How to Squeeze Fossils Into Evolutionary Trees

first_imgFossils do not come with dates or labels on them.  Sometimes it is quite a puzzle to figure out where they fit in Darwinian ancestral trees.  One such example was published in Nature on January 12 by Chinese scientists who found an oddball in the famous Liaoning fossil beds.1  They called it a “Cretaceous symmetrodont therian with some monotreme-like postcranial features” (monotremes include the famous duck-billed platypus), and named it Akidolestes cifellii.    There are some technical terms in the paper that require translation: apomorphy, homoplasy, and plesiomorphy among them (thank goodness for  One phrase jumped out of the otherwise jargon-laden paper: “rampant homoplasy.”  A quick check shows this word homoplasy to be a synonym for “convergent evolution,” the idea that unrelated animals “converged” on similar body parts.Within eutriconodontans, lumbar ribs are present in gobiconodontids but not in the related Jeholodens.  Within spalacotheroids, these are present in Akidolestes but absent in zhangheotheriids.  Outside the crown mammals, lumbar ribs are absent in morganucodontans but variably present in many advanced cynodonts.  It is possible that this rampant homoplasy of the lumbarosacral vertebral ribs is patterned by developmental genes that are deeply conserved in widely separated mammalian taxa that lacked a recent common history.  However, homoplastic development of the lumbar ribs is not mutually exclusive of the interpretation that these ribs and related features also have convergent function to extant monotremes.   (Emphasis added in all quotes.)Those who wish can insert most of the terms in the above quote into or google the various animal group names.  The upshot is that this fossil, and many others in other “widely separated” mammal groups, show “rampant homoplasy” (convergence) of several “post-cranial features” (i.e., parts behind the skull, or, in other words, the rest of the body).  The authors are suggesting here two possible explanations for these similarities: (1) developmental genes for these structures are “deeply conserved” (i.e., they began way, way back in time before these groups split apart), or, (2) somehow the environment forced their body plans to become similar (“convergent function”).    The following sentence from the abstract jargonizes these two choices: “These peculiar features may have developed as functional convergence to locomotory features of monotremes, or the presence of lumbar ribs in this newly discovered mammal and their absence in its close relatives might be due to evolutionary developmental homoplasy.”  The authors confessed some astonishment at their find: “this new mammal revealed some surprisingly convergent features to monotremes in the lumbar vertebrae, pelvis and hindlimb.”     A reading of the paper reveals that they had some confusion deciding where to place this mammal.  It seems to have a mosaic of features from distantly related groups.  Isn’t that what happened with Platypus itself?  When first discovered, some taxonomists were convinced this strange animal with a duck’s bill and webbed feet, a snake’s venom and a mammal’s hair was an Aussie hoax.  It wasn’t.1Gang Li and Zhe-Xi Luo, “A Cretaceous symmetrodont therian with some monotreme-like postcranial features,” Nature 439, 195-200 (12 January 2006) | doi:10.1038/nature04168.Words like “homoplasy” and “convergent evolution” are surreptitious gimmicks evolutionists use to hide their naked assumptions.  When data are not cooperative, when fossils exhibit “surprisingly convergent features,” when evolutionary paleontologists don’t have the foggiest idea where to hang their ornaments on the tree, they use such hand-waving terms to pretend their speculations are scientifically based.  Here you see the “stretch and squish” theory of “evolutionary agility” (12/14/2004) in action, with working magicians manipulating words to keep Darwinism safe from the observations.  Don’t be fooled (see Smokescreens in the Baloney Detector).(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Brand South Africa co-hosts International Conference on Africa Unity for Renaissance

first_imgThe Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute in partnership with Brand South Africa, the Human Sciences Research Council, Department of Science and Technology, National Research Foundation, International Council for Sciences and Tshwane University of Technology and will host the sixth International Conference on Africa Unity for Renaissance and Africa Day Expo from 23 to 25 May 2016.The event will be held at the Saint George’s Hotel and Conference Centre, Pretoria, South Africa. The Premier of Gauteng, Mr David Makhura, is scheduled to officially open the conference on Monday 23 May at 9am.The event is themed “The Knowledge, Spiritual and Struggle Heritage for Re-imagining Innovative Africa”. It will focus on debunking the negative narrative that Africans have made no substantial contribution to science, knowledge and history. It will also systematically document African knowledge creation, spiritual and struggle heritage and draw relevance for African structural transformation by employing grounded and context-specific approaches and conceptual and theoretical frames.The conference will be attended by scholars and experts from across the continent.For more information contact:Bongani MahlalelaPhone Number: 012 349 7735Mobile: +27 73 641 6132E-mail: b.mahlalela@icsu-africa.orglast_img read more

