Evolution: South Africa’s hominin record

The fossil record of early hominins in South Africa is biased towards periods of drier climate, suggests a study of cave deposits. This finding suggests there are gaps in the fossil record, potentially obscuring evolutionary patterns and affecting our understanding of both the habitats and dietary behaviors of early hominins in this region. South Africa’s highest concentration of early hominin fossils comes from the ‘Cradle of Humankind’ caves northwest of Johannesburg.

Source: Evolution: South Africa’s hominin record is a fair-weather friend: New uranium-lead ages for fossil bearing caves change the landscape of human evolution in South Africa — ScienceDaily

New federal climate assessment for U.S. released: Report highlights impacts, risks and adaptations to climate change — ScienceDaily

A new federal report finds that climate change is affecting the natural environment, agriculture, energy production and use, land and water resources, transportation, and human health and welfare across the U.S. and its territories.

Source: New federal climate assessment for U.S. released: Report highlights impacts, risks and adaptations to climate change — ScienceDaily

To Tackle Climate Crisis, Says Bernie Sanders, US Must ‘Be Bold and Aggressive in Standing Up to Greed of Fossil Fuel Industry’

 “We have got to rally the American people. The scientific community has made it 100 percent clear… this is a major crisis facing this country and our planet.”

Source: To Tackle Climate Crisis, Says Bernie Sanders, US Must ‘Be Bold and Aggressive in Standing Up to Greed of Fossil Fuel Industry’

The eonic effect as reminder of the complexity of ‘evolution’, and its non-genetic aspect

Biologists have very sensibly tried to ground ‘evolution’ in science as a biochemical subject that follows physical/chemical/genetic laws. That has been a tremendously fruitful research project but it has not resulted in solving the riddle of evolution. The reason is that evolutionary sequences are different from chemical complexes following strictly causal laws of standard physics. Look at the scale of evolution over billions of years: do you really think you have solved even the descriptive problem of picturing what happened? Can you visualize the emergence of a new species, or specify how that happened (note the way the idea of punctuated equilibrium entered to try and incrementally improve on that gap in knowledge: the actual process is not quite what was expected, not that the problem was really solved). In the background lies the assumption of random evolution, an especially unrealistic one, and proof again that close observation has never happened. A glaring contradiction lurks here: how on earth can a genetic innovation appear in one organism and pass into a field of organisms. A subject that can’t answer that, can’t even mention that is not a serious effort…What is this strange fantasy that science has a theory of evolution. Even a rank amateur can apparently see better.

We have recommended a look at the ‘eonic effect’ which shows a developmental sequence (evolution of some kind, by definition) in world history, hopefully: the evidence is strong but ambiguous. But we can see that random evolution is not the case. It is a useful discipline here: can you visualize a sequence of civilizations over ten thousand years in their immense detail? Can you grasp how a field of diversity could show an organized holistic directionality? Actually you can’t. But unless you start trying to do so you will get nowhere.
The emergence of civilization is non-genetic ‘evolution’, which is actually useful in making you think beyond chemistry. What then drives this development? We have no idea, we never see the ‘process’: it is invisible to the naked eye and is supercomplex, but we do see what it does, up to a point. It can multitask effects across the range of culture in a huge amount of detail over tens of thousands of years. It does not control that whole, but it does nudge it, to create directionality…That’s enough for the moment.
We begin to see why biological theories of evolution never show up for lunch: the process that stands beyond chemistry operates over millions of years, has directing factors on that scale of those millions, and is invisible to the naked eye. And it must solve the problem of direction in a field of diverging diversity. We can in fact see how it does that by operating over a mainline, etc…
The point here is that the eonic effect provokes an exercise in visualizing ‘objects’ (civilizations) over tens of millennia, whose data set expands to tens of thousands of books. Maybe we can do something if we read a mere thousand, but we must hope that there is a simplifying factor. In fact there is: there is an emerging distinction of ‘macro’ and ‘micro’ which allows us, up to a point, to depict the ‘motions’ of large entities, etc…
We have made our point: evolution in deep time is not so simple as we had thought. We see evolution in a fuzzy way: it is obvious from the fossil record. But we are not really able to produce close observation, let alone a theory that explains much of anything.
Again the eonic effect and its study is useful: you must begin to try and study multiple ‘moving’ entities sprawled globally on the surface of a planet over ten thousand years. As such we cannot yet quite do that! But we are beginning to produce sufficient data to try, and mirabile dictu that data such as it is is starting to show a form of evolutionary action.
Let us inject suspicion that physics, after being slapped in the face, will come to our rescue: something on this scale should be a part of cosmology. The various fine-tuning arguments suggest that in fact that is so. Therefore we might find a clue to our impossibley large ‘evolutionary monster data set’ via some insights of cosmic evolution…

How is it biologists let the religious right eat their lunch??

That natural selection not only can’t produce ‘evolution’ but can actually ‘undo’ it by degrading complexity (if that is what Behe is saying in his new book) should be about the ‘last stand’ for darwinists, and should certainly be a reminder to the left that it is time, way past time, to move beyond the older paradigm once and for all. Behe and his milieu have eaten the lunch of conventional biologists who can’t seem to change because a dominant faction wasn’t really telling the truth to begin with: too much bluff mixed with the ‘one true religion’ of figures like Dawkins have made it impossible for anyone in the realm of science to dissent from the dominant groupthink. Hysteria over the design argument as a religious Trojan horse is misplaced. Trying to use dissent from darwinism as grounds for some kind of theological comeback for ‘god’ hasn’t really gone anywhere. As if the issue of natural selection had anything to do with the status of Old Testament theology or the mythology of ‘god in history’. The problem is that if biologists give up simplistic reductionism they are left, not in the realm of theology, but in a mysterious new universe with a teleological look and current science is unable to deal with that. But the realm of physics has already entered that realm in any case, however much it can actually deal with that scientifically. There is no current form of science that can do justice to that. But theological thinking is equally limited in its theological clubfoot ‘intelligent’ design trying to shoehorn ‘mind/god’ into biological theory gaps. It won’t work any better than darwinian scientism. In a strange irony the ‘design’ angle is likely to be also the undoing of naive ‘archaic’ theism…