Tuesday 17th of September 2019

from the big bang to strippers: why we need more scientists....

fts

The reason why astronomers find the helium hydride ion (HeH+) so intriguing is simple: This light, highly reactive molecule with strong acid character binds together hydrogen and helium, the first and most abundant elements in the Universe.

 



The first clear detection of HeH+ in a nebula, earlier this year, has only intensified interest in the primordial molecule. On page 676 of this issue [Science, Volume 365, issue 6454] , Novotný et al. (1) studied HeH+ under conditions designed to mimic those of the early Universe. Their work offers insight into the chemical composition of the Universe before formation of the first stars.
Science  16 Aug 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6454, pp. 639


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Let me take a short cut…
The theory goes that “some” particles became more numerous than their respective anti-particles — and this universe came to be in a jiffy. The surplus energy "leaked" from a non-existent corner of a relative point, where equal positive/negative mutual annihilation was holding nothingness until 13.772 billion years ago (plus or minus 59 million years) according to some or 13.82 billion years according to others (Planck). The process is “well-known” theoretically — though it can be disputed with iffy strings theory and some silly gods beliefs — but it has been repeated on a particle scale, at most major matter-breaking machines, with particles and their corresponding anti-particles. Encounter? Pffffuittt… Nothing. Particle plus anti-particle equals nothing. Recreating nothing. This is a major inductor of reality. The imbalance between particles and their anti-particles created the Big Bang. 

The universe we live in is not flat and unchanging, but constantly expanding. If the expansion rate is known, scientists can work backwards to determine the universe's age, much like police officers can unravel the initial conditions that resulted in a traffic accident. Thus, finding the expansion rate of the universe — a number known as the Hubble constant — is key.

A number of factors determine the value of this constant. The first is the type of matter that dominates the universe. Scientists must determine the proportion of regular and dark matter to dark energy. Density also plays a role. A universe with a low density of matter is older than a matter-dominated one.


So we know. Many observations have been made, including that the universe follow Relativistic rather than Newtonian mechanics.

Three minutes after the Big Bang, these particles that had escaped the nothingness — liberated from their anti-particles — started to agglomerate into Hydrogen, Deuterium, Tritium and Helium. Basic Big Bang calculations can tell us what happened a micro-second from it. Three minutes into it and it’s a breeze to do the maths… (for some people).

Why do we need to know? We don’t have to. We don’t have to know this in order to cook a few sausages on a Sunday barbecue or become a dirty dancer in a sleazy joint. We can live without complex knowledge, but we cannot live without memory, which gives us a shot at basic knowledge and various levels of imagination for survival. Memory is a reactive shifting assemblage of atoms — a complex tricky assemblage that needs to be fed through sensory perceptions and supply of “brain” food… We all (we should) know this.

Whatever happened after the formation of early HeH+ dictated what was going to happen next. Yet nothing was predetermined nor was going to be uniform, otherwise the universe would be a ball of thinning cooling blancmange. It is also well-known that period two is predictable. Period three isn’t. The universe, as it is, is made of trillion trillion trillion trillion bits. Possibly more than this. All the bits are out of sync, while combining according to various statuses of distance and temperature. We know the blithers from Quarks to Neutrinos, the Electrons and Photons, and the rest — the latest one discovered being the Higgs boson… Thus we have parameters, such as the speed of light, “weight” (gravity) of bits and a temperature scale we have calculated from zero Kelvin to millions of degrees, determining levels of energetic excitation. 

The study of these parameters gave us the progressive history of this fantastic universe, in which stars are born, stars are dying, black holes are congealing, nebulous gases float, and a couple of idiots called Adam and Eve came to be imagined. No intelligent designer could ever think of this giant chaos in which the mechanics are bent and completely loony. Who would just build a faulty impossible undefined expanding space to create a self-indulgent hubristically proud sinning species, a notch slightly above the monkeys, living on an insignificant pebble? Ludicrous.

