Mbappe, Modric on 10-man list for FIFA best player award

first_imgIt is completed by World Cup golden boot winner Harry Kane of England and Mohamed Salah, the Egypt forward who was inspirational in Liverpool’s run to the Champions League final.The winners announced in London on Sept. 24 are voted by national coaches and captains, plus media from FIFA’s 211 member countries, and fans voting online. Three finalists will be announced before the ceremony.France could sweep the main awards with Didier Deschamps and Zinedine Zidane heading 11 candidates for the best men’s coach.Deschamps led France to the World Cup title, and his 1998 World Cup-winning teammate Zidane completed his Champions League hat trick with Madrid. Zidane, who has since left the club, won the FIFA award last year.The FIFA men’s panel picked five World Cup coaches among the contenders: All four semifinalists — Deschamps, Zlatko Dalic of Croatia, Roberto Martinez of Belgium, and Gareth Southgate of England — plus Russia’s Stanislav Cherchesov.ADVERTISEMENT Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Pep Guardiola is nominated for leading Manchester City to a runaway English Premier League title win. Guardiola won the 2011 FIFA award when coaching Barcelona.The other nominees are: Massimiliano Allegri (Juventus), Juergen Klopp (Liverpool), Diego Simeone (Atletico Madrid), Ernesto Valverde (Barcelona).In the women’s player award, French and European champion Lyon provided six of the 10 candidates. The group includes captain Wendie Renard of France, plus Dzsenifer Marozsan and Saki Kumagai, the captains of Germany and Japan.Three candidates who play in the National Women’s Soccer League are United States international Megan Rapinoe, five-time FIFA winner Marta of Brazil, and Australia forward Sam Kerr.FIFA’s expert panel did not shortlist the past two award winners — Carli Lloyd of the U.S. and Lieke Martens of the Netherlands.Four women and six men are competing to be the best coach in women’s football.The nominations include Sarina Wiegman, the 2017 winner who coaches the Netherlands, and Asako Takakura, who coached Japan to the Women’s Asian Cup title.The male candidates include Reynald Pedros, who led Lyon to a Women’s Champions League and French league double, and Brazil’s Vadao, whose team won the Copa America Femenina.At the ceremony, FIFA will make awards to the best goalkeeper, the best goal, and a fan award. Putin’s, Xi’s ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to West Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Report: Disney dropping the ‘Fox’ from movie studio names In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced Lacson: Calamity fund cut; where did P4 billion go? GALLERY: Belingon, Nguyen face off ahead of ONE: Reign of Kings ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial beginscenter_img LATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew MOST READ For the first time, FIFA has opened voting within days of the World Cup, where Ronaldo and Messi both exited in the round of 16.France also has Antoine Griezmann and Raphael Varane, who won a third straight Champions League title alongside Modric and Ronaldo with Real Madrid, on the FIFA list.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’Varane is the only defender selected by a FIFA expert panel which did not pick Brazil star Neymar. The 13-man panel included three Brazilians — former FIFA award winners Ronaldo and Kaka, and 1994 World Cup-winning coach Carlos Alberto Parreira.Belgium, which lost to France in the semifinals, has Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard on the shortlist. Croatia’s Luka Modric and France’s Kylian Mbappe, right, pose with their individual awards at the end of the final match between France and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)GENEVA — World Cup stars Kylian Mbappe and Luka Modric will lead the challenge against a decade-long dominance of FIFA’s best player award by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.Mbappe, the teenage star of France’s World Cup-winning team, and Modric, the Croatia captain who was named the tournament’s best player, joined five-time winners Ronaldo and Messi among 10 candidates announced by FIFA on Tuesday.ADVERTISEMENT Trump assembles a made-for-TV impeachment defense team Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

