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The Sun's not yellow it's chicken

JTEM whining about this & that, plus the secrets of the universe and the occasional chicken recipe.

Posts tagged Origins

Jun 27 '14

Anti Science, Anti Abiogenesis Rant

This is a repeat of sorts (I made changes. I couldn’t help myself) as my original post wasn’t an original post, it was a reply.  That means that it’s buried deep in the middle of a 4,020 note post where the light of day will never shine on it. Anyhow, here’s my repost:

Anti Science, Anti Abiogenesis Rant

Pardon me for being a little dishonest.  This isn’t an anti science rant at all, and it’s not even an anti abiogenesis rant.  It’s a rant about all the really bad discussions on the topic of abiogenesis coming from all sides — be it “Young Earth Creationist” to strict “Empirical” atheists and everything in between.  Now having said this let me explain the problem here. See…

Oo!  Before I start maybe I should say:  Abiogenesis is kind of a fancy word for “Spontaneous Life.” Meaning,  life began from non life. It’s actually not very far fetched at all.  That is, if you view life as part of the spectrum of “Complexity” that we find in nature.  Take us for example. 

We don’t picture ourselves, us humans, as alone in the world.  We’re amongst a number of “Primates,” some of which are very close to us (like chimps) and some very far away from us.  Together we form a spectrum — moving from most primitive to the most intelligent/advanced. In a very real sense we never evolved from that most primitive form.  We didn’t have to.  All the intermediate forms between the most primitive and our closest relatives (the Chimps) did nearly all the work for us.  We only had to evolve a tiny bit away from the chimps to make the final leap from ape to human. And, yes, we can look at abiogenesis this way as well.  We can view the leap from non-life to life in the same manner, and in doing so the formation of life from non-life is not only logical but perhaps predictable.

Getting from dirt to that very first life form is a stretch, but why would we start with dirt? Why wouldn’t we compare the absolute simplest life forms (the simplest today, after almost 4 billion years of evolution on Earth) to some of the more complex NON-living structures? And, again, the simplest life forms today have been evolving for close to 4 billion years. There’s a good chance that they’re a lot more complex than the first, the most primitive life form.  And it is that primitive early life we should be comparing to nature’s most complex non-living structures.

Let’s start with crystals.

Crystals are pretty impressive, are they not?  They form… heck, they grow.  Crystals grow.  But we don’t even need “Crystals,” per se, for nature to grow some pretty mind blowing formations.

So the point here is that nature, quite apart from life, does some pretty amazing things, some pretty complex things.  And if we start comparing the simplest forms of life to the most complex forms of non life, there’s hardly much of a leap at all.  Just like if you compare us today to Chimps there’s hardly any evolutionary leap at all. Heck, we share like over 90% of our DNA!

Alright, so that’s “Abiogenesis.”  That’s how life supposedly began here on earth, springing from non-life.  So what’s the problem?

Good question.

See, the difference between science and magic is that science is supposed to be repeatable.  There isn’t a “percentage chance” that water will boil, not in science. If and when the conditions to boil water are right then water will boil.  Period.  Every time.  And this fundamental law, this rock solid foundation of science is missing in most discussions on abiogenesis. Or all discussions.

The way I figure it (which you can bet on being the correct way) is that if abiogenesis is right, and it is, there are two problems here.  Plus one other.  So there’s three problems. And they are:

#1.  Life is spontaneously forming all the time, or at least it should be. Absolutely positively on other planets, but it should be forming here as well. 

Now I know that logic should never be confused for science, and the above is certainly logical, but… but… well… for crying out loud, it’s logical!  If life CAN form here then life SHOULD BE forming here. Period. Which gets us into all sorts of gobblely gook rationalizations where there’s only one way — ever — for life to form, and that did exist here for about five minutes (going back 3.8 billion years ago) then vanished forever, never to return… but nobody anywhere can describe this vanishing condition (conditions?) to us so don’t ask…

I don’t buy it.

