths, the announcement set off a flurry of breathless headlines by reporters:NASA telescope reveals largest batch of Earth-size, habitable-zone planets around single star (Science Daily).Welcome to TRAPPIST-1 (Astrobiology Magazine)Earth’s Seven Sisters (Nature News)Seven Alien ‘Earths’ Found Orbiting Nearby Star (National Geographic)Searching for Life on 7 Nearby Alien Worlds: How Scientists Will Do It (Mike Wall on Space.com)A rare breath of realism came from Chilean astronomer Joshua Tan on Space.com. In his article, “Excited Reports of ‘Habitable Planets’ Need to Come Back Down to Earth,” he pointed out that determining habitability is not so easy; he regrets that reporters were “jumping the gun” on this announcement. “Someday, we may discover definitive proof that another Earth is out there,” he concludes. “But that day has not yet arrived – despite the excited headlines.” For even more realism, listing more reasons not to expect life out there, see the coverage on Evolution News and Science Today, and Creation Ministries International.Could Dark Streaks in Venus’ Clouds Be Microbial Life? (Astrobiology Magazine). NASA’s evidence-free Astrobiology Institute teases readers with the “could” word. Almost anything could happen. Anyone familiar with Venus must surely realize it is one of the last places to expect to find life. If OOL researchers can’t even explain it on the Eden of Earth, why even try with the hellish hothouse of Venus with its sulfuric acid clouds? This can only mean one thing: it’s funding season at NASA. “The question of life on Venus, of all places, is intriguing enough that a team of U.S. and Russian scientists working on a proposal for a new mission to the second planet — named Venera-D — are considering including the search for life in its mission goals.” What would Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions, dragged through media mud about alleged interactions with Russia, think about this?It quickly gets repetitive pointing out the same problems in such articles (hydrobioscopy, perhapsimaybecouldness, Poof Spoof), so we’ll spare readers the redundancy by just listing other examples of fantasyland worlds where complex things just ’emerge’ to show that the science rot in Astrobiology is pervasive.NASA wants to put a lander on Europa’s surface to look for life (New Scientist).Does Pluto Have The Ingredients For Life? (Astrobiology Magazine)Potentially hospitable Enceladus (Phys.org)Scientific dreams can become reality. There are historical examples of that; Jules Verne dreamed of space travel, and Ada Lovelace dreamed of programmable computers. The dreams that came true, however, were built on solid principles of physics (Isaac Newton‘s laws of motion and gravity, for Jules Verne) and the mathematics and logic of Charles Babbage‘s early calculating machines (for Ada Lovelace). When dreams run absolutely contrary to all that is known about chemistry, physics and math, the dreamer has few hopes of escaping the fantasyland of his or her own imagination.You can order copies of Origin from Illustra Media in quantity in convenient quicksleeve format. Consider keeping a handful and handing them out as video tracts. They can have a powerful influence on people, a healthy jolt of realism for those living in the Fantasy Universe.Those with good background in chemistry might enjoy reading Mazur’s Origin of Life Circus. She interviews all the top researchers in the field. Though never quite coming to outright rejection of OOL as pseudoscience, she garners numerous quotes that are unique and priceless. All the researchers essentially falsify each other’s scenarios, and admit that they are absolutely clueless. You would never know that from reading the popular press.last_img read more