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Minister of Social Cohesion with responsibility for Culture, Youth and Sport

first_imgSincerest Youman Nabi greetings to you all. Today, we join the Islamic community to celebrate the birth and life of their Prophet, Hazrat Muhammed Sahib (Peace be upon him).Prophet Muhammed was the personification of righteousness. His teachings and deeds have been so powerful that they influenced the beginning of the world’s second largest religion, with over one billion persons now following the path of Islam.His teachings of compassion, love, kindness, charity, brotherhood and tolerance have become universal. It is, therefore, important that we take this day to rededicate ourselves to the ideals for which he lived his life.I urge you, my brothers and sisters, to see beauty in the diversity of these six peoples and cultures that dwell in the Land of Many Waters.Let us honour this great Prophet by shattering the barriers that have divided us for far too long. Let us be kind and compassionate to all fellow beings, regardless of their ethnic background and social status. Do your part to practise and promote peace over chaos, and forgiveness over fighting and malice. Following the Prophet’s teachings is key, helping us achieve social cohesion here in Guyana and across the globe. There is forever strength in unity.Happy Youman Nabi, Guyana!last_img read more

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Reg 8 RDC trying to create level playing field for contractors – Chairman

first_img…after accusation of favouritism surfacesThe Regional Democratic Council of Region 8 (Potaro-Siparuni) having been accused of being a political entity controlled by the Coalition Government and of giving contracts to only APNU/AFC supporters, Region 8 Chairman Bonaventure Fredericks told this publication that the regional administration is working to establish a tender board process in an effort to be fair to contractors and thus create a level playing field for all parties.Region Eight ChairmanBonaventure FredericksA section of the community of Madhia, Region 8In a recent interview with Guyana Times, Fredericks related that some residents in the region believe that, because they are supporters of the coalition Government, they should be the only ones benefiting from regional contracts.“What we find is that some residents are saying okay, that PPP was in power one time, and now the coalition is in power, so this is our time. So they are looking at it as (that) they should be getting (all the contracts) because they supported the Coalition. We tried to work it out in a way that both sides will benefit,” he said.According to Fredericks, the new initiative will see a level playing field being created regardless of party support.“Also, what we have to look at is that some of those residents also do not meet the approval of council for contracts, so they decided to go alleging things that they cannot even prove,” he noted.The Regional Chairman also said that for some of the contracts that are being awarded, some contractors’ documents are not up-to-date, and as such, they cannot be approved by the council.“What we have to deal with too is that some of these very persons’ documentations are short of business registration and other important things; so, even though they bid, they cannot be approved because their applications are incomplete, and that is a problem which leads to their bids being rejected,” he explained.Fredericks is, however, optimistic that the new process being undertaken would help to streamline those concerns by residents in regard to the awarding of contracts.Meanwhile, some residents had also accused the regional administration of stifling People’s Progressive Party- owned businesses in the region, thus creating hardships for those business operators. In response to these claims, Chairman Fredericks said he is unaware of any such occurrence, but noted that business has declined in the region overall.“There is not much employment and income coming through in any form. Even bus drivers crying out because business is not like before. So, to boycott any one area or business, I don’t see it like that, because people shop wherever they want to. I don’t really buy this claim too much, because it is not much evident,” he said.The RDC has been accused of awarding contracts only to APNU members and supporters. This has led to the creation of much tension and confrontation in the region. Councillors and residents have, on several occasions, expressed dissatisfaction with the Council’s mechanism in awarding contracts, and have complained bitterly of discrimination against non-APNU supporters.last_img read more