I don’t buy that there’s only one way EVER for life to spontaneously form.  Science is currently batting around so many ideas for how life might come about from non-life that I couldn’t bother to name them.  Though I should maybe state a word on the difference of mechanism and effect…

See, “Life” would be the effect, the result.  Something has to occur for life to result.  You can think of this as similar to the way that you have to heat up water to make tea. HOW you heat up the water really doesn’t matter, now does it?  You could boil it on the stove, pop it into the microwave or set it atop a solar collector and the result is always the same:  Hot water for tea.  So the condition we need for tea is hot water, the mechanism for achieving hot water is a variable.  There isn’t just one.  Claiming that life is very different in that there is one and only one mechanism for producing the necessary conditions is scientifically baseless.  It’s not even the “Safe” or “Conservative” answer.  The “Conservative” answer would be that any method doing whatever needs to be done is a good method.

It’s worse than I let on.

There are so many theories out there on how abiogenesis might work that even if one succeeded in producing life from non-life, in the laboratory, it still couldn’t prove that abiogenesis occurred here. It would prove that abiogenesis is indeed possible (some would argue likely) but it couldn’t prove that it did happen, let alone that the successful method was THE method that originally produced life.  It could have been any one of a number of other methods (theories), perhaps one that nobody has even thought of yet…

So, this is all a problem.  Science REQUIRES that if abiogenesis happened then it should always happen whenever conditions are right, and yet we haven’t so much as a shred of evidence that it has ever happened even once.  Not even in the beginning.  Well, apart from what appears to be our shared origins with other species (which is CONSISTENT with abiogenesis). Other than that, we just assume it did happen because, well, because we’re all here.

#2.   If abiogenesis did not occur here, if we result from Panspermia or some variation there of, then that’s little (if any) different from religious creationism.

Panspermia, I should mention, is the theory that life is out there, floating around in the universe, falling everywhere and taking root & growing where conditions are right.  In it’s tamest forms it’s simply meteorites striking planets and kicking life-bearing debris into space, where it floats around forever (or close to forever) before falling elsewhere.

If life didn’t form here then it couldn’t form here.  Remember the first rule of science:  Repeatability.  There isn’t a “Percentage Chance” that abiogenesis will occur.  If the conditions are right it will occur, according to everything we know about science, and if conditions are wrong then it will never occur. So if life couldn’t form here, if it had to come from somewhere else, we’re getting into some pretty strange territory where science is just as faith-based as any religion.

I mean, where did life form?  When?  How?

Nobody would have the faintest clue.  “Wild speculation” is the best anyone could offer, and if that’s any basis for a “Scientific explanation” then this is the first I’ve heard of it. And some version of Panspermia would have life originating in the early universe, perhaps with or very soon after the big bang.  Which is inseparable from religion as near as I can tell:  “The universe is alive!”  The final flaw with Panspermia is that we have no way of explaining why it would stop.

Think about it:  If life is out there floating around, if the cosmos is seeding the planets, life should have fallen everywhere.  It should still be falling on us now.  And everywhere. We’re still pelted by meteorites. So is Mars, so is the moon.  We’ve been to the moon and brought back rocks.  We’ve sent landers to Mars.  And, nowhere can we find even the fossil evidence of life having once landed anywhere.

I’m not saying that Panspermia would require life on the surface of the moon.  Wait.  I am kind of saying that.  Our astronauts did leave some earth bacteria on the Moon, and when they retrieved it some years later it was alive and well.  But the Panspermia life form, if it existed, wouldn’t have to still be alive.  It would just have to exist, even dead, on and in whatever rocks/debris that carried it to the Moon… and we presume INSIDE a rock, because how else could it survive entry into the Earth’s atmosphere, which it had to do in order to arrive here, if it wasn’t traveling INSIDE the rocks?

So the fact that we’re not being pelted by alien life right now, the fact that we didn’t find it on the Moon or Mars kind of requires that Panspermia, if correct, shut itself off at some point.. which is just piling the unlikely atop wild speculation.

