You are here

News Feeds

Earth and Venus are the Same Size, so Why Doesn’t Venus Have a Magnetosphere? Maybe it Didn’t Get Smashed Hard Enough

Universe Today Feed - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 10:27am

For many reasons, Venus is sometimes referred to as “Earth’s Twin” (or “Sister Planet”, depending on who you ask). Like Earth, it is terrestrial (i.e. rocky) in nature, composed of silicate minerals and metals that are differentiated between an iron-nickel core and silicate mantle and crust. But when it comes to their respective atmospheres and magnetic fields, our two planets could not be more different.

For some time, astronomers have struggled to answer why Earth has a magnetic field (which allows it to retain a thick atmosphere) and Venus do not. According to a new study conducted by an international team of scientists, it may have something to do with a massive impact that occurred in the past. Since Venus appears to have never suffered such an impact, its never developed the dynamo needed to generate a magnetic field.

The study, titled “Formation, stratification, and mixing of the cores of Earth and Venus“, recently appeared in the scientific journal Earth and Science Planetary Letters. The study was led by Seth A. Jacobson of Northwestern University, and included members from the Observatory de la Côte d’Azur, the University of Bayreuth, the Tokyo Institute of Technology, and the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

The Earth’s layers, showing the Inner and Outer Core, the Mantle, and Crust. Credit:

For the sake of their study, Jacobson and his colleagues began considering how terrestrial planets form in the first place. According to the most widely-accepted models of planet formation, terrestrial planets are not formed in a single stage, but from a series of accretion events characterized by collisions with planetesimals and planetary embryos – most of which have cores of their own.

Recent studies on high-pressure mineral physics and on orbital dynamics have also indicated that planetary cores develop a stratified structure as they accrete. The reason for this has to do with how a higher abundance of light elements are incorporated in with liquid metal during the process, which would then sink to form the core of the planet as temperatures and pressure increased.

Such a stratified core would be incapable of convection, which is believed to be what allows for Earth’s magnetic field. What’s more, such models are incompatible with seismological studies that indicate that Earth’s core consists mostly of iron and nickel, while approximately 10% of its weight is made up of light elements – such as silicon, oxygen, sulfur, and others. It’s outer core is similarly homogeneous, and composed of much the same elements.

As Dr. Jacobson explained to Universe Today via email:

“The terrestrial planets grew from a sequence of accretionary (impact) events, so the core also grew in a multi-stage fashion. Multi-stage core formation creates a layered stably stratified density structure in the core because light elements are increasingly incorporated in later core additions. Light elements like O, Si, and S increasingly partition into core forming liquids during core formation when pressures and temperatures are higher, so later core forming events incorporate more of these elements into the core because the Earth is bigger and pressures and temperatures are therefore higher.

“This establishes a stable stratification which prevents a long-lasting geodynamo and a planetary magnetic field. This is our hypothesis for Venus. In the case of Earth, we think the Moon-forming impact was violent enough to mechanically mix the core of the Earth and allow a long-lasting geodynamo to generate today’s planetary magnetic field.”

To add to this state of confusion, paleomagnetic studies have been conducted that indicate that Earth’s magnetic field has existed for at least 4.2 billion years (roughly 340 million years after it formed). As such, the question naturally arises as to what could account for the current state of convection and how it came about. For the sake of their study, Jacobson and his team considering the possibility that a massive impact could account for this. As Jacobson indicated:

“Energetic impacts mechanically mix the core and so can destroy stable stratification. Stable stratification prevents convection which inhibits a geodynamo. Removing the stratification allows the dynamo to operate.”

Basically, the energy of this impact would have shaken up the core, creating a single homogeneous region within which a long-lasting geodynamo could operate. Given the age of Earth’s magnetic field, this is consistent with the Theia impact theory, where a Mars-sized object is believed to have collided with Earth 4.51 billion years ago and led to the formation of the Earth-Moon system.