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119 neonatal deaths recorded over 1 year period

first_img– Opposition decries high numberThe Parliamentary Opposition has raised concerns over what it described as the high number of deaths of newborn infants at the Georgetown Public Hospital over the past year.Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) Dr Vindhya Persaud, who was allowed oral questions in Parliament on Thursday, requested Health Minister Volda Lawrence to provide statistics in relation to these deaths.Lawrence confirmed the MP’s suspicion when she revealed that there have been 119 deaths of newborn infants at the Georgetown Public Hospital during the period June 2017 to June 2018.According to the Minister, from a total of 1155 admissions of neonatal over the period, some 10.3 percent of those admissions resulted in deaths, which she also claimed is far too many.“The Government recognises that it has the right, and the onus is on us to ensure that at every level of healthcare, the necessary services are provided for our people,” she told the National Assembly.The Minister noted that Government has made large investments into improving that specific department, and that the issues there are been actively looked at, especially over the past three years.While admitting again that the numbers are alarming, Lawrence said there has been no increase in neonatal deaths. Rather, there has been the same line in terms of how those deaths occurred.“It has been declining, and we continue to work and put measures in place to bring it down to zero,” she added.The Minister noted that every death in reported to the relevant authorities, and there are consistent and routine tasks done, which include sanitation, to prevent these deaths.In relation to the investigation of these deaths, Lawrence reminded that every neonatal is reported, and a report is prepared and reviewed by the Child Mortality Committee which comprises Government and private sector officials. If any discrepancies are found, then a further investigation is done.“So since that period under review, there was no special investigation. We didn’t do any because we didn’t have any such discrepancies in the report to lodge one. What corrective measures? Since there was no investigation, there was no corrective measures or recommendations,” she explained.But Dr Persaud pressed Lawrence in a follow up question on whether there as any targeted investigation being held to find out the primary causes of these deaths. The Opposition MP didn’t seem satisfied that with 30 of those deaths recorded in the first four months of the year, no investigation has been conducted.In responding to whether there was any infrequent testing of the facility, which may have been responsible for deaths within the same period, Lawrence told the National Assembly that the hospital employs foreign practices routinely to prevent mortality. It is also cleaned thoroughly and checked frequently.Persaud is to submit more written questions to the Health Minister for further clarity on the issue.Despite progress having been achieved during the last decade, Guyana continues to experience one of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in Latin America and the Caribbean, with a maternal mortality rate estimated at 121 per 1,000 live births, and an infant mortality rate at 22 per 1,000 live births.In 2016, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) had approved an US$8 million loan for a programme to help reduce maternal, perinatal and neonatal deaths in Guyana. The focus of the programme is to improve the quality of care at 140 health facilities and in 88 communities, benefitting at least 140,000 women and 9,000 newborns per year.The initiative was designed with the aim of supporting and improving maternal and child health care geared towards improving access to quality neonatal health services, and providing a better path to, and quality of, reproductive and maternal health services. Efforts such as these must be commended.That said, the most recent report by UNICEF has made some useful recommendations, which the Government here should seriously consider. Diligent efforts must be made to continue reducing newborn and child deaths. We believe that once there is a concerted, coordinated effort among policymakers, businesses, healthcare workers, communities and families, we can achieve the desired results as those relate to reducing child mortality rates.last_img read more

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UPDATE: Motor vehicle incident near Chetwynd cuts power to over 100

first_imgCHETWYND, B.C. – A motor vehicle accident has Highway 97 west of Chetwynd reduced to single-lane alternating traffic this morning.Cst. Ryan LeMay with the Chetwynd RCMP says that the single-vehicle accident occurred at around 3:00 a.m. Friday, and that there were no fatalities. LeMay confirmed that police do not believe that drugs or alcohol played a factor in the accident.Bill Lamoureux with Cariboo Road Services says that a semi truck carrying a load of shingles on a flat deck trailer went off the road and struck a power pole, as confirmed by BC Hydro’s website. Lamoureux says that crews were able to clear debris from the road by around 8:00 a.m., but that Hydro crews needed to remove power lines crossing the road to replace the impacted power pole. He also confirmed that crews would have the road reduced to single-lane alternating traffic in both directions until work by Hydro crews was complete.- Advertisement –mvichetwyndoutageAccording to BC Hydro, 135 customers have been without power since 2:45 this morning. Hydro estimates that crews will have power restored to the effected area by 2:00 p.m.last_img read more