#3.  Regardless of where life formed — here or elsewhere — we should be able to replicate the conditions in the laboratory.

Whether you want to claim that life formed here on earth or formed elsewhere (parts unknown) and then fell here, both have one thing in common:  It’s an entirely natural phenomenon. It wasn’t magic, it wasn’t divine intercession, it was an entirely natural process/reaction. So we should be able to reproduce these conditions.  Only we can’t.

And before anyone objects, yes I know that just because science can’t do something RIGHT NOW doesn’t mean that it can’t ever be achieved.  Just look at science 100 years ago.  If we imposed a “Now or Never” rule on the science of last century then we’d never have TV or the internet… jet planes… satellites…  treatments for any number of diseases… and it would be just as crazy to say science is frozen in the here & now TODAY as it would have been to claim that science of 100 years ago would never advance beyond it’s level.

So, just because we can’t replicate the conditions which spawned life right now doesn’t mean we can’t at some point in the future.  But that’s only half of it.  We don’t even know WHAT we’re supposed to be replicating, much less how. We don’t know the conditions, we don’t know the materials, we don’t know their source… we hardly know anything. And all the theories we do have lack the basic evidence which should be readily available (life falling on us still for Panspermia, spontaneous life occurring all around us for terrestrial abiogenesis).

    …damn.  This is already *Way* too long and I don’t have the time to deal with religious creationism, whether it’s called creationism or dishonestly labeled “Intelligent Design.”  Let it suffice to say that it’s ridiculous.  In fact, compared to creationism, science looks like it’s got it’s act together on abiogenesis.  Yeah, the creationists are pretty messed up…

Jun 10 '14
Nov 20 '13
Sep 24 '13

arguspanoptikos:


Again, jtem, you make no sense. What are you objecting to??? What are you schooling me on? You throw out an objection to…something…. I’m not really sure what, and then you say a bunch of stuff that’s not inconsistent with the previous info in the thread and that I’ve got no objection to—that’s actually fairly uncontroversial and is roughly in line with what I believe as far as multiple arrivals and population diffusion go.

I assume the bodies referred to above are the Windover bog people from Florida. They were discovered years ago and very little has ever been released about them—although there apparently was European genetic markers in their DNA. It was considered an incredibly important find, and now 30 years later and there’s still almost nothing out there. And the Indians were concerned about land rights in the case of the Kennewick Man. That wasn’t a big secret. And Kennewick Man’s origin has never been definitively determined. They’ve still not been given the chance to do much science on him—no DNA tests. All relevant exams have been morphological, so the Ainu or Polynesian speculation is just that—speculation.

As for the rest, do I think there’s a more compelling case for the Solutreans than you? Seems like it. But then I probably give more weight to the the significance of the lithic evidence. But overall nothing you’ve said is very different than my take on things. You like to fill in the blanks based on what you think you know about people and their motivations, and what you think they don’t know, but once again you give yourself far too much credit.

I was objecting to the conspiracy theories. I was not filling in blanks, I was responding to the conspiracy theories.

Yes, everyone agrees that some of the earliest human remains found in the Americas do resemble Europeans.  Few anthropologist believe they are European in origins, but fewer still would ever deny the resemblance.

Yes, some of the DNA “Evidence” is consistent with a European contribution.  Not exclusively though. 

And, as I said, the “Clovis Points” most closely resemble European technology, your Solutrean technology.  Could it have come from Europe?  Most definitely.  The biggest argument against it is that Clovis culture arose much, much later (thousands of years later), but this is not inconsistent with a “trickling in” theory on American arrivals.  Until the population achieved a certain minimum density, sites would be so few and so far apart that finding them would be next to impossible.  However, once the population density had crossed a certain threshold, as it obviously did with Clovis Culture, not only would the number of sites increase to the point where the odds of finding one are very good, but the area covered by this culture would be quite extensive…

The famed Acheulean “hand axes” remained in use for more than a million years, so it’s not at all unreasonable to believe that your Solutrean technology could survive in the Americas, isolated from Europe, for many thousands of years….

