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Thank God for Merging Neutron Stars

By Dr. Hugh Ross May 2, 2016

A new study of an ancient dwarf galaxy shows that human life—and certainly a global high-technology civilization—might not have been possible if it weren’t for neutron and black hole merger events. Without such events, Earth and the rest of the universe would lack the abundance of elements heavier than zinc that are needed for the existence of billions of people on a single planet.

Astronomers have known for several decades that elements heavier than zinc are synthesized through rapid (r) and slow (s) neutron-capture processes. The r-process is known to occur in core-collapse supernovae (very massive stars whose cores collapse when nuclear fusion suddenly becomes unable to sustain the cores against the stars’ gravitational forces) and is responsible for the production of about half of all the elements in the periodic table that are heavier than iron (see figure).

The s-process occurs in asymptotic giant branch stars (medium mass stars that have evolved to become hyperinflated red supergiants) and is responsible for the production of the other half of periodic table elements heavier than iron. However, the s-process is not independent of the r-process. The s-process converts elements produced by the r-process into different heavy elements.

Figure 1: The periodic table. All elements heavier than zinc (30 Zn) are either r-process elements or s-process elements that are derived from the production of r-process elements. Arsenic (33 As), selenium (34 Se), molybdenum (42 Mo), tin (50 Sn), and iodine (53 I) are vital poisons.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons/Sandbh

The new study calls into question the assumption that all the universe’s r-process elements are manufactured by core-collapse supernovae. Core-collapse supernovae are exploding all the time in galaxies throughout the universe. Thus, if core-collapse supernovae were the sole or primary source of r-process elements, these elements would be continually produced. However, the appearance of a plateau (a leveling out over a long period of time) in the abundance of europium in several dwarf spheroidal galaxies indicates that r-process element enrichment is not continual but rather the result of rare but highly efficient events.1

Motivated to test this hypothesis, four astronomers from MIT, the Carnegie Institution for Science, and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics measured the abundance of several r-process elements in seven of the nine brightest stars in Reticulum II.2 Reticulum II is an ultra-faint dwarf galaxy that has remained undisturbed by other galaxies or infalling intergalactic gas since it formed more than 10 billion years ago. The enrichment of the r-process elements that the four astronomers measured in the seven Reticulum II stars was “two or three orders of magnitude higher,” that is, approximately 100 to 1,000 times greater, than that which has been detected in any other ultra-faint dwarf galaxy.

This result shows the primary source of r-process elements is not core-collapse supernovae, but rare, highly productive events. Such events require the merging of two neutron stars, two black holes, a black hole and a neutron star, or either a black hole or a neutron star merging with a large star. Though indeed rare, when they do happen, the enormous densities and energies involved in such mergers generate and expel enormous quantities of r-process elements.

The amounts of r-process and s-process elements on Earth are both at the just-right levels for humans to exist and to make a global high-technology civilization possible. This fine-tuning is imperative because too much arsenic, selenium, molybdenum, tin, or iodine in our diets will kill us. Too little of any one of these elements in our diet will also kill us. Each one of these vital poisons must be consumed at a precise level.

Apparently, the universe is designed so that the just-right number and types of merging events occur to produce the necessary amount of r-process elements so that billions of human beings can enjoy a global high-technology civilization here on Earth and use that technology to take the Good News of salvation to all the people groups of the world.

“The Magicians Of The Gods” Validated by Researchers.

Is this stone proof an asteroid wiped out a civilization just like ours 13,000 years ago … and does it vindicate the maverick scholar who says a giant meteorite will destroy us in 2030?

Maverick archaeologist Graham Hancock insists that a highly evolved human civilisation was wiped out by a global catastrophe around 13,000 years ago

  • Maverick archaeologist Graham Hancock insists a human race existed before
  • He said an evolved human civilisation was wiped out by a global catastrophe
  • His book, Magicians Of The Gods, argues a mini Ice Age swept the planet 13,000 years ago
  • Now he claims the same could happen again in less than two decades time 

Suppose all the wildest theories and historical conspiracies of novelist Dan Brown were proven true. And the mind-reading, spoon-bending claims of Israeli psychic Uri Geller all turned out to be real as well.

That wouldn’t be half as extraordinary as the announcement in an obscure scientific journal this month that vindicated 20 years of maverick research and best-selling books by the eccentric archaeologist Graham Hancock.

His insistence that a highly evolved human civilisation was wiped out by a global catastrophe, remembered now only in myths and Biblical accounts such as the story of Noah and The Flood, has been mocked and dismissed by mainstream experts since he first spoke out in the mid-Nineties.

His latest book, Magicians Of The Gods, presented findings from all over the world as he argued that a mini Ice Age had swept the planet around 13,000 years ago, following a comet strike that caused devastating earthquakes and tsunamis.

Some of his most convincing, if rather arcane, evidence was discovered at a dig in Turkey known as Gobekli Tepe — which literally means Potbelly Hill. At this site close to the Syrian border, said Hancock, was found the most ancient work of monumental architecture on Earth.

Twice as old as Stonehenge, its engineering was far more skilled. Astronomical carvings and inscriptions on the stones served as aids for prehistoric stargazers, but also told stories. And one was of a comet that fell from the heavens, all but wiping out the human race.

