Incredible Stasis in Evolution: What Does It Mean?

first_img1Venkatesh et al, “Ancient Noncoding Elements Conserved in the Human Genome,” Science, 22 December 2006: Vol. 314. no. 5807, p. 1892, DOI: 10.1126/science.1130708.2Wedmann, Bradler and Rust, “The first fossil leaf insect: 47 million years of specialized cryptic morphology and behavior,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, published online before print December 29, 2006, 10.1073/pnas.0606937104.Do you see how the evolutionary mindset works?  The thought never enters any evolutionist’s brain that evolutionary theory could be at fault.  No matter how bizarre, conflicting and falsifying the evidence, Darwin’s image must be worshipped and the sacrifices* must continue.  It doesn’t matter that no evolution happens in some lineages for tens or hundreds of millions of years (think about that!) for them to keep the pieces of their story straight, while evolution is extremely, fantastically rapid in other quarters.  In the time tree-swinging monkeys supposedly became philosophers, and all kinds of dramatic other changes took place, leaf-mimicking insects changed nada.  Are we to believe that the predators were all so stupid in this time never to catch on to the trick?  “Don’t eat me; I’m a leaf!”  Right.    Even more astonishing is the conservation of noncoding elements between sharks and humans.  Evolutionary theory is so plastic and malleable, like silly putty, (12/14/2004), it makes evolutionists downright silly, buddy.  We are asked to believe that all the radiations of fish into seahorses and angler fish and tunas showed more evolution of these elements from their cartilaginous swimming mates than 530 million years of evolution of all the other vertebrates—reptiles, birds, and every mammal from shrews to giraffes to elephants and man.  We are expected to trust the evolutionists because they are priests of Science and know the Truth of Almighty Darwin (t.o.a.d.).  Don’t be a toady.(Visited 84 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Quite often in phylogenetic research, evolutionists find examples of extreme conservation of genes or traits.  How they explain the lack of change is almost as interesting as the phenomenon itself.  Here are two recent examples.Your cousin the shark:  Surprise: you have more in common with horn sharks than bony fishes do.  Craig Venter’s international team found evidence for “Ancient Noncoding Elements Conserved in the Human Genome” and reported this in Science last week.1  They found more similarities in these noncoding regions between sharks and humans than between sharks and bony fish.  Here’s how they interpreted such an astonishing result:Thus, it appears that, even though cartilaginous fishes diverged from the human lineage before teleost fishes, higher proportions of regulatory elements are conserved between cartilaginous fishes and human than between teleost fishes and human.  This implies that the regulatory regions of teleost fishes have been evolving faster since their common ancestor diverged from the lineage that led to mammals.  The divergent regulatory regions in teleosts may be partly explained by the partitioning of regulatory elements between duplicate gene loci that arose from the fish-specific whole-genome duplication event in the ray-finned fish lineage.  Teleost fishes, with about 25,000 extant species, are the largest group of vertebrates and exhibit vast diversity in their morphology and adaptations.  The accelerated rate of evolution of regulatory regions may be an important factor in the rapid radiation and diversity of teleost fishes.Make like a leaf:  A fossil leaf-mimicking insect said to be 47 million years old is virtually identical to modern ones, reported Mongabay.com.  What this means, according to the article, is that this insect found a “time-tested strategy” to avoid predators.  The article calls this “an outstanding example of morphological and, probably, behavioral stasis.” It means that “leaf mimicry had already evolved early in the Eocene period when insect predators would have included birds, early primates, bats, and other insects.”  See also the story on Live Science.Update 12/29/2006: the paper in PNAS appeared online Dec. 29.2  Portions of the abstract demonstrate the degree of stasis of this fossil:…. Here we report the first fossil leaf insect, Eophyllium messelensis gen.  et sp.  nov., from 47-million-year-old deposits at Messel in Germany.  The new specimen, a male, is exquisitely preserved and displays the same foliaceous appearance as extant male leaf insects.  Clearly, an advanced form of extant angiosperm leaf mimicry had already evolved early in the Eocene.  We infer that this trait was combined with a special behavior, catalepsy or “adaptive stillness,” enabling Eophyllium to deceive visually oriented predators.  Potential predators reported from the Eocene are birds, early primates, and bats.  The combination of primitive and derived characters revealed by Eophyllium allows the determination of its exact phylogenetic position and illuminates the evolution of leaf mimicry for this insect group.  It provides direct evidence that Phylliinae originated at least 47 Mya…. This fossil leaf insect bears considerable resemblance to extant individuals in size and cryptic morphology, indicating minimal change in 47 million years.  This absence of evolutionary change is an outstanding example of morphological and, probably, behavioral stasis.This fossil was found in Europe, while most leaf-mimic insects live today in southeast Asia.  This indicates that leaf insects were much more widespread in the past.  It’s possible that fossil hunters missed finding them before now because the mimics were so good, people mistook them for leaves.    What traits did the authors feel were primitive?  Their paper tries to place the new fossil between the stick insects and modern leaf mimics, but admits that their origin is “poorly understood” and that “exact phylogenetic position of the Phylliinae within the phasmid phylogeny is unknown”.  It seems arbitrary, therefore, that their chart places the new insect halfway between the stick insects and the leaf insects, considering that the fossil shares many characteristics with extant leaf insects.  They only pointed to “straight fore femora and the absence of tergal thorn pads” as “primitive” traits resembling those of the stick insects; yet, clearly, this fossil was not primitive.  They restated at the end of the paper that this fossil is an example of “exceptional evolutionary stasis of a highly derived morphology, most likely coupled with very specialized cryptic behavior that lasted for [greater than or equal to] 47 million years.”    As to how exactly this morphology and behavior evolved, they suggested that necessity was the mother of invention: “In all probability,” they speculated, “this advanced type of crypsis evolved in concert with angiosperm leaves on which the insects feed.  It must have been caused by vigorous selection pressure by visually oriented predators” such as birds, lizards, bats and primates. last_img read more

