Evidence for Inflation, or Inflating the Evidence?

first_imgCosmic inflation has become an accepted truth in cosmology, but its appeal is primarily philosophical and theoretical.  Something as weird as a universe jumping 26 orders of magnitude in size in one trillion trillion trillionth of a second (see 02/21/2005) should raise eyebrows in any scientific circle.  Is there any evidence for it?  Live Science reported that a new search for its smoking gun is being planned.    Researchers from the University of Chicago are placing an instrument on a telescope at the South Pole to look for gravitational waves.  These elusive waves should propagate from any high-energy event in space, such as the formation of a black hole.  It’s not clear if cosmic inflation would show a gravitational wave signature, but they hope to know in 10 years.  “It’s possible that inflation theory is entirely wrong,” wrote Robin Lloyd for Live Science.  “So discovery of gravity waves would be a big deal and go a long way toward validating the theory, as well as the big bang and some other big cosmological claims.”    What would it mean if no evidence is found?  Surprisingly, the same thing as a positive detection.  “The absence of gravitational waves is completely consistent with inflation,” said Lawrence Krauss of Arizona State.  How, then, can inflation be confirmed if either answer is consistent with theory?  Krauss can only hope that a positive detection would allow “a real possibility of pinning things down enough so that one could perhaps convince every physicist that inflation happened.”  This implies that a positive detection could have multiple interpretations.    First, though, they have to invent new physics.  Three key components of modern cosmology have no evidential or physical basis right now.  “We have these key components to our picture of the universe, but we really don’t know what physics produces any of them, said Scott Dodelson [U of Chicago], referring to inflation, dark energy and dark matter – the proposed stuff that makes up the universe’s missing mass.  ‘The goal of the next decade is to identify the physics.’”What are outside observers of modern cosmology supposed to conclude when its proponents admit that ignorance of the key components of the theory exceeds knowledge?  This is crazy.  It’s like the lobbyist for a defense contractor promising a Senator they’ll have that Buck Rogers space-based weapons surveillance system they promised, once they figure out how to build rockets, computers and remote-sensing instruments, after they discover the physics behind them all.  It’s all just a story right now.  They like the plot, but what basis does it have in reality?  Zilch.    Inflation doesn’t solve anything, anyway.  Sean M. Carroll said that the initial conditions that would make inflation possible are even more finely-tuned than the cosmic coincidences it was concocted to explain away.  Remember?  He said in that classic paper, “Is Our Universe Natural,” reported here 05/11/2006, “The fact that the initial proto-inflationary patch must be smooth and dominated by dark energy implies that it must have a very low entropy itself; reasonable estimates for this entropy SI range from about 1 to 1020.  Thus, among randomly chosen initial conditions, the likelihood of finding an appropriate proto-inflationary region is actually much less than simply finding the conditions of the conventional Big Bang model (or, for that matter, of our Universe ten minutes ago).  It would seem that the conditions required to start inflation are less natural than those of the conventional Big Bang.”  The whole big-bang shebang is barfed up out of their empty naturalistic gut feelings.  What does explain the fine-tuning of the cosmos?  Creation, naturally.(Visited 15 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Secular Ocean Theory Evaporates