Despite the painstaking construction of the book, which argues each point exhaustively, Hancock was met with the usual hoots of derision when Magicians Of The Gods appeared in 2015.

He was derided as a fantasist, a deluded amateur, and much merriment was poked at his long-held belief that hallucinogenic drugs are intellectual stimulants. This nonsense was archaeology for trippy hippies, laughed Hancock’s detractors.

So when research appeared last week that vindicated many of his claims and proved that this lone voice had been right for 20 years, perhaps it isn’t surprising that the announcement was as low-key as humanly possible. The carvings at Gobekli Tepe do indeed describe a comet strike, in 10,950BC, said some staid and very serious experts from the University of Edinburgh’s School of Engineering. Their report appeared as a paper in the little-known International Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, published by the University of the Aegean.

But the obscurity of the source cannot mask the scale of the scientific back-tracking. Hancock’s claims sound like a Hollywood disaster movie, a sci-fi epic and a detective thriller all rolled into one. His theories encompass the meaning of the pyramids and the future destruction of the planet.

If more conventional archaeologists are going to start agreeing with him, that amounts to a seismic shift of direction.

As the Telegraph newspaper report into the new scientific findings noted: ‘The idea had been originally put forward by author Graham Hancock in his book Magicians Of The Gods.’

What hasn’t changed is the starting point for all these theories. Just after 11,000BC, experts have long agreed, when the Earth was gradually emerging from the last Ice Age, a cataclysmic event caused sudden, shocking climate change. This ushered in a big chill known as the Younger Dryas, which lasted about 1,500 years.

Scientists had numerous theories to explain this but, in Magicians Of The Gods, Hancock argued that we had all the proof we needed: more than 200 ancient myths, belonging to tribes from the Arctic to the Equator, telling of an advanced human civilization destroyed by flood and fire.

Added to this was compelling physical evidence, in the form of giant boulders, platinum deposits and tiny diamonds found across North America — the detritus of a colossal impact.

There was only one explanation, said Hancock, and it matched the account carved into the limestone pillars at Gobekli Tepe . . . an account now verified by the team at Edinburgh University.

Our planet was hit by a comet. A blazing asteroid plunged out of the firmament and struck with the force of several thousand nuclear bombs bursting simultaneously. It wiped out many larger animal species, including the woolly mammoth and the sloth bear, and it almost destroyed humanity. Some people did survive, including the ancestors of the Ojibwa tribe of the Canadian grasslands, who still tell the story of the Long-Tailed Heavenly Climbing Star which swept out of the sky to scorch the earth. Their myths relate that it left behind ‘a different world.

After that, survival was hard work. The weather was colder than before’.

As Edinburgh’s Dr Martin Sweatman puts it: ‘One of the pillars at Gobekli Tepe seems to have served as a memorial to this devastating event — probably the worst day in history since the end of the Ice Age.’

Part of the Gobekli carving shows a headless man, a graphic symbol of human carnage.

The key finding was a series of animal carvings on a pillar known as the Vulture Stone, which represent constellations of stars as well as the comet itself. The stars were not represented as we would see them in the sky today, but as they were in 10,950BC — enabling the scientists to point with certainty to the date of the comet strike.

This means that when the Gobekli stones were made, around 9,000BC (that is, approximately 11,000 years ago), the sculptors had the astronomical know-how to backdate the constellations, shifting their pattern by a couple of millennia. And they were working with information that had been passed down over 2,000 years.

That shows spectacular sophistication. Yet according to common wisdom, humans were savages at this time, hunter-gatherers no more advanced than cavemen, without any knowledge of engineering or mathematics.

Most archaeologists struggle to explain how such a primitive culture could have built Gobekli Tepe. Now that the notion of a comet strike is beyond dispute, the thinking is that abundant wild crops of wheat and barley were wiped out by plunging temperatures.

Nomadic tribes were forced to combine, sharing their knowledge and co-operating to survive as they developed techniques to grow enough food to survive.

But as Hancock points out, this would have been an all-consuming challenge for people used to living in small, roaming groups. The switch from hunting to agriculture, and from mobile tent villages to settlements, would demand every ounce of energy, diplomacy and ingenuity our ancestors could muster.

How would they find the time to invent complex maths, plot the heavens, master architecture and learn intricate stone-working? All those skills and more were needed to build Gobekli Tepe.

Stonehenge, which was built around 5,000 years ago, consists of rough-hewn slabs. It is ingenious, but compared to Gobekli Tepe it’s like a parish church beside Chartres Cathedral.

For 20 years, Hancock has insisted that there is only one explanation for this explosive intellectual evolution. All that knowledge already existed. Earlier investigators, such as the Swiss author Erich von Daniken, proposed that Earth was visited by extra-terrestrial pioneers, aliens who brought intergalactic gifts of technology. Hancock’s theory is much more plausible: he believes a human civilization predated the comet strike, one at least as advanced as the Romans.

We don’t know what language they spoke, nor how they recorded their knowledge. But unless a band of refugee hunters in Turkey 11,000 years ago suddenly cracked every major branch of human learning, all at the same time, that elder civilization must have existed.

Sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke famously said that, ‘any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic’. And the knowledge that survivors of the comet possessed must have seemed like pure sorcery to the ordinary nomad.

Perhaps that’s why, even now, we humans have an instinctive urge to believe in magic and feel sure it must have existed during some golden age — because to our ancient forebears, magic was a very real phenomenon.

The possessors of that inexplicable power, the ones Hancock calls the Magicians Of The Gods, must have worked out how to share their knowledge without giving away their tricks.

Post-apocalypse, they would have been fighting to survive in a very dangerous world. It seems likely that they posed as wizards, using showmanship to heighten the impact of their secrets. Carvings discovered at sites as far-flung as Bolivia, Mexico, Turkey and Iraq depict human figures in fish-like robes, wearing garments patterned with scales.

The mythical Oannes of Mesopotamia, for instance, had ‘the whole body of a fish, but underneath the head of the fish there was another head, a human one. It had a human voice.’

Oannes was accompanied by seven sages, who taught chemistry, medicine, stone-cutting and metal-working.

At the Temple of Horus in the Egyptian city of Edfu, ancient inscriptions also tell of seven sages. They were the last survivors of a sacred place, ‘the mansions of the gods’, whose home world had been destroyed by flood and fire. These sages had escaped death only because they were at sea when the catastrophe struck.

According to Arab traditions, the wisdom of these sages was stored in the pyramids of Giza, built to be a library for their books of knowledge. These included technologies that sound modern even to our ears: ‘[Military] Arms which did not rust, and glass which might be bent but not broken.’

All of this, the ideas that Hancock has been popularising since he published Fingerprints Of The Gods in 1996, has always seemed improbable to the conventional scientific community, which tended to dismiss his claims en masse.

With the discovery that the cornerstone of his theories was right, his other speculation is suddenly much less far-fetched.

But there is one aspect of his studies that is still too controversial to be given credence by mainstream scholars. And if he’s right about it, nothing else matters. The comet, the magicians, the messages across the millennia will all be irrelevant.

Hancock believes the Gobekli stones not only describe an ancient cosmic collision, but predict another.

He thinks that what hit Earth in 10,950BC was actually a massive piece of debris in the Taurid meteor stream, a belt containing millions of space rocks.

Hidden within that belt, according to astrophysicists, is an unexploded bomb of a planetoid, a superheated rock like an orbiting hand grenade.

Sealed inside its thin crust is a boiling mass of tar, building up pressure until it detonates. Thousands of white-hot boulders, a mile or more across, will be set spinning through the meteor stream . . . but we cannot say for certain when that will occur.

Many of these asteroids could be three times the size of the one that hit our planet 65 million years ago, wiping out the dinosaurs.

If one of those strikes, it could quite literally bring about the end of the world. And we are due to cross the Taurid meteor stream in 13 years, around 2030.

For many observers, the leap that Hancock makes from imaginative interpretation of solid evidence, to doom-laden predictions of global obliteration, is just too extreme. It is, quite literally, unthinkable.

But thanks to the Gobekli Tepe findings, mainstream science is being forced to get its head round the Hancock hypothesis.

Maybe it’s time to give more credence to all his theories . . . before it’s too late.

The Magicians Of The Gods: The Forgotten Wisdom Of Earth’s Lost Civilisation, by Graham Hancock (Coronet).

The Fingers Of God Point To No Big Bang

Rense.com

By Michael Goodspeed
Thunderbolts.info
10-18-2004

“In the beginning, there was nothing, which exploded.”
— Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies

“The Big Bang is dead. It’s a theory based on a theory based on an assumption…and that assumption was wrong.”
–Amy Acheson, amateur astronomer

The French mathematician Jules Henri Poincaré once compared science to a house of stones. He said, “Science is facts; just as houses are made of stone, so is science made of facts; but a pile of stones is not a house, and a collection of facts is not necessarily science.” This analogy is apt, because like a house of stones, a collection of “facts” can easily crumble. “Facts” are not truth; they are the transient perception of truth.

For members of the general public with no training in the sciences, the “facts” are whatever they are told by the scientific establishment. The problem is, the “facts” are profoundly colored by interpretation, and interpretation is often based on nothing more than a guess. Perhaps this is most evident in the dominance of the Big Bang theory. Space age discovery has discredited and finally refuted the theory, yet within the halls of official science, it is presented as “fact.” Very few scientific publications today express doubt about a hypothesis which a few decades ago was acknowledged to be precarious. And the truth is, nothing has happened to substantiate the theory, despite repeated self-serving announcements of new “verifications.”

It’s amazing how simple the flaw is in the Big Bang theory. It all boils down to the credibility, or lack thereof, of the Doppler interpretation of redshift. Light frequencies from remote objects in space, when shifted toward the red, are claimed to signify the velocity of the object away from the observer — and no other explanation is admitted.

The Doppler effect is not complicated. Everyone is familiar with the sudden drop in pitch of a train’s whistle as it approaches and then moves past us. The same principle is used in a police radar gun, to measure the speed of an automobile. Once astronomers noted the varying degrees of redshift in remote space objects, most began to interpret this shift as a reliable indicator of velocity. This gave them a mathematical basis for calculating both the size and age of the universe, beginning with the Big Bang.