Sciences are of course about deciphering this mess through the obvious and hidden signals. But in our desire to think above our arsey level, we, humanity in self-deception, forgot to look, until about 400 years when a few humans started to query the faults in the traditional religious legends. 

We all (we all should) know that evolution of life started nearly 4 billion years ago on this planet and that "Adam and Eve" has been a made-up story to satisfy old men’s desires for power over women. Your ancestor was a monkey. Well not really a monkey, but a sloth-type creature that gave rise to the monkeys and to the apes and humans, who are us — the most invasive species of the ape kingdom.

Sciences gave you your mobile phone, your tablet and your medicine — all through experimentation and discoveries of the inter-active processes between particles. For many people knowing all this, is highly uncomfortable. We prefer stories with demons and angels to explain our behavioural deficiencies. The universe has no morality. It’s for us to make the best of choices of monkeying with what we know — or should know. Peace sounds like a good option.

Along the way some smart people, instead of waging war to steal someone else’s goods, invented some powerful languages to express what was to be discovered. Physics, mathematics, chemistry with derivatives in medical and social spheres, are the main lingoes with which to see the real world that lay below appearances. 

Say below our skin, there is a maze of pipes, organs, powerhouses and an array of control panels — our brain(s) automated and sapiens — that make us as bright or as dumb as we are — which, to say the least, is totally irrelevant to the universe of particles and their levels of energy, from gravitational to electromagnetic. But we can use these energy to our advantage, including making electric bicycles.

Our history as fishes 500 million years ago still relate today in our need for salt. Our tears are salty. The water of the womb we’re born from, is salty. Our blood is salty, yet too much salt, the higher our blood pressure. The higher our blood pressure, the greater the strain on our heart, arteries, kidneys and brain. This can lead to heart attacks, strokes, dementia and kidney disease — while not enough salt can disturb our metabolism, leading to muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting and dizziness… 
 
So the HeH+ combos are the first molecular constructs, possible with a great range of temperature tolerance, while gravitation eventually compressed matter into various heavier elements as stars formed. Add more compression and pass a critical point (event horizon?), we end up with black holes, where energy, including light, finds it hard to escape from… The essential voids, between particles that enter a black hole, become next to nil — and a sun can become smaller than the size of a pea. Surprising hey? 

But there are TEMPORARY "stable" states in various locations in the universe. Like the legendary soups of Goldilocks, these states have to be not too hot, not too cold, for a variety of assemblage of particles to occur. But like the rest of the universe, these “stable” states slowly degrade towards nothing. The particles of the universe spread into entropy — the gradual decline into disorder. The “stability"  of the universe is only temporary. This has been a curly one to comprehend, even with the gods that were assigned to volcanoes, meteors and tempests — all very localised events in our Earthly "stable" system.

Mathematics ARE NECESSARY to calculate the rates of change that we observe. Some of these changes are daily variations, but the trends are hidden from us unless we use more precise instruments than our licked finger pointed into the breeze. 

So we know. Making sense of the future is still a work in progress, though we know trends in many aspect of what is going to happen. Unlike Trump pointing his finger at a map of a hurricane path, we can follow the trends as offered by the study of previous events, though exceptions do occur, not in Trump’s case, mind you. The trend of global warming is one of these observed trends, in addition to understanding the reactivity of some particles, atoms and molecules to various electromagnetic frequencies that will inevitably warm the atmosphere to various levels according to their proportional quantities.

Our scientific understanding of genetics has “allowed” cloning and genetic modifications that would not have been permissible under natural conditions. That we have ethical problem dealing with these scientific manipulations is irrelevant to our ability to do them. We’re not playing god but our modifications could and would modify nature’s own evolutionary successes. Some of these modification can lead to reduction of diversity and possible misadventures. 