Firefox’s Ubiquity Starts Thinking for Itself

first_imgIt also appears that if you weren’t looking for the restaurant called “pasta,” you could use the other suggestions provided to perform the action you wanted instead. Maybe you wanted to “translate pasta,” or read about pasta on Wikipedia…those links are only clicks away, although they didn’t appear in the immediate results.If Ubiquity can now accept any word into its interface, this expands the possibilities for use far beyond that of the geekified tech set because it means that, in theory, you would never have to memorize any of those commands at all. You could simply use the suggestions feature. Of course, a lot of this depends on how well Ubiquity can actually figure out what you meant based on the responses returned from the web services it queries. We’ll obviously need to extensively test this feature before we can really determine that. Still, the potential is there. Other Updates: Standardized Commands & More LanguagesAssuming you do want to learn the commands, though, you’ll be glad to know that they’ve now standardized those verbs to make them easier to learn. There are no more commands with hyphens, like the ugly “add-to-calendar,” for example.For non-English speakers, the new language options will be a plus. In Ubiquity 0.5, commands will come localized in Danish, English, and Japanese. Other languages will be added in the future, but if you can’t wait, the introduction of a new parser localization tool will help you teach Ubiquity your language.A Better Browser? The innovations being delivered by Ubiquity are enough for this blogger to keep Firefox around – at least for now. Despite having made a nearly 100% switch to Google’s Chrome (it’s the speed!), news like this has me contemplating a switch back. Yet my Firefox install is currently weighed down with a number of can’t-live-without-em (until I did, in Chrome) extensions that seem to slow it down. Perhaps it’s time for a fresh install with only the one extension: Ubiquity. Because really, the way it’s shaping up, it may be the only one you need.  Ubiquity 0.5 can be downloaded directly from here. Image credit: command line tee – flickr user pixelfrenzy Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… sarah perez 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Browsers#news#Product Reviews#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Ubiquity, the experimental Firefox add-on that lets you tell your browser what to do by typing in natural language commands, has just been updated to version 0.5. This preview release adds support for more languages, which is great news for non-English speakers dying to get their hands on this cutting-edge technology. What’s more fascinating about this update, however, is the new way that Ubiquity works to understand your input. Instead of being limited only to what it already knows, it can now reach out and query web services to help it figure out what your input means. Did our browser just get smarter?Ubiquity in the Past In the past, Ubiquity worked by letting you enter in specialized commands called “verbs” into its interface which is launched by hitting “Ctrl + Space” on your keyboard (or “Option + Space” if you’re on Mac). These verbs let you update, interact, and access various web services from Wikipedia to Twitter to YouTube and so much more. Some verbs are built into the extension, while other custom verbs can be added on as you choose. (For a big list of custom Ubiquity verbs, check out this post.) Using Ubiquity gives you a geeky high as you type in commands like “twitter [message]” or “g [Search term]” to update your Twitter status or perform a Google search, respectively. However, interacting with the browser in this way probably appeals more to techies who probably still prefer the command line over that new-fangled GUI interface and have every keyboard shortcut memorized. It’s harder to imagine mainstream users (yep, those same ones who don’t even know what a browser is) using a UI such as this. But with the recent update, that may change. It’s Not About Knowing Everything, It’s About Knowing Where to LookAs people, we know we don’t have all the answers, but that never holds us back. We launch Google, enter our question, and parse through the results provided until we find what we need. But ask an application to do something that it hasn’t been programmed to understand, and it will just give you a blank look. (OK, probably an error message, but you get the idea).That’s why what Ubiquity is doing is so interesting. It can now accept and process input, even if it doesn’t know the word. Maybe it’s not really “thinking” as the title of this post implies – it’s not all of a sudden an A.I. engine or anything – but it has just made a giant leap. For example, explains Jono DiCarlo on behalf of the Ubiquity team, the software can now make network calls to help it figure out what you meant when you entered a word. “You can now type ‘pasta’ into Ubquity,” he says. “Before, it wouldn’t have known what to do with this input. But now, by making network calls to web services, it recognizes ‘pasta’ as a type of restaurant, and suggests the Yelp command to find pasta places near you.” Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

August Town Welcomes Project ‘GOLD’

first_img “When I got the call that my daughter has been chosen for Project GOLD, I was so excited for her, because she (is) getting the opportunity (to make a better life beyond the community). I knew she always had a passion for running, and she would always say ‘Mommy, mi a go run’ and I know (that) by running, she (will) get to achieve something better,” she said. Story Highlights It will leverage sports as part of a development methodology incorporating several disciplines, including cricket, football, netball and track and field, through which athletes will engage youth. Parents in August Town, St. Andrew, are excited about the recently launched Project GOLD (Guidance, Opportunities and Lessons for Development) initiative that will engage youth in a programme designed to challenge the influence of criminal activity, through sports and mentorship. Parents in August Town, St. Andrew, are excited about the recently launched Project GOLD (Guidance, Opportunities and Lessons for Development) initiative that will engage youth in a programme designed to challenge the influence of criminal activity, through sports and mentorship.The pilot, which kicked off in the community on Saturday, April 7, is the brainchild of Jamaica’s former netball team captain, Simone Forbes.It will leverage sports as part of a development methodology incorporating several disciplines, including cricket, football, netball and track and field, through which athletes will engage youth.One mother from the community, Ishana Linton, described the programme as a significant opportunity for her daughter, who is an aspiring track and field athlete.“When I got the call that my daughter has been chosen for Project GOLD, I was so excited for her, because she (is) getting the opportunity (to make a better life beyond the community). I knew she always had a passion for running, and she would always say ‘Mommy, mi a go run’ and I know (that) by running, she (will) get to achieve something better,” she said.Ms. Linton was speaking at the initiative’s launch on Friday, April 6 at the Triple Century Sports Bar and Grill in New Kingston.“When I attended that first meeting, I realised that the programme is not about a perfect child… . It’s about a child (who’s) going through a lot of difficulties, like my child. It’s about helping her to build up her charisma, helping her to go ahead (and) to achieve her goals,” she said.Ms. Linton added that she is prepared to make the time to take her daughter to the workshops, which will run for eight weeks.“As long as it’s beneficial to my daughter, I will put everything behind, and I am going to find the time. I alone can’t grow my daughter. At least, through this, I can get four or five more hands to help raise her, instead of the one hand now,” she said.Project GOLD is born out of collaboration among notable Jamaican athletes, namely, netballer Simone Forbes; Olympian and track and field star, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce; cricketer, Chris Gayle; and former national football team captain, Ricardo “Bibi” Gardner, who are patrons of the initiative. It aims to provide hope, inspiration and examples of positive role models.Project GOLD will help participants, aged 11 to 17, to set goals and learn how to commit to them.It will also provide family life, parenting skills and entrepreneurship training for at least 15 parents and caregivers of the participants.The pilot in August Town will culminate in a community run involving approximately 300 parents and supporters of the 30 participants.Project GOLD will be expanded to other locations across the country, following the pilot’s implementation.The initiative is being done through partnership with the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) III and the Institute of Law and Economics (ILE).Other sponsors include the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus; Triple Century Sports Bar and Grill; KLAS-FM; Grace Foods; the August Town Community Development Centre; and the Jamaica Constabulary Force.last_img read more