Google Wants You to +1, But Why Would You?

first_imgA Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Tags:#Google#news#search#social networks#Social Web#web The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Google announced this morning that it is taking the inclusion of social recommendations in its search results a step further with the introduction of the long-awaited Google +1. The new feature puts a “+1” icon next to each search result, allowing users to recommend certain results and websites directly from Google, rather than on Twitter or Facebook.Google calls the feature “digital shorthand for ‘this is pretty cool’,” but we have to wonder – who are you telling and why? So let’s look at what this new feature does – it allows users to recommend search results and ads to their friends or people in their social circle. Right now, however, the feature will only show up as a button next to each search result, as seen below: mike melanson Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Related Posts Soon enough, writes Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan, Google will offer stand-alone +1 buttons for websites to put right next to its Twitter and Facebook sharing buttons, which makes way more sense. Who wants to share a search result before they ever click on the link to begin with? And would you actually back out of the site simply to click the +1 to share? Sullivan also notes that everything you +1 will be completely public and part of your redesigned Google profile.Google Goes Social: But Why?For months now, we’ve been waiting to see what’s next with Google’s much-rumored social initiative. We first heard rumors of this effort early last summer, when the project was supposedly called “Google Me” and was surely the next “Facebook Killer.” Since then, Google bought Slide for $182 million, saying that it would help make its services “socially aware,” and publicly denounced the idea of a stand-alone social network to take on Facebook.With today’s announcement (and recent introductions of things like the Google Toolbar and redesigned user profiles), we see the first rumblings of Google’s social effort and they again appear to be unfortunately misguided.Let’s look ahead to the future though – Google has released the button for inclusion on websites, you can see all these +1s on your Google profile, but again – what is your motivation for clicking +1? So your friends have a better search experience? Is this actually something you care about?With last month’s inclusion of social sharing cues in search results, Google had the right idea. Users already share on Twitter, Facebook and otherwise for a variety of reasons. But the main reason they share there is to share, not to recommend the validity of a link in case someone searches for something similar.As LifeHacker founding editor and ExpertLabs project director Gina Trapani tweeted upon hearing the news, “I don’t see myself curating search results much. By the time I know a result is good, I’ve left. What about you?”Tech blogger Louis Gray argues that the +1 feature is for much more than just search results, pointing to the new +1 tab on Google profiles. “The +1 data is also closely tied to your Google Profile, which is a sibling to Google Buzz, which also has following and friend-like attributes,” writes Gray.Simply providing a place for these +1 links to be aggregated still doesn’t give me a reason to click the button. I already have bookmarks. I already have ways to socially share with my friends. So what gives?While we surely haven’t heard the last of Google and its social effort, we have to wonder if we have another SearchWiki on our hands. Including social cues in search results seemed like a natural progression of search, but that kept the idea of intention out of the mix. People were already sharing using Twitter. This, on the other hand, brings the user’s intention for sharing in the first place into the mix and confuses matters. What do you think? Will Google offer a compelling reason to click that +1 button or is Tweeting and Liking enough for you? Can your Google profile ever become central enough to your online identity that +1 will feel like a social experience? Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationlast_img read more

Military Caregiving eNewsletter – Subscribe Today!

first_img This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on February 10, 2017. Subscribe to Our Mailing List! Each month we send out an eNewsletter letting you know about our upcoming events and available online courses, while also highlighting content that might be of interest to you.Are you receiving our eNewsletters each month? Sign up below!last_img

