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first_imgDarwin predicted that life would become more diverse over time, like the branches on a tree.  The pattern of trilobites in the fossil record is just the opposite: more diversity appears in the lower layers, and less diversity in the upper layers.  Surprisingly, evolutionary paleontologists are turning this into evidence for Darwin’s theory.    Science Daily titled their article, “Fossils Older Than Dinosaurs Reveal Pattern Of Early Animal Evolution On Earth.”  Acknowledging that trilobites appeared in “an unprecedented explosion of life on Earth” in the Cambrian strata, the article doesn’t hint that this causes any problem for evolution.  It quotes Mark Webster (U of Chicago) explaining the evidence in support of evolution: “From an evolutionary perspective, the more variable a species is, the more raw material natural selection has to operate on.”    The idea is that trilobites started out in a more plastic state – more variable – and became channelized into specific body patterns later.  Maybe this was because ecological niches forced the later trilobites into particular habitats that inhibited variation.  Or maybe developmental processes within the early trilobites caused fewer constraints on the appearance of the organism.  Or maybe neither.  Webster said, “We need to tease apart what’s controlling this pattern of high within-species variation.  There’s a lot more work to do.”    Regardless, evolutionary theory itself was not pictured in any danger.  The article did not explain how the complex body types arose almost instantly by an evolutionary mechanism.  Instead, it just claimed they “emerged” rapidly: “during the Cambrian Period, more complex creatures with skeletons, eyes and limbs emerged with amazing suddenness.”  Webster gave his explanation a warm, fuzzy feeling.  The article paraphrased him saying that it appears that organisms displayed “rampant” within-species variation “in the ‘warm afterglow’ of the Cambrian explosion.”    Trilobites had bilateral symmetry, specialized body segments, articulated limbs for mobility, and some of the most complex eyes known in marine invertebrates (09/18/2003,   No precursors to trilobites in earlier strata have been identified.  The first trilobites were already fully formed with all their complex organs and structures.    Because the data were found to be opposite what evolutionary theory would have predicted, Gene Hunt of the Smithsonian won Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week for the following statements in Science that spun the contrary evidence into support for evolution (words indicative of miracles are highlighted in bold):This study, in establishing the reality of increased Cambrian variability for trilobites, implies that evolutionary processes in the distant past may have acted differently, or in a different balance than in more recent periods of time.  The cause or causes for these differences likely relate to the proposed explanations for the extravagant evolutionary inventiveness of this period.  These explanations fall into two broad categories: genetic and ecological.  The former suggest that Cambrian genomes were less constrained, or otherwise less apt to generate profoundly novel morphologies, whereas the latter invoke the relative sparseness of early animal ecosystems in allowing large evolutionary jumps to become successfully established.    As Webster notes, either or both of these explanations may account for the greater variability of Cambrian trilobites; more loosely organized genomes might be expected to produce a greater range of morphologies, and less occupied adaptive landscapes might be more permissive of the broad production of variants.  Nevertheless, this work highlights the uniqueness of the early Cambrian interval in the evolution of animals and thereby the importance of placing broad evolutionary patterns in a historical and paleontological context.Mark Webster also used the term “evolutionary inventiveness” in the original paper in Science.21Gene Hunt, “Variation and Early Evolution,” Science, 27 July 2007: Vol. 317. no. 5837, pp. 459-460, DOI: 10.1126/science.1145550.2Mark Webster, “A Cambrian Peak in Morphological Variation Within Trilobite Species,” Science, 27 July 2007: Vol. 317. no. 5837, pp. 499-502, DOI: 10.1126/science.1142964.When the media, museums and universities are able to propound these magical fairy tales without any critical scrutiny, creationism doesn’t stand a chance being heard above the din.  Anything goes in ev-illusion (07/27/2007 commentary), including cartoons like Popeye (05/31/2005 commentary).    How can this multiply-discredited theory ever get falsified?  The evidence can be 180° opposite Darwin’s prediction, and yet they turn it into a great victory.  Nobody asks any hard questions.  Nobody calls foul.  Nobody sees the intellectual crime being committed.  They get away with it, time and time again.  Doesn’t anyone in the scientific and media establishments have any sense any more?    For a detailed look at the Cambrian explosion and a prominent evolutionist’s attempts to explain it, read our entry “Cambrian Explosion Damage Control” from 04/23/2006.(Visited 38 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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first_imgWhile South Africa is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, thousands of people choose to settle in the country each year. For many, the quality of life, the climate and the business opportunities on offer, make it an attractive place to live and to prosper.