The lucky invasions that happened several times between 2 billion an 1 billion years ago… Mitochondria became an amplifier of genetic transfers…

After 12 years of dogged effort, a team in Japan has grown an organism from seafloor mud that it says could explain how simple microbes evolved into eukaryotes—organisms with complex, nucleated cells, including animals, plants, and ourselves. The microbe sports unusual branched appendages, leading the group to suggest that an ancestral version long ago used similar tentacles to corral and envelop the symbiotic bacteria that gave rise to mitochondria, the energy-producing organelles characteristic of eukaryotic cells.

“This is the work that many people in the field have been waiting for,” says Thijs Ettema, an evolutionary microbiologist at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. The finding has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, but on Twitter, other scientists have described a preprint on the work as the “paper of the year” and the “moon landing for microbial ecology.”

The tree of life has three major branches: eukaryotes, plus bacteria and archaea, which both lack nuclei, mitochondria, and internal membranes. Biologists have long debated the origins of those branches, with some proposing that they sprang from a single common ancestor and others saying eukaryotes branched off archaea, making those microbes our direct ancestors.

Science  16 Aug 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6454, pp. 631
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Evolution generally trundles along by selecting for mutations or by leveraging the new realms generated from chromosomal amplifications and the transfer of genes between organisms through vectors such as viruses. However, a few times 1 billion to 2 billion years ago, endosymbiosis between bacteria and Archaea yielded relatively huge bursts of divergent gene transfers, leading to the fungi, plants, and animals that we have today. One obvious benefit of endosymbiosis for Eukaryota centers on energy production. 

Mitochondria derived from α-proteobacteria efficiently generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP) from reduced carbon sources. Mitochondria also perform numerous key metabolic reactions and synthesize essential iron-sulfur compounds that serve as enzyme cofactors. Although most α-proteobacterial genes have transfered to the eukaryotic nucleus, mitochondria retain their own genome encoding for the ribosomal and transfer RNAs needed for the translation of the few protein-coding genes retained in their DNA. Although endosymbiosis offers tremendous evolutionary opportunities, mitochondria, particularly in animals, have some downsides. Here, I describe some of the drawbacks of mitochondria and the patches that metazoans have developed to resolve them.


etc

Science  16 Aug 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6454, eaaw9855
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw9855
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This is why we need less pole dancers and more scientists. And there is more fascinating legs in scientific work and mathematics than in stripping day in day out, unless by the end of your career in removing clothes, you’re an old chook doing it with vicarious pleasure, seeing old mentally-deficient fellows go agoo-agoogoo, in a retirement village, thinking it's bingo day.

You can actually do sciences at any age and the younger you start, the better — so that you can get a better handle on all (most of) the possibilities of knowing. 


Gus leonisky
Your local drunk

homo sapiens...

homo sapiens

 

Image above and at top, doing the email rounds. Provenance unknown...

 

See also: improving well-being with magic mushrooms... in the carrot cakes versus the nuclear bombs...

 

Note in regard to strippers. Nothing sexist being said here. Only the image dictated the slant. I could have done it with truck drivers... And yes we need truck drivers and strippers, but we need more scientists... Go away.

knowing and acting sciences...

As scientists, we tend to operate under an unspoken assumption – that our job is to provide the world with factual information, and if we do so our leaders will use it to make wise decisions. But what if that assumption is wrong? For decades, conservation scientists like us have been telling the world that species and ecosystems are disappearing, and that their loss will have devastating impacts on humanity. Meanwhile, climate scientists have been warning that the continued burning of fossil fuels and destruction of natural carbon sinks, such as forests and peatlands, will lead to catastrophic planetary heating.

We have collectively written tens of thousands of peer-reviewed papers, and shared our findings with policymakers and the public. And, on the face of it, we seem to have done a pretty good job: after all, we all know about the environmental and climate crises, don’t we?

But while we’re now well informed, we haven’t actually changed course. Biodiversity loss proceeds apace, to the extent that a million species face extinction in the coming decades, and we continue to pump carbon into the atmosphere at ever faster rates. We have emitted more greenhouse gases since 1990, in full awareness of its impacts, than we ever did in ignorance. It seems that knowledge alone cannot trigger the radical global changes we so urgently need.