It is interesting to observe how a theory grows into “fact” over time, evidence be damned. Carl Sagan’s Cosmos was published almost a quarter-century ago. At that time, the Big Bang had not yet become a “fact”; questions were still permitted. On the issue of redshift Sagan wrote: “There is nevertheless a nagging suspicion among some astronomers, that all may not be right with the deduction, from the redshift of galaxies via the Doppler effect, that the universe is expanding. The astronomer Halton Arp has found enigmatic and disturbing cases where a galaxy and a quasar, or a pair of galaxies, that are in apparent physical association have very different redshifts….”

Sagan’s acknowledgment here shows a candor rarely found in standard treatments of astronomy for the general public. It’s also remarkable that 25 years ago, the astronomer Halton Arp had already posed the challenge to the expanding universe, and the Big Bang. And yet today, one would think the issues have all been settled.

Sagan continues, “If Arp is right, the exotic mechanisms proposed to explain the energy source of distant quasars — supernova chain reactions, supermassive black holes and the like — would prove unnecessary. Quasars need not then be very distant. But some other exotic mechanism will be required to explain the redshift. In either case, something very strange is going on in the depths of space.”

At the time of Sagan’s Cosmos, the Doppler interpretation of redshift was debatable. Since that time, discoveries in space have definitively refuted this interpretation, despite the absence of any public announcements to this effect.

The positions of remote galaxies have now been plotted, based on the common interpretation of redshift, and the result exposes the lie. When each galaxy is reduced to a dot on a “map,” something “miraculous” occurs.
(This “map” may be viewed at http://www.thunderbolts.info/
tpod-archive-04/tpod-fingers-of-god.htm) [dead link]

The “map” appears to present the “fingers of God” pointing to Earth, as if we are are the center of the universe. How could this be? No one on either side of the debate considers the earth to be the center of the universe, and everyone seems to agree that no matter where an observer is placed, the same effect will be produced. It is an ILLUSION, and the most obvious explanation is that using redshift to measure distance will artificially stretch groups of galaxies along radial lines away from the observer. In other words, large clusters of galaxies in relative proximity to each other have been artificially projected outward along radial lines spanning billions of light years. To eliminate the illusion, you only need to eliminate the Doppler interpretation.

But I’ve oversimplified the picture. Cosmologists DO have a partial explanation for the “fingers of God” effect. They tell us that some of the galaxies along the radiating lines are “galaxy clusters,” moving around a common center of gravity. And since that involves motion both toward and away from the earth, in these cases the “illusion” should be expected. The problem is that the “fingers of God” span VASTLY larger distances, and across these distances the astronomers’ own assumptions preclude dynamic interactions. Indeed, Halton Arp has pointed to hundreds of instances in which multiple objects of different redshifts are part of coherent systems; the bodies are interacting physically and energetically, and obviously do not stand billions of light years away from each other.

Under the weight of this direct evidence — or should I say proof — the Big Bang hypothesis as a whole collapses. Yet instead of giving up a failed theory, astronomers have turned to a “get out of jail free” card — inventing invisible matter, with the option to place it wherever it will be mathematically useful to make their models work. This is the myth of “dark matter,” which in recent years has enabled astronomers to hold on to a picture of the universe defied by observation at every turn. Since it is both invisible and undetectable, there is no limit to the usefulness of dark matter, wherever the predictions of their theories have failed. In fact, this device can be applied to all anomalous movements within the macrocosm, with no possibility of refutation. Dark matter is outside the reach of any practical scientific tests, and we are only asked to believe in it because of the failures of standard models.

We are all familiar with the age old question, “If a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one there to hear it, does it still make a sound?” Another question might be, “If a fact is disproved, and no one admits it, is it still a fact?”

Nobel Prize-winning physicist Percy Williams Bridgman once said, “There is no adequate defense, except stupidity, against the impact of a new idea.” But most scientists are not guilty of stupidity. Rather, they are guilty of ASSUMPTIONS.

Theories were accepted as “facts” before all the evidence was in, and as a result, evidence contradicting the facts was either misinterpreted or ignored. It is time for assumptions to be set aside, so the truth might finally prevail.

http://rense.com/general58/bbang.htm

Comment
jfysita@terra.com.mx
10-18-04

Regarding the Article “The Fingers Of God Point To No Big Bang” By Michael Goodspeed, the simplest and maybe the correct explanation for the perceived red shift may be found with Paul Marmet.

http://www.newtonphysics.on.ca/
BIGBANG/Bigbang.html#Author

http://www.newtonphysics.on.ca/faq/faq.html

http://www.newtonphysics.on.ca/
BIGBANG/Bigbang.html

In short, he states that the redshift can be explained by vast quantities of molecular hydrogen (H2) in interstellar space, which is not easily detectable, unlike singular hydrogen (H). Light interacts over enormous distances with this material (H2) and is slowly red-shifted, but the source of light is not receding at tremendous speed from the “Big Bang”.

Index of Papers, Books and relevant links


1-   A New Non-Doppler Redshift
Semi-classical physics can explain a slightly inelastic collision of photons due to traces of hydrogen in outer space.  These inelastic collisions are responsible for an observed redshift which is undistinguishable from the cosmological redshift.  Numerous observations give strong supporting evidence for that previously ignored natural phenomenon.