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Blackburn vs Leeds: Championship preview, confirmed teams, plus more

first_img 2 Bannan penalty helps Sheffield Wednesday strengthen grip on play-off place Cardiff and Preston play out stalemate in Championship early kick-off Strugglers Wigan hold Blackburn to goalless draw in Championship Hull defender MacDonald given all-clear after battle with bowel cancer stalemate Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ EFL result Domestic football returns today with the Championship fixture list pitting promotion chasing Leeds United against Blackburn at Ewood Park.Marcelo Bielsa’s side currently sit third in the Championship, and they know they will move top of the table – albeit temporarily – if they secure all three points. goalless GREAT NEWS center_img Leeds lose at Fulham, West Brom held, Charlton’s winless run continues Blackburn find themselves five points behind Leeds, but they host the Whites aware that Bielsa’s side have struggled for consistency recently; they’ve won just two of their previous six matches.A defeat for Leeds could leave them five points off top spot at the end of the day, should current league leaders Sheffield United defeat Derby in the 17:30 kick-off – which you can listen to LIVE on talkSPORT 2.What the managers are sayingTony Mowbray (Blackburn): “I see it this as a big game, it might be a bigger game for us than them, and let’s hope so because then our adrenaline levels allow us to match their endeavour and I think we have some pretty talented footballers in this league who can hurt anyone on their day.” ROUND-UP Marcelo Bielsa (Leeds): “It’s an opponent with experience. It’s not easy to play against them. They have a good balance between individual skills and competitive as a team.”Confirmed teams REPLY Latest Championship news Bielsa has developed Leeds into serious promotion contenders 2 Mulgrew should be fit for Saturday’s clash despite being withdrawn from the Scotland squadPredicted line-upsBlackburn XI: Raya; Bennett, Lenihan, Mulgrew, Bell; Smallwood, Evans; Reed, Dack, Armstrong; Graham.Leeds XI:Peacock-Farrell, Berardi, Jansson, Cooper, Dallas, Phillips, Roberts, Saiz, Klich, Alioski, Roofe.last_img read more

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DEVELOP A DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY BY ATTENDING INNOVATIVE ERNACT WORKSHOP

first_imgThe importance of having an online presence for your business is paramount, as we continue to propel ourselves into a world of consistent technological advances it’s vitally important your business has the online capabilities to compete.Having a presence online without a strategic digital marketing plan could be catastrophic for a new start up business or a SME. ERNACT are hosting a FREE workshop this Thursday July 17th at the LYIT Campus in Letterkenny.The workshop starts at 9.30 am and will last until 2pm.Are you an SME based in Donegal and do you need to develop a digital strategy to improve your presence online?If so this one day workshop is vital for you to develop, understand and implement the changes required to your business. This one day workshop will focus on the following topics.Growth of digital economy in IrelandBusiness drivers and benefits of broadbandCharacteristics of digital consumerKey steps to develop a digital strategyThe primary emphasis will be on the digital strategy dimension.Web analytics to drive strategy and how to integrate marketing applications to help boost and streamline marketing activities will also be addressed.This workshop will provide a strategy roadmap for each participating business which can be built in to your overall business planning process.The template provided during the training will be comprehensive and will use best practice to really allow participants embrace the opportunity that broadband and connectivity can offer to grow your business.There will be a major focus on setting up and using analytics to measure and gain key strategic insights to your business going forward. To register, please e-mail catherinemuldoon@eircom.net or call 074-91-68212.DEVELOP A DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY BY ATTENDING INNOVATIVE ERNACT WORKSHOP was last modified: July 16th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BusinessERNACTnewsNoticesWorkshoplast_img read more