High security as Shahabuddin is taken to Tihar

first_imgControversial RJD leader Mohammad Shahabuddin reached here today enroute to Delhi where he would be lodged in Tihar jail in accordance with the direction of the Supreme Court.“In obedience to Apex Court direction, Shahabuddin has been brought to Patna this morning. He has been kept in Beur central jail from where he would be taken to Delhi’s Tihar jail,” Inspector General (Prisons) Anand Kishore told PTI.In reply to a query as whether Shahabuddin would be taken to Delhi by flight or Rajdhani express train, Kishore refused to divulge anything on the issue saying that “We are keeping it (the transit plan of Shahabuddin) a secret as we did while bringing him to Patna from Siwan.”“Even in Siwan, nobody knew except Siwan DM, SP, IG (STF) and other two—three officials about Shahabuddin being taken to Patna…We are keeping it secret due to various reasons including operational difficulties and other problems,” IG (Prisons) said.The Apex court had on February 15 last directed the Bihar government to transfer Shahabuddin to Tihar jail within a week to ensure free and fair trial in the cases lodged against him through video conferencing.The order came on the pleas by Siwan—based Chandrakeshwar Prasad, whose three sons were killed in separate incidents, and Asha Ranjan, wife of scribe Rajdeo Ranjan who was murdered in Siwan, seeking shifting of Shahabuddin, a four time MP and twice an MLA, from Siwan jail.In the evening Shahabuddin was taken to Delhi by Sampoorna Kranti train.The former MP was taken in a prisoners’ van to Rajendra nagar Terminal from Beur Jail in Patna with security cover.A large number of security personnel belonging to Bihar police, STF, RPF and Bihar Military Police stood guard at the Terminal.Shahabuddi was brought out of the prisoners van and taken to a sleeper coach.In accordance with the Supreme Court direction that no VIP treatment should be given to Shahabuddin while shifting him to Tihar jail from Bihar, the security personnel took him in S—2 Sleeper coach.Deputy Superintendent of Police, STF Ramakant Prasad supervised the entire arrangement. Some supporters gathered at the Rajendra Nagar terminal and shouted slogans in support of the former MP .Railway sources said that 1—16 number of berths in the S—2 coach have been reserved for Shahabuddin and the security personnel who are escorting him to Tihar.As 12393 Sampoorna Kranti reached Patna junction, the S—2 coach was shut and local TV reports showed some passengers who had reservation in that coach but asked to shift to contagious S—1 and S—3 coaches with Railway officials promising to accomodate them at a proper place later on.last_img read more

Axiomtek: compact-sized Edge AI system with NVIDIA Jetson TX2 module

first_imgAxiomtek release its newest AI embedded system, the eBOX560-900-FL. This Artificial Intelligence system employs a NVIDIA Jetson TX2 module which has a powerful 64-bit ARM A57 processor; a 256 CUDA cores with NVIDIA Pascal GPU Architecture; 8GB of LPDDR4 memory; and 802.11ac Wi-Fi with Bluetooth. Axiomtek’s eBOX560-900-FL is ideal for AI computing, machine vision, deep learning, edge computing, and much more.To meet a variety of Artificial Intelligence solution-ready system requirements, the AI embedded computer has one USB 2.0 port, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, one HDMI 2.0 port and four SMA type antenna connectors. This fanless embedded system has a 32GB eMMC onboard; moreover, it is equipped with a M.2 SSD PCIe 2.0 x4 socket for extensive storage option. This outstanding embedded PC also features a PCI Express Mini Card slot for 3G/4G/LTE/GPRS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. Its flexible mounting options include wall mount and DIN-rail mount. Furthermore, Axiomtek’s eBOX560-900-FL has passed the strict certification with CE and FCC Class A.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Boards & Modules Continue Reading Previous dSPACE expands its presence in the UKNext TRINAMIC: rapid positioning with smart stepper motor driveslast_img read more