2-   Big Bang Cosmology Meets an Astronomical Death
More and more astronomical evidence points to inconsistencies in the Big Bang theory.  A canadian astrophysicist presents this evidence and explains how the cosmic redshift is caused by gaseous matter in space, not by the Doppler effect.

3-   Discovery of H2 in Space Explains Dark Matter and Redshift
Molecular hydrogen, difficult to detect and long ignored, is now shown to exist in sufficient quantity to explain Dark Matter and the cosmological redshift.  Exotic particles are not needed and the universe can be interpreted as not expanding.

4. –29

Why Carbon Dioxide can’t cause Global Warming

Chemistry Expert: Carbon Dioxide can’t cause Global Warming

Written by Dr Mark Imisides (Industrial Chemist)

Scarcely a day goes by without us being warned of coastal inundation by rising seas due to global warming.

Why on earth do we attribute any heating of the oceans to carbon dioxide, when there is a far more obvious culprit, and when such a straightforward examination of the thermodynamics render it impossible.

Carbon dioxide, we are told, traps heat that has been irradiated by the oceans, and this warms the oceans and melts the polar ice caps. While this seems a plausible proposition at first glance, when one actually examines it closely a major flaw emerges.

In a nutshell, water takes a lot of energy to heat up, and air doesn’t contain much. In fact, on a volume/volume basis, the ratio of heat capacities is about 3300 to 1. This means that to heat 1 litre of water by 1˚C it would take 3300 litres of air that was 2˚C hotter, or 1 litre of air that was about 3300˚C hotter!

This shouldn’t surprise anyone. If you ran a cold bath and then tried to heat it by putting a dozen heaters in the room, does anyone believe that the water would ever get hot?

The problem gets even stickier when you consider the size of the ocean. Basically, there is too much water and not enough air.

The ocean contains a colossal 1,500,000,000,000,000,000,000 litres of water! To heat it, even by a small amount, takes a staggering amount of energy. To heat it by a mere 1˚C, for example, an astonishing 6,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 joules of energy are required.

Let’s put this amount of energy in perspective. If we all turned off all our appliances and went and lived in caves, and then devoted every coal, nuclear, gas, hydro, wind and solar power plant to just heating the ocean, it would take a breathtaking 32,000 years to heat the ocean by just this 1˚C!

In short, our influence on our climate, even if we really tried, is miniscule!

So it makes sense to ask the question – if the ocean were to be heated by ‘greenhouse warming’ of the atmosphere, how hot would the air have to get? If the entire ocean is heated by 1˚C, how much would the air have to be heated by to contain enough heat to do the job?

Well, unfortunately for every ton of water there is only a kilogram of air. Taking into account the relative heat capacities and absolute masses, we arrive at the astonishing figure of 4,000˚C.

That is, if we wanted to heat the entire ocean by 1˚C, and wanted to do it by heating the air above it, we’d have to heat the air to about 4,000˚C hotter than the water.

And another problem is that air sits on top of water – how would hot air heat deep into the ocean? Even if the surface warmed, the warm water would just sit on top of the cold water.

Thus, if the ocean were being heated by ‘greenhouse heating’ of the air, we would see a system with enormous thermal lag – for the ocean to be only slightly warmer, the land would have to be substantially warmer, and the air much, much warmer (to create the temperature gradient that would facilitate the transfer of heat from the air to the water).

Therefore any measurable warmth in the ocean would be accompanied by a huge and obvious anomaly in the air temperatures, and we would not have to bother looking at ocean temperatures at all.

So if the air doesn’t contain enough energy to heat the oceans or melt the ice caps, what does?

The earth is tilted on its axis, and this gives us our seasons. When the southern hemisphere is tilted towards the sun, we have more direct sunlight and more of it (longer days). When it is tilted away from the sun, we have less direct sunlight and less of it (shorter days).

The direct result of this is that in summer it is hot and in winter it is cold. In winter we run the heaters in our cars, and in summer the air conditioners. In winter the polar caps freeze over and in summer 60-70% of them melt (about ten million square kilometres). In summer the water is warmer and winter it is cooler (ask any surfer).

All of these changes are directly determined by the amount of sunlight that we get. When the clouds clear and bathe us in sunlight, we don’t take off our jumper because of ‘greenhouse heating’ of the atmosphere, but because of the direct heat caused by the sunlight on our body. The sun’s influence is direct, obvious, and instantaneous.

If the enormous influence of the sun on our climate is so obvious, then, by what act of madness do we look at a variation of a fraction of a percent in any of these variables, and not look to the sun as the cause?

Why on earth (pun intended) do we attribute any heating of the oceans to carbon dioxide, when there is a far more obvious culprit, and when such a straightforward examination of the thermodynamics render it impossible.