(Image: Department of Home Affairs)Note: This article is currently under review as the regulations covering immigration and visas have been changed. In the meantime, please visit the Department of Home Affairs at www.dha.gov.za for more information.Brand South Africa reporterRead more:South Africa tightens immigration rulesSouth Africa opens new visa facilitation centresSouth Africa to enforce new regulations on travelling with kidsThe country limits the number of immigrants each year. This, according to the government, is to protect work opportunities for the country’s vast reserve of unskilled and semi-skilled workers. In line with international trends, potential immigrants who fall into the unskilled and semi-skilled categories will normally not be accepted as an immigrant worker in the country.Those wishing to immigrate to South Africa should also be committed to it, the government says, and be prepared to share their skills and expertise: “South Africa cannot afford to grant permanent residence permits to persons who are not seriously committed to settle in the [country] permanently and to investing their skills, assets, knowledge and experience for the benefit of themselves and the people of South Africa.“One of the most important aspects of immigration control is therefore that a visible connection be maintained between foreigners working in the [country] and the training of South African nationals.”Immigration trendsInternational population movements, influenced as they are by a variety of socioeconomic, political, environmental and other factors, are complex to measure. There are, in fact, no official figures available on the total number of foreign residents in South Africa.However, figures from South Africa’s 2011 Census suggest that 3.3% — or about 1.7-million — of the country’s 51.7-million population are “non-South African” citizens. According to AfricaCheck, data collated by the World Bank and the United Nations also suggests a migrant population of about 1.86- million people.A report by Statistics South Africa on immigration statistics drawn from Home Affairs data shows that 1 283 permanent residence permits were issued in 2012. About half of the issued permits were acquired using the relatives’ category status, while only 50 or 4% used refugee status.Nationals from Zimbabwe (20%), the UK (11%), Congo (7%), China (7%), India (6%), Germany (5%), Nigeria (5%) and DRC (3%) made up almost 64% the recipients of permanent residence permits.Emigration trendsWhile reasons for emigration are varied, and unique to individuals, many choose to settle in more developed countries in Europe or North America, where the earning potential for skilled labour tends to be higher.The exodus of skills from the country have affected the IT industry, the scientific and medical professions, including nursing, as well as teaching.The downfall of the so-called “brain drain” is a shortage of skilled labour at home. Yet the skills shortfalls are opportunities for some – providing business and work opportunities for a fresh wave of immigrants, and focusing skills development initiatives, as well as guiding tertiary education decisions at home.Statistics South Africa no longer collects information on emigration. However, data from the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) quoted by Politicsweb in 2012 show 588 388 South African emigrants aged 15 or over were living in OECD countries in 2010.The countries with the highest numbers of individuals born in South Africa are, in descending order: the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States, New Zealand, and Canada.A study released in 2014 by workforce management company Adcorp showed that nearly 359 000 “high skilled South Africans” have returned home from overseas assignments since the global financial crisis of 2008-9.“This is a sizeable number, representing 18% of the total pool of managers and professionals in South Africa and 12% of the total pool of graduates,” Adcorp said in a statement.Read more: Skills ‘flowing back into South Africa’Exceptional peopleEbrahim Ebrahim, the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, told the South African diaspora in Perth Australia in November 2013 that South Africans – no matter where they resided – could still be a part of South Africa’s growth and development.Brand South Africa’s Global South Africans programme believes South African expats “can be priceless resource for our country – your country – as we strive compete and win in the global economy”, he said.“Brand South Africa’s US country manager has done some research on America’s South African born population. It currently numbers around 85 000. Its household income is roughly double the US national median, likewise the value of the houses it lives in.“South Africans in the US are also vastly better educated than the general population and much more likely to have advanced degrees. Overall, Brand South Africa estimates, the net worth of South Africans living in America is around $13-billion.”Ebrahim said one of the most valuable contributions any Global South could make was to speak well and proudly of the country and to be living proof of the caliber of people South Africa produces.Read the deputy minister’s speech in fullVisit the Global South Africans website Source: Department of Home Affairs, Department of International Relations and CooperationWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A hearing this week by the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry on H.R. 1599 addressed the controversy surrounding food labeling, specifically foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs).At the hearing the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) urged the Senate to act quickly to pass a uniform, national food labeling standard, highlighting the safety of genetically modified ingredients and the importance of biotechnology.“NCGA and Congress agree: consumers should have access to food choices that are safe, nutritious, abundant and affordable,” said John Linder, Morrow County farmer and NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair. “Congress, and only Congress, can now prevent a costly and confusing patchwork of state labeling laws from taking effect next year. The Senate must act now to avoid the negative consequences inaction will surely bring for consumers and farmers across the country.”At the hearing experts told the Committee that the overwhelming scientific consensus is that genetically modified organisms are safe for consumers and the environment. Experts also testified on the vital role biotechnology plays in modern agriculture, allowing farmers to produce higher yields on less land, using fewer pesticides and water, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.