The final bone I’ll throw you is the circumstantial evidence for sea crossings within the Mediterranean stretching back 100 thousand years ago. If true, this would provide the means for reaching the new world from Europe.

Put all this together and you know what you’ve got?  Absolutely nothing.  Nothing at all. It’s all circumstantial at best, and none of it is truly exclusive to Europe (or anywhere else for that matter).

And yes your Windover people appear to be European, but they’re also way too young to be counted amongst the earliest Americans. Kennwick Man is at least a thousand years older, found on the west coast and superficially (physically) appears very European.  I believe there was another find, older still, way down in south America that also looks very European.  In both cases the consensus is that they’re not European.

 

 

 

(Source: reactionarytraditionalist)

Sep 24 '13

Total myth

arguspanoptikos:

Fortes Fortuna Adjuvat: reactionarytraditionalist: I just learned in my Ancient World class…

blonde-traditionalist:

someofmybestfriendsarewhite:

reactionarytraditionalist:

I just learned in my Ancient World class that the first humans in North America were Caucasoids, not mongoloids. Natives are begging the government not to release scientific studies on the skeletons, as it would destroy any claims of land or resources for…

It’s much worse than this. The government is actively covering it up. Go and look up “Kennewick Man”. Kennewick Man was a Caucasoid skeleton discovered in Washington in the ’90s, and dated to about 9000 BC. The authorities just wanted to hand it over to the Indians and get rid of it, but the scientists sued them for control saying it wasn’t Native American. But the government actually went into the site where he was discovered and destroyed it, archaeologically. They actually went into the site and dug it up and dumped a whole load of imported soil all over it, to destroy all the context and the chemicals and make it useless for further study.

Ah, yes, there is definitely no racism against whites.

The congressman from that district had a special law passed by Congress and ready for Clinton to sign to ban the Army Corp of Engineers from doing anything to the site, but they went in and destroyed it anyways.

This is nuts.  It’s kooky conspiracy theory without basis (in reality, that is).

And, yes, Kennewick Man and others do look “Caucasoid,” white, but even if they were (the consensus is that they weren’t) still other early finds are unambiguously Asian, most closely resembling Japanese populations.

Personally, I’ve always argued that the answer is “All of the above.”  That, humans first began to trickle into the Americans from the first moments they were capable of it (probably starting around 40,000 years ago or so), but these were small, isolated groups or individuals.  It took a very long time for the population density to reach a point where groups could begin to connect with their nearest neighbors, forming a chain, and finally some semblance of an American culture could form (i.e. “Clovis Culture”).  This appears to have occurred just in time to have been wiped out by a natural catastrophe (The proposed Younger Dryas impact, no doubt), and finally to be genetically swamped by the new arrivals from Asia who genetically dominate the present native populations.

We’re often told that populations arrived in the Americas via some “Land Bridge,” but this is only partially true.  See, the land bridge could only get you so far as Alaska, the rest of the way being blocked by the glaciers.  It was only at the end of the glacial period, when an “Ice Corridor” opened through the glaciers (but the glaciers had not yet melted so much that the “land bridge” was swamped) when populations could migrate beyond Alaska.

 Prior to the “Ice Corridor” people could only reach the Americas by boat, and they did. 

So, right there alone we know that we have to be speaking of more than one migration, more than one people — at least one arriving my boat and another (larger) group arriving later by land via the land bridge & ice corridor.

Boats have long been accepted going back 40,000 years or so, the approximate time for the arrival of “Moderns” in Australia, with strong circumstantial evidence for their use in Europe going back much further than that.  Thus, it is entirely plausible that humans could have been making the crossing to the Americas from Europe or Africa beginning as early as 100 thousand years ago, with arrivals from the pacific following about 40 thousand years ago.

Keep in mind, if people were making such crossings they would have been few and far between.  Nobody is suggesting that early humans intentionally set out for the Americas.  Sea level was a hundred meters or so lower, there would have been more & larger islands (the Azores, for example, would have been much larger) and the earliest Americans were likely caught in currents or blown off course by storms.