first_imgThe divination experts see a new vision emerging from meteorites, portending disaster.If there was ever a coherent theory of how the earth got its oceans, it’s gone. The new reading of meteorites forbids it. Now, inventors of solar system models have to go back to square one. Whatever they come up with is bound to take more heat.Because the early earth was pictured to be molten with volcanoes going off and meteors hitting repeatedly, cosmogonists were forced into thinking that water arrived later. The ‘late veneer’ theory (which we call the ‘water balloon’ theory) claimed that the oceans were late arrivals, the water being delivered by comets and meteorites after things cooled down a bit.*For empirical support, they appealed to elements in chondritic meteorites, believing that elements embedded in the stones can act as “fingerprints” of conditions at the time of their formation. A new paper in Nature, however, claims that stable isotopes of ruthenium falsify the late veneer theory: “these data refute an outer Solar System origin for the late veneer and imply that the late veneer was not the primary source of volatiles and water on the Earth.” Moreover, these isotopes don’t match those in earth’s crust.What this implies is that earth’s water had to arrive earlier somehow. In “Meteorite Studies Reveal Surprises About Earth’s Formation” on Space.com, Elizabeth Howell speaks of double toil and trouble:Two studies published Wednesday (Jan. 25) in the journal Nature suggest that Earth’s main building blocks were rocks similar to meteorites known as enstatite chondrites, and that the planet got most of its water gradually during the formation process, rather than in one big burst toward the end.“The results presented in these papers lead to the troubling conclusion that the meteorites in our collection are not particularly good examples of Earth’s building blocks,” Richard Carlson, a geochemist at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C., wrote in a commentary article that accompanied the two studies in Nature. (Carlson was not involved in either study.)At New Scientist, Chelsea White interprets the hidden message in the stones, concluding, “Earth’s water must have arrived here earlier than we thought.” (Who’s “we”, Paleface?)THE arrival of water on our planet is shrouded in mystery. Our leading theory says icy meteorites brought it here after most of the planet and its core had formed, about 4.5 billion years ago. But now an analysis of isotopes from meteorites seems to imply that the wet stuff got here much sooner.One of the authors is sufficiently confident to declare falsification of the late veneer theory. “We can now rule out water arriving on icy comets after the planet was mostly formed.” But if, as White concludes, “Earth’s water may in fact have been part of the very dust cloud from which the planet first condensed,” a number of new demons rise out of the shroud of mystery, scaring the scientist-diviners back to reality. They know that volatiles like water would have likely escaped during the violent, hot conditions that the spirits of the meteorites tell them must have taken millions of years, with up to 20 huge impacts needed to form the moon (1/10/17). The dust-cloud origin theory also begs the question of how the dust cloud got its water in the first place. Not surprisingly, all the articles and papers ignore this new, larger mystery: how did water survive on a violent early earth?*The ‘water balloon’ theory has long had problems. See 3/26/02, 12/27/07, 10/11/11, 7/23/12, and 12/11/14.Update 1/28/17: New Scientist offers a new idea: the earth made its own water from scratch. Andy Coghlan quotes a Canadian who concocted a model showing how chemical reactions in the mantle could produce water. Pressure would increase, emitting water through volcanoes. A Brit thinks most of the water produced that way would be “small scale and localized,” so most of earth’s ocean water still had to arrive from comets. Coghlan indicates that the pressure is more likely in the scientists’ heads, not in the mantle. “A study published this week, for example, based on isotopes from meteorites and Earth’s mantle, also found that water is unlikely to have arrived on icy comets after Earth formed, as has long been assumed.” Right after that, he quotes the Brit who says it had to come from comets – a contradiction, leaving the reader thinking neither model is workable.The scientists did not see the origin of the earth or its oceans. They did not see “the arrival of water on our planet” (notice the dodge; using passive voice “the arrival of water” avoids having to explain how it arrived). Their models are emanations of their starting assumptions. The only things they can measure scientifically are elemental abundances in meteorites and earth rocks. The rest is divination.Everyone has access to, however, an Eyewitness account. That account is corroborated by our own eyewitness testimony that earth’s water is not only vital for our planet’s habitability, but is beautiful, fun, and health-giving. It looks designed for a purpose. Chelsea may be more correct than she knows when she says, “Earth’s water must have arrived here earlier than we thought.”Now read the Bible’s warnings about those who use divination instead of believing God’s word: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Micah. Substitute “scientists” for “prophets” since today’s secular scientists, entering their Yoda trances, prophesy to the people about the “arrival” of earth, its water, the moon, and everything else, using modern divination techniques.(Visited 94 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Boeing may end 747 production