“Today’s testimony underscored the fact that biotechnology is not only safe, but an important part of creating an efficient, affordable and reliable food chain. NCGA urges the Senate to move forward on common-sense legislation for a uniform, national food labeling standard,” Linder said.In July, legislation passed the House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support that would create uniform national food labeling standards. If the Senate does not follow suit, Vermont’s GMO labeling law will go into effect next July. Meanwhile, other states and localities have passed or are considering state-level labeling mandates. Such a patchwork of state and local laws will create upheaval in our national food supply, hurting consumers and farmers alike, NCGA argues.The Organic Consumers Association (OCA), however, is among a number of organizations strongly opposed to the food labeling measure.“Today’s hearing on H.R. 1599 made a total mockery of democracy. Of the eight witnesses allowed to testify, only one could be remotely considered as someone who represents the interests of consumers and public health. The other seven have ties to the biotech and corporate food industries, and were there to represent the interests of corporations, not people,” said Ronnie Cummins, international director of the OCA. “Today, we call on millions of American consumers to contact their elected officials with this message: If you vote against states’ rights, if you vote against truth and transparency in labeling, if you vote against the more than 90% of Americans who want mandatory, not voluntary, labeling of GMO foods, we will vote against you.”last_img read more

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first_img SharePrint RelatedThe Once and Future Geocacher — Excalibur (GC2VQ88) — Geocache of the WeekSeptember 4, 2013In “Community”Are you brave enough to enter? – Hsin Pyushin Monastic Complex -The hidden chamber (GC3FH35) — Geocache of the WeekApril 23, 2015In “Geocache of the Week”Rubik’s Cache (GC5YGFM) – Geocache of the WeekJuly 30, 2015In “Geocache of the Week” “This cache is in Luang Prabang. We left the touristy places in order to reach this geocache. What we found was unexpected… a temple right in the middle of a rural area surrounded by the forest. The place was peaceful and quiet. At GZ (ground zero) we started searching under the stare of some young monks. One of them walked toward us but didn’t say anything. He grabbed the tip of a “temple-like” construction, put his hand in the hole and there was the geocache…the scene was unreal. We felt like adventurers, lost in the jungle, reaching a grail. After signing the logbook we gave it back to the young monk, we bowed to them, smiled and left trying to believe what just happened,” Chiliconsushi. Share with your Friends:More And there you have it. Geocaching takes you to the most magical places.  What magical place do you want geocaching to take you??To see more of Luang Prabang (and additional stunning pictures), follow Chiliconsushi’s blog Seth et Lise.Squabbling roosters in Luang Prabangcenter_img The road to the temple There are no ordinary days for the adventurous geocaching duo “Chiliconsushi.” The couple spends their free time geocaching all over the world together, 30 different countries so far. They document their travels through photography, a personal blog, and detailed geocache logs. Out of their nearly 2,000 finds, GC41D89 in Laos is one of their most memorable. Here is the story behind the incredible photo they took at the geocache location.The young geocache watcherlast_img read more

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first_imgBangladesh coach Steve Rhodes said he was proud of his side’s fighting spirit and believed that with a little bit of luck they could have progressed to the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup.Bangladesh was eliminated on Tuesday after succumbing to their fourth defeat in eight matches while India, who prevailed by 28 runs, sailed into the last four with a match to spare.Mashrafe Mortaza’s men beat West Indies, South Africa, and Afghanistan, while their match against Sri Lanka was washed out.I’m very proud of the way we’ve played against a lot of the big teams, and I think that maybe we’ll be the people’s team for the amount of fight that we’ve shown against some of these big teams, Rhodes told reporters after the loss against India.It was pleasing to see some fight. I think it’s a reflection of the team.We’ve only picked up the three victories but we’ve pushed a lot of these big teams throughout the competition and, with a little bit of luck, we may well have been one of these top four.Tamim Iqbal dropping Rohit Sharma, then on nine, probably best summed up their luckless World Cup campaign as the India opener went on to smash his fourth century of this year’s tournament and help India to a commanding 314-9.Rhodes admitted it was a costly mistake, giving a reprieve to the tournament’s leading run scorer, but refused to blame the fielder.advertisementI’ve watched a lot of cricket over the years and played a lot of cricket and you know that any drop can be costly, said the former England test player.I didn’t know how costly it would be. I was hoping he’d hit another one up in the air a little bit sooner.Rohit Sharma, what a wonderful batsman he is in world cricket. You give guys like him a chance, or (Virat) Kohli a chance, and you may well pay the price.Again, the person who dropped it was Tamim, and he’s developed into one of our safer pair of hands in the outfield.So it was a little bit of a surprise but he’s human, and we’re all human. I’ve dropped lots of catches in my life. I think everybody who’s played the game has dropped catches but sometimes they can be very, very costly, and that one proved to be.Also Read | World Cup 2019: This is the best I have seen Bangladesh play, says Sachin TendulkarAlso Read | World Cup 2019: Rohit Sharma played chess with Bangladesh bowling attack, says Sachin TendulkarAlso Seelast_img read more