Hobbit Man, Neanderthal Man Further Scrutinized

first_imgThe positions of two alleged human ancestors in the family tree is becoming clearer, or murkier, depending on whom you ask.  This illustrates the uncertainty and disparity of opinions in this field.Hobbit workshop:  Regarding the diminutive skeletons dubbed Homo floresiensis found in Indonesia, opinions seems to be condensing around the idea they were true Homo sapiens, not missing links.  Bruce Bower reported in Science News (162:22:141, June 3), summarizing a paper by Adam Brumm et al. in Nature last week,1 that stone tools found elsewhere on the island of Flores appear to match those in the Liang Bua cave where H. floresiensis was discovered.  But these artifacts are dated at up to 840,000 years old, whereas the bones of Hobbit Man are thought to be much more recent (estimated 74,000 to 12,000 years), within the time frame when true Homo sapiens are believed to have inhabited the island.  This raises several questions:Can we trust the dates?  Bower quotes James L. Phillips (Field Museum, Chicago) calling the idea “beyond belief” that the tools at the other site are connected culturally with H. floresiensis.  He says, “Mata Menge artifacts lay in unstable river sediment that moved over time, making it impossible to obtain accurate age estimates, Phillips holds.”Can we measure brain power from bones?  The stone toolwork, apparently unique to Flores, displays humanlike technology.  “The latest Flores finds show that the diminutive islanders, with their craniums the size of chimps’, possessed enough brainpower to parlay cultural traditions into effective toolmaking,” Bowers writes.Can we know the toolmakers?  Though 3,626 artifacts have been excavated in the cave hideout of Hobbit man, “I don’t think we can rule out Homo sapiens as the [maker] of the Liang Bua tools,” John Shea (State U of New York) said.Can we assume cross-cultural connections?  According to Bower, Dietrich Stout (University College, London) remarked that “It’s hard to know whether a single Stone Age culture connected residents of Mata Menge to Liang Bua’s inhabitants or whether separate hominid populations happened to exploit similar, basic toolmaking techniques.”Indeed, it appears hard to know anything at all about this population.  Since the dates of H. floresiensis are too recent to consider them missing links or derivatives of Homo erectus, a minority of scientists still contend the specimens are examples of modern humans with microcephalic disorder (see Science 19 May, 2006).  An article on BBC News mentions the puzzle of the hundreds of thousands of years alleged between Mata Menge and Liang Bua; “We can’t guarantee that this material really is related because of the large time gap,” Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum, UK, commented.Neanderthal genes:  European scientists reporting in Current Biology2 sequenced another strand of Neanderthal DNA in hopes of shedding light on whether Neanderthals and modern humans interbred (see 05/22/2006).  In short, they reported that there is still a distinction between the DNA of the two groups, but that Neanderthal genetic diversity has been underestimated, and is comparable to modern human genetic diversity.  They could not discern if the diversity was due to cohabitation, climactic changes, or subdivisions of populations; “Thus, more Neandertal sequences than the six presently available and longer than 100 bp [base-pairs] are needed to fully understand the extent of the past diversity of Neandertals.”No firm conclusions here, either, but that has not stopped Steven Mithen (U. of Reading, UK) from writing a whole book speculating that Neanderthals were the first musicians (see Reuters story on MSNBC.com).  The storytelling goes on: “It was a dark and stormy night, and in a cave in what is now southern France, Neanderthals were singing, dancing and tapping on stalagmites with their fingernails to pass the time.”1Adam Brumm et al., “Early stone technology on Flores and its implications for Homo floresiensis,” Nature 441, 624-628 (1 June 2006) | doi:10.1038/nature04618.2Orlando et al., “Revisiting Neandertal diversity with a 100,000 year old mtDNA sequence,” Current Biology, Volume 16, Issue 11, June 2006, pages R400-R402, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2006.05.019.The MSNBC story about Neanderthal music continues by asking whether such a cave concert might have actually happened, or is a figment of Mithen’s imagination.  The answer is: the latter.    In neither story are data definitive enough to draw conclusions.  In the case of Hobbit man, they cannot be sure which tools are associated with which population, who is related to whom, how old they are, how long they were there, and what their capabilities were.  It seems incredible to expect a simple stone-tool technology to persist on one island for over 800,000 years without change.  And making inferences about intelligence based on brain size is fraught with fallacies; consider how capable a hummingbird is with a brain the size of a grain of rice (see next story).    None of these reports contradict the creationist position that humans have always been humans and had their intellectual and artistic abilities from day one, or shall we say, Day Six.  According to the Bible, Adam’s great grandchildren were already accomplished farmers, metallurgists and musicians (see Genesis 4), having invented these skills from scratch using their God-given abilities, without hundreds of thousands of years of mutations and natural selection.  Do you need a model that fits the evidence?  Put this score on your music stand and play it.  (More harmony, less cacophony.)(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South Africa to attend its 2nd BRICS summit in New Delhi