first_imgVideo: First flight of the latest model of the 747 the -8.The weakness in the global economy and air freight markets has also reduced demand for 747-8 freighters.Boeing is currently making a 747 every month but had previously announced plans to reduce the rate to one every two months from September. It said in its filing it had also shelved plans to return to a production rate of one aircraft per month from 2019.The announcement came as Boeing reported its first quarterly loss in seven years due to the 747 write-down and charges of $US1.23 billion on the 787 program and $US354 million on KC-46 tanker program.The second quarter net loss of $US234 million came despite a 1 per cent rise in revenue to $US24.8 billion.Chief executive Dennis Muilenburg said the underlying performance of Boeing remained “solid’’ and its commercial and defence teams had again delivered strong revenues and operating cash flow.“As we look forward to the second half of the year, we anticipate continued strong operating performance across our production and services programs on generally healthy demand for our broad portfolio of market-leading offerings,’’ he said.“Our commercial airplane development programs remain on track and we have successfully completed the flight testing required for customer approval of key KC-46 production milestones.”Meanwhile, Airbus Group reported a 15 percent increase in the first- half net profit to 1.76 billion euros but also took charges of more than 1.7  billion euros, including in its A350 and troubled A400M programs.The profit was boosted by gains of 868 million euro from the sale of shares in Dassault Aviation and $1.14 billion euros from the creation of a rocket launching joint venture with Safran.Revenue remained flat at 28.8 billion euros and orders fell by 27 per cent  to 39 billion euros, although group chief executive Tom Enders pointed to the “brisk order intake’’ at the recent Farnborough Airshow.Mr  Enders said the first-half underlying performance reflected the manufacturer’s back-loaded delivery schedule and good demand for its products.“Our operational focus remains squarely on the A320 and A350 ramp-ups and transition to the new engine version of the A320,’’ he said.Airbus expects to deliver more than 650 aircraft this year after delivering 298 in the first half. The first flight of the Boeing 747. Photo: Boeing BOEING has hinted that the Queen of the Skies may be forced to abdicate if it fails to receive more orders for its lagging Boeing 747 program.The US aerospace giant attempted to breathe new life into the iconic airliner with a redesign but a filing with its second quarter financial figures suggests the 747-8 may become a victim  of its makers predictions of a dwindling market for very large aircraft.Read: 45 Years YoungThe plane-maker noted that lower-than-expected demand for large commercial passenger and freighter aircraft and slower-than-expected growth of global freight traffic had  continued to drive market uncertainties and  pricing pressures while resulting in “fewer orders than anticipated’’. It took a $US1.19 billion pre-tax charge on the program for the quarter.“We continue to have a number of completed aircraft in inventory as well as unsold production positions and we remain focused on obtaining additional orders and implementing cost-reduction efforts,’’ it said.“If we are unable to obtain sufficient orders and/or market, production and other risks cannot be mitigated, we could record additional losses that may be material, and it is reasonably possible that we could decide to end production of the 747.’’The 747, affectionately known as the jumbo jet, played a key role in allowing passengers worldwide to travel more cheaply by lowering the cost per seat.But even equipped with more efficient engines, the four-engine Boeing has struggled against increasingly efficient twin-engine aircraft and tendency for travellers to want to fly point-to-point.last_img read more

Volunteers to package 822 000 meals on Mandela Day

first_imgThe event, dubbed Meals in Memory, will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg and the Canal Walk Shopping Centre in Cape Town (Image: Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa Facebook Page)A record number of 6 000-plus volunteers will package 822 000 meals – enough to feed over 6 000 pre-school learners for a year – in a single day during a Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa event running concurrently in Johannesburg and Cape Town on 18 July, Nelson Mandela International Day.The event, dubbed Meals in Memory, will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg and the Canal Walk Shopping Centre in Cape Town. “Teams of 20 volunteers, in shifts of 67 minutes, will each package enough nutritious food to feed 20 children three meals a week for an entire year,” Stop Hunger Now said in a statement on Friday.The organisation added that there were still 30 spots available for groups of 20 to 25 volunteers at the Johannesburg event. Individuals or organisations wishing to take part should e-mail [email protected] with “16h00 shift enquiry” in the subject line. During the Johannesburg event, guests of honour – including Nelson Mandela’s great-grandson Luvuyo Mandela and Springbok rugby player Pierre Spies – will celebrate the life of Madiba with a special candle-lighting ceremony.“Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa creates awareness of the reality that one in five children in South Africa are stunted,” the organisation said. “Feeding children during childhood can contribute 3% to our economic growth. Children malnourished during early childhood suffer irreversible brain development impairment.”The organisation’s volunteer-based hunger eradication programme also provides empowerment opportunities for unregistered crèches – otherwise known as early childhood development centres – to self-fund teacher training “and to develop a dignifying environment for children that attend these pre-schools”.last_img read more

South African HIV/Aids research pioneer Glenda Gray on 2017 Time’s 100 Most Influential list

