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Millipedes found in 100 mya amber comprise 13 of 16 known groups

From ScienceDaily: Over 450 millipedes, fossilized in 100-million-year-old Burmese amber, were recently discovered by a research team. Using micro-CT technology, the scientists identified 13 out of the 16 main groups of modern millipedes amongst them. For half of these groups, the findings also represent the oldest known fossils. … According to the scientists, most of the Cretaceous millipedes found in the amber do not differ significantly from the species found in Southeast Asia nowadays, which is an indication of the old age of the extant millipede lineages. On the other hand, the diversity of the different orders seems to have changed drastically. For example, during the Age of the Dinosaurs, the group Colobognatha — millipedes characterised by their unusual elongated Read More ›

Researchers: Ediacaran to Cambrian transition took “less than 410,000 years”

Even if these researchers are a teensy bit optimistic about their pinpoint accuracy, the pattern is clear: The history of life is becoming a field markedly less favorable to hand-waving. And note, in 410,000 years, the transition from the multicellular but simple Ediacaran life forms to the diverse Cambrian life forms is supposed to have taken place purely by natural selection acting on random mutation (Darwinism). Aw, come on. Read More ›

Proposed black hole information paradox solution: They become white holes

According to a new paper, white holes, the theoretical opposite of black holes, may account for dark matter, and may even predate the universe. They may even, according to Carlo Rovelli, explain the direction of time: A black hole is one prediction of Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Another is known as a white hole, which is like a black hole in reverse: Whereas nothing can escape from a black hole’s event horizon, nothing can enter a white hole’s event horizon. … In the 2014 study, Rovelli and his team suggested that, once a black hole evaporated to a degree where it could not shrink any further because space-time could not be squeezed into anything smaller, the dying black hole Read More ›

Fish turn into fluids, which enables embryo development

And, it turns out, they must: Zebrafish aren’t just surrounded by liquid, but turn liquid – in part – during their development. As the zebrafish embryo develops from a ball of cells to a fully-formed fish, a region of the embryo switches its phase from viscous to liquid in a process known as fluidity transition. Such fluidity transition has long been speculated to exist in living matter, but is described for the first time to occur in a living organism in a study published today in Nature Cell Biology. The study was carried out by the group of Carl-Philipp Heisenberg at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria, with first author and Postdoc Nicoletta Petridou, and together with the group Read More ›

What is the “Platonic Realm”?

In an ongoing discussion with hazel and others in another thread, some agreement has been reached that conceptual elements of mathematics (and in a related relationship, geometry) are things we discover rather than invent, such as circles and their mathematical properties. That discussion, IMO, could benefit by discussing what is meant by the term “Platonic Realm”. It seems to me that this issue turns on a very simple question; do we live in a universe that is matter-centric or consciousness-centric? What is the primary, driving force of the physical universe – mind or matter? IMO, quantum experimentation over the past 150 or so years makes the case that consciousness/mind is at least one of the fundamental aspects of even material Read More ›

Researchers: Flowers bloomed in early Jurassic, 50 million years earlier than thought

“Researchers were not certain where and how flowers came into existence because it seems that many flowers just popped up in the Cretaceous from nowhere,” explains lead author Qiang Fu” It now looks as though they just popped into the Jurassic from nowhere. Read More ›

New journal: The human mind from a computer science perspective

The Blyth Institute’s new journal will offer a focus on artificial intelligence and philosophy as well as philosophical questions in mathematics and engineering The Blyth Institute, a think tank that explores the relationships between biology, cognitive science, and engineering, has launched a new journal, Communications of the Blyth Institute with Eric Holloway as Managing Editor and Jonathan Bartlett as Associate Editor. Communications is intended as a discussion forum for fresh ideas in a variety of areas, including philosophy of mind as seen from a computer science perspective. It is open to ID-friendly ideas. The inaugural issue covers such topics as Eric Holloway, Creativity and Machines, 13 Jonathan Bartlett, Simplifying and Refactoring Introductory Calculus, 17 T. M. Koch, Recategorizing the Human Read More ›