This impact could have caused Earth’s core to go from being stratified to homogeneous, and over the course of the next 300 million years, pressure and temperature conditions could have caused it to differentiate between a solid inner core and liquid outer core. Thanks to rotation in the outer core, the result was a dynamo effect that protected our atmosphere as it formed.

Artist’s concept of a collision between proto-Earth and Theia, believed to happened 4.5 billion years ago. Credit: NASA

The seeds of this theory were presented last year at the 47th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in The Woodlands, Texas. During a presentation titled “Dynamical Mixing of Planetary Cores by Giant Impacts“, Dr. Miki Nakajima of Caltech – one of the co-authors on this latest study – and David J. Stevenson of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. At the time, they indicated that the stratification of Earth’s core may have been reset by the same impact that formed the Moon.

It was Nakajima and Stevenson’s study that showed how the most violent impacts could stir the core of planets late in their accretion. Building on this, Jacobson and the other co-authors applied models of how Earth and Venus accreted from a disk of solids and gas about a proto-Sun. They also applied calculations of how Earth and Venus grew, based on the chemistry of the mantle and core of each planet through each accretion event.

The significance of this study, in terms of how it relates to the evolution of Earth and the emergence of life, cannot be understated. If Earth’s magnetosphere is the result of a late energetic impact, then such impacts could very well be the difference between our planet being habitable or being either too cold and arid (like Mars) or too hot and hellish (like Venus). As Jacobson concluded:

“Planetary magnetic fields shield planets and life on the planet from harmful cosmic radiation. If a late, violent and giant impact is necessary for a planetary magnetic field then such an impact may be necessary for life.”

Looking beyond our Solar System, this paper also has implications in the study of extra-solar planets. Here too, the difference between a planet being habitable or not may come down to high-energy impacts being a part of the system’s early history. In the future, when studying extra-solar planets and looking for signs of habitability, scientists may very well be forced to ask one simple question: “Was it hit hard enough?”

Further Reading: Earth Science and Planetary Letters

The post Earth and Venus are the Same Size, so Why Doesn’t Venus Have a Magnetosphere? Maybe it Didn’t Get Smashed Hard Enough appeared first on Universe Today.

Categories: Science

Here’s the organism (well, sort of. . . .)!

Why Evolution is True Feed - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 10:00am

Did you guess what organism made the pattern below, found on a recent dive around the hydrothermal vents off Tonga?

Here’s the answer in the second tweet:

For comparison here is a live "Paleodictyon" from the Mid Atlantic Ridge. Pic from Paper by Rona et al. #UnderwaterFire Tonga

— Polychaeta Species (@WPolyDb) December 8, 2017

How big is that thing? The laser beam images are 10 cm (about 4 inches apart): The paper from which this comes (below) adds, “Note the shield-shaped elevation, marginal elevated rim and mote, and color (pale pink) of the area of the pattern compared with the surrounding veneer of gray calcareous lutite (image courtesy The Stephen Low Company).” You can find thousands of these things on the wall of the mid-Atlantic Ridge.

The pattern is similar to that described in a 2009 paper in Deep Sea Research (click on screenshot to go there):

It’s called a “living fossil” because the patterns are nearly identical to those found in ocean sediment cores from about 50 million years ago. That doesn’t mean, of course, that the organism that made (or left) this pattern is the same as the ancient one, for it may be not a fossil but a burrow.

But what IS the organism involved? The paper above doesn’t say, because they haven’t recovered an organism from whatever makes this pattern. DNA sequencing of material recovered from the holes shows genetic material from foraminiferans, protists that probably settled in the holes rather than making them.

When the holes are injected with resin underwater, and then the cast recovered, it looks like this (caption from paper):

Fig. 8. Photo of plasticine reconstruction (3-D) of the modern P. nodosum pattern based on observation of the hexagonal pattern of holes at the sediment–water interface and vertical shafts connecting with an underlying horizontal hexagonal network of tunnels or tubes (model and photo by Hans Luginsland).

