Upsets in Space

first_imgThree different astronomy teams have announced findings that upset long-held beliefs.  What does this portend about the confidence we can have in other theories?Galaxy growth: direct challenge:  “Galaxies are thought to develop by the gravitational attraction between and merger of smaller ‘sub-galaxies’, a process that standard cosmological ideas suggest should be ongoing,” announced the Royal Astronomical Society.  “But new data from a team of scientists from Liverpool John Moores University directly challenges this idea, suggesting that the growth of some of the most massive objects stopped 7 billion years ago when the Universe was half its present age.”    How serious is this claim?  “The lack of growth of the most massive galaxies is a major challenge to current models of the formation and evolution of large scale structure in the Universe,” commented Claire Burke, team member.  “Our work suggests that cosmologists appear to lack some of the crucial ingredients they need to understand how galaxies evolved from the distant past to the present day.”Star spin: poking holes:  Researchers at the University of Michigan have poked holes in a “century-old astronomical theory.”  The theory, called the von Zeipel law, “has been used for the better part of a century to predict the difference in surface gravity, brightness and temperature between a rapidly rotating star’s poles and its equator.”    Doctoral student Xiao Che and other astronomers on the team found that the data from Regulus don’t fit the theory.  “It is surprising to me that von Zeipel’s law has been adopted in astronomy for such a long time with so little solid observational evidence.”Impossible wet comet: shattering paradigms:  “Current thinking suggests that it is impossible to form liquid water inside of a comet,” states a press release from University of Arizona.  But lo and behold, Comet Wild-2 explored by the Stardust spacecraft found minerals that could only have formed in the presence of water.    This is a shattering find: “For the first time, scientists have found convincing evidence for the presence of liquid water in a comet, shattering the current paradigm that comets never get warm enough to melt the ice that makes up the bulk of their material.”  The press release was echoed on PhysOrg.When a paradigm gets shattered in one area of science, there can be ramifications for others, depending on how foundational it was.  The American philosopher Willard Quine noticed that when faced with potentially falsifying data, scientists often absorb the shocks into their “web of belief” without changing the web.There are several dynamics at work here.  One is that scientists enjoy finding flaws in earlier beliefs because it makes their research seem important.  They usually limit their hole-poking to small claims that can be absorbed by the web of belief without tearing it.  Another dynamic is that beliefs and “laws” like the von Zeipel law are often taken on faith – yes, even scientists have faith.  Nobody has the time to check out the validity of every claimed law, so they are assumed to be laws of “nature” rather than the sausage-type laws of legislature.    We see often that long-held beliefs in science are vulnerable to new evidence.  What’s next to go?  Darwinism?  Unlikely.  Darwinism’s web of belief is so paramount to the cultural world view, its supporters are ready with reinforcements any time falsifying evidence comes along.  All the original web is long gone.  It is now a steel framework of belief, protected behind a Berlin Wall with machine-gunners ready to mow down any creationists trying to cross the line.(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Discovering the place that made the man

first_imgAs a place of immense natural and spiritual beauty, the Transkei is a showcase of the land that made Mandela. Photos: Ukubona AfricaSangoma Khulela and his girlfriend Macabi are sangomas. Guests are invited to visit them and learn about sangomas, their place in society, value and importance. It is even possible for guests to have a consultations with them.By Lorraine Kearney14 May 2014The bare facts of the life of Nelson Mandela are well known, but as we draw closer to his first birthday we’ll be marking without him, perhaps it is more important to reflect on what made him the great man he was.If we get a better understanding of the culture that informed his extraordinary humanity, there is a possibility we can celebrate his legacy in concrete and meaningful ways, with some humanity of our own.The first Nelson Mandela International Day since his death is a good time to explore ubuntu, which Madiba learned at the knee of his elders, under the famed gum trees at Mqhekezweni, the “Great Place” of the Thembu tribe.It was here, listening to Chief Jongintaba’s council, that a young Mandela learned his diplomacy – and democracy. The regent gave every person a chance to speak; and everybody had to listen to the other’s opinion.This spectacular, deeply spiritual place is a highlight of Nelson’s Transkei, a tour of the landscapes of his childhood run by travel company Ukubona Africa. It visits the small villages and rural homesteads, and immerses the visitor in the culture of the Thembu. It explores the age-old, rural rhythms of life; and not much has changed since it was the home of a very young Mandela.Follow his footsteps from Mvezo to Qunu, where he moved with his family at the age of two. And then the journey the nine-year-old Madiba took with his mother to Mqhekezweni, after his father died. Hear the stories of his people. Learn about how Mandela became the man he was. To be sure, it is a hard life, but at its centre lies ubuntu, the idea that I am because you are. Nelson’s Transkei does more than show what made the man; it shows what is special about Africa.For more information about Ukubona Africa and Nelson’s Transkei, email info@ukubonaafricatours.co.za or phone +27 (0)21 447 6327.last_img read more

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‘There are no cowards in La Salle’: Lady Spikers show title pedigree in bounce back win

first_imgThe Lady Spikers lost to the Lady Maroons, 25-16, 26-24, 25-19, on Sunday in what was one of the defending champions’ sloppiest games so far when they had more errors, 37, than attack points, 28.With such an ugly loss, the Lady Spikers made a promise to themselves that they would bounce back and show that they’re still the reigning queens of the league.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, logisticsLa Salle easily dismantled National University, 25-20, 25-18, 25-10, on Wednesday at Filoil Flying V Center in a game that showed the pedigree of the 11-time champion.“We’re in La Salle and there are no cowards in La Salle,” said rookie star Jolina Dela Cruz in Filipino. “Coach [Ramil De Jesus] always reminds us of that and we just brought that spirit.” Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess MANILA, Philippines—De La Salle wasn’t going to let a three-set loss to University of the Philippines stop its momentum in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament.ADVERTISEMENT Dela Cruz is La Salle’s leading scorer with a total of 96 points after the game against the Lady Bulldogs but she wasn’t immune to De Jesus’ constant, and sometimes intense, lecturing.There were several times during timeouts that De Jesus would focus directly on Dela Cruz when he was conveying a message but the rookie was unfazed with the iconic coach’s intensity.“I just listened to him,” said Dela Cruz who had seven points against NU. “He always tells me to follow the game plan and follow his instructions so I won’t get lost on the floor.”ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag MOST READ Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Google Philippines names new country director LATEST STORIEScenter_img View comments Goran Dragic, Luka Doncic put on a show for Slovenia Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants 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 Krausslast_img read more

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