It was this realisation that incited us both to embrace activism, and to take to the streets and engage in non-violent civil disobedience as members of Extinction Rebellion. The refusal to obey certain laws has a long and glorious history: from the suffragettes to Rosa Parks and Gandhi, many of the 20th century’s greatest heroes engaged in non-violent civil disobedience to win their rights.

Today, civil disobedience is again on the rise. And it is working. The protests that shut down four sites in London in April raised the climate crisis rapidly up the political agenda, and into the public consciousness. The environment is now the third most pressing issue for British voters, above the economy, crime and immigration: the UK parliament and half the country’s local councils have declared a climate emergency, and a zero-carbon target has been enshrined into law. We don’t know what policy change will follow, but it is an encouraging start.

Alongside this are the Greta Thunberg-inspired school strikes and our sister movements worldwide. This is what we have been waiting for. And yet, the reaction within the scientific community has been strangely muted. In conversation, our conservationist colleagues (and we imagine climate scientists, too) have long bemoaned the fact that environmental issues remain so marginal in the public consciousness. “If only conservation was mainstream,” we lament, “and if only people would take action to fight for our world.” Well, now they are, yet few of us seem to have joined them.

Young people have embraced the movement, and grandparents, too. So have doctors and lawyers, farmers and unemployed people. But not many scientists, which is odd given we probably know more about the severity of the problems we face than anybody. Perhaps it’s related to an unspoken assumption that if our job is to provide information, then adopting a position will weaken our authority. In fact, research shows it doesn’t.

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/06/scientists-climate...

 

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why we need more strippers...


Questions:
Are we active individuals part of a group:
For ourselves?
For the group?
Do we control the group?
Does the group control us?
Structure of the group?
Democratic?
Despotic?
Organised or random structure of relationships?
Role of nature in our relationships?
Freedom to be participating or not?
Fluidity to switch idea to suit the moment?
What size group?
What are we supposed to seek?
Differences between you and me?
Clones?
Delusions to make us submit to ideas?
Delusions to believe?
Need or choice to be active?
Need or choice to be individualistic?
Does the language used dictate our style of relationships?
Does AI (Artificial Intelligence) care about our actions?
What are the parameters that define styles?
What makes us appreciate or reject?
Has AI natural needs?
The assigned weight (value) of ideas?
Would AI make us lazy or more astute?
What is the essence of being human?
Is there a need for us?
Are humans approaching a point of catastrophic inequality?
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Mind-reading AI may spell end to humanity as we know it, but not because it will enslave us – Zizek

Technologies linking human consciousness to any sort of a cloud computing service could not just open the way for totalitarian mind control, but destroy the very essence of human relations, philosopher Slavoj Zizek says.

A computer that can read the thoughts of many people at once would make normal human life impossible, the Slovenian cultural philosopher told RT in the wake of the World Artificial Intelligence (AI) Conference in Shanghai, which saw Alibaba’s chairman Jack Ma and Tesla CEO Elon Musk clashing over the future of AI.

While the two technopreneurs engaged in a heated discussion over the possibility of humans being controlled by machines in the future, the senior researcher at the Institute for Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana shared his thoughts on the issue with RT.


Our brain being connected to a machine is not a utopia



What I am studying now is the so-called phenomenon of wired brains, a possibility of our brains being connected with strong digital machines. And that is not a utopia. In the media lab at MIT, Massachusetts, they already have simple machines like that. It is like a helmet, nothing intrusive, they put it on your head.

And then something horrible happens - I saw the video - you think certain thoughts, you do not say anything, and the machine reproduces them either in writing or with artificial voice.

The primitive level machines can already read your thoughts. It is ok, if it involves your agreement but what if it is done (and it is easy to imagine that) without you knowing it?

Now, there is a serious option to read our thoughts, not just our emotional attitudes like being angry or sad but even the line of our thoughts in our mind. The next step in this “utopia” will be a computer that can read my thoughts and your thoughts that can connect us so that we can share our thoughts. If you and I are connected through the same computer, I can literally participate in your thinking directly without any external communication like word typing.