4 Notable Coaches Mentioned For The Kansas Job

first_imgFans hold a University of Kansas school flag during the playing of the nation anthem prior to a game.LAWRENCE, KS – OCTOBER 11: Fans hold a University of Kansas school flag during the playing of the nation anthem prior to a game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Memorial Stadium on October 11, 2014 in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)Les Miles has been the biggest name connected to the Kansas football job, but even if the former LSU national championship-winner doesn’t bite, it sounds like the Jayhawks will have a pretty high level of candidate.Last go-around, Kansas hired David Beaty, who was well thought of as a recruiter, but was a wide receivers coach at Texas A&M.Time will tell who new athletic director Jeff Long can draw to take over one of the most difficult jobs in the Power Five, and all of college football for that matter. However, one early list is pretty impressive. KU Sports‘ Matt Tait laid out four potential candidates for the Kansas football job.The group is entirely comprised of current or former Power Five head coaches.“Ok. So back to the beginning. Let’s assume again that things fall through with Miles — or never were going to happen — and KU elects to hire someone else. While that might be a bit of a doomsday outcome at this point given the excitement, hope and expectations surrounding Miles, do you realize how much better off KU is this time around than in any of its previous searches?[…]I’m not talking about coaches who KU kicked the tires on or guys who considered the opening for 24 hours before saying thanks but no thanks. I’m talking about final stages, serious consideration, could have hired any one of them.Todd Graham, Sonny Dykes, Dave Doeren, Greg Schiano and a few other proven head coaches jump off the page of KU’s list of potential candidates this time around.As with any good coaching search, there are probably a couple of names in the mix that we haven’t heard much about and that should absolutely be the case.”Graham is the former head coach at both Pitt and Arizona State. Dykes is currently at SMU, but previously led Cal. Doeren, the most surprising inclusion, is currently at NC State, where he’s had a good deal of success. Schiano is the former Rutgers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach and current Ohio State defensive coordinator, who was set to take over Tennessee last year before fans railed against the hire.It is anyone’s guess if one of them can turn around KU. However, they’re all among the better names for the job since Mark Mangino was still the Jayhawks head coach… unless you were bullish on Charlie Weis a few years back.[KU Sports]last_img read more

5-Star LSU Commit Planning Visits With Other Top Programs

first_img From 247Sports:“I’m going to Ohio State (Nov. 22),” Ricks said. “Ohio State was my No. 2 choice behind LSU and honestly if Urban Meyer never left, I probably would have committed there. It was really close and they’re still recruiting me really hard. I hear from coach Hafley (DC) almost every day so I’m looking forward to getting out there.“Coach Saban said he sees me as a Minkah Fitzpatrick type that he can move around and play some corner, nickel and safety. I’m not sure when my official will be, I have to decide on what game works best for my schedule but like I said, I want to visit a couple of times.”In addition to his visits with Ohio State and Alabama, Ricks is going to visit USC on November 2 to watch the game against Oregon.He’ll also spend another visit with LSU and his final trip will be either to Miami or Florida.Ricks has a busy fall ahead of himself.[247Sports] A wide-action shot of the crowd at an LSU game.BATON ROUGE, LA – SEPTEMBER 19: Fans watch during the game between the Louisiana State University Tigers and the University of Louisiana-Lafatette Ragin’ Cajuns at Tiger Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)Elias Ricks announced his commitment to LSU back in December of 2018. However, that won’t stop him from taking visits with other programs.According to 247Sports’ composite rankings, Ricks is the No. 2 cornerback and No. 16 overall recruit.Ricks is adamant that he’s a solid commitment to the Tigers, but he still wants to look around to see schools like Ohio State and Alabama. Both prestigious programs are on the five-star recruit’s radar, yet that doesn’t mean he’ll change his decision.Nonetheless, the Buckeyes and the Crimson Tide will have their chance to see Ricks during the season.last_img read more

We are taking risks to find the best combination in T20 cricket: Virat Kohli

first_img Press Trust of India BengaluruSeptember 23, 2019UPDATED: September 23, 2019 12:41 IST India vs South Africa: A poor batting show in Bengaluru from the hosts saw South Africa level the T20I series 1-1 (AP Photo)HIGHLIGHTSWe are looking to take the toss out of the equation: Virat Kohli India lost the 3rd T20I in Bengaluru after opting to batIndia batsmen failed to deliver as they were restricted to 134 for 9His eyes trained on next year’s T20 World Cup, skipper Virat Kohli is willing to take risks in order to mould his India players into an “unfazed” unit, one that is able to “take toss out of the equation”.His bold but surprising decision to bat first in a venue always known to favour the chasing teams may have backfired during the third T20l against South Africa, but Kohli said they will have to take risks to find the best combination.”Look, we will have to take risks. Even when you want to win a game of cricket you have to take risks, so nothing is a given, nothing is a guarantee before you start playing,” Kohli said at the post-match press conference here late on Sunday.”I think as a team if we are willing to get out of our comfort zone a lot more, then we will be unfazed with what happens at the toss. That’s our basis idea: trying to take the toss out of the equation as a side.”His long batting line-up gives him the leeway to experiment but India still lost the series’ final game by nine wickets to settle for a 1-1 stalemate.”That’s why we are trying to play the best combination we can, (with) people batting till nine. So that if you bat first or bowl first, you know we are in a good position,” Kohli said.”Mentally, if we put ourselves in a situation where we are ready to do anything rather than wanting to do one thing, we will be in a better position as a side to capitalise on any situation that we are in.advertisement”Unless you do that, unless you start taking those risks, you are always going to be put under somewhere or the other. We want to make sure that we iron all those out before we head into the World Cup.”No team had ever chosen to bat first in six previous T20Is at this ground, but Kohli wants his team to also become stronger in defending totals.We have to be patient with the combination we’re playing now: Kohli134 was not a good score on this surface, admitted Kohli but refused to be harsh on his bowlers after the big nine-wicket drubbing.”Bowlers coming out of their comfort zone mean at least they get 160 (to defend). You can’t defend 130, we didn’t get it right with the bat and you can’t be too harsh on the bowlers in a T20 game with this kind of total when there is a bit of dew as well.”They should not be analysed or criticised on defending this low total. We didn’t have enough runs on the board, so the bowlers are always under pressure knowing that one or two overs can take the game away from you.”But I think they have done decently well (in the series overall), we will have to be patient with the combination we are playing at the moment. We will have to strengthen one or two things.”At the toss, in the presentation as well as the post-match media conference, Kohli said he doesn’t want his team to be in a comfort zone.”… But quickly we realised the pitch didn’t allow us to keep doing that. So I think the kind of start we got, 63 for one after that, I think we could have reassessed, thing about 170 rather than 200.”He acknowledged the South Africans executed their plans better.”Not to take anything away from South Africa, they hit the right areas, they bowled really well, understood the pitch. So it was a combination of good bowling, not great decision-making but, as I said, these kinds of games will keep happening,” Kohli said.”As long as we are wanting to come out of our comfort zone and putting ourselves in situations which could be the case in a big tournament.India won’t take South Africa lightly in Tests: Virat KohliThe focus now shifts to the three-match Test series and Kohli expressed confidence, which stemmed more so from the bowling attack at his disposal.”Our Test team is as strong as it gets in world cricket, especially in our conditions we are one of the best teams. We know exactly what we need to do,” he said.”The kind of bowling attack that we have is always going to be challenging, but at the same time, you have to respect all opposition and make sure that you are playing consistent, solid cricket in all the sessions.advertisementAlso Read | There was a miscommunication: Virat Kohli on Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer both coming out to bat at No.4Also Read | Rishabh Pant not able to succeed at No.4, should bat at 5 or 6: VVS LaxmanAlso See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow Virat KohliFollow India vs South AfricaFollow India national cricket team We are taking risks to find the best combination in T20 cricket: Virat KohliIndia vs South Africa: Following the series-levelling loss in the 3rd T20I in Bengaluru, captain Virat Kohli said India are looking at taking risks to figure out their best combination in the lead up to T20 World Cup in 2020. advertisement Nextlast_img read more

GeoSea Starts 3rd Foundation Installation Cycle

first_imgzoom With the departure of the installation vessel INNOVATION from the port Aalborg, GeoSea has now started the 3rd foundation installation cycle on the Westermost Rough offshore wind farm.INNOVATION has loaded 5 large monopiles and transition pieces of the next installation cycle in the port of Aalborg, which are currently transported across the North Sea to be installed immediately on the off shore site 9 km from Hull. Already 10 monopiles and transition pieces are installed offshore.GeoSea started end February with the first location and is still on schedule even with the winter storms and the particular challenging soil conditions on the offshore site.The INNOVATION is performing very well thanks to use of a highly sophisticated piling frame and improved jacking procedures, both developed by GeoSea’s in house engineering department. This groundbreaking approach allows INNOVATION to work in higher sea states and leads to decreased cycle times.The installation works are scheduled to be finished by June 2014. April 18, 2014last_img read more