This “Evolution” Is Not Darwinian

first_imgSome things in nature get attributed to Darwinian evolution, but might be better seen as manifestations of design or other alternative, non-Darwinian mechanisms.Deterministic EvolutionIn “Predictable Bacterial Diversity,” Nature highlighted some experiments that showed bacteria converging on the same mutations when exposed to identical environmental stresses.  “They found many similar and a few identical mutations that underlay the evolution of diversity in the three experiments,” the article said. “The findings suggest that this evolution is a predictable process that is driven by natural selection.”  The story is based on a paper in PLoS Biology that was summarized in on Science Daily, which said, “Any evolutionary process is some combination of predictable and unpredictable processes with random mutations, but seeing the same genetic changes in different populations showed that selection can be deterministic.”This claim, however, runs contrary to the unpredictable, contingent nature of Darwin’s theoretical mechanism.  If the mutations fall within the “Edge of Evolution,” as Michael Behe described in a book of that name, then the changes could be due to chance and selection pressure in an artificially designed environment.  But as Randy Guliuzza has explained, the ability to adapt would better be described as designed into the bacteria than residing in the environment.  The end products of the experiments, finally, are still bacterial “strains” within the same species, raising questions why natural selection, if so inexorable a process, has left bacteria content to remain so for hundreds of millions of years.Salvaging EvolutionSometimes an observation begs the question of evolution.  Why, for instance, do some birds continue their mating displays after laying of eggs?  Live Science explored the conundrum:That begged the question: Why would monogamous animals have evolved to continue these display once they’d paired up?“It’s very obvious why you’d want a display to attract a mate, but once you’ve already secured a mate, why should you bother to keep displaying?” said study author Maria Servedio, an evolutionary biologist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.To salvage evolutionary theory from the conundrum, they came up with a less obvious answer: it helps the birds pair-bond better for the raising of young.  So it may have evolutionary benefits, despite the “very obvious” why-question.Incidental EvolutionObservation: males in many species beat females in navigational ability (Live Science).  A Darwinian just-so story arises to explain this in adaptationist terms: males wander farther for hunting, so only the good navigators would survive to get home and breed.  As Justin Rhodes explains in a cartoony video on PhysOrg, though, the story doesn’t wash.  Males would have passed on the genes for good navigation to their daughters, not just their sons.  So to explain the observation, Rhodes ended up calling the adaptation a “spandrel” of selection – i.e., a byproduct of the main selection pressure that just happened to produce navigational skill as a side effect.  “Maybe we shouldn’t be too eager to accept the stories, the adaptionist stories,” he said.  Even things in human behavior could be due to “alternative explanations that people haven’t considered.”It’s nice when evolutionists themselves find faults in their own theory.  Sometimes, though, they still need help from their critics. (Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Republican Chairmen Take Aim at Defense Budget

Republican Chairmen Take Aim at Defense Budget

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR The chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services committees on Tuesday decried the Pentagon’s fiscal 2017 budget request for shortchanging national security amid a litany of growing threats.“I am disappointed that this request does not adhere to the budget agreement made just last fall,” Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement. “Last year, Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act, which establishes a minimum level of funding for our military. I hoped such an agreement would provide some budget stability and begin to rebuild our military. Unfortunately, this administration continues to play budgetary games with our country’s security and diminishes what credibility it had left,” Thornberry stated.Last week, Thornberry, along with 33 other GOP members on his panel, urged House Budget Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) to increase defense spending by as much as $23 billion beyond the Obama administration’s request through an increase in the department’s overseas contingency operations (OCO) account, reported Defense News.Thornberry and other GOP defense hawks argue that the two-year bipartisan budget agreement reached last October set a floor for the OCO account, allowing funds in the account to be raised above $59 billion. The administration and congressional Democrats view the deal as setting a ceiling, however, setting up a fight for the second straight year over the use of DOD’s war fund to sidestep the statutory spending caps.Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) told reporters Tuesday he would “raise hell” to increase DOD’s budget and invoked the Islamic State-inspired attack on San Bernardino, Calif., according to the story.“I just think the numbers are wrong,” McCain said. “It’s $17 billion short of last year, and in the intervening time, we’ve had attacks on the United States. When will these people wake up? There will be more attacks on the United States of America; this is not the time to be cutting defense spending.”last_img read more

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Watch SZA Debuts Garden Video Featuring Donald Glover