As you probably know, modern technology theorists Ray Kurzweil and Melanie Swan called it a new form of divinity.

It will no longer be a transcendent God but all of us sharing our thoughts through some AI cloud system. Millions of people will be participating together in a new form of awareness. I find this prospect pretty horrifying.

We are entering a post-human era if computers can identify & share a person’s thoughts



We as human beings are precisely what we are, free individuals as far as we can be sure that you do not know what I am thinking. I think what I think, I am free in my mind. What happens if I cannot be sure even of this?

If I think about something and computer can identify what I am thinking and then share it with others, we are really entering a post-human era. I believe that we should not be just fascinated about what it means technologically.

Do you not agree that we should worry about who will control these digital machines?

 

I do not have fears about the machines controlling us. We are not there yet. However, who will control this, who will use this? What remains of our freedom? Private companies, like Google or Facebook, are already developing similar technologies.



Thought ‘transparency’ is biggest threat to our freedom today



I see it as the biggest threat to our freedom. We will literally become transparent. Let’s think about the everyday consequences of this. All flirting will be out. I meet someone and instead of all the lovely games of erotic hints she can read ‘I want to go to bed with you’ and the eroticism will disappear.

Another simple example is everyday politeness. Let’s say we know each other but we are not mega-close friends. I see you on the street and say the usual polite things like: “hello, how are you? I am glad to meet you.” But if you can read my mind this is nonsense because this is politeness and I do not mean it. Usually, I do not care how you feel. 

This intrigues me very much. What is happening? How will it affect our everyday manners, our old civilization social inventions? All our cultivated interactions are based on this.

There is another thing.

What new way of suffering and torture can be developed in this way? Can you even imagine someone controlling your mind? What can they do to you? What horrible thoughts can I implant into your mind? There might be images [of] your nearest terribly tortured, and so on.

I know this is not a joke. It is a very serious thing.

Lying will become more complicated and more privileged



If we imagine this happening in a society where economic and power relations are structured the way they are now, I think, this will mean that the privileged ones will be those who will be able to conceal their minds, who will exclude themselves from this network.

 

Not everybody will be controlled in the same way. That’s the first problem, who will control the game and who will be excommunicated?



It is always like this. The first thought when a new spying device is developed usually is ‘how can I escape it?’The privilege is to be outside of it. Lying will become more complicated but it will also become more privileged.

Computers are smarter on mechanical level, but lack the ability to simplify

An idea of AI beating humans in the field of intellect in fact depends on how you define being smart. If by smart you simply mean a more complex mathematical or logical operation as well as knowing more data, computers are definitely smarter. Yet, there is still hope for us.

 

The greatness of [the] human mind is not in knowing all the details but in picking out from the multitude of data to catch the essence and simplify it.



A book by a Soviet psychologist Aleksandr Luria titled ‘The Mind of a Mnemonist’ describes a guy with perfect memory. He remembered almost everything that he read and saw. The psychological consequences of this were horrible because he knew so much [that] he could not decide anything, the moment he wanted to take a decision, hundreds of other data popped up in his mind. He lacked the great ability of simplification.

Computers can be smarter than us on some mechanical level – and even in learning – but I do not think they can deal with the phenomenon of simplification.

Robots will not take menial jobs, they will be tasked with planning

 


Today’s paradox is that we are afraid of robots that could supposedly take our jobs, but those of us who work, work more than ever. Second, we still have the idea that robots will do the primitive work for us and we will just plan what they are doing. In many companies, from McDonald’s to those which do day services, it is robots that do the planning and individuals that execute it.

In McDonald’s everything is programmed by robots and ‘stupid’ people just serve other people. It eventually depends on the social order, if we remain in the same capitalist order, in which we are, it will be even worse than today.

There is a possibility, a hope, that we will work less. Yet, many new stupid forms of amusement might fill our free time. I still believe in work and creativity. If we do not have enough things to do, even if we will feel happy just sitting, watching films and drinking, it will be a very stupid existence. It will soon get dire.

