Saturday, July 30, 2011

Beetle Vicariance Also Proves Plate Tectonics A Lie

Associated Press: Rare destructive beetle intercepted at LA port.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement Friday that agriculture specialists at the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex intercepted the live adult beetle in a shipment of pineapple from Costa Rica, and immediately began working to return it.

The insect — strongylaspis corticarius Ancita — is a cousin of the Asian long-horned beetle.

Friday, July 29, 2011

On the Brink of Fairy-Story and History

"... an equally basic passion of mine ab initio was for myth (not allegory!) and for fairy-story, and above all for heroic legend on the brink of fairy-story and history, of which there is far too little in the world (accessible to me) for my appetite. I was an undergraduate before thought and experience revealed to me that these were not divergent interests -- opposite poles of science and romance -- but integrally related." --- John R. R. Tolkien, professor of English (Oxford University), 1951

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Special Relativity Confirmed?

Hong Kong scientists 'show time travel is impossible'.

Hong Kong physicists say they have proved that a single photon obeys Einstein's theory that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light -- demonstrating that outside science fiction, time travel is impossible.

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology research team led by Du Shengwang said they had proved that a single photon, or unit of light, "obeys the traffic law of the universe".

"Einstein claimed that the speed of light was the traffic law of the universe or in simple language, nothing can travel faster than light," the university said on its website.

"Professor Du's study demonstrates that a single photon, the fundamental quanta of light, also obeys the traffic law of the universe just like classical EM (electromagnetic) waves."

The possibility of time travel was raised 10 years ago when scientists discovered superluminal -- or faster-than-light -- propagation of optical pulses in some specific medium, the team said.

It was later found to be a visual effect, but researchers thought it might still be possible for a single photon to exceed light speed.

Du, however, believed Einstein was right and determined to end the debate by measuring the ultimate speed of a single photon, which had not been done before.

"The study, which showed that single photons also obey the speed limit c, confirms Einstein's causality; that is, an effect cannot occur before its cause," the university said.

"By showing that single photons cannot travel faster than the speed of light, our results bring a closure to the debate on the true speed of information carried by a single photon," said Du, assistant professor of physics.

"Our findings will also likely have potential applications by giving scientists a better picture on the transmission of quantum information."

The team's study was published in the US peer-reviewed scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Orr's Law

"Whatever the Thinker thinks, the Prover will prove." -- Robert Anton Wilson, polymath, Prometheus Rising, 1983

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Walking 2 Million Years Older Than Darwinists Assumed

Science Daily: Ancient Footprints Show Human-Like Walking Began Nearly 4 Million Years Ago.
ScienceDaily (July 19, 2011) — Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that ancient footprints in Laetoli, Tanzania, show that human-like features of the feet and gait existed almost two million years earlier than previously thought.

Many earlier studies have suggested that the characteristics of the human foot, such as the ability to push off the ground with the big toe, and a fully upright bipedal gait, emerged in early Homo, approximately 1.9 million years-ago.

Liverpool researchers, however, in collaboration with scientists at the University of Manchester and Bournemouth University, have now shown that footprints of a human ancestor dating back 3.7 million years ago, show features of the foot with more similarities to the gait of modern humans than with the type of bipedal walking used by chimpanzees, orangutans and gorillas.

The footprint site of Laetoli contains the earliest known trail made by human ancestors and includes 11 individual prints in good condition. Previous studies have been primarily based on single prints and have therefore been liable to misinterpreting artificial features, such as erosion and other environmental factors, as reflecting genuine features of the footprint. This has resulted in many years of debate over the exact characteristics of gait in early human ancestors.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Power From Air

"Ere many generations pass, our machinery will be driven by a power obtainable at any point of the universe." -- Nikola Tesla, physicist, 1892

Science Daily: Power from the Air: Device Captures Ambient Electromagnetic Energy to Drive Small Electronic Devices.
ScienceDaily (July 8, 2011) — Researchers have discovered a way to capture and harness energy transmitted by such sources as radio and television transmitters, cell phone networks and satellite communications systems. By scavenging this ambient energy from the air around us, the technique could provide a new way to power networks of wireless sensors, microprocessors and communications chips.

"There is a large amount of electromagnetic energy all around us, but nobody has been able to tap into it," said Manos Tentzeris, a professor in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering who is leading the research. "We are using an ultra-wideband antenna that lets us exploit a variety of signals in different frequency ranges, giving us greatly increased power-gathering capability."

Tentzeris and his team are using inkjet printers to combine sensors, antennas and energy scavenging capabilities on paper or flexible polymers. The resulting self powered wireless sensors could be used for chemical, biological, heat and stress sensing for defense and industry; radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging for manufacturing and shipping, and monitoring tasks in many fields including communications and power usage.

A presentation on this energy scavenging technology was given July 6 at the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Symposium in Spokane, Wash. The discovery is based on research supported by multiple sponsors, including the National Science Foundation, the Federal Highway Administration and Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Francis Bacon On Dogmatic Censors and Editors

"They who have presumed to dogmatize on nature, as on some well investigated subject, either from self-conceit or from arrogance, and in the professorial style, have inflicted the greatest injury on philosophy and learning. For they have tended to stifle and interrupt inquiry exactly in proportion as they have prevailed in bringing others to their opinion; and their own activity has not counterbalanced the mischief they have occasioned by corrupting and destroying that of others." -- Francis Bacon, Novum Organum, 1620

Friday, July 1, 2011

When Did Homo Erectus Live in Indonesia?

Science Daily: Human Ancestor Older Than Previously Thought.
The team applied two different dating techniques to the sites. Like earlier work, they used the techniques -- U-series and Electron Spin Resonance, or ESR -- that are applied to fossilized teeth. They also used a technique called argon-argon dating that is applied to volcanic minerals in the sediments. All three methods use radioactive decay in different ways to assess age and all yielded robust and methodologically valid results, but the ages were inconsistent with one another.

The argon-argon results yielded highly precise ages of about 550,000 years old on pumices -- very light, porous volcanic products found at Ngandong and Jigar.

"Pumices are hard to rework without breaking them, and these ages are quite good, so this suggests that the hominins and fauna are this old as well," said project geochronologist Carl Swisher of Rutgers University.

By contrast, the oldest of the U-series and ESR ages, which were conducted at Australian National University by Rainer Grün, are just 143,000 years.

The difference in the ages means that one of the systems is providing an age for something other than the formation of the sites and fossils in them. One possibility is that the pumices are, in fact, reworked, or mixed in, from older rocks. The other possibility is that the ESR and U-series ages are dating an event that occurred after the sites were formed, perhaps a change in the way groundwater moved through the sites.

Either way, the ages provide a maximum and a minimum for the sites -- and both of these ages are older than the earliest Homo sapiens fossils in Indonesia. Thus, the authors concluded that the idea of a population of Homo erectus surviving until late in time in Indonesia and potentially interacting with Homo sapiens seems to have been disproven.