Monday, May 25, 2015

Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 42

Amazon book cover
It is a long weekend, so let's get some rebel science done, today, while the warmongers peddle war by calling it the mother of peace (MOMCOM: A Mean Welfare Queen, War is Peace).

A new book by Dr. Peter Ward and Joe Kirschvink is the subject of today's rebel post (A New History of Life: The Radical New Discoveries about the Origins and Evolution of Life on Earth).

But to be perfectly honest, today's post is a traverse of the video (Dr. Ward @ a bookstore) at the bottom of the post.

I traverse the video, listing the times when Dr. Ward mentions selected ideas from the book, but to be more specific, I focus on some of the ideas in the book which have been talked about in Dredd Blog System "rebel science" posts over the years.

But first let me grab your attention, or inspire your prejudicial scorn, with this quote about the book from Amazon:
Charles Darwin's theories, first published more than 150 years ago, still set the paradigm of how we understand the evolution of life-but scientific advances of recent decades have radically altered that understanding. In fact the currently accepted history of life on Earth is flawed and out of date. Now two pioneering scientists, one already an award-winning popular author, deliver an eye-opening narrative that synthesizes a generation's worth of insights from new research.

Writing with zest, humor, and clarity, Ward and Kirschvink show that many of our long-held beliefs about the history of life are wrong.
(Amazon, "A New History of Life", emphasis added). For those who want to delve into it, below is a table with a time in bold, which refers to the minutes:seconds into the video, with a tag "[DBS 1, 2 ...]" containing links to various Dredd Blog posts with at least some discussion of that issue.

FWIW, Dr. Ward is keen on epigenetics, which is a direction most evolutionary scientists are taking:
"In 2010, a group of researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine in California uncovered a set of three mutations in the microscopic roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, each capable of extending the life span of the worms by up to 30%. This exciting discovery prompted the research team to ask whether descendants of these worms could live longer, even if they didn't inherit the original mutation from their parents. Much to the researchers' surprise, the descendants lacking the original mutation continued to exhibit longer life spans for up to three generations. How could this happen? The longevity characteristic was no longer carried in the gene sequence, yet it was somehow lingering in descendants of mutated ancestors. Where does this type of genetic memory come from? The answer lies in a phenomenon called epigenetics, which describes molecular events that occur on DNA but not within the DNA sequence. Remarkably, epigenetic changes to DNA are branded into the genome in a manner that can sometimes be inherited by future generations." (Nature, Scitable)

"Geneticists study the gene; however, for epigeneticists, there is no obvious 'epigene'. Nevertheless, during the past year, more than 2,500 articles, numerous scientific meetings and a new journal were devoted to the subject of epigenetics — an antidote to the idea that we are hard-wired by our genes. So what is epigenetics?" (Nature, Perceptions of Epigenetics)

04:00 How old is life on Earth (not as old as stated in the textbooks) [DBS 1]
06:30 Life formed from many separate environments [DBS 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11]
07:30 Ideas about how life starts impinges on people's religious and political beliefs (science foundations shy away from funding it) [DBS 1, 2]
08:40 Meteorites from Mars have bacteria in them [DBS 1]
09:50 Ribos, simple sugar can be made from desert mineral borax
11:35 Darwinian ideology contemplated a huge amount of time for natural selection to work
12:50 Unitarianism has been oversold, Darwin overused it
13:12 Lamarck had some valid epigenetic ideas which he was persecuted for by his peers [DBS 1]
13:30 Lamarck's epigenetic notions were anathema to Darwin
13:47 Epigenetics has amazing impact on genetics
14:20 No one is applying epigenetics to the fossil record, which is amazing, because this is a way for quick evolutionary changes [DBS 1, 2, 3]
15:15 All animal life does not have a common ancestor
16:00 Viruses are factors in genetic based diversity in evolution [DBS 1, 2]
18:10 Epigenetics is neoLamarkian ideology; Lamarck was persecuted by Darwin; died pennyless [DBS 1]
19:00 Lamarck had some epigenetic ideas that are still valid, and will see more influence in the future [DBS 1]
19:10 Catastrophism is being revised too [DBS 1]
21:00 Snowball Earth ice ages
28:00 Life shows up in a very short amount of time, 5 mil.yrs. (my)
28:20 Major argument of "Intelligent Design" proponents is correct, Darwinian long-term evolution can't explain the proliferation of species in only 5 my
28:45 With epigenetics it takes less time & matches the record better
30:00 An early intelligence evolved to remove CO2 [DBS 1]
30:43 Catastrophe as an evolutionary extinction player was not conceived of prior to 1800
31:24 Extinction by meteorite impact
32:20 Extinction by global warming
39:50 Living fossils becoming extinct
40:46 Short term global heating
questions from audience
42:30 Hypothesis about how the Earth cooled rapidly is yet unproven
44:45 Anthropocene
50:23 Most of Earth history=no ice, sea level 240 ft. higher than now ... unless we stop (CO2) all the ice is going away & Seattle will be under water
51:20 Civilization can only exist with the climate of recent time, if the ice goes civilization goes

Dr. Peter Ward @ Seattle bookstore: [UPDATE: the video has been censored] (if you find a copy provide a link)

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