It is not technology as such, it is how we will use technology socially. 

Read more:https://www.rt.com/news/468228-mind-reading-computer-humanity-zizek/

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Study title of this comment...

See also:
http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/34374
http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/30130

why we need zero theologians

Yet in the end, it was all a circus, a pointless display. Because the two men ultimately weren’t arguing about politics, on which they might have found common ground. They were arguing about theology and faith.


Emma Ayers is the managing editor at the D.C.-based media shop Young Voices. She is a Protestant.

….

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-ahmari-french-debate-was-about-theology-not-politics/

Emma explains:

In the Protestant’s eyes, there’s no real fix to be found in implementing a religious state, because that would give untrustworthy man [no woman?] far too much power. Whether it’s a pope, a bishop, or a certain New York Post editor [take this Sohrab Ahmari — Becoming a Catholic “has brought tremendous order and metaphysical direction to my life,” says Ahmari, author of From Fire by Water. “Life was harder before I had faith.”] with an ever-present look of scorn, all that power would do is corrupt them, because no man [no woman?] is truly incorruptible. 


Yes, the culture war is utterly exhausting. The fact that children have been made to participate in drag queen readings is a tragedy so weighty that it should break our hearts in two. The number of human beings killed in the womb makes me mourn. Protestants are tired, too. It’s why a great number of us voted for Donald Trump. But we can’t see the Ahmari answer as a good one, even if it makes sense for a Catholic to buy into it.

 

When he was closing up the debate, Douthat asked French and Ahmari if they thought this disagreement was spurred by their theological differences. French hesitated, then resisted the idea. Ahmari, for his part, said yes, noting that Catholics are more contented in accepting societal infrastructure than Protestants. It was probably the first thing he said all evening that was totally correct. Even so, he’s undoubtedly going to continue with his tireless push for a Catholic state—as a means of kicking the elites from their spots at the top, returning a moral order to the common good, and helping the little guy find meaning once more. But it won’t work, because, for a writer so hung up on not losing sight of the little guys, he forgets that a great many of us are Protestants.



—————————————

Oh Boy…

We’re in trouble with this discussion and the solutions (non-solutions) here are more troubling, limited by rabid beliefs. Martin Luther started (he did not start  — there were much rumbles before him — but he turned the religious differences gelled into a full open conflict) the revolution amongst the Christians, who were becoming enamoured with golden statues, rather than with the spartan idea of god. 

This French and Ahmari debate was as useless as a plastic cactus keeping company to a china reproduction of a sunken titanic in a fishbowl. This showed a leading immaturity between grown men.

All imagining fire and brimstone for the sinners. Go away. GO AWAY!

Before the debate even began, there was a pseudo-hysteric energy permeating the room. Everyone’s brow seemed a little furrowed, perhaps because we’d all arrived expecting an ideological brawl. And boy did we get one! writes Emma Ayers… And yes, Emma as you write: "Yet in the end, it was all a circus, a pointless display."

Who cares? Catholics versus protestants? This old stuff from 400 years ago? May as well have Christians versus the Taliban. All of these ideas are concocted to prevent a proper analysis of the “condition humaine”… and its compassionate future. These ideas are all concocted to provide an artificial stylistic control mechanism to an errant people. Artificial Intelligence can do far better than this.

To argue which version of interpretation of the good book is best to infiltrate the commands of government, is futile goonery or philistinery...

Philistines! Oh, and by the way, the Philistines who were claimed to fight the Jews in the Bible most likely came from south Europe and were barely above iron age intelligence. The chosen people did not like them... 

Some people know we’re monkeys with a passion for distorting evolving reality. 

Some of the moires of humanity, shifted from Africa to Europe via the Middle east, then mixed with Neanderthals on a ratio of about 6 per cent, and while some tribes from Africa had settled there, some of these European tribes went back to the warmer climes of the Middle East. Conflicts came to be between the people. Israel just escaped from Egypt versus the philistines. Differences came to be, a bit like Catholics and protestants, one people with a god and another with whatever. We want what you have, except your annoying vengeful god.