"Ship wrecked," is one way you might put it.

So it is very possible — and I argue likely — that Europeans were amongst the earliest arrivals to the Americas, but the claim that some type of conspiracy is destroying evidence for same is just plain nutty.

Fact is, conventional thinking is married to the stupid land bridge idea (though we have human remains which predate any possible arrival via such a bridge) and Europeans are considered an “Extraordinary Claim.”

In science, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs, and thus far all the evidence of European arrivals is either circumstantial or just plain non existent (no matter how logical Europeans might be).

It’s probably most accurate to state that some evidence IS CONSISTENT WITH a European origins for early Americans, but not exclusively so. 

There.  That’s probably far more than any racist is willing to read…

Apr 24 '13

Atacama Humanoid Report

Tonight’s first half guest, Dr. Steven Greer, has released his report on a tiny, mummified humanoid that was found in the Chilean desert region of Atacama. According to the paper, CAT scans and x-rays of the specimen, as well as preliminary DNA testing, reveal that the entity possessed a number of qualities which suggest that it was probably not a human infant and may have had interstellar origins. You can read the complete report here (pdf file).

Apr 23 '13

Controversey? You want Controversy? A few of JTEM’s more controversial (though totally accurate) views:

AIDS is man made.

Now I didn’t say that it was some CIA plot or even that it was intentional, but AIDS was clearly started by two vaccine programs.

First off, vaccines are a known conduit for disease.  Vaccines have spread disease.  During WWII a Yellow Fever vaccine, for example, exposed some 333,000 troops to Hepatitis and lead to the largest outbreak of Hepatitis B on record.  This was because the vaccine used human blood serum in it’s manufacture, and one or more donors was a Hepatitis B carrier.

Now, about AIDS and vaccines…

There was a French (NOTE:  I said “French” not “American” and certainly not “CIA”) oral vaccine program which inoculated about 1 million people in the Congo with an “Experimental” vaccine.  The vaccine itself was probably quite safe though there is a chance that it could have  been contaminated with HIV 2.

See, HIV 1 is the more common form of AIDS and can trace it’s roots back to Chimpanzees.  HIV 2 is more rare and it appears to originate in Monkeys.  The lab in Philadelphia which produced the oral vaccine in question did not use any material from Chimpanzees in it’s production, so it could not be a source for HIV 1.  There is evidence that they used monkeys though, so it could have been a source for HIV 2.

NOTE:  More than 20 years later, even knowing they were searching for a virus that we call “AIDS,” it took researchers some years to identify the virus.  So back in 1957 when this Polio vaccine project was in the works it would have been impossible to even guess that such a thing as AIDS could result.

Anyhow, what happened was that the French team imported a relatively small amount of this vaccine to the Congo and then “Amplified” it locally using the resources available to them.  This means they took, say, 100 doses and grew it into 1,000 doses.

Those numbers are merely for illustration.  They actually inoculated about 1 million people, so they had to do quite a lot of amplifying. And they used local resources to do it.  Meaning, they used tissue from Chimpanzees… the source of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) which everyone agrees mutated into human AIDS. Human AIDS came from SIV.

Now everyone denies this, of course, but it’s all true and quite inescapable.  They deny the use of chimps and even deny amplifying the vaccine!  But, the denials are all rather transparent.  Myself?  I’ve found articles and letters on this subject dating back more than 20 years, and most actually supply motives for denying the facts.  For example, one letter argued that a failure to repress the Oral Polio Vaccine theory on the origins of AIDS would result in a distrust of medicine and public health programs. They’re explaining why they deny despite the evidence!

Closer to home, for years the CDC kept a point-by-point refutation of the OPV theory on their website… only it never addressed any of the points.  None.  Going over it, one had to conclude that the page was written by P.R. people in an attempt to quiet fears & suspicions, rather than as an honest effort to inform the public.  One would have to believe that the CDC was ignorant of the details of the OPV in order to mistaken the page as sincere… something that is most unlikely considering their stated mission.