The raised nature of the pattern as well as the rim can, according to the authors’ models, enhance water flow over the openings, suggesting that either this is a burrow of some sort or the 3-D remains of an organism that filtered microbes out of the water.  The authors suggest this could be a remnant of one of two types of organisms:

1.) Xenophyophores: Giant single-celled foraminifera that have multiple nuclei and form a “test”, a hard skeleton made from minerals extracted from seawater.

2.) The remains of a sponge. As the authors say:

Alternatively, the modern form is the compressed body of a hexactinellid sponge adapted to an unconsolidated sedimentary substrate (Rona and Merrill, 1978). If this interpretation is correct, then the fossil form is a body rather than trace fossil.

These sponges have hard parts as they contain spicules (small bits of the body) made of silicon.

Alternatively, it could be something else. The authors don’t consider that it might be burrows of a worm, but this site suggests that:

The short answer is, “We have no fricking idea.” There are many mysteries on the ocean floor.

Categories: Science

Most complete map of Titan reveals connected seas and cookie-cutter lakes

Science News Feed - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 9:40am
The latest map of Titan, based on all the data from the Cassini spacecraft, displays new details about the moon’s lakes and seas.
Categories: Science

Square dancing! It’s a conspiracy!

Pharyngula Feed - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 9:26am

Why does American history have to suck so bad? Last night I saw this tweet, and it led to all kinds of horrifying crap.

PUT YOUR TIN FOIL HATS ON, we are about to go on a VERY wild ride.

I haven't been this excited since I first found out about the incredibly strange world of quicksand porn.

— Robyn Pennacchia (@RobynElyse) December 7, 2017

You’ll have to look elsewhere to find out about quicksand porn*. The subject this tweet prefaces is…square dancing.

I do not have fond memories of square dancing. In my grade school years, whenever it rained (and this was Seattle, it rained all year long), our physical education classes would immediately devolve into a) dodge ball, or institutionalized, state-endorsed bullying of all the scrawny nerds, like myself, or b) square dancing. Square dancing was horrible and pointless. First, there was all the trauma of the boys and girls being separated and then told they had to pick a partner, which effectively meant both sides would stand paralyzed and motionless, doing nothing, until the instructor got fed up and started pairing us off arbitrarily. Then the horror began.

We had to go through these dance steps — “do-si-do”, “allemande left”, etc. — while listening to annoyingly bad music played on scratchy records. The thing was, no one listened to this kind of music outside of this class. It was the 70s. It was Elton John, Cher, Janis Joplin…jesus, at the school dances they would play “Smoke on the Water” and we were somehow supposed to dance to it. We didn’t do-si-do. We didn’t form lines. There was no choreography. Dancing was The Hustle, The Funky Chicken, The Bump, and the most coordination we engaged in was to know the motions for YMCA.

Square dancing was this alien, inorganic, antiquated assortment of sterile moves that had no part in our lives and never would. So why were all our schools united in foisting it off on us?

It was all Henry Ford’s fault.

Around 1928, Boards of Education all over the United States endorsed their square dancing program. Almost half the public schools in America began teaching square dancing and other old fashion dancing. Not only was this great exercise, but Ford and Lovett felt square dancing corrected the missing fun and teamwork that one-on-one dance lacked. Ford and Lovett felt that having square dancing in schools would help train children in manners, courtesy, and social training, a quality Henry Ford wanted to see excel in people.

It was state-mandated social engineering. Worse…it was social engineering by capitalists and industrialists. Under the influence of Captains of Industry, artifical organizations sprang up to convince state legislatures to declare that this was “American folk dancing”. Never mind that my “folk”, Scandinavian immigrants and other North European rascals, didn’t do much dancing, and what there was involved lots of alcohol (my father’s side) or Lawrence Welk (my mother’s side). It’s an incredibly fake attempt to invent a wholesome united American culture by a terrible, awful, no-good racist.