Ducere Foundation tells African stories

first_imgLearners at Zandspruit Primary School during the launch of Ducere’s African Children’s Stories Program. (Images and e-book: Ducere)Reading can be boring if the stories do not resonate with the lives of readers. The Ducere Foundation knows this, and aims to provide an African alternative in children’s literature.All too often, library shelves and school bags are filled with Western stories that have little or no relevance to the reality of primary schoolchildren in Africa. But the foundation’s African Children’s Stories Program is leading the way with an innovative initiative that aims to one day publish and distribute African children’s stories from each and every African nation.Julia Gillard, the former prime minister of Australia and its former minister of education, is the chancellor of Ducere and chair of the board of directors of its Global Partnership for Education. She was in South Africa earlier this month to celebrate the foundation’s African Children’s Stories Program roll-out.Julia Gillard, the chancellor of Ducere and chair of the board of directors of its Global Partnership for Education, emphasised how the grassroots are important for children to excel in basic education and literacy.Ducere has partnered with Monash South Africa (MSA), a leading private higher education provider founded by Monash University (Australia) and a member of Laureate International Universities, for the roll-out of the latest collection of stories. They were written by local South African pupils.EDUCATIONAL VISITWhile she was in Johannesburg, Gillard visited Zandspruit Primary School, where she encouraged the children to keep writing and to make their education a priority.“Education, employability and entrepreneurship begin at grassroots level, from the support of basic education and literacy to the preparation of students for today’s global economy,” she said.The MSA and Ducere collaboration is made possible through the MSA student-led programme, This is Me, which promotes children’s creative thinking, storytelling and literacy skills to support their academic and personal growth.“We will continue publishing stories written by African children, for African children to be shared across the globe,” said Di Fleming, the chief executive of the Ducere Foundation. “We encourage and celebrate literacy from a young age, and empower the young learners to embrace their African culture.”MSA distributed hundreds of these stories to schools through its campus community engagement programmes.STUDENT DEVELOPMENTEsther Benjamin, the chief executive of MSA and of Africa operations for Laureate International Universities, believes this project, one of many MSA outreach programmes, strengthens students’ passion for volunteering as part of their personal development, gives them an opportunity to make important contributions to the community, and equips them with valuable skills for leadership and entrepreneurial thinking.An example of African Children Stories from Rwanda (Collection 22).“By facilitating important conversations on education’s link to building robust economies and skilled marketplaces, we strive to be a leading change agent in South Africa and beyond,” she said.“We pride ourselves on local relevancy as well as a global perspective. We work with an extensive global network of thought leaders to ensure that our graduates are equipped for the global business environment as well as for entrepreneurial initiatives relevant to the marketplace.”Gillard’s visit culminated in a panel discussion that included prominent business, NGO, and community leaders.At the discussion, Gillard and Benjamin spoke about the challenges and opportunities for students in the global marketplace. It was emphasised that students needed to pursue academic excellence along with cultivating essential life and personal skills for employability and entrepreneurship.PLAY YOUR PARTAre you playing your part in transforming South Africa? If so, submit your story or video and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.last_img read more