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Gardai uncover number of possible ‘weapons’ in hunt for Sebastian’s killer

first_imgGardai have recovered a number of items which may be linked to the murder of a man in Co Donegal.Sebastian Adamowicz, aged 36, was found with severe head injuries at his home at 15 Sylvian Park in Letterkenny on Wednesday last, November 1st.Detective Inspector Pat O’Donnell has confirmed that searches for the weapon in hedgerows, wheelie bins and other areas have uncovered a number of items which may be linked to the crime. “We have recovered a number of items which may have been linked to this incident and they have all been sent off for analysis.“Until a forensic analysis has been done on them, we cannot say if they are the object used in this attack,” he said.Mr Adamowicz, was found at the bottom of his stairs at around 4.50pm in the afternoon and Gardai initially thought the Polish national had fallen down the stairs.However, following a post-mortem carried out by State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy, a murder investigation was launched by Gardai in Letterkenny. Gardai are now specifically targeting the Polish community for help in solving the murder.They have produced a special appeal poster in Polish which will be placed in shops and other areas frequented by the large Polish community living in the town.“The poster will feature a picture of Sebastian and it will be an appeal for anyway who may have information on his murder to come forward,” added Detective Inspector O’Donnell.Gardai have also visited dozens of businesses on Letterkenny’s Main Street and recovered hundreds of hours of CCTV coverage which is being examined.It is understood that the victim had been in the town earlier that morning before returning to his home where he suffered the fatal injuries. Four other people living in the house, three males and a female, have been interviewed by Gardai but no arrests have yet been made in the investigation.Inspector O’Donnell confirmed that he had spoken to the late Mr Adamowicz’s mother and family who had arrived in Ireland after their son had been injured.“They are very decent people and as you can imagine they are very distraught by what has happened,” he said.Anybody with any information is asked to contact Gardai in Letterkenny on 0749167100. Gardai uncover number of possible ‘weapons’ in hunt for Sebastian’s killer was last modified: November 10th, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalmurderPOLISHSebastian Adamowiczweaponlast_img read more

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Orchids: Epitome of Plant Evolution

first_img“Orchids might be considered the epitome of plant evolution,” said David Roberts [Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew] and Kingsley Dixon [Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Australia] in a primer on orchids in Current Biology.1  Yet some of the facts they shared about these amazingly diverse and well-adapted plants are puzzling for evolutionary theory.    First, the superlatives.  “The Orchidaceae comprise over 850 genera and 25,000 species, representing about 10% of the world’s flowering plants and the largest family in species number.”  Darwin, who delighted in the study of orchids and wrote a book on them in 1862, estimated that the entire globe could be carpeted with orchids in three generations if all their offspring lived.  Orchids produce multitudes of tiny seeds that can drift long distances.  Their habitats are extremely varied.  Some survive in deserts, many in the tropics, and some without soil (epiphytes).  Some no longer photosynthesize, relying on their hosts for nutrients.  One species even lives its entire life underground.    Orchids maintain remarkable symbioses with pollinators.  