first_imgJohannesburg, Monday, 26 March 2012 – South Africa will be sending a high powered team lead by its president, Jacob Zuma, and including government ministers and business leaders to the 4th BRICS summit in New Delhi India from 28 – 29 March 2012.The BRICS group of emerging super powers composed of Brazil, Russia, India and China was joined by South Africa in 2011. The theme of this year’s summit: “BRICS Partnership for Stability, Security and Growth” will provide an opportunity for the member countries to debate and agree on issues of mutual interest and concern.Business leaders from the five countries will hold high level discussions on enhancing financial connectivity by improving banking services to support intra-BRICS trade and investment; cooperating to achieve energy security with focus on green and renewable energy; enhancing cooperation in technological innovation to accelerate growth; cooperation in life sciences to improve development and quality of life; and achieving food security and through sharing scientific research and technology transfer.Explaining the increasing stature of the summit, Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola said, the relative decline of the West’s traditional political and economic power has coincided with rising global stature of emerging nations. “The BRICS grouping is the most concrete and rapidly evolving example of this phenomenon. In just four years, the formal agenda for cooperation and consultation has expanded dramatically to span politics, trade and business, science, academic and cultural interactions.Matola went on to say; “Naturally the BRICS countries won’t agree on everything – in fact in some areas we are competitors. But we have adopted many common positions such as most recently when at the G20 meeting in Mexico when the BRICS finance ministers agreed that the presidency of the World Bank should be open to all candidates and not restricted to American candidates. The United States’ recent nomination of a non-American candidate suggests these views are increasingly gaining traction. Likewise South Africa has found resonance within the BRICS grouping for its calls for the reform of global governance systems such as the UN system, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to make them more responsive to the needs of the developing world and Africa.”Closer cooperation between the BRICS nations also promises enormous opportunities for trade and investment within and through all five member countries. Last year in South Africa, seven BRICS securities exchanges announced plans to cross-list each others’ indices and to jointly develop new products by June 2012. The seven exchanges represent a combined listed market capitalisation of more than $9-trillion and 9481 listed companies.Matola said the BRICS summit provided an opportunity to promote not just South Africa but also the extraordinary opportunities in Africa which the IMF estimates will be home to seven of the 10 fastest growing economies between 2010 and 2015.“We believe South Africa is an integral part of Africa and works to increase its stability, unity, prosperity and international influence. We are actively driving Africa’s regional integration efforts including developing continental north-south rail and road links, expanding ports and energy capacity and skills. Simultaneously 26 African countries agreed to create a single free trade area by mid-2014, covering the Southern, Eastern and Central Africa. The $1-trillion free trade area will effectively expand South Africa’s market from 50 million to 600 million – placing us in a similar category in terms of market size as our BRICS partners.”The 2013 BRICS summit will be held in South Africa.EndsBrand South Africa, previously known as the International Marketing Council of South Africa, officially changed its name to best align with its mandate of building South Africa’s nation brand reputation in order to improve its global competitiveness.www.brandsouthafrica.comlast_img read more