International EarthCache Day is October 9!

first_imgOn October 9, you can earn a new souvenir by learning more about the Earth (aka geocaching’s game board). All you have to do is go out and find an EarthCache on International EarthCache Day!EarthCaches don’t have physical containers, but instead bring you to a unique location and teach you a geological science lesson. Check out these stunning EarthCaches to learn more.On International EarthCache Day, this special geocache type will be free to all players in the Geocaching® app.* The app makes finding and logging EarthCaches easy. Just send your answers to the geocache owner via Message Center!Get the Geocaching® App.*Excludes specifically designated Premium Member Only caches.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedInternational EarthCache celebration for 2018October 8, 2018In “Events”Earn a new souvenir for International EarthCache DaySeptember 8, 2015In “Geocaching Weekly Newsletter”Discover EarthCaching and 11 Stunning LocationsAugust 5, 2014In “Community”last_img read more

NBA fires Turkish company that left Enes Kanter off a tweet

first_imgPortland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, let, congratulates center Enes Kanter who reacts after hanging from the rim after putting the ball in for a basket against the Denver Nuggets in the first half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Monday, April 29, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)The NBA reacted in support of Portland’s Enes Kanter on Thursday, not long after the league’s Turkish-centric Twitter account failed to mention Kanter’s efforts in the Trail Blazers’ victory over Denver in Game 2 of the teams’ Western Conference semifinal series.The league also fired the Turkish company in charge of operating that account.ADVERTISEMENT Joel Embiid, 76ers pull ahead 2-1 after rout of Raptors Kanter has previously said that he will seek a U.S. passport; his Turkish one was canceled in 2017. Citing security concerns and a fear of being arrested, Kanter chose to miss two games outside of the U.S. so far in 2019 — when he was with the New York Knicks he did not accompany them for a game in London in January, and he didn’t travel with Portland for a game in Toronto on March 1.His reluctance to leave the U.S. coincides with Turkish officials seeking a “red notice” through Interpol and pursuing Kanter’s arrest since January, alleging that he backed exiled Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen and provided financial support to his group. Gulen has been blamed for a failed coup on the Erdogan government in 2016; Kanter has dismissed that as a “fake coup” staged by Erdogan.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue View comments Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting LATEST STORIES Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Kanter — who has been estranged from Turkey, his homeland, for at least two years and is a longtime critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — had 15 points and nine rebounds in Portland’s 97-90 victory Wednesday night. After the game, the NBA tweeted out a list of stat leaders and included Kanter; the Turkish account, @NBATurkiye, made no mention of Kanter.It’s the latest twist in a long saga, one where the Turkish government has sought Kanter’s arrest and he has claimed, among other things, that the government censors him and forbids the airing of Portland games in the country. The NBA said Turkish fans can still see all games through its various platforms.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“Fans in Turkey can watch all playoff games featuring Enes Kanter and the Portland Trail Blazers on NBA League Pass and NBA TV International,” NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum said. “The NBA Turkey Twitter account was managed by a local vendor and we are terminating that relationship.”The National Basketball Players Association also put out a statement in support of Kanter on Thursday, saying it “fully supports our players using their platforms to stand up for their beliefs and the principles they support. We stand with Enes and, as with all of our players, will work to ensure that he is treated fairly and with respect.” SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid MOST READ DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassleslast_img read more

