National Geographic: In 2016, the International Union for Conservation of Nature had already downlisted the giant panda from endangered to vulnerable, citing a steadily increasing population and expanded habitat. But some Chinese scientists and officials rejected that assessment, saying it was premature and could undermine panda protection efforts.
This matters to us because it bears on the fate of science in general, as China becomes a global superpower. Nature Editorial: “Such trends are likely to continue if geopolitical tensions with the United States worsen. That would be regrettable.” No, it wouldn’t be “regrettable.” Not so long as China cannot be trusted.
In case you wondered: “China is also spending lavishly around the world to win supremacy in science — which includes becoming the biggest national sponsor of open access journals published by both Springer Nature and Elsevier, owner of The Lancet.”
Let’s see what happens in China. This could be an important test of human exceptionalism.
National Geographic: Utopia Planitia, thought to be the site of an ancient sea, has sedimentary layers that could contain evidence of past water. Even more exciting, these layers of rock could contain traces of any past life on Mars, says James Head III, a planetary scientist at Brown University.
Interest in COVID-19 is so high here, it makes sense to post a link/excerpt to a long, careful article by Heather Zeiger at Mind Matters News, trying to piece together what really happened (and yes, there is a big science hook):
It’s not “land” vs. “sea” that’s really significant here. It’s how much time was available for the development of photosynthesis. If the claim is that photosynthesis developed via natural selection acting on random mutations (Darwinism), then it must have somehow randomly happened in that billion years. Was there enough time? becomes an unavoidable question.
China may be the biggest and most sophisticated experiment in history along those lines.
A Chinese university is dumping intellectual freedom from their charters yet China hopes to be the world’s top AI power. Is there a contradiction here?
The central weakness of totalitarianism is that it exalts the powerful lie over the fact. But nature doesn’t reward that behavior. It may take a long or short time for the system to collapse (and other systems can collapse for other reasons). But the insistence that 2+2=5 if the Party says so is a lethal flaw.
Epstein wasn’t even a scientist. It wasn’t like trying to figure out how to deal with a Nazi who has a cure for cancer. Don’t let the people who are implicated invoke high and difficult questions to cloud over plain old wrongdoing.
Well, as they say, love is a many-splendored thing. And once again, we may get a chance to test whether the soul exists.
These animal groups lived in the ocean over half a billion years ago but were buried by a subterranean mudflow: Paleontologists found thousands of fossils in rocks on the bank of the Danshui river in Hubei province in southern China, where primitive forms of jellyfish, sponges, algae, anemones, worms and arthropods with thin whip-like feelers Read More…
That might include not being able to get a loan, run a company, or apply for a job: The policy, announced last month, is an extension of the country’s controversial ‘social credit system’, where failure to comply with the rules of one government agency can mean facing restrictions or penalties from other agencies. The punishment Read More…
The Levallois method of making stone tools was used in India 172,000 years ago: Rather than chipping flakes off a stone to create a tool, Levallois techniques work on the stone so it is the flakes themselves that become the tools. This enables several tools to be made from a single stone. Until recently, it Read More…