Watch SZA Debuts Garden Video Featuring Donald Glover

first_imgNews Watch: SZA, Donald Glover In “Garden” watch-sza-debuts-garden-video-featuring-donald-glover The GRAMMY-nominated R&B singer gets cozy with the “This Is America” singer/songwriter in her latest videoRenée FabianGRAMMYs May 21, 2018 – 12:18 pm Last week SZA teased that a video for “Garden (Say It Like That)” would be coming shortly. And now she’s made good on that promise.”Garden” features not only SZA’s mother, but also “This Is America” singer/songwriter Donald Glover, who plays the video’s love interest. The video shows SZA singing against nature-based backdrops such as the ocean and a forest while pining after Glover’s character.The track is from the R&B singer/songwriter’s 2017 album Ctrl, which earned SZA her first five career GRAMMY nominations for the 60th GRAMMY Awards, including Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best New Artist. Watch: SZA Debuts “Garden” Video Featuring Donald Glover Twitter Email NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO Oct 11, 2017 – 4:44 pm SZA’s “Drew Barrymore” Connection Facebook If you want to catch SZA performing “Garden” and her other hits live, grab your tickets to the upcoming TDE Championship tour, which runs through June 16 and also features Kendrick Lamar,  ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, and Jay Rock, among others.Catching Up On Music News Powered By The Recording Academy Just Got Easier. Have A Google Home Device? “Talk To GRAMMYs”Read morelast_img read more

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When Sunny Leone was caught redhanded by her father on her first

first_imgSunny LeoneTwitterSunny Leone’s life is now an open book. One can easily revisit some of the important chapters of her life in her biopic web series Karenjit Kaur – The Untold Story of Sunny Leone. And yet Sunny manages to surprise us with her candid self everytime she sits down for a meaningful chat.So when Sunny was recently asked about her first kiss in rapid fire round with Filmfare, she revealed that the moment became memorable for her but for all the wrong reasons.Describing what had happened, Sunny said that her first kiss happened with her then boyfriend during her school days. But she was caught red-handed by her father which was followed by a huge family drama at home back then. Last year, Sunny, whose journey began from starting her career in the adult film industry as a teenager to becoming the new age Laila of Bollywood, had candidly confessed that she felt extremely gross and weird after watching porn for the very first time and never thought that she would actually end up entering into the field which she found utterly disgusting.She had further said that although she found it weird initially, her perspective towards the adult film industry changed while growing up and she ultimately chose the path which she was interested in.In 2012, Sunny gave up her career as a porn star in 2012 and embarked on her new journey in Bollywood.last_img read more

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Air India disinvestment facing headwinds failing to attract buyers

first_imgA fuel tanker moves past Air India passenger jets parked at an airport in Kolkata May 6, 2012.Reuters fileSelling off India’s national airline, Air India is facing some serious roadblocks, with only IndoGo showing interest in buying the international business of the carrier, a senior official aware of the development told Business Standard.The official explained that the problem has only got worse because of the government policy, which barred foreign players from bidding for Air India. These kept foreign airlines like Emirates and Singapore Airlines, which could have been interested, out of the game.Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had recently said that the process was moving “quite well” and the government would soon appoint a transaction advisor to value the company and decide on the contours of disinvestment.IndiGo had also said that the company is considering investing in Jet Airways, if it fails to acquire a stake in Air India. “IndiGo would go all out to get Air India’s international business as the state-owned carrier has international flying rights and slots. Another alternative could be Jet Airways. The company sees an opportunity there,” the officer said.Another reason why investors are not showing much interest in buying the state-owned carrier is because of the company’s large debt of more than Rs 52,000 crore. Experts opined that investors will come in depending on how much the government is willing to write off the loans.Even IndiGo has made it clear that while it would be ready to take the long-term debt on its books, the government has to write off or take some part of the overall debt, BS reported.Experts estimate that around Rs 30,000 crore of working capital debt needs to be written off for potential buyers to consider acquiring the airline.Writing off the Rs 30,000 crore debts will lead to a serious financial problem, and the government would be facing serious opposition from Air India unions. Another industry expert believes that selling off the airline won’t be an easy task and selling won’t bring substantial amounts of cash to the government to help it meet its disinvestment target.Another stumbling block is the more than 22,000 employees of Air India, which, based on the employee-to-plane ratio, is too high for the national carrier.last_img read more

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Editors Council concerned at proposed digital act

Editors Council concerned at proposed digital act

first_img.Terming some provisions of the proposed Digital Security Act contrary to the media freedom in the country, Editors’ Council has demanded amendment to them.The leaders of the council, an organisation of the editors of the newspapers, expressed their concern over the issue at a meeting with law minister Anisul Huq, post, telecommunications and information and communications technology (ICT) minister Mosfata Jabbar and state minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed at the Secretariat on Thursday.The law minisiter acknowledged that the issues raised by the editors are logical.However, he pointed out, the matters are being dealt with by the relevant parliamentary standing committee which is set to sit for its next meeting on 22 April.The Digital Security Bill was recently placed in parliament and it would turn into a law once it is passed after scrutiny by the parliamentary committee.Anisul Huq said he would raise the points made by the Editors’ Council at the standing committee meeting and recommend that a representative of the council be invited to the subsequent meeting for submitting the editors’ proposals in writing.”The Digital Security Act is being formulated in order to control cyber crimes, not to curtain the freedom of expresson. If there are any anomalies in such a context, the committee will discuss them,” the law minister told newsmen after the meeting.The council’s secretary, The Daily Star editor Mahfuz Anam, said sections 21, 25, 28, 31, 32 and 43 of the proposed act would limit the freedom of speech.”Independent journalism that we are proud of, will be seriously hampered if such an act is made. The ministers have accepted our propositions,” he said.The council leader expressed hope that the act that would ultimately be passed by parliament would not curtail the freedom exercised by the newsmen.The News Today editor Reaz Uddin Ahmed, Naya Diganta’s Alamgir Mahiuddin, Prothom Alo’s Matiur Rahman, acting editor of Sangbad Khandker Moniruzzaman, Kaler Kantha editor Imdadul Haque Milon, Bangladesh Protidin’s Nayeem Nizam, acting editor of Jugantor Saiful Islam, The Financial Express editor Moazzem Hossain, New Age editor Nurul Kabir, Inquilab editor AMM Bahauddin and Banik Barta’s Dewan Mohammad Hanif were also present on the occasion.last_img read more

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What We Do in the Shadows Vampire Comedy Series Is Coming to

first_img Syfy Axes ‘Krypton’ Superhero Series After 2 SeasonsWhat to Stream on Amazon Prime This Weekend What We Do in the Shadows, a hilarious TV series about vampire roommates, is coming to FX on March 27.On Monday, FX posted its first What We Do in the Shadows trailer on YouTube. The series, which is based on the What We Do in the Shadows movie directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, follows a group of vampires who’ve “lived” together for many years. After a surprise visit from their dark lord, the immortal squad must dominate the “New World” and adapt to modern-day life at the same time.In the trailer, the audience is introduced to Nandor The Relentless, Laszlo, and Nadja, the three vampire roomies who live in Staten Island, New York, and sometimes annoy each other. There’s also Guillermo, Nandor The Relentless’ protector during the daylight, who cohabits with the kooky vampires.Together, the odd group tries to perform rituals and stay civil with normal humans. Except, it can be a little chaotic when they encounter werewolves or pay cashiers with ancient coins. Along the way, they balance their weird routines with new buddies, including Jenna, a college student who craves human flesh, and Colin Robinson, an energy vampire who doesn’t feast on blood.The 10-episode series, which stars Matt Berry, Kayvan Novak, Natasia Demetriou, and Harvey Guillén, will hit FX next month. Until then, we’ll have to wait for nightfall to watch What We Do in the Shadows.More on Geek.com:NYCC 2018: What We Do in the Shadows Lights Up on TVAMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’ Is Renewed for Season 10Amazon’s New ‘Invincible’ Animated Superhero Show Has a Cool Cast Stay on targetlast_img read more

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Police attach Nima Tamangs properties following court order

Police attach Nima Tamangs properties following court order

first_imgDarjeeling: Acting on a Court order, Kalimpong police on Thursday attached immovable and movable properties of Nima Tamang, a former GTA member, Kalimpong. Tamang, who is implicated in a number of cases is absconding.A large police contingent arrived at Tamang’s residence located at Seed Farm, Kalimpong at around 9 am on Thursday and then started the process of attachment.After movable items — including furnitures, utensils appliances were carried away in trucks, the house was vacated and sealed. Nima’s wife along with his son and daughter used to reside there.Nima, a close confidant of Gorkha leader Bimal Gurung, was a former Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Member of 34 number constituency in Kalimpong. He was implicated in a number of cases in the agitation period last year. He has been charged under Sections 147, 148, 149, 447, 325,326 and 307 of Indian Penal Code. A proclamation order had been issued by the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Kalimpong on July 30 this year ordering Nima Tamang to appear in court at 10 am on September 10.As Tamang failed to make an appearance, the court declared him an absconder and ordered for the attachment of his property.last_img read more

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ASUS servers hijacked pushed backdoor malware via software updates potentially affecting over