****

Dr. Mark Imisides is an industrial chemist with extensive experience in the chemical industry, encompassing manufacturing, laboratory management, analysis, waste management, dangerous goods and household chemistry. He currently has a media profile in The West Australian newspaper and on Today Tonight. For a sample of his work visit www.drchemical.com.au

Read more at quadrant.org.au

The Two Guys to Blame for the Science vs. Religion Myth

https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/evangelical-history/2017/02/01/who-is-to-blame-for-the-greatest-myth-in-the-history-of-science-and-religion-these-two-guys/

Ronald Numbers grew up as the son of a fundamentalist Seventh-day Adventist minister, attending Adventist schools and being taught young-earth creationism until adulthood, where he lost his faith and became an agnostic. Today he is perhaps the world’s leading scholar on the history of the relationship between science and religion.

If you were to ask Professor Numbers for the “greatest myth” about the historical relationship between science and religion, he would respond that it’s the idea the the two “have been in a state of constant conflict.”

Timothy Larsen, a Christian historian who specializes in the nineteenth century, agrees: “The so-called ‘war’ between faith and learning, specifically between orthodox Christian theology and science, was manufactured . . . . It is a construct that was created for polemical purposes.”

If these two historians—one an agnostic, one a confessional Christian—both agree this is a manufactured myth, then who is to blame for inventing it?

That distinction falls to American scholars from the nineteenth century: (1) Andrew Dickson White (1832-1918), the founding president of Cornell University, and (2) John William Draper (1811-1882), professor of chemistry at the University of New York.

In December 1869, Andrew White—the young and beleaguered Cornell president—delivered a lecture at Cooper Union in New York City entitled “The Battle-Fields of Science.” He melodramatically painted a picture of a longstanding warfare between religion and science:

I propose, then, to present to you this evening an outline of the great sacred struggle for the liberty of Science—a struggle which has been going on for so many centuries. A tough contest this has been! A war continued longer—with battles fiercer, with sieges more persistent, with strategy more vigorous than in any of the comparatively petty warfares of Alexander, or Caesar, or Napoleon . . . In all modern history, interference with Science in the supposed interest of religion—no matter how conscientious such interference may have been—has resulted in the direst evils both to Religion and Science, and invariably.

His lecture was published in book form seven years later as The Warfare of Science (1876)

In 1874, Professor Draper published his History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1874). His thesis was as follows:

The antagonism we thus witness between Religion and Science is the continuation of a struggle that commenced when Christianity began to attain political power. . . . The history of Science is not a mere record of isolated discoveries; it is a narrative of the conflict of two contending powers, the expansive force of the human intellect on one side, and the compression arising from traditionary faith and human interests on the other.

Draper’s work was enormously popular, going through 50 editions in the next half century.

Larsen writes:

Draper and White were not simply describing an ongoing war between theology and science, but rather they were endeavoring to induce people into imagining that there was one. In order to do this, they repeatedly made false claims that the church had opposed various scientific breakthroughs and developments.

Here are a couple of urban legends that Draper and White perpetuated:

  1. The church believed for centuries that the earth is flat.
  2. The church opposed the use of anesthetics in childbirth since Genesis promised that childbirth would be painful.

On the first myth, Lesley B. Cormack, chair of the Department of History and Classics at the University of Alberta, writes that “there is virtually no historical evidence to support the myth of a medieval flat earth. Christian clerics neither suppressed the truth nor stifled debate on the subject.”

On the second myth, Larsen responds:

No church has ever pronounced against anesthetics in childbirth. Moreover, there was no vocal group of ministers who opposed it. In fact, the inventor of chloroform received fan mail from ministers of the major denominations thanking him for helping to alleviate the suffering of women in labor. Rather, the opposition to anesthetics during childbirth came from medical professionals, not from ministers, and for scientific, not religious, reasons.

And on the legends go.

So why exactly did men like Dickson and Draper—along with English biologist T. H. Huxley, who championed Darwinism and coined the term “agnostic”—manufacture these historical myths and this overall legend of perpetual conflict?

 

Draper and White were not simply describing an ongoing war between theology and science, but rather they were endeavoring to induce people into imagining that there was one. In order to do this, they repeatedly made false claims that the church had opposed various scientific breakthroughs and developments.

Here are a couple of urban legends that Draper and White perpetuated:

  1. The church believed for centuries that the earth is flat.
  2. The church opposed the use of anesthetics in childbirth since Genesis promised that childbirth would be painful.

On the first myth, Lesley B. Cormack, chair of the Department of History and Classics at the University of Alberta, writes that “there is virtually no historical evidence to support the myth of a medieval flat earth. Christian clerics neither suppressed the truth nor stifled debate on the subject.”

On the second myth, Larsen responds:

No church has ever pronounced against anesthetics in childbirth. Moreover, there was no vocal group of ministers who opposed it. In fact, the inventor of chloroform received fan mail from ministers of the major denominations thanking him for helping to alleviate the suffering of women in labor. Rather, the opposition to anesthetics during childbirth came from medical professionals, not from ministers, and for scientific, not religious, reasons.

And on the legends go.

So why exactly did men like Dickson and Draper—along with English biologist T. H. Huxley, who championed Darwinism and coined the term “agnostic”—manufacture these historical myths and this overall legend of perpetual conflict?

In the mid-nineteenth century there was no separate profession of science. Manufacturing a “war” between science and religion was part of their professionalization campaign. Larsen explains:

The purpose of the war was to discredit clergymen as suitable figures to undertake scientific work in order that the new breed of professionals would have an opportunity to fill in the gap for such work created by eliminating the current men of science. It was thus tendentiously asserted that the religious convictions of clergymen disqualified them from pursuing their scientific inquiries objectively.