first_imgDr Glenda Gray, the pioneering medical researcher, who specialises in the search for a vaccine for HIV/Aids, is the only South African to be selected as one of Time magazine’s prestigious 100 most influential people in 2017.Dr Glenda Gray, selected as one of 2017’s Most Influential people by Time magazine, is a pioneering medical researcher dedicated to finding an HIV vaccine. Gray has been at the forefront of HIV/Aids treatment and advocacy in South Africa for more than 30 years. (Image: South African Medical Research Council)CD AndersonDr Glenda Gray joins previous South African Time100ers such as comedian Trevor Noah, former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and tech entrepreneur Elon Musk. This year’s list includes US presidential adviser Ivanka Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, humanitarian Melinda Gates and singer Kendrick Lamar.Gray is the president and CEO of the South African Medical Research Council (SMRC), and also leads a group of internationally acclaimed medical researchers giving hope to people living with HIV/Aids. Its landmark contribution is the development and implementation of a pioneering HIV vaccine efficacy trial that has been running over the past seven years.This programme seeks to develop an effective and affordable HIV vaccine regimen in South Africa that, if successful, could be the first HIV vaccine to be licensed globally.Speaking to News24 about her work, Gray says: “I [believe] if we find a solution to HIV, we will find it in South Africa. As a county we have come a long way with many breakthroughs over the years.”In the Time profile, editor Siobhan O’Conner calls Gray a dedicated and passionate pioneer, and highlights her research that led to a dramatic drop in mother-to-child HIV transmission and babies born with the virus — from 600,000 a year to 150,000. Part of Gray’s leadership in ongoing research and medical trials is the development of an early infant inoculation system.“[Gray’s] ongoing HIV vaccine study is the largest of its kind ever conducted in South Africa, and with it, Gray is once again doing her part to make sure that the science of HIV — and the conversation around it — never stops evolving,” writes O’Conner.The doctor’s courageous drive and fearlessness in questioning the status quo was, according to her official SMRC biography, developed by her tireless work in fighting against apartheid. During the 1980s Gray was at the forefront of calling for the desegregation of the country’s hospitals and allowing access to medical treatment for all South Africans. After 1994, Gray worked closely with Nelson Mandela’s first democratic government in tackling the growing HIV/Aids problem.She founded South Africa’s first perinatal HIV clinic in 1993, offering testing and counselling facilities for pregnant women in townships. The clinic, together with the University of the Witwatersrand, was also at the forefront of HIV/Aids research. Later, Gray campaigned vigorously for cost-effective HIV treatments for developing countries.In 2001, Gray and others helped to form the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), which fought tirelessly for the distribution of treatment to HIV-positive pregnant women in South Africa. In 2002, alongside her colleague Dr James McIntyre, she received the Nelson Mandela Health and Human Rights Award for their research. In presenting the award to Gray and her team, Mandela recognised that “beyond doubt and argument” that giving drugs to pregnant women was central to the fight against HIV/Aids.In 2003, Gray and McIntyre were honoured with a Heroes in Medicine Award by the International Association of Physicians in Aids Care.She was also awarded South Africa’s highest national honour, the Order of Mapungubwe (Silver) in 2013 for both her activism during apartheid and her pioneering medical research.While the work of the TAC with the South African government has enabled more than 2 million South Africans with HIV/Aids to receive treatment, Gray has refocused her research efforts on developing effective vaccines for the virus, particular for enabling infected mothers to be able to breastfeed infants. Her current work is focusing on developing a vaccine that works for adults and children.“Once we find a vaccine that works, and we put it to infants, I would have completed my cycle, my journey,” she said. “I want to be part of that team that finds an HIV vaccine. I believe we will find it.”Regarding the Time 100 honour, Gray paid tribute to those around her who had been part of the trailblazing work, telling News24 on 21 April 2017: “I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for my team and the people I work with. So, it’s not just about me, I happen to represent a team that very much deserves this as much as I do… we can’t rest. We will find a solution. I might symbolise hope and passion, but it is the hard work of a whole team of people that will ultimately make a difference.”For a full timeline of the life and work of Dr Glenda Gray, read this 2014 profile.Source: News24, South African Medical Research Council, Wikipedia Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Ohio’s National Agriscience Fair results

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ohio also had a solid showing in the National Agriscience Fair.Holly Schmenk, Patrick Henry, was first place in Food Products and Processing Systems Division 1.Kolbie Brandenburg and Abigail Fulton, Felicity-Franklin, were second in Animal Systems Division 3.Grace Lach, Bloom Carroll, was third in Plant Systems Division 1Jarrett Crowthers and Jenna Jackels, Edgewood-Butler Tech, were third in Plant Systems Division 3Rebecca Helt, Global Impact STEM Academy of Ohio FFA Association, was third in Social Systems Division 2.last_img read more

