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Comment: The Earth May have Billions of People with Sunpox (Score 1) 380

by Maeric (#34067056) Attached to: The Galaxy May Have Billions of Habitable Planets

Here's a hypothetical story to illustrate a point.

"A recent report came out stating that as many as 1 in 4 people have sunpox. But is the world at risk? A simple bit of math based on some decent assumptions shows that there may be billions of people potentially infected. '... astronomers studied 166 people within 80 miles of New York, and did a survey of the people they found. What they found is that about 1.5% of the people have a terminal virus, 6% have a virus, and about 12% have people think they have a virus. This sample isn’t complete, and they cannot yet detect the sunpox virus as it is still being studied in the one reported case of it globally. But using some statistics, they can estimate from the trend that as many as 25% of the people have the sunpox virus!' Proving this directly has proven to be an issue..."

For those that may need me to connect the dots for you, how likely would you say that the world needs to be in fear, based on the story above, of the sunpox virus? Now read the headline and synopsis again. How likely are you to believe that there are habitable planets out there just because we live on one? I'm not saying there aren't any out there, though I doubt there are any that have developed with intelligence, but with this kind of thinking it makes science look like a young child trying to jam a piece of the puzzle into a hole that it doesn't fit into.

Comment: Re:Mutation does not equal Evolution (Score 2, Informative) 461

by Maeric (#29789013) Attached to: Observing Evolution Over 40,000 Generations

Perhaps you should define as to what you think evolution is, before you say you don't see any.

I thought I did. E. Coli still remainds E. Coli. Perhaps I should have said I don't see anything significant about this study. I have no problem accepting that genetic mutations occur. However, it seems that this study is inferring that this is the first witnessed proof for evolution. I would be interested at the lead researchers definition of evolution.

It's a fair request that you ask. I looked it up. Good ol' Google:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-definition.html

I looked at other pages as well but it seems the most standard definition I could find was on the above page and read:

"Evolution is a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations."

Also reading further into other articles about this study it would seem that Richard Lenski and many other evolutionists hold this study as a holy grail (in comparison to other studies before it) in the debate of creation vs. evolution. If all evolution is defined as being is the heritable change in a population spread over many generations then why would there be any debate at all?

Perhaps the debate is mearly by what process did life evolve. If this study holds any significance in that debate I am not seeing one. If this study is of significance in the study of mutation then I suggest there are more clear and abundant examples elsewhere.

20 years of study for what?

I digress a bit from the original request of a definition but I believe you should now understand the point I am making.

Earth

New Zealand Tree Stuck In Evolutionary Time Warp 337

Posted by Soulskill
from the decompress-the-shuttlebay dept.
sciencehabit writes "A eucalyptus-like tree from New Zealand is still waging a battle that should have ended over 500 years ago. The tree continues to sport evolutionary adaptations, such as barbed leaves, to protect it from a large, flightless bird known as a moa. There's just one problem: the moa went extinct around 1500 AD."
Biotech

Hawking Says Humans Have Entered a New Stage of Evolution 398

Posted by Soulskill
from the already-banned-in-kansas dept.
movesguy sends us to The Daily Galaxy for comments by Stephen Hawking about how humans are evolving in a different way than any species before us. Quoting: "'At first, evolution proceeded by natural selection, from random mutations. This Darwinian phase, lasted about three and a half billion years, and produced us, beings who developed language, to exchange information. I think it is legitimate to take a broader view, and include externally transmitted information, as well as DNA, in the evolution of the human race,' Hawking said. In the last ten thousand years the human species has been in what Hawking calls, 'an external transmission phase,' where the internal record of information, handed down to succeeding generations in DNA, has not changed significantly. 'But the external record, in books, and other long lasting forms of storage,' Hawking says, 'has grown enormously. Some people would use the term evolution only for the internally transmitted genetic material, and would object to it being applied to information handed down externally. But I think that is too narrow a view. We are more than just our genes.'"
Biotech

DNA Suggests Three Basic Human Groups 459

Posted by samzenpus
from the primary-people dept.
Death Metal writes "All of Earth's people, according to a new analysis of the genomes of 53 populations, fall into just three genetic groups. They are the products of the first and most important journey our species made — the walk out of Africa about 70,000 years ago by a small fraction of ancestral Homo sapiens."
Networking

Handmade vs. Commercially Produced Ethernet Cables 837

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-wait-a-minute dept.
An anonymous reader writes "We have a T1 line coming into our satellite office and we rely fairly heavily on it to transfer large amounts of data over a VPN to the head office across the country. Recently, we decided to upgrade to a 20 Mbit line. Being the lone IT guy here, it fell on me to run cable from the ISP's box to our server room so I went out and bought a spool of Cat6. I mentioned the purchase and the plan to run the cable myself to my boss in head office and in an emailed response he stated that it's next to impossible to create quality cable (ie: cable that will pass a Time Domain Reflectometer test) by hand without expensive dies, special Ethernet jacks and special cable. He even went so far as to say that handmade cable couldn't compare to even the cheapest Belkin cables. I've never once ran into a problem with handmade patch cables. Do you create your own cable or do you bite the bullet and buy it from some place?"
Space

Earth-Like Planets In Our Neighborhood 171

Posted by kdawson
from the known-space dept.
goran72 sends in a story out of the Chicago AAAS meeting contending that Earth-like planets with life-sustaining conditions may be spinning around stars in our galactic neighborhood — we just haven't found them yet. "'So I think there is a very good chance that we will find some Earth-like planets within 10, 20 or 30 light years of the Sun,' astrophysicist [Alan Boss]... told his AAAS colleagues meeting here since Thursday. ... The images from those new planets, he added, should identify 'light from their atmosphere and tell us if they have perhaps methane and oxygen. That will be pretty strong proof they are not only habitable but actually are inhabited. I am not talking about a planet with intelligence on it. I simply say if you have a habitable world. ... Sitting there, with the right temperature with water for a billion years, something is going to come out of it. At least we will have microbes,' said Boss."
Science

Hadron Collider Relaunch Delayed 223

Posted by kdawson
from the earth-gets-a-reprieve dept.
SpuriousLogic writes "There's been another delay in the schedule announced for getting the Large Hadron Collider switched back on — now it's September 2009, a year after it shut down due to a malfunction. Scientists had said they expected the $5.4B machine to be repaired by November 2008, but then pushed the date back to June 2009, before the latest delay."
Education

Australian State May Give Students Linux Laptops 302

Posted by kdawson
from the keep-it-cheap dept.
Whiteox writes "The Australian Prime Minister's plan to equip high schools with 'one laptop per child' may go open source. Kevin Rudd's $56 million digital revolution will include 'laptops [that will] run on an open source operating system with a suite of open source applications like those packaged under Edubuntu. This would include Open Office for productivity software, Gimp for picture editing and the Firefox internet browser.' So far this has been considered for New South Wales and I think other states may follow."

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