More to the point, however, was the fact that clergymen were undertaking this work for the sheer love of science and thus hindering the expectation that it would be done for money by paid full-time scientists. Clergymen were branded amateurs in order to facilitate the creation of a new category of professionals.

Dickson and Draper won this debate, even if it was at the cost of truth itself.

The myth continues today, but it can be overturned as we study the history behind how the legend developed.

by Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

Sources Cited / For Further Reading

Are Neanderthals related to Apes and Humans not?

by Cal King · 1 year ago

https://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20151217044051AA5InFl

I was astonished to see that a Wikipedia article claims that Neanderthals had 23 pairs of chromosomes, because no one has ever found an intact Neanderthal cell, stained it, and then looked under the microscope to find out exactly how many pairs they had. In fact, the number of human chromosomes was miscounted for decades when it was first published that we had 24 pairs. It was a famous mistake that shows people, even scientists, sometimes see what they expect to see, instead of what is reality.

The claim that Neanderthals have 23 pairs of chromosomes is based on the speculation that Neanderthals interbred with humans. Since horses and donkeys have different chromosome numbers, and their hybrids (mules) are sterile, then Neanderthals must have had 23 pairs for them to interbreed successfully with humans. There is more than one problem with that reasoning.

The first one is that some species are known to have different populations with different numbers of chromosomes, and they can successfully interbreed. For example, the domestic horse has 64 chromosomes and the Przewalski’s horse has 66 chromosomes. Yet they can hybridize and their hybrids are fertile, with 65 chromosomes. Many scientists classify both as the same species but different subspecies. Others classify them as different species. Therefore, the ability to interbreed and produce fertile hybrids does not automatically guarantee that 2 species or populations of the same species must have the same number of chromosomes. Hence, even if Neanderthals and modern humans did indeed hybridize, it is not irrefutable evidence that they both had 23 pairs of chromosomes.

Further, there is also no irrefutable data to show that Neanderthals and modern humans interbred. Such data would be in the form of either Neanderthal Y chromosome found in modern human males or Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA found in female modern humans. So far no human tested has either. Some West Africans and their relatives living in the USA do have Y chromosomes that are much older than those of modern humans, and some scientists suggest that these West Africans might have interbred with Neanderthals.

However, the Max Planck Institute scientists who propose that Neanderthals interbred with modern humans specifically claim that Neanderthals interbred with non-Africans when they migrated out of Africa about 60,000-70,000 years ago. They found no alleged Neanderthal DNA in any African. Therefore I am very skeptical of the claim of Neanderthals interbreeding with modern humans. Since the claim that Neanderthals had 23 pairs of chromosomes is based entirely on the claim that some modern humans have a tiny amount of supposedly Neanderthal DNA in them, the claim that Neanderthals had 23 pairs would be falsified, if there was no interbreeding.

Finally, the fact that chromsome 2 of humans is a fusion of 2 ape chromosomes is supported by the presence of a second centromere on chromosome 2. Since a chromosome normally has 1 centromere, the second one is evidence that this chromosome was formed by fusion. Other clues include the identical sequential arrangement of genes on this chromsome and 2 others on the apes. Since modern humans are not ancestral to Neanderthals, or vice versa, but they evolved independently from different populations of Homo erectus, they either evolved the same number of chromosomes independently and convergently (high unlikely because the exact 2 chromosomes would fuse independently in 2 different chance events in 2 different lineages) or they inherited it from their common ancestor, Homo erectus. If so, then Homo erectus must have had 23 pairs as well. But since Homo erectus first appeared in the fossil record 1.8 million years ago, That would mean that the 2 ape chromosomes must have merged 1.8 million years ago or even earlier. Yet, despite having merged for so long, the second centromere has not disappeared from chromosome 2. That seems to be rather hard to believe.

To me, a more likely scenario is that modern humans evolved 23 pairs of chromosomes in Africa when Homo sapiens first evolved 150,000 years ago. It is far more likely that the extra centromere has not disappeared without a trace after 150,000 years instead of 1.8 million years.

For these reasons, I am very skeptical of the claim that Neanderthals or Homo erectus had 23 pairs of chromosomes. As some scientists suggest, the supposed Neanderthal genes found in some modern non-Africans but not in Africans may be the result of incomplete lineage sorting. It is well known that orangutans share some genes with humans but those genes are not found in chimpanzees, because of incomplete lineage sorting.

These genes were present in the common ancestor of humans, chimps and orangs, but they have since been lost in chimps through evolution, but retained in humans and orangs. Another possibility is that the supposedly Neanderthal DNA shared by modern humans and found in Neanderthal fossils are simply contamination. They are simply genes first evolved in non-Africans after they had migrated out of Africa, and therefore they are not found in Africans.

Since researchers who study Neanderthal fossils are almost always either European, and since Europeans and Asians share a more recent common ancestor with one another than they do with Africans, contamination from a European who come in contact with these remains will likely include some genes shared by Europeans and Asians after they left Africa. If we use African researchers to study Neanderthal remains in the future, we may see results that show that they too “interbred” with Neanderthals.