--------------------

 

Sometime in the 12th century B.C., a family in the ancient port city of Ashkelon, in what is today Israel, mourned the loss of a child. But they didn’t go to the city’s cemetery. Instead, they dug a small pit in the dirt floor of their home and buried the infant right in the place where they lived.

That child’s DNA is now helping scholars trace the origins of the Philistines, a long-standing, somewhat contentious mystery. In accounts from the Hebrew Bible, the Philistines appear mostly as villainous enemies of the Israelites. They sent Delilah to cut the hair of the Israelite leader Samson and thus stripped him of his power. Goliath, the giant slain by David, was a Philistine. The Philistines’ reputation as a hostile, war-mongering, hedonistic tribe became so pervasive that “philistine” is still sometimes lobbed as an insult for an uncultured or crass person.

 

But who were the Philistines, exactly? In the Bible, ancient cities like Ashkelon, Ashdod and Ekron were mentioned as Philistine strongholds. In the 19th and 20th centuries, scholars finally started to piece together a distinct archaeological record of Philistine culture. Excavations revealed that these cities saw the emergence of new architecture and artifacts at the beginning of the Iron Age, around 1200 B.C., signaling the arrival of the Philistines. Pottery found at Philistine archaeological sites, for example, appeared to have been made locally, but looked strikingly like wares created by Aegean cultures such as the Mycenaeans, who built their civilization in what is now mainland Greece. And the Bible mentions “Caphtor,” or Crete, as the origin place of the Philistines.

 

Historians also know that, around the time these changes occur in the archaeological record, civilizations in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean were collapsing. The Philistines are written about in Egyptian hieroglyphs, where they are referred to as the Peleset, among the tribes of “Sea Peoples” said to have battled against Pharaoh Ramses III around 1180 B.C. Meanwhile, other scholars have suggested that the Philistines were in fact a local tribe, or one that came from present-day Turkey or Syria.

 

Now, researchers have extracted DNA from the remains of 10 individuals, including four infants, who were buried at Ashkelon during the Bronze Age and Iron Age. The results, which were published today in the journal Science Advances, suggest the Philistines indeed migrated to the Middle East from southern Europe.


“This is an excellent example of a case where advances in science have helped us answer a question that has been long debated by archaeologists and ancient historians,” says Eric Cline, a professor at George Washington University and director of the Capitol Archaeology Institute, who was not involved in the study.


https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/ancient-dna-sheds-new-light-biblical-philistines-180972561/

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So, here we are, in the 21st century, more than three millennia away from the bronze and iron age, still debating who can have the superiority complex to govern us towards an imbecilic future filled with antecedent morality that so far has totally been contradictory and deficient.

Please can these adults stop this religious crap and start to look at the massive weirdo stars and the quirky Quarks? Can you see a pattern here? Can humans save themselves from religious hubris?

Yes we can. But we have to do better than what we’ve been doing so far.



Gus Leonisky
Rabid atheist

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the melee at CUA...

...

There was a curious entry to these pages on Monday. Emma Ayers, managing editor of the libertarian outfit Young Voices, offered her two cents on last Thursday’s debate between the New York Post’s Sohrab Ahmari and National Review’s David French, cleverly coined the “Melee at CUA” by the latter. As Matthew Walther has observed over at The Week, most normal Americans spent their Thursday evening watching a dominating performance by the Green Bay Packers’ defense in the NFL opener. But the CUA event has nonetheless sparked strong and varied reaction across the conservative commentariat. That’s because, contrary to Ayers’ contention that it was a “pointless display,” it got to the fundamental question for the future of the political right in the Trump era.

 

Read more:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/what-sohrab-ahmari-got-...

 

 Gus: Ayers "called it right": It was a pointless display of old boys who don't know what to do with their brains...

 

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