Jason Momoas Aquaman is the superhero the world needs right now

first_imgCNET’s Holiday Gift Guide: The best place to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list this season. Culture: Your hub for everything from film and television to music, comics, toys and sports. But what made me really appreciate DC Comics’ Aquaman? Unlike Marvel superheroes who always seem to struggle with internal demons and tragic backstories, Aquaman is well-adjusted and jovial. Granted, since the gritty film reboots of the Batman and Superman franchises, DC Comics have their own versions of damaged and depressing superheroes. But since 2017’s Wonder Woman film, DC movies now seem more cheerful and escapist. spoilers-dceuWarning: Minor movie spoilers ahead. Aquaman’s mother, Queen Atlanna, played by Nicole Kidman, is ripped away from him and his human father, Tom Curry (Temuera Morrison), when Aquaman’s young, but he doesn’t dive into the ocean seeking revenge against the Atlantean royal family. He doesn’t go on a bad-guy-killing spree. He smiles, jokes and shares pints with his dad at the local pub. Welcome to Atlantis. Warner Bros. Granted, much of Aquaman’s charm is due to Momoa’s built-in swagger. This isn’t the uptight, blond-boy comic-book version of Aquaman. This is a superhero we’d want to go drinking or surfing with. He’s approachable without having a Tony Stark ego. Momoa steals most of the Aquaman movie with his relaxed hang 10 surfer approach to dealing with both his insulting half-brother, Atlantean King Orm (Patrick Wilson), and new vengeance-driven villain Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II). But it’s also how Aquaman treats the women in the movie that won me over. Mera (Amber Heard) might look like she’s cosplaying a sexy Ariel the Little Mermaid with a tight green costume and red wig even RuPaul would scoff at, but she’s not in the film as a love interest. She fights her own battles.  Mera isn’t about to be a pawn in yet another royal arranged marriage. And she’s definitely not there to flutter her eyelashes at Aquaman. Most of the time, she’s putting Aquaman in his place and teaching him about the underwater world she calls home. TV and Movies 2019 movies to geek out over Tags Aquaman keeps the DC comeback afloat Now playing: Watch this: Queen Atlanna is also a warrior. When we see her at the beginning of the film, she’s injured and vulnerable, but eventually trusts and falls in love with the lighthouse keeper Tom who nurses her back to health. It’s clear the movie’s real love story isn’t between Aquaman and Mera, but between his parents. Although Queen Atlanna is banished by her royal family, she fights for her survival. She’s a deep-sea Furiosa. What also makes director James Wan’s Aquaman great is its sense of wonderment about the underwater world of Atlantis. I’ll never look at an octopus the same way again. Sure there are plenty of exciting battles where Aquaman shows off his power to command all sea creatures with his mighty trident in hand, but we also get to see the everyday Atlantis where whales and giant turtles are part of the underwater kingdom’s public transportation system. We see a lot of world building that makes me long to reinvest in sea monkeys. Review: Oceanic DC superhero epic will float your boat Aquaman: 5 things I want to see from the next DCEU film Jason Momoa gets giddy and naked at SNL Enlarge ImageJason Momoa as Aquaman. Warner Bros. Pictures Thor, Black Widow, Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Black Panther. This has been my crew, my squad, my ultimate hero lineup for years. Whenever asked to choose Marvel or DC Comics, I proudly yelled Marvel. No contest. The Avengers, Agent Carter and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have been the superheroes I needed — complex, gritty and troubled, without a hint of comic book camp. But lately, I need a fan support group just to get through all the death and destruction facing the Avengers. As the real world feels darker and more dangerous with bomb threats, mass shootings, out-of-control wildfires and turbulent politics, I need a superhero who gives me hope and reminds me to not take everything so damn seriously. Enter Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry, aka Aquaman, in the new film playing worldwide and making a splash at the box office. He saves submarines from being hijacked and is always up for adventure. He’s like an underwater Thor, complete with annoying power-hungry half-brother. But Aquaman also wants to be left alone. He’s not really into politics and superhero fame. He’s an antihero who drinks like a fish and would rather buy you a beer than try to save the world.  He’s optimistic, empathetic and ready to help with a huge smile on his face.   77 Photos Captain Marvel DC Comics Marvel Disney Captain America Iron Man 1:45 More Aquaman The movie ignited my imagination more than the latest roster of Marvel movies. And even though it glosses over the problem of humans polluting the oceans with our never-ending supply of trash, there isn’t a preachy moment. There isn’t a depressing sequence where Aquaman gives up on himself or humanity. I didn’t feel one second of pending doom and gloom in the two-and-a-half-hour movie. Aquaman’s a guy you can trust with the world, both land and sea. He’s optimistic, empathetic and ready to help with a huge smile on his face. Wan’s Aquaman movie has a sense of humor about itself that makes this the kind of superhero the world needs and deserves right now. So I’m a DC Comics fangirl now… or at least until Marvel’s Captain Marvel and DC’s Shazam create a new tug-of-war in 2019.First published Dec. 22, 5 a.m. PT. Correction, 10:17 a.m. PT: This post initially misstated the franchise that created Shazam. Shazam is a DC character. last_img read more