SA shines at Ocean Racing Worlds

first_imgMen’s race Barry Lewin and Richard von Wildemann combined for a fourth place finish, while Sean Rice and Alexa Cole, another mixed team, came home in seventh position. Jaspe Mocke came home in ninth place and Brandon van der Walt was tenth overall and second to his brother, Grant, in the under-23 category. Kirsten Flanagan was the leading junior women’s paddler, while Bianca Beavitt placed third in the women’s under-23 category, which was won by New Zealand’s Teneale Hatton. Women’s podiumIn the women’s race South Africa also occupied every spot on the podium, with Michele Eray (1:43.27) edging-out her compatriot Michelle Burn by just over a second to take gold by the slimmest of margins. Bronze went to Nikki Mocke (RSA) in a time of 1:43.36. First under-23Matthew Bouman claimed fourth place overall and was first in the 35-year age category. Grant van der Walt, the under-23 world marathon champion, finished in fifth place overall and was the first under-23 paddler across the line. Sean Rice, who was recently crowned the South African Ocean Race champion, reached the shoreline first after setting a blistering pace and went on to win in one hour, 30 minutes and six seconds for the 22.5-kilometre downwind course. The Championships took place at Ofir, Esposend, on the north coast of Portugal and drew almost 400 competitors from all around the world. South African surf skiers dominated the International Canoeing Federation’s inaugural Ocean Racing World Championships in Portugal over the weekend, with Sean Rice and Michele Eray winning the open men’s and women’s titles respectively. The depth of talent in South Africa was on show in the men’s race, with South Africans occupying six of the top 10 places. Afterwards, a happy Rice said: “That was my best race I ever raced. I cannot explain. It’s a fantastic feeling. I will go back home now and will start training again, after a big party of course.”center_img Kenny Rice, younger brother of Sean placed 21st overall and was the first junior to finish. Compatriots Nicholas Notten and Geno Prato joined him on an all-South African podium. He was followed across the line by Australia’s Tim Jacobs, who finished half-a-minute behind Rice, and Cory Hill, who picked up bronze, ending another 10 seconds back. Hank McGregor, who had missed going for a tenth Berg River Canoe Marathon title to be at the World Championships, had to settle for seventh and third among the 35-year-olds. Rice will next focus on the ICF Canoe Sprint and Canoe Marathon World Championships that take place in August and September in Denmark. There was a stunning performance from Australia’s Tim Jacobs and South Africa’s Michele Eray as they combined to finish third overall in the event. 16 July 2013 The first place finisher in the 45-year age group was Herman Chalupsky, who occupied 12th overall. His brother, Oscar, a legend of ocean racing, with 12 Molokai Challenge titles to his name, was 19th overall and the winner of the 50-year age group. DoublesIn the doubles’ competition, the experienced combination of Hank McGregor and Grant van der Walt showed the rest of the field a clean pair of heels to win in one hour, 20 minutes and 49 seconds, a minute and 10 seconds ahead of Australia’s Tom Norton and Michael Booth. The leading under-23 mixed team was that of Brandon van der Walt and Kirsten Flanagan, who finished in an impressive 11th place overall.last_img read more

2016 Ohio FFA Convention final session

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ohio FFA President Matthew Klopfenstein gave an inspirational retiring address in the final session of the 2016 Ohio FFA Convention. In addition, new officers were announced and 837 State Degrees were presented. Ohio FFA President Matthew Klopfensteinlast_img

What Success Is Not

first_imgThis post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet.Success isn’t easy. This is why a lot of people don’t achieve the level of success they desire.Success isn’t fast. This is why many people quit too early.Success isn’t certain. This is why many never begin.Success is not someone else’s definition of success. This is why some don’t realize they have it or pursue the wrong path.Success is not a straight line. This is why some give up.Success is not for the lazy and unmotivated. This is why they will never get close.Success is not for the uncourageous. It takes an act of courage.Success is not for those who are afraid to get their hands dirty. It’s not for prima-donnas.Success is not for those who avoid conflict. It only comes with adversity.Success is not for those that aren’t willing to do the work. It’s the only path and its own reward.Success is not for those that wait for permission. It’s for those who to take action.Success is not for those that believe their critics or their raving fans. It’s not about your press clippings.Here is what success is.QuestionsHow do you define success?What is success?What makes success so elusive for so many? Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Nowlast_img read more

Ryan International School students produce talk shows, documentaries for in-house channel

first_imgTanya Singh, 12, sports an attitude that complements the digital camera propped on the tripod in front. She adjusts her headset and waits for a nod from the floor manager – another schoolmate – before rolling.In a control room adjoining the studio, four other students of Delhi’s Ryan International School,,Tanya Singh, 12, sports an attitude that complements the digital camera propped on the tripod in front. She adjusts her headset and waits for a nod from the floor manager – another schoolmate – before rolling.In a control room adjoining the studio, four other students of Delhi’s Ryan International School, Rohini, are pressing buttons and editing shots online. It’s a regular day at school.Every day for half an hour, students from Class VI onwards produce and beam talk shows, music videos, online biology lessons for the in-house Ryan Channel as part of the school’s new Education Through Lens project. And they are bursting with big ideas.After a documentary on pollution in the Yamuna and a Nandita Das interview is a spiel on female foeticide.last_img read more

Ryder Cup: ‘Captain America’ Patrick Reed downs Rory McIlroy in duel of rare quality