Anyhow, there was one and only one piece of evidence which could have abolished the OPV theory once and for all, one thing which could have proven that AIDS wasn’t invented by a French team working in the CONGO from 1957 until 1960.  And that evidence never existed — not in the late 1980s/early 1990s, not even 10 years ago.  It could have laid the matter to rest, but it simply did not exist.  Not then.  Nobody so much as thought to forge it yet.  That is, assuming someone has recently. 

The evidence?

Why, sillies:  If the French team didn’t amplify the vaccine locally, all they had to do was show the shipping records for the 1 million or more doses that were supposedly delivered from Philadelphia.  No such records exist.  Well, they didn’t more than 20 years ago when this matter was raised, they didn’t ten years ago so if they exist now then they’re new.

     …there IS records of the French team sending Chimpanzee tissue back to Philadelphia… the Chimpanzee tissue the French now pretend to not have used.

But that’s only one vaccine.  I said that AIDS was the result of two vaccines.  The second one was a hepatitis vaccine program in America.  What’s strange about this one is that it’s impossible to deny, yet everyone denies it.

Now I said that more than 20 years after the French team created AIDS, even with researchers around the world knowing it was there and searching it still took years to isolate and identify the virus.  And it did.  But long before they identified it they knew it was there.  They knew they had a virus on their hands.  And they knew that it endangered the blood supply.  And they needed a test.

They screened people for Hepatitis. According to contemporary accounts, the Hepatitis screening was about 80% effective in catching the AIDS victims.  The nature of the diseases.. who caught them… how it was caught… everything was so similar that if you screened for one you had an 80% chance of catching the other.  But…

Getting back to the Hepatitis vaccine:  It was basically just the antibodies from Hepatitis carriers — some say grown using tissue from Chimpanzees.  This wouldn’t be necessary to spread AIDS (the use of Chimpanzees) if AIDS was present in the population already.  Remember, Hepatitis victims and AIDS victims were roughly one and the same population, at least back then.  So each of the men donating blood for the development of the vaccine would have had a roughly 80% chance of carrying HIV as well, assuming it was already in the population.  AND THEN add the potential threat from using material from Chimpanzees to produce the vaccine…

The point, of course, is that it is physically impossible for this vaccine to have not spread AIDS.  If AIDS already existed in America then it was talking the people who had to be carrying it and then contaminating thousands of others with the disease… each of which would have contaminated anyone they had sexual contact with.

This is assuming that AIDS already existed in the population.  If it didn’t, given the fact that Hepatitis and AIDS were so similar in who and how they spread, it would be unconscionable to ignore such an obvious vector as this vaccine when AIDS did arise… though that’s exactly what they did.

The only “Evidence” they claim against a man-made origins of AIDS is the “Molecular Clock.”  That is to say, the claim that they can determine when AIDS entered the human population using a static mutation rate for the virus, which places the leap to humans well before the French vaccine efforts.  There’s two obvious problem with this explanation:

There is no such thing as a molecular clock.  Such “Estimates” are ballpark at best and pure rubbish at worst. Chimps, for example, diverged from humans about 6 million years ago… or less than 5 million years ago… or 7 million years ago…

Percentage wise, there’s a major difference in estimates, and even THAT level of inaccuracy is based on the unproven notion that ANY of those dates are so much as close to right. 

Another common claim against the OPV theory as the origin of AIDS is that the theory itself is the brain child of a journalist.  It’s not.  The theory comes from a very respectable biologists by the name of Bill Hamilton, and not some unscientific “Journalist” or “teacher.”

There really aren’t any other arguments against the human creation of AIDS through vaccines.  And, the fact is that humans did create AIDS.

The only “Kooky” element to any of this is the application of motives — “The CIA did it!”  Or, “The Illuminati is behind it all!” The fact that people created the AIDS crisis is largely inescapable.

Oct 26 '12