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Cosmos Magazine’s Top Ten includes: Universe’s underlying symmetry still baffling and human evolution timeline drastically stretched


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From Michael Lucy at Cosmos:

Antimatter puzzle deepens: Extremely precise measurements of the magnetic properties of the antiproton failed to reveal any difference between it and the proton, leaving scientists baffled about why the universe contains so much matter and so little antimatter. More.

Here’s the story:

Universe’s underlying symmetry still baffling: Magnetic differences between matter and antimatter do not explain why the universe actually exists, writes Cathal O’Connell.

The stories are not rank ordered. Lucy also lists:

Evidence from the oldest-known site of human occupation in Australia is sure to stir debate over human origins. (Cheryl Jones)

Ancestral updates: In a year packed with new insights into the deep history of humanity, two stood out: remains found in Morocco showed that humans much like us have existed for at least 300,000 years (which is 100,000 more than anyone thought); and artefacts from Madjedbebe in the Northern Territory were dated to 65,000 years ago, significantly pushing back the date of human settlement of Australia.

The research, published this week in the British journal, Nature, bolsters the case that the ancestors of the first Australians could have interbred with archaic humans, such as the Denisovans, thought to be close cousins of the Neanderthals.

It also suggests ancient Australians were much more sophisticated than previously thought, and could have had a big impact on the environment.

And we hope no one’s career got wrecked in the past few decades, doubting whatever “ding dong Darwin” was the bumf of the day. It’s becoming increasingly clear that most of the certainty has been ideological, not scientific.

See also: Millennial classic edition: Science writer Michael Shermer make Scientific American’s Top Ten stories list In general, Scientific American is getting pretty self-absorbed when this is a top story. … Overwhelmed by 2017 events? Eh? Gawrylewski apparently isn’t old enough to remember the Cuban Missile Crisis, the moon walks, the fall of the Soviet Union, mapping the human genome… to throw out just a few. She sounds so, well, “millennial,” fronting perennial and often petty gripes as if they were historic changes. Of course, millennials could always grow up. The world out here is actually pretty interesting, provided they can stand it.

A top anthropology finding of year show humans cognitively closer to dogs than chimps


American Council for Science and Health’s 10 biggest junk stories for 2017 include… Stephen Hawking

As to 'why the universe shouldn't exist,' that is, the extreme symmetry in the magnetic moment of protons and anti-protons, there are two FACTS we know: first, the two values are equal, and, second, the universe didn't destroy itself. Hence, the solution to this cunundrum lies elsewhere. And where would that be? In the assumptions made in current-day cosmology. The presumed 'beginning' of the universe is supposedly due to "pair-creation," that is, the production of an electron and a positron through the decay of a high-energy photon, with these same photons being the original make-up of the early universe. It is obvious, then, that "pair-creation", or "pair-production", isn't how the universe began. Simple as that. Now, back to the 'drawing board.' PaV
The trouble isn't so much what we know or don't know. It's what we think we know but don't. The shifting story of human evolution is like a death ruled a homicide. He was found last week in Cincinatti with a bullet hole in his back. Wait, he was found last year in Sacramento hanging from a noose. No, it was Anchorage in 1953, and he had really high cholesterol. But it was still homicide, we're sure. At first it might appear that the determination of homicide was based on evidence. But it quickly becomes apparent that the a) the initial conclusion was never justified by the flimsy evidence, and b) no change to the evidence will ever shake devotion to the conclusion. Science is an astoundingly useful method. But practiced in that way it's futility, and its well-earned credibility is siphoned off to support the irrational. OldAndrew
Seversky- When it comes to evolution it is clear that we don't know much of anything. We don't know how certain hundreds of protein machines evolved. We don't know how vision system evolved. We don't know how eukaryotes evolved from populations of prokaryotes and archaea. We don't know how metazoans evolved from non-metazoans. The list is practically endless. ET
I am shocked - shocked - to find science doesn't know everything. That has been the message from all the great scientists of history and today, hasn't it? Well, no, we don't know everything, not by a long chalk. But we can take some pride in knowing that what we have learnt so far has been through our own efforts. It wasn't handed down engraved on tablets of stone. It was unearthed slowly and painfully using naturalistic assumptions because that was the only way that seemed to work - and still seems to work. You can point to all things we still don't know and sneer and jeer at naturalism all you like but when it comes right down to it you have nothing better to put in its place. Nothing. Seversky

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