Yeah, that’s the dismaying bit. Sure, if this was a fake culture that was as authentic as Velveeta cheese, I could just roll my eyes and ignore it. But this is America! We have to imbed an uncomfortable amount of hate in everything. The reason Henry Ford was so keen to contrive a bland American folk tradition was that he hated jungle music and Jews.

Despite being progressive in paying blacks equal pay to whites, Ford sponsored country music events for his workers to keep them away from the supposed detrimental effects of ‘Negro’ music.

Why did Ford hate jazz music so much? Not only was he fearful of “urban, negro” entertainment, he also blamed the Jews for it. No doubt you’ve heard of Ford’s tome “The International Jew,” the anti-Semitic rants that sometimes get lost in history while we keep buying Mustangs. In Ford’s own words:

Many people have wondered whence come the waves upon waves of musical slush that invade decent homes and set the young people of this generation imitating the drivel of morons. Popular music is a Jewish monopoly. Jazz is a Jewish creation. The mush, slush, the sly suggestion, the abandoned sensuousness of sliding notes, are of Jewish origin.

Monkey talk, jungle squeals, grunts and squeaks and gasps suggestive of calf love are camouflaged by a few feverish notes and admitted in homes where the thing itself, unaided by scanned music,” would be stamped out in horror. The fluttering music sheets disclose expressions taken directly from the cesspools of modern capitals, to be made the daily slang, the thoughtlessly hummed remarks of school boys and girls.

Oh god.

I have two bits of good news though.

  1. Obviously, Ford failed. We all grew up on the “abandoned sensuosness of sliding notes” and “jungle squeals, grunts and squeaks”, and we liked it. Urban rhythms rule. Square dancing drools.

  2. The alt-right are going to declare square dancing the official dance of neo-Nazism. We’re going to have another reason to point and laugh.

Of course, if you happen to enjoy square dancing as a hobby and form of exercise, that’s fine, go ahead. Just don’t pretend it’s authentic or especially American.

Except in the sense that it’s rooted in racism, like so many American traditions.

*No, don’t google it! Your search history will be forever poisoned with stuff you don’t want to know!

Categories: Science

That interstellar asteroid could be a shard of a shredded planet

New Scientist Feed - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 9:03am
'Oumuamua, an oddly shaped asteroid from beyond our solar system, recently passed by. It may have formed when a planet was ripped into fragments by its star
Categories: Science

Zinnia Jones: The dangers of Regressivism

Why Evolution is True Feed - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 9:00am

Zinnia Jones is a transgender woman who nominally posts at The Orbit, a series of blogs that were once part of Freethought Blogs but separated from that site for reasons that were never explicit. I rarely read her site, and rarely look at The Orbit itself because postings at the 22 constituent blogs are rare; in fact, Zinnia’s last post was December 2 of last year, and here are the dates of the last posts from some other people whose sites I’d sometimes read when they were at Freethought Blogs:

Dana Hunter: May 18, 2017
Alex Gabriel: January 3, 2017
Aoife O’Riordan: January 22, 2017
Greta Christina: December 6 of this year, but last post before that was on September 27, 2017
Ashley Miller: May 3, 2016
Heina Dadabhoy: December 31, 2016
Jason Thibeault: September 17, 2016

Of the remaining 15 sites, eleven haven’t had a post since October of this year. It’s clear that The Orbit is dying a slow death, and probably for the same reason that the Atheism Plus site went under: off-putting authoritarianism and, in the case of Atheism Plus, horrible internecine squabbles over completely trivial matters.