It is a huge leap of faith to claim that Neanderthals and Homo erectus had 23 pairs of chromosomes, based entirely on the disputed claim that Neanderthals interbred with modern humans, and also on the erroneous conclusion that the ability to interbreed is solid proof of identical chromosome numbers. I refuse to make that leap.

Science Fact Swallows Science Fiction

by Dr. Robert Owens

Not too long ago I began a science fiction novel, which has always been a dream of mine, and since I finally broke through the fiction wall last year with my book, America’s Trojan War I thought it was time.  I even had a plot that had been rattling around in my mind for years.

I began working in what I call Writing Mode, which is where I go when consumed with the writing of a new book.  Typically I will rise at about four in the morning and write for twelve hours, sleep and repeat until done.  Building on the years of pre-writing and research that precedes the first chapter I often stay in continuous Writing Mode for weeks at a time.

This process has led to the completion of a dozen published books and several more that are currently working their way through the publication pipeline.  In my mind’s eye I could see my long anticipated science fiction novel spring fully formed from my forehead much as Athena sprang from Jupiter’s in the Greek Myth.  The anticipation of a successful creative birth drove me on.

Here is the plot that inspired me.  A couple of scientists who were also husband and wife, he a world renowned geneticist and she a programming superstar, decide to translate the human genome into computer code.  Once they have completed this herculean task they decide to hack the code. When they do they are immediately confronted with the entity that wrote the code and transported into an endless array of parallel realities.  In these multiple realities it seems each was the invention of another and like a reflection of a reflection in a mirror these wheels within wheels stretched infinitely off into life begetting life.

Through struggles, temptations, and conflict the pair of scientific Argonauts chased the golden fleece of knowledge searching for the prime cause.  For they knew that every sequence has its beginning, and there must always be not only a first domino to fall but also someone to knock it over.

Then in what was meant to be a stunning and thought provoking climax our intrepid duo finally break through to the final reality and find themselves using their hacked DNA code to birth a new reality.  Thus the circle is unbroken and life begets life begets life begets life in an eternal cycle and the prime mover remains veiled while the unnatural source of nature reverberates through reality.

That was the plan.

Unfortunately the reality of science fact swallowed my science fiction.  First the CRISPR-Cas9 comes along.  This is a remarkable technology that enables geneticists and medical researchers to edit the genome by removing, adding, or altering sections of the DNA sequence.   There goes the revolutionary idea of hacking the genome.

This was followed by a headline which provided the final nail in my science fictional coffin, “Lab-Made DNA Used to Breed a Life Form for the First Time.”  This article continued to hammer away at my fictional ideas of creating life by introducing modified genetic codes into reality and thereby willing existence into reality.  The author, Clyde Hughes, put it this way, “Lab-made DNA has been used to breed a life form for the first time by expanding the genetic code with the help of common E. coli microbes.”

Not satisfied with dashing my dreams of wowing people with outlandish concepts the article added, “Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California modified common E. coli microbes to carry expanded genetic material which they believe will eventually allow them to program how the organisms operate and behave.”  As my imagination was corralled by reality the following posts were driven into the now to confine my musings of the future:

“Scripps Research scientist Floyd Romesberg said his colleagues have created a single-celled organism that can hold on indefinitely to the natural DNA mix in synthetic-base material.”

“You can think of these unnatural nucleobases as X and Y.”

“Romesberg said the challenge with X and Y … was that they would lose their code as they divided. Graduate student Yorke Zhang and Brian Lamb, an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow, used a tool called a nucleotide transporter to allow X and Y to be copied across the cell’s membrane.”

According to Zhang, “The transporter was used … , but it made the semisynthetic organism very sick.”

The author of the article interjected, “The researchers found a way to modify the transporter that alleviated the problem, making it easier for the organism to grow and divide while holding on to X and Y.”

And finally the author and the scientists ganged up on me and delivered the death blow to my science fiction fantasy about creating life when they delivered this, “The researchers said their next step is to study how their new genetic code can be transcribed into RNA, the molecule in cells needed to translate DNA into proteins.”

I figured why write a fictional novel about what is now reality.  Therefore to compensate for this extreme case of Writus Interruptus and to live out the rituals and exigencies of my artistic Pon farr I waded into the depths of writing mode birthing two new books which will soon be available.  These books are: Then Came Trump, wherein I share insights about where we have come from, where we are now, and where the Donald promised to lead us.  And The More things Change the More They Stay the Same, which deals with the development of the secular political religion which is jingoistic patriotism using the three presidential assassinations of the 19th century as case studies.

Reflecting further on the startling announcement that humanity now has the power to create life I am reminded of an old story.

A scientist says to God, “You’re not so much I can create life right here in my laboratory.”

God answers, “Is that so?”

“Yes, it is and I challenge you to a contest.  Let’s see who can create life faster and better, you or I” responded the scientist filled with pride over his great ability.

“All right,” said God “let’s give it a try.”

With that God stoops down and picks up some dust and starts molding it in his hands and the scientist grabs his test tubes and starts pouring liquids back and forth.  God pauses and looks at the scientist and says, “Hey, get your own dust.”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2017 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens