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Whale Fossils: Challenge or Support for Evolution?

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first_imgWhen most fossils consist of small shelly creatures, finding a whale is indeed big news.  Two whale fossil discoveries on opposite sides of the world are spectacular and puzzling.  Do they support the theory that whales evolved from land mammals? Aye: Egyptian Whales:  PhysOrg announced triumphantly, “Whale fossils show important characters of the transition to water.”  Easier said than proved.  Limestone plates quarried in Egypt were found to bear fossils of Aegyptocetus tarfa, a putative whale transitional form.  Owen Gingerich [U of Michigan] is usually nearby wherever whale-evolution fossils are found, and this was no exception.  He said this species, alleged to be 40 million years old, “falls right in the middle of what we know about the evolutionary transition of whales from land to sea.”  In what ways?  “The transitional characters present in this species include a retained sense of smell (which is usually lost in aquatic mammal lineages), an enhanced ability to hear (a characteristic of later and modern whales), and the ability to still haul itself out of the water, similar to modern seals.”  The holotype was discovered and named by Gingerich.  Wikipedia says Aegyptocetus is classified under Protocediae, “a diverse and heterogeneous group of cetaceans known from Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America.”  How these diverse fossils relate to one another, let alone to whales, is not clear from the limited write-up on this genus.  The article said nothing about how such a large mammal got buried in fine limestone. Nay: Chilean Whales:  Watch a one-minute video clip on the BBC News about a spectacular assemblage of fossil whales being uncovered in Chile.  Dozens are expected in this fossil graveyard.  The workers exceeded expectations by finding 15 whales in 15 days.  Remains of sharks, dolphins and seals have also been found, with many of the skeletons intact and complete.  Paleontologist Sol Square calls this a “discovery of global importance.  There’s never been a find of this size or this diversity anywhere in the world.”  That boast, though, seems overshadowed by a discovery announced in Geology in 2004 of 346 whale fossils buried in diatomaceous earth (see 2/02/2004).  That discovery was published by creation geologists who believe a global flood was responsible for their burial. Update 11/19/2011:  A report on PhysOrg says it is possible all these whales, in an area covering two football fields, died simultaneously.  The article also states that hundreds more may be found in the area.  The paleontologists seem puzzled trying to explain the mass burial.  “Chilean scientists together with researchers from the Smithsonian Institution are studying how these whales, many of the them the size of buses, wound up in the same corner of the Atacama Desert,” one of the driest spots on Earth.  Hans Thewissen, a spokesperson on ancient whales, thinks they were buried over a long period of time, but offered an alternative scenario that they were stranded in a lagoon whose outlet got cut off.  “Subsequently the lagoon dries up and the whales die,” he said.  Waiting for sediments to accumulate gradually over whales seems highly improbable, though, considering how quickly stranded whales decompose today.  Besides, Nature on Nov. 10 reported that “ancient whales were worm food.”  Sea worms are capable of boring through whale bone, leaving little evidence of dead whales remaining on the ocean floor.  By contrast, “the Chilean fossils stand out for their staggering number and beautifully preserved bones.” Mammal puzzles:  The evolution of whales has to be fitted to the bigger Darwinian picture of the evolution of mammals.  On that subject, Science praised the work of Meredith et al. who produced a new mammal phylogeny (28 October 2011: Vol. 334 no. 6055 pp. 458-459, doi: 10.1126/science.1214544). Kristofer M. Helgen rightly asked, “what group of mammals was the closest relative of primates, or bats, or whales?”  Evolutionists have long puzzled over the bad fit between morphological and genetic data.  Meredith’s magic solution that made everything come together neatly was to use a “relaxed clock approach.”  Helgen described this as something that “allows the tremendous variability in rates of evolution across the mammal tree of life to be taken into account.” Relaxed clock approach.  Right.  The Darwinian rubber band solution comes to the rescue again: use the stretch-and-squish method to force uncooperative data into your storyline (1/18/2006, 12/14/2004). Remember that with evolution, the story comes first, then the data.  Gingerich is an evolution huckster who specializes in whales.  We’d like to have him tell us how hundreds of whales got quickly buried in Peru and Chile.  How many other whale fossil graveyards lie undiscovered between those sites?  And how did his pet transitional form get buried in limestone in Egypt?  Whales don’t just sit on the sea floor waiting for microscopic particles of lime to cover them over millennia.  They are quickly scavenged by other animals all the way to the bone.  Instead of divining for the Spirit of Charlie, Gingerich should be thinking seriously about how these large creatures suffered catastrophic fates in large numbers.  Meanwhile, give him a clock that keeps rigid time.(Visited 141 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Contactless payments just got easier in Singapore

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first_imgWhy IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces How Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua… Residents of Singapore now have the option of contactless payment wearables, thanks to the collaboration between EZ-Link, Watchdata Technologies and Garmin. In late January, two contactless payment options were introduced.“This collaboration with EZ-Link puts Singapore on the road map as the first country in South-east Asia to offer a contactless payment solution where you can pay for public transport rides with a tap of your wearable on your wrist. Integrating the latest smarts, such as innovative payment solutions, into our wearable devices is one of the key pillars of our ongoing efforts to help consumers experience new ways of convenience in their daily life,” says Al Sundoro, General Manager, Garmin South Asia.See also: Juniper: Expect contactless payments to surgeCommuters can use the Batman v Superman Fitness Tracker X EZ-Link and Garmin vivosmart HR with EZ-Link smartwatch to pay for their regular commutes on public trains and buses. The devices utilize the EZ-link CEPAS purse for contactless payment on public transport and at over 30,000 EZ-link acceptance areas throughout the island.Works with other fitness trackersUsers can also pair the Watchdata Wearables mobile application with the Batman v Superman Fitness Tracker X EZ-Link with the aid of Bluetooth to keep track of steps taken, calories burned and quality of sleep.The Garmin vivosmart HR with EZ-Link provides constant steps monitoring, fitness and sleep activity tracking, and a heart-rate monitor. It can also be combined with the smartphone via Bluetooth. Once connected, it can receive various notifications from Facebook, to WhatsApp messages. Those interested can purchase it at the end of March from major retailers in Singapore at the price of S$259.“Our vision for EZ-Link Wearables is to give our users new possibilities and freedom, by blending an essential part of their daily journeys – EZ-Link with different aspects of their lives. We are excited to partner with Garmin and Watchdata Technologies to give both hardcore fitness enthusiasts and more casual active lifestyle seekers options in realizing their fitness goals and enjoying their daily commutes with just one stylish device,” says Nicholas Lee, Chief Executive Officer, EZ-Link. Amanda Razani Follow the Puckcenter_img Related Posts Tags:#contactless payment#EZ-Link#Garmin#Watchdata technologies Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You…last_img read more

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Video Editing Quick Tip: Stack Timelines in Premiere Pro

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first_imgKnowing how to stack timelines in Premiere Pro can really expedite your video editing workflow. Here’s how it’s done.Top image via ShutterstockPremiere Pro provides the ability to stack (aka “pancake“) timelines on top of each other. This simplifies the act of moving sequences and clips back and forth in a seamless “drag and drop” and benefits you by stopping interruptions to the flow of your edit.Below, Dylan Osborn provides an excellent walkthrough of the steps needed to stack timelines in Premiere Pro. The tutorial also dives into how you can edit clips from one sequence to another instead of copying and pasting. (After the video, we’ll go through the process step-by-step.) 1. Drag Edited SequenceTo begin, drag the edited sequence you wish to pull from over to your source monitor. 2. Open in TimelineClick on the Source Monitors Settings and hit Open Sequence in Timeline. This will open the sequence and move your Project Timeline over.3. Drag and DropFinally,  simply click and hold on the Source Monitor tab and drag/drop it on top of your project timeline! Voilà!Have multiple timelines helped you in the past? Share your experiences in the comments below!last_img read more

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Phoolka’s resignation accepted

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first_imgPunjab Assembly Speaker Rana K.P. Singh has accepted the resignation of former Aam Aadmi Party leader and MLA from Dakha constituency H.S. Phoolka.An official from the Speaker’s office on Friday confirmed that the resignation of Mr. Phoolka has been accepted.The former AAP leader, who had quit as legislator last year, recently wrote to the Speaker asking him to immediately accept his resignation or else he would be “constrained to approach the Supreme Court”.In his letter, Mr. Phoolka wrote: “In the event you (Speaker) do not take any decision on my resignation, I will be constrained to approach the Supreme Court of India.”Protest against ‘inaction’Mr. Phoolka had resigned from the position of MLA in October last year. He had quit expressing displeasure over the Congress government’s alleged failure to take action against all those named in the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report for their alleged role in incidents of police firing that led to deaths in the wake of sacrilege cases. Later, Mr. Phoolka also quit AAP.last_img read more

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Dave Marcelo fined P20k, dodges suspension for flagrant 2 on Standhardinger

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first_imgPanelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles MOST READ DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid On Basketball: This first round of playoffs sorely lacks playoff drama Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess LATEST STORIES View comments SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte MANILA, Philippines—Phoenix big man Dave Marcelo on Tuesday was fined P20,000 for his flagrant foul penalty two against San Miguel Beer forward Christian Standhardinger in Game 3 of the Philippine Cup semifinals Sunday, as per PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img It marked the second time that a player got tossed in the rough-and-tumble series with Standhardinger also getting called for a flagrant 2 on Phoenix’s Calvin Abueva in Game 2.The Fuel Masters went on to win Game 3, 92-90, and avoid a 0-3 hole in the best-of-seven duel.Fortunately for Phoenix, the 6-foot-5 Marcelo was spared from a suspension and will be available for Game 4 later at 7 p.m. at Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.ADVERTISEMENT Marcelo was thrown out at the 10:22 mark of the second quarter after hacking Standhardinger in the face as the Fil-German drove to the basket.Dave Marcelo was thrown out of the ballgame at the 10:22 mark of the second period for a Flagrant Foul 2 on Christian Standhardinger.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***For more PBA content, visit https://t.co/PNnhBnrqxK! #PBAonESPN5 #PBALabanKungLaban pic.twitter.com/wQDB0oQdcf— ESPN5 (@Sports5PH) April 21, 2019 Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ‘Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance PLAY LIST 01:30’Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST00:50Trending Articles02:42PH 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. Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostinglast_img read more

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