ASUS servers hijacked pushed backdoor malware via software updates potentially affecting over

first_imgMotherboard, today, reported of a backdoor malware attack on ASUS’ servers, which took place last year between June and November 2018. The attack was discovered by Kaspersky Lab in January 2019 and was named ‘ShadowHammer’ thereafter. Researchers say that the attack was discovered after adding a new supply-chain detection technology to ASUS’ scanning tool to catch anomalous code fragments hidden in legitimate code or catch code that is hijacking normal operations on a machine. Kaspersky analysts told Kim Zetter, a cybersecurity journalist at Motherboard, that the backdoor malware was pushed to ASUS customers for at least five months before it was discovered and shut down. Researchers also said that attackers compromised ASUS’ server for the company’s live software update tool. Following which the attackers used it to push the malware to inadvertently install a malicious backdoor on thousands of its customers’ computers. The malicious file, however, was signed with legitimate ASUS digital certificates to make it appear to be an authentic software update from the company. One of Kaspersky’s spokesperson said, “Over 57,000 Kaspersky users have downloaded and installed the backdoored version of ASUS Live Update at some point in time… We are not able to calculate the total count of affected users based only on our data; however, we estimate that the real scale of the problem is much bigger and is possibly affecting over a million users worldwide”. According to researchers at Kaspersky Lab, the goal of the attack was to “surgically target an unknown pool of users, which were identified by their network adapters’ MAC addresses”. The attackers’ first hardcoded a list of MAC addresses in the trojanized samples and this list was used to identify the actual intended targets of this massive operation. “We were able to extract more than 600 unique MAC addresses from over 200 samples used in this attack. Of course, there might be other samples out there with different MAC addresses in their list”, the researchers mentioned. Zetter also tweeted about “a Reddit forum from last year where ASUS users were discussing the suspicious software update ASUS was trying to install on their machines in June 2018” Kaspersky Lab plans to release a full technical paper and presentation about the ASUS attack at its Security Analyst Summit held in Singapore next month. Vitaly Kamluk, Asia-Pacific director of Kaspersky Lab’s Global Research and Analysis Team, said, “This attack shows that the trust model we are using based on known vendor names and validation of digital signatures cannot guarantee that you are safe from malware.” Zetter writes, “Motherboard sent ASUS a list of the claims made by Kaspersky in three separate emails on Thursday but has not heard back from the company.” Costin Raiu, company-wide director of Kaspersky’s Global Research and Analysis Team, told Motherboard, “I’d say this attack stands out from previous ones while being one level up in complexity and stealthiness. The filtering of targets in a surgical manner by their MAC addresses is one of the reasons it stayed undetected for so long. If you are not a target, the malware is virtually silent.” In a press release, Asus stated that the backdoor was fixed in the Live Update version 3.6.8. The company has also “introduced multiple security verification mechanisms to prevent any malicious manipulation in the form of software updates or other means, and implemented an enhanced end-to-end encryption mechanism”, the press release states. Additionally, ASUS has also created an online security diagnostic tool to check for affected systems. To know more about the technical details on this attack, head over to Kaspersky’s website. UPDATED: In a press release, Asus stated that the backdoor was fixed in the Live Update version 3.6.8. Additionally, ASUS has also created an online security diagnostic tool to check for affected systems. Read Next Researchers prove that Intel SGX and TSX can hide malware from antivirus software Using deep learning methods to detect malware in Android Applications Security researcher exposes malicious GitHub repositories that host more than 300 backdoored appslast_img read more

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New holiday experience coming to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

New holiday experience coming to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

first_img Travelweek Group New holiday experience coming to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Tuesday, April 18, 2017 Posted by ORLANDO — Christmas will be extra magical this year, thanks to a new holiday experience at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.Universal Orlando Resort has announced the new experience as part of its destination-wide holiday celebration, which also includes a brand new parade featuring Macys. The 2017 Holidays celebration will run for more dates than ever before, from Nov. 18, 2017 to Jan. 6, 2018.This November, Hogwarts castle will magically transform right before guests’ eyes, with state-of-the-art projection mapping and special effects wrapping the iconic castle. Festive décor will line the streets of both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, while each storefront will be decked out with uniquely themed decorations.Meanwhile, Universals Holidays Parade feature Macys will take place in Universal Studios Florida and feature detailed floats and balloons and beloved characters like the Minions from ‘Despicable Me’, popular DreamWorks characters from ‘Madagascar’ and ‘Shrek’ and even Santa Claus himself. Universal is partnering with Macys, the global leader in balloon entertainment, to bring this new parade experience to life.More news:  FIVE FESTIVE FOODS TO TRY AT EUROPE’S CHRISTMAS MARKETSTo make the most of their holiday stay, clients can book the ‘Splash, Stay and Play’ vacation package, priced from US$165 per adult, per night (tax inclusive). Package includes four-night hotel accommodations at Universals Cabana Bay Beach Resort and a four-day park ticket that includes admission to all three Universal theme parks.For more information go to UniversalTravelAgents.com.center_img Tags: Christmas, Universal Studios Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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