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What a wonderful world …

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The human eye, Darwin argued, could have evolved from a simple light-catching patch of tissue of the kind that animals such as flatworms grow today. Natural selection could have turned the patch into a cup that could detect the direction of the light. Then, some added feature would work with the cup to further improve vision, better adapting an organism to its surroundings, and so this intermediate precursor of an eye would be passed down to future generations. And, step-by-step, natural selection could drive this transformation to increased complexity because each intermediate form would provide an ad–vantage over what came before. https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-surprising-origins-of-lifes-complexity-20130716/

 

Dyslexia.

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Not  easy for the ordinary ‘normal’ (is there such thing?) person to understand dyslexia. You know that people suffering from this have a hard time to write and read, but do you really know how hard it is?  It comes in degrees of course but for some reading is almost impossible. And parents / teachers often get impatient because they do not understand either.

In years gone by those suffering from dyslexia were regarded as stupid. Now we hopefully know better!

A sufferer (Daniel Britton)  has created a font to explain what words look like if you are dyslexic.

dyslexia

I have seen something simalar before but cannot remember where it was not the same.

To see more you can check this link Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3112756/Take-reading-test-shows-s-like-dyslexic-Font-recreate-frustration-felt-condition.html#ixzz3cHze1NAt

Exciting Times!

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Exciting times! Indeed.

European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission successfully placed a small spacecraft on the surface of a speeding comet on Wednesday. Now maybe we will find out of comets filled the oceans of the Earth! Maybe we could find out of organic material exists on comets which could mean life was seeded from outer space.

But of course this news is not for the faint hearted, creationists and conspiracy theorists.

For scientists, one of the central mysteries that Rosetta will explore is whether Earth’s oceans are filled with melted comets.

Since the rocky bits that came together to form the planet were dry, water has to have come from somewhere else. One possibility is that comets slamming into the Earthearly on seeded it with water. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/13/science/space/european-space-agencys-spacecraft-lands-on-comets-surface.html

And how big exactly is Rosetta’s comet? Compared to Los Angeles very big.

Rosetta

 

http://www.iflscience.com/space/graphic-shows-size-rosettas-comet

Are we evolving stupidity?

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An article that appeared in the latest  New Scientist. You have to subscribe to read this but you can also read here  Technology may be getting smarter, but humans are getting dumber, scientists have warned.

I am not in the least surprised! Off the top of my head I would agree but be careful not to appear discriminatory or politically incorrect.Have you noticed how people write, what they read, the level of their general knowledge? And this is also passed onto their children. Every child has a smart phone with language that I do not understand  really. Shortcut! Everything has to save time , more time to be bored!

The Daily Mail writes An IQ test used to determine whether Danish men are fit to serve in the military has revealed scores have fallen by 1.5 points since 1998.

Between the 1930s and 1980s, the average IQ score in the US rose by three points and in post-war Japan and Denmark, test scores also increased significantly – a trend known as the ‘Flynn effect’.

This increase in intelligence was due to improved nutrition and living conditions – as well as better education – says James Flynn of the University of Otago, after whom the effect is named. 

Now some experts believe we are starting to see the end of the Flynn effect in developed countries – and that IQ scores are not just levelling out, but declining. 

World_IQ_graph_jpg

Westerns have lost 14 IQ points on average since the Victorian age, according to a study published by the University of Amsterdam last year.

Jan te Nijenhuis thinks this could be because intelligent women tend to have less children than women who are not as clever, The Huffington Post reported.

The perceived link between IQ and fertility is a very contentious one.

Dr Nijenhuis studied the results of 14 intelligence studies conducted between 1884 and 2004 to come to his conclusion.

Each study measured peoples’ reaction times – how long they took to press a button after being prompted.

It is claimed that reaction time mirrors mental processing speed – so it reflects intelligence.

They found that visual reaction times averaged 194 milliseconds in the late 19th Century, but in 2004, they had increased to 275 milliseconds.

This would suggest that people have become less intelligent, they said.

But unfortunately the older generation who are supposed to be ‘more intelligent ‘ are now bocoming too lazy to think. A lot are not even computer literate, they have to ask their children. Too lazy to figure it out!!!!!

Compassion, in our DNA?

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Is Human compassion part of (some of) the human race’s DNA? And of course the animal DNA, let’s not leave animals out please!

Read an interesting article in Live Science about a 100 000 year old human skull of a child that was so badly brain damaged that he /she could not possibly have looked after itself. Yet it lived with care for another decade.  Which means there must have been compassion to care for the helpless?

 skull-fracture

Read more about it here 

The wonder of genetics!

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Twinzy is a “half sider” budgerigar, also known as a parakeet. Probably one the of the best ever photographed. Twinzy has the characteristics of a blue bird on one side and a green bird on the other, even his tail feathers are split down the middle

twinzy_n

chimera (also spelled chimaera) is a single organism composed of genetically distinct cells. This can result in male and female organs, two different blood types, or subtle variations in form.[1] Animal chimeras are produced by the merger of multiple fertilized eggs. In plant chimeras, however, the distinct types of tissue may originate from the same zygote, and the difference is often due to mutation during ordinary cell division. Normally, chimerism is not visible on casual inspection; however, it has been detected in the course of proving parentage.

Another way that chimerism can occur in animals is by organ transplantation, giving one individual tissues that developed from two different genomes. For example, a bone marrow transplant can change someone’s blood type.

 

creationists

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Interesting Article on Creationism

The creationists interviewed in Questioning Darwin—including their abominable doyen, Ken Ham, a wily businessman who is already fundraising off his ill-conceived recent debate with Bill Nye—returned again and again to the same depressing subjects. Death, suffering, pain, sorrow, disease: These, creationists inform us, are what await any skeptic, anyone who questions the word of God. Pastor Joe Coffey neatly sums up their objections to natural selection:

If all we are is a product of this random mutation process, then where does morality come from? Where does hope come from? Where does love come from? Where does anything that makes us a human being really come from?

The answer, to creationists, is simple: There is no love, no humanity, in a world with evolution. Humans must have been designed by God; if we weren’t, then we’re mere animals, lacking in morality and dignity, consigned to a pitiful and pointless life of struggle and dolor. Evolution, one true believer informs us, is “incompatible with biblical Christianity” because it recognizes the permanence of death and leaves no room for a second coming. Creationists are consumed by repressing the existential panic that often attends acceptance of reality. Instead of confronting that terror, they’ve retreated into an elaborate fantasy.

You can read the full article by Mark Joseph Stern here

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