Zinnia Jones, however, seems to be on Twitter almost constantly (I don’t look at many people’s accounts, but just checked), and one of her tweets from this year demonstrates in a nutshell the reason why The Orbit has put so many people off. It’s from July, and seems to have been removed, but was saved (nothing disappears for good on the Internet):

The tweet:

But of course it’s clear that ISIS in Syria and Iraq does indeed throw gay people off of buildings to their deaths. Here’s a CNN video documenting it (some of the images might be disturbing). You can find videos rather than still pictures elsewhere on the Internet, but I’ll let you suss them out yourself.

Why did Jones say that these are “suicide photos”? It’s clear: she’s trying to defend Islam from the charge of homophobia, a regular pasttime of Regressive Leftists. But the accusation won’t stand, and Ngo attributes it to “intersectionality”:

I feel intersectionality has robbed many queer activists of legitimacy. Here, a trans activist, like many others in the same influential circle, says images of accused gay men being tossed from roof tops were actually images of suicide.

— Andy C. Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) December 7, 2017

The principle of intersectionality—that people can be oppressed on the basis of several different characteristics (e.g., ethnicity and religion)—is not problematic, but what it’s done is foster each group’s defense of all the others. So, for example—as in this case—Muslims, who occupy one “axis”, must be defended by a transgender woman against any of the religion’s own oppressions. In the end, intersectionality seems to poison everything, as every “oppressed” group becomes immune to all charges of racism or bigotry, which become solely the purview of heterosexual white men. And what that does is erode basic principles of liberalism.

Let me assure you that Zinnia Jones wouldn’t last a day under ISIS, or, as a blogger, in several Middle Eastern countries.

h/t: Grania

Categories: Science

When tumors fuse with blood vessels, clumps of breast cancer cells can spread

Science News Feed - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 8:42am
Breast cancer tumors may merge with blood vessels to help the cancer spread.
Categories: Science

Many more bacteria have electrically conducting filaments

Matter and energy from Science Daily Feed - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 8:41am
The microbiologists who have discovered electrically conducting microfilaments or 'nanowires' in the bacterium Geobacter, announce in a new article that they have discovered the unexpected structures in many other species, greatly broadening the research field on electrically conducting filaments.
Categories: Science

Guanidinium stabilizes perovskite solar cells at 19 percent efficiency

Matter and energy from Science Daily Feed - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 8:35am
Incorporating guanidinium into perovskite solar cells stabilizes their efficiency at 19 percent for 1,000 hours under full-sunlight testing conditions, report scientists.
Categories: Science

Transformation to wind and solar achievable with low indirect GHG emissions

Matter and energy from Science Daily Feed - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 8:35am
Different low carbon technologies from wind or solar energy to fossil carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) differ greatly when it comes to indirect GHG emissions in their life cycle. The new study finds that wind and solar energy belong to the more favorable when it comes to life-cycle emissions and scaling up these technologies would induce only modest indirect GHG emissions -- and hence not impede the transformation towards a climate-friendly power system.
Categories: Science

Will wildfires finally change Rupert Murdoch’s climate stance?

New Scientist Feed - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 8:01am
The media-mogul's Santa Monica vineyard was saved from wildfire destruction, but the world may yet burn thanks to his climate views, says Richard Schiffman
Categories: Science

Identify the organism that made this pattern

Why Evolution is True Feed - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 8:00am

Here’s a new tweet that Matthew sent, showing a pattern found underwater by ROV SuBastian dive #96 (dive #97 starts at 11 a.m. Chicago time, and you can watch it here).  These dives are sponsored by the Schmidt Ocean Institute, and are currently investigating hydrothermal vents around Tonga in the Pacific.

Oh wow, one of those mystery pattern organisms, perhaps related to Paleodictyon trace fossil #UnderwaterFire 2370 m Mata Fa Tonga SuBastian dive 96, in shallow sediment on rock.

— Polychaeta Species (@WPolyDb) December 8, 2017

Your job: Guess what kind of organism made that pattern. It’s not a human creation, but a genuine trace left by living organisms. What is it? I’ll put up the answer at noon Chicago time. Paleodictyon trace fossils are of unknown origin, but we’re pretty sure what made this one. You’ll find out in two hours.

Today’s dive looks cool, and here’s the info:

This is the twelfth ROV dive of the Underwater Fire expedition. This dive will visit the known hydrothermal vent field at Mata Fitu volcano, one of the North Mata group of volcanoes. This is the second dive of this expedition at Mata Fitu, but first visit to the hydrothermal vent field.The dive will start downslope of the area of known venting and will traverse back-and-forth upslope to establish the aerial extent of venting. The dive will be a mix of geo-transects to visually explore the area, sample lavas and sediments, and will also do chemical and biological sampling at the hydrothermal vents.

Watch it here in about an hour:

Categories: Science

Ali Rizvi talks sense on Israel and Palestine

Why Evolution is True Feed - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 7:00am

Unbeknownst to me, Ali Rizvi, author of The Atheist Muslim: A Journey from Religion to Reason (I blurbed the book) wrote a fine article on the Israel Palestine crisis that was published in PuffHo on July 28, 2014. (Click on screenshot below to read it, and you should.) Normally I’d kvetch about his publishing this on a regressive site like PuffHo, but the readers there really need this kind of thoughtful article. Why is it that ex-Muslims, often raised—as was Rizvi—to hate Israel and Jews, always turn out to be more pro-Israel (or at least more balanced) than are American Regressives Leftists? I suppose that’s because the apostates thought their way out of Islam, and thus can more easily see through the propaganda of the Israel bashers, including people like Linda Sarsour and organizations like CAIR, the BDS movement, and Jewish Voice for Peace.

I’ll list Rizvi’s seven points (he by no means excuses Israel, criticizing Netanyahu and the expansion of settlements on the West bank), and also excerpt some of what he says, with all his words indented. Where I’ve commented, I’ve put that in brackets:

1. Why is everything so much worse when there are Jews involved?

Over 700 people have died in Gaza as of this writing. Muslims have woken up around the world. But is it really because of the numbers?

Bashar al-Assad has killed over 180,000 Syrians, mostly Muslim, in two years — more than the number killed in Palestine in two decades. Thousands of Muslims in Iraq and Syria have been killed by ISIS in the last two months. Tens of thousands have been killed by the Taliban. Half a million black Muslims were killed by Arab Muslims in Sudan. The list goes on.

But Gaza makes Muslims around the world, both Sunni and Shia, speak up in a way they never do otherwise. Up-to-date death counts and horrific pictures of the mangled corpses of Gazan children flood their social media timelines every day. If it was just about the numbers, wouldn’t the other conflicts take precedence? What is it about then?

If I were Assad or ISIS right now, I’d be thanking God I’m not Jewish.

Amazingly, many of the graphic images of dead children attributed to Israeli bombardment that are circulating online are from Syria, based on a BBC report. Many of the pictures you’re seeing are of children killed by Assad, who is supported by Iran, which also funds Hezbollah and Hamas. What could be more exploitative of dead children than attributing the pictures of innocents killed by your own supporters to your enemy simply because you weren’t paying enough attention when your own were killing your own?

This doesn’t, by any means, excuse the recklessness, negligence, and sometimes outright cruelty of Israeli forces. But it clearly points to the likelihood that the Muslim world’s opposition to Israel isn’t just about the number of dead.

2. Why does everyone keep saying this is not a religious conflict?

There are three pervasive myths that are widely circulated about the “roots” of the Middle East conflict:

Myth 1: Judaism has nothing to do with Zionism.
Myth 2: Islam has nothing to do with Jihadism or anti-Semitism.
Myth 3: This conflict has nothing to do with religion.

3. Why would Israel deliberately want to kill civilians? [JAC: They do nearly everything they can to avoid it because they know the consequences for Israel’s image.]