Some reward their pollinators with nectar; but, like fisherman, a third of species “deceive” pollinators with lures but no reward.  The article shows a picture of one species that has a structure on its flower that looks like the female of a wasp.  When the male lands on it, a trigger flips him onto his back, dusting the flower’s pistil with the pollen he has collected.  Orchids also have complex dependencies on fungi and on other plants.  The diversity of sizes, shapes, lifestyles and relationships among this group of plants is remarkable.    Since the diversity in this plant group affords many opportunities to study evolution, one might think a great deal is known about it.  Roberts and Dixon mentioned some difficulties, however:Missing branch on the family tree:  “The relationship of the Orchidaceae to other monocotyledons is poorly resolved,” they said.  Monocots are one of the major groups of flowering plants.The plant without a country:  “Equally confused is the geographical origin of the family.”Fossily paucity:  “To date the only unequivocal orchid fossil that has been found is the recently described orchid pollinia on the back of a bee trapped in amber,” said to be 76-84 million years old – but that may be dated assumptions about when bees evolved.The unfit:  “Orchids might be considered the epitome of plant evolution,” they said, “but sadly they are among the most threatened of all flowering plants” – a puzzling predicament for organisms that one would think possess the epitome of fitness.Profusion of confusion:  The authors said that “Numerous hypotheses have been put forward to explain why orchids should have such high levels of deception.”  This suggests that Darwinian theory provides no easy explanation of this phenomenon.In short, “While much still remains to be learnt within orchid biology, there is now a mass of literature on their pollination biology and phylogenetic relationship,” they ended.  This volume of literature does not necessarily track with evolutionary explanatory power: “However, much of this has been the description of patterns; what is now needed are studies into the processes that drive diversification in this most remarkable of flowering plant families.”  Sounds like what is needed is work on the “origin of species,” if you’ll pardon Darwin’s expression (that is, his facial one).1.  David L. Roberts and Kingsley W. Dixon, “Primer: Orchids,” Current Biology, Volume 18, Issue 8, 22 April 2008, pages R325-R329, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2008.02.026.Much of the variation among these remarkably diverse and complex plants fits with horizontal diversification – i.e., segregation of existing information among populations that become more specialized.  Some of the variation is due to loss of function.  The authors did not provide any clear case of new genetic information arising from nowhere.  What Darwin needs to explain is the origin of orchids.  That relationship to other plants, they admitted, is “poorly resolved.”  Equally unresolved is the origin of a new kind of flowering plant.  They are all still orchids.    Here was a natural testbed for evolutionary theory.  Variation within the kind is not the issue.  Some of the theories behind the observed variations (genetic drift, variable reproductive success, arms races leading to exaggeration of characters, founder events) fit within microevolutionary change.  Darwin himself studied orchids with a passion after writing The Origin, and called the origin of flowering plants an “abominable mystery.”  Here we are 146 years later with evolutionists still moaning there is “much still remains to be learnt”.  As far as observational science is concernt, Darwin has been spurnt, and the court is now adjournt.(Visited 31 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Conjuring Up Evolutionary Implications from Current Data

first_img(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 What does observable reality imply about unobservable reality?  Some scientists say, a lot.  But is unobservable reality really real?  Or is it an oxymoron?  A couple of recent articles in the science media show scientists observing things in the present, then saying they have “huge implications” for things no scientist ever observed.    In one article, some Yale geologists measured the angle of magnetization in rocks in Australia in the present.  That’s the data.  The implication they drew was that a supercontinent in the unobserved past called Gondwana underwent a 60-degree rotation 525 million years ago.  According to Science Daily, one of the scientists exclaimed, “this could have had huge implications for the Cambrian explosion of animal life at that time.”    A picture of a professor and his post-doc working in a Frankensteinish lab accompanies another article in Science Daily.  They are looking at space dust.  That’s the data.  They are trying to tally up the chemicals in meteorites and dust samples brought back from space missions, and detected in spectra from the Herschel space telescope, and make their tally available to researchers around the world.  What is the significance of dust?  The article announced the implications: “Because space dust contains the basic ingredients that form planets, the University of Central Florida physicists’ analysis could provide important clues about how the solar system formed and how life emerged.”  The postdoc is learning her lessons well.  “A complete understanding of the mineralogy of cosmic dust is essential to understanding the formation and mineralogy of planets and, ultimately, to unraveling how life emerged in the universe,” she said.    An evolutionist at the University of Dusseldorf found organisms deep in the Mediterranean that can live without oxygen.  That’s the data.  It led Bill Martin to propose a radical idea about the origin of life and its subsequent evolution that shows all the other evolutionary biologists are wrong: the origin of complex life did not revolve around oxygen.  The tale told as a “hydrogen bombshell” in New Scientist conjures up the union of a bacterium and an archaeal microbe to form mitochondria.  It conjures up the Cambrian explosion.  It conjures up images of the rise and fall of oxygen, the interactions of that gas with microbes directing the course of evolution.  For example,One is that the initial rise in oxygen did not cleanse the oceans, but converted them into a stinking mess, full of hydrogen sulphide.  Far from having few refuges, anaerobes had whole oceans to themselves.  What’s more, these conditions lasted for more than a billion years, right through the period when the eukaryotes are thought to have evolved.Notice that the qualifier “the period when the eukaryotes are thought to have evolved” refers to the period, not the evolution.  Evolution was nowhere doubted in the article, though controversies about the “how” of eukaryote evolution surfaced at one point.  Author Nick Lane1 admitted that Martin and his colleague “leapt straight in at the deep end” by suggesting that the “ancestor of mitochondria… was a versatile bacterium capable of living in a variety of environments” using hydrogen or oxygen, and that by combining its resources with a bacterium, it made a “primordial pact that gave rise to the eukaryotes.”    In answer to his critics, Martin revealed something about the inability of drawing implications from other people’s data.  His critics, who “think the transformation from aerobic mitochondria to hydrogenosomes has little or nothing to do with the origins of eukaryotes,” typically use gene studies to make their point.  “Single gene studies are subject to so many artefacts that we can conclude almost nothing about deep evolutionary history from them,” Martin argued.  “Line up the same genes from the other end and you derive a totally different tree.”    Rather than learning that lesson from his own data, Martin and Nick Lane feel that if the hydrogen hypothesis is right, “the implications for complex life are striking.”  Reaching for the stars, Lane wrote, “The existence of animals that don’t need oxygen means that oxygen is not the be-all and end-all of complex life in the universe.”  Furthermore, “There was no magisterial progression from simple to complex life as oxygen levels rose; no inevitability about it,” he ended.  “Instead, there was a symbiotic union between a bacterium that could make hydrogen and an archaeal host cell that could exploit that hydrogen: a freak event that changed the world.”    Amazing, is it not, the implications that can be derived from magnetic field lines, dust, and Mediterranean microbes. 1.  Incidentally, Nick Lane, who authored the article in New Scientist, whisked by the problem of the origin of ATP Synthase (08/04/2010) by referring to it dismissively as, “the usual ATP-generating machinery driven by oxygen.”  In a book review in Science four years ago (see 03/31/2006), David Nicholls was stunned by Lane’s simplistic account of the emergence of ATP synthesis with the words, “all that the cells need to do to generate ATP is to plug an ATPase through the membrane.”  Reeling from the shock of that sentence, Nicholls responded, “Any bioenergeticist who has followed the elucidation of the extraordinary structure and mechanism of the mitochondrial ATP synthase over the past decade will pause at the word ‘all,’ because the ATP synthase—with its spinning rotor massaging the surrounding subunits to generate ATP—is without doubt the most amazingly complex molecular structure in the cell.”  Nick Lane’s book had the audacious title, Science, Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life.  For more examples of Lane’s glittering generalities in action, see 05/31/2010, 10/19/2009 and 06/15/2009.They should be weeping over the Cambrian explosion and the inability of evolution to account for the “emergence” of complex life and body plans, and they should be blushing over reducing science to “freak accidents,” but instead they are rejoicing in their own freak imaginations.    What are the implications of following their example?  If they can do it, so can we.  We can take observable reality and make up stories about unobservable realities that exist only in the imagination.  Here’s your assignment: assume a stupid thing, observe a fact, and make up a story about what it means about unobservable reality.    Here are a couple to get you started.Assumption: Everything happens according to the will of Elvis.  Data: I got a junk phone call from an airline company.  Implication: Elvis wants me to fly to Memphis.Assumption: Aliens planted gnomes on Earth to direct the course of evolution.  Data: Flies come into the house when the windows are open.  Implication: 128.523 million years ago, flies were change agents the gnomes used to pressure mammals to grow long tails as fly swatters.    See?  It’s fun.  You, too, can be a scientist.  Send in your suggestions.last_img read more

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