Where Amare Stoudemire Ranks Among The Worst NBA Offseason Acquisitions

It’s official: Amar’e Stoudemire is a New York Knickerbocker no more. The team waived the veteran forward Monday, ending his Knicks tenure midway through his fifth season with the club (one in which he’s due $23.4 million in salary).ESPN’s sources reported that the Dallas Mavericks are waiting in the wings to pick up Stoudemire for the stretch run, provided he clears waivers Wednesday evening. But before he signs with Dallas, it’s worth stopping for a moment and asking: Where does Stoudemire’s ill-fated Knicks contract — he was doomed by bad knees — rank among the NBA’s worst (if not ever, at least in recent memory)?It’s not particularly simple to assess the value of NBA contracts for a number of reasons, many data-related, so consider this a very approximate effort. Stoudemire has produced 8.1 wins above replacement (WAR) over the previous five seasons, during which he’s been paid a total of $99,743,996 (both numbers include the 2014-15 season). About $95.4 million of that was paid above what the Knicks could have delivered to a replacement-level (zero-WAR) player making the NBA’s minimum salary,1Using the minimum salaries listed here for players with at least two seasons of NBA service. so effectively New York paid about $11.8 million for each of Stoudemire’s wins above replacement during his stay in the Big Apple.Needless to say, that wasn’t a bargain. Using Basketball-Reference.com’s transaction database, it’s difficult to discern actual trades from free-agent signings that utilized the sign-and-trade mechanic of the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement. But all players who were either traded or signed as free agents between May and October 2010 (a group that includes Stoudemire and any other blockbuster free agent) were paid $1.4 billion to produce 509.4 WAR. At the going rate, that means it would have been reasonable to expect Stoudemire’s $95.4 million to turn into 33.7 WAR. By this accounting, Stoudemire’s production since the 2010-11 season fell short of his expectations by 25.6 WAR.As a comparison, LeBron James, the biggest-name free agent signed the same summer, was paid $83.4 million above the minimum over the ensuing five seasons (granted, not all of it by the same team under the same contract), which would seem to portend 29.5 WAR; instead, James posted 82.8 WAR for a surplus of 53.3 WAR.The bargaining agreement contains various arcane provisions that often result in tragicomic salary leaderboards.2Between Stoudemire, Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson, Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard, the league’s five highest-paid players have produced fewer WAR together (9.5) than either James Harden or Stephen Curry have by themselves this season. But Stoudemire’s disappointing play stands out as particularly egregious. And it isn’t like there aren’t other contenders for the “worst contract” crown. For example, the Detroit Pistons in 2009 signed Ben Gordon to a five-year, $55 million deal that saw him deliver a below-replacement level -3.5 WAR — yet even Gordon’s 23.8-WAR shortfall was not as bad as Stoudemire’s.According to this method of comparing actual five-year WAR to expected WAR from salary, Stoudemire’s signing ranks as the worst offseason acquisition3Lumping in trades and free-agent signings out of necessity since the summer of 1996, when Basketball Reference’s transactions begin to be relatively complete. Here are the particulars of his badness, along with the next 29 worst offseason prizes of the same span: read more

Prostitution crack down necessary says Premier to Police Commish

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 23 Dec 2015 – A new thrust in crime prevention is coming as the Royal Turks and Caicos Police Force is about to get the green light to be far more aggressive when it comes to cracking down on prostitution. The Premier, in a media release from the Governor’s Office giving an update on a Friday meeting of the National Security Council, is reportedly pushing for prostitution and human trafficking to get keen focus in the National Security Strategy, which is a plan under construction. Details of the strategy are to be presented by Commissioner James Smith in January when the NSC meets again. Very careful consideration to address the higher incidence of crime in Providenciales is the reason the Police Commissioner on December 18, gave to the Premier and the Governor for the transfer of police officers from Grand Turk to Provo. Commissioner Smith expressed that the shuffle of the eight officers was done in a way that it will not hurt policing in the Capital. The Premier, Hon Dr Rufus Ewing was not 100% sold on that though and said the re-deployment should be monitored to see the impact it has on the Capital. During that NSC meeting, Premier Ewing again called for the introduction of CCTV and street lighting to be increased. It was revealed that at least one resort owner has reported that crimes against guests is up, this includes harassment of visitors to our shores.The Governor, Peter Beckingham determined that he will write and request a meeting with that resort owner with an update to come at another NSC. Absent from the NSC meeting were Deputy Governor Anya Williams and Border Control Minister Donhue Gardiner. Increased Police presence promised, TCI Police Commissioner statement on recent shootings Recommended for you Police read for kindergarten children as part of school program Related Items:anya wiliams, crackdown, james smith, nsc meeting, premier rufus ewing, prostitution, Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force Beaches puts former Premier on blast about controversial pier Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more