4. Does Hamas really use its own civilians as human shields? [JAC: Rizvi’s answer, which is a fact well known but often hidden, is “yes.” And that’s why so many more Palestinians die than Israelis, for rather than protecting the Palestinian people, Hamas, a truly odious organization, deliberately tries to get them killed as a propaganda tool. So much for the “disproportionate” reaction of Israel (see #3 above).]

5. Why are people asking for Israel to end the “occupation” in Gaza? [JAC: People forget that Gaza was once Israel and was given to the Palestinians, who failed to develop it.]

6. Why are there so many more casualties in Gaza than in Israel? [JAC: see #4.]

7. If Hamas is so bad, why isn’t everyone pro-Israel in this conflict?

Because Israel’s flaws, while smaller in number, are massive in impact.

Many Israelis seem to have the same tribal mentality that their Palestinian counterparts do. They celebrate the bombing of Gaza the same way many Arabs celebrated 9/11. A UN report recently found that Israeli forces tortured Palestinian children and used them as human shields. They beat up teenagers. They are often reckless with their airstrikes. They have academics who explain how rape may be the only truly effective weapon against their enemy. And many of them callously and publicly revel in the deaths of innocent Palestinian children.

. . . However, if Israel holds itself to a higher standard like it claims — it needs to do much more to show it isn’t the same as the worst of its neighbors.

Israel is leading itself towards increasing international isolation and national suicide because of two things: 1. The occupation; and 2. Settlement expansion.

Remember, this is the take of an ex-Muslim who has no political reason to love Israel. He says that, instead of us taking sides, it’s more productive to foster peace initiatives than to put all the blame on one side or the other. The only solution, I think, is the two-state solution, but I’m slowly beginning to realize three things: a. it’s not going to happen, at least not in the next several decades, b. Neither Hamas, Fatah, nor the Palestinian Authority wants it to happen, even if they get most of what they want, and c. Israel only exacerbates the situation by continuing to expand settlements.

Finally, re the Jerusalem issue, Ali published the bit below on his public Facebook page (click on screenshot to go there). It doesn’t take sides, but faults everyone for fighting about a city that symbolizes three delusional religions. But aside from the delusions, he fails to consider that these sites are also important in the history of all the main Abrahamic religions as sites of worship, and they’re fighting not just over which delusion is true, but who has access to their history.

h/t: Grania

Categories: Science

A good response

Pharyngula Feed - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 6:58am

I’ll never be able to use it, because I wouldn’t be that polite to someone wearing a MAGA hat.

Categories: Science

Galaxy orbits in the local supercluster

Space and time from Science Daily Feed - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 6:55am
Astronomers have produced the most detailed map ever of the orbits of galaxies in our extended local neighborhood, showing the past motions of almost 1,400 galaxies within 100 million light years of the Milky Way. The team reconstructed the galaxies' motions from 13 billion years in the past to the present day.
Categories: Science

Cheap and safe electro-catalysts for fuel cells

Matter and energy from Science Daily Feed - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 6:55am
Scientists have produced non-metal electro-catalysts for fuel cells that could pave the way for production of low-cost, environmentally friendly energy generation.
Categories: Science

'Toolboxes' for quantum cybersecurity

Computers and Math from Science Daily Feed - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 6:55am
A quantum information scientist has developed efficient 'toolboxes' comprising theoretical tools and protocols for quantifying the security of high-speed quantum communication.
Categories: Science

'Toolboxes' for quantum cybersecurity

Matter and energy from Science Daily Feed - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 6:55am
A quantum information scientist has developed efficient 'toolboxes' comprising theoretical tools and protocols for quantifying the security of high-speed quantum communication.
Categories: Science

Insights on fast cockroaches can help teach robots to walk

Computers and Math from Science Daily Feed - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 6:55am
Scientists show for the first time that fast insects can change their gait -- like a mammal's transition from trot to gallop. These new insights could contribute to making the locomotion of robots more energy efficient.
Categories: Science


Subscribe to The Jefferson Center  aggregator