The meeting was chaired by Member of Parliament for North East Fife and Vice-Chairman of the Group, Stephen Gethins MP. Speaking afterwards, he said “We have a fantastic professional game in the United Kingdom, but we always should be encouraging more people to pick up a club and get active given all of the health and other benefits that brings. It was good to hear about England Golf’s attempts to develop the game, and I look forward to hearing from other organisations in the future, as the Group continues to support golf at all levels.” The presentation focused on England Golf’s current strategy, including initiatives to encourage participation and lifelong involvement in the sport, but also reflected on thoughts ahead of the organisation’s new strategic plan in 2017. Group Chairman and Member of Parliament for Lincoln, Karl McCartney MP, commented “Members of the Group were delighted to welcome Nick and Rod to Westminster, and to hear about England Golf’s plans to strengthen the sport. The initiatives that England Golf have to grow participation at the grassroots level mean that even more people will have the opportunity to play golf.” 5 Jul 2016 England Golf discuss strategy in Parliament Nick Pink added “England Golf has a clear strategy to encourage even more people to participate in golf, and stay fit and healthy. We are committed to growing the game across England, working at the heart of a network of partners to support the sport. We aim to strengthen clubs and the talent development pathway, so that we see more English golfers following a similar path to the likes of Danny Willett, and enjoying success at the highest level.” The Parliamentary Golf Group welcomed England Golf to Parliament yesterday evening (Monday 4 July). England Golf Chief Executive, Nick Pink, and Director of Strategy and Governance, Rod Findlay, made a presentation to Peers, MPs and Associate Members in the Palace of Westminster.
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 27, 2017)–Reigning Breeders’ Cup Classic Champion Arrogate worked a mile at 9:05 this morning in 1:38.40, but according to Bob Baffert, a decision has still not been made as to whether he’ll stay home and run in the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on Saturday, March 11, or in the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 25.“The decision will be made by the Prince (Khalid bin Abdullah, owner of Juddmonte Farms),” said Baffert, who watched the work with Arrogate’s regular rider Mike Smith from the Santa Anita box seat area this morning. “All we do is give him the options. Hopefully, we’ll hear something this week. He went very well, it looks like he hasn’t regressed at all (after his win in the inaugural Grade I, $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Jan. 28).“I love the way he went…I had him in 12.21, 24.30, 36.32, 48.29, 59.96, 1:12, 1:24.40 and 1:38 and two (fifths). He gets stronger the further he goes…So far, he’s handled everything well.”Highly respected private clocker Andy Harrington was transfixed by the work, which took place under overcast skies with the temperature at 54 degrees.“He’s come back from Florida stronger,” said Harrington. “His last two drills have been terrific, off the charts. It doesn’t look like he’s missed a beat. He’s come out of the Florida race fantastic.”A swashbuckling winner of three consecutive Grade I stakes, the Travers at Saragota on Aug. 27, the Breeders’ Cup Classic here on Nov. 5, and the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 28, Arrogate, if he were to enter and run, could be the best horse to grace the Big ‘Cap since the legendary Spectacular Bid in 1980.“We’ve had five Hall of Famers, John Henry, Alysheba, Best Pal, Tiznow and Lava Man, win the Big ‘Cap since The Bid did it in 1980,” said Santa Anita Morning Line Maker, Jon White. “At this point, considering what Arrogate has done in his last three races, I personally feel he might well be the best horse to run in the Big ‘Cap since Spectacular Bid.”A 4-year-old grey colt by Unbridled’s Song, out of the Distorted Humor mare Bubbler, Arrogate, who was purchased for $560,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in August, 2014, has won six of seven lifetime starts and has earnings of $11,084,600.Second only to the late Charlie Whittingham, Baffert has trained the winners of five Big ‘Caps, dating back to General Challenge in 2000. (The “Bald Eagle” amassed nine).With his Hoppertunity committed to run in Dubai, Baffert’s Mor Spirit is also nominated for the 80th running of America’s longest continually staged “hundred grander.”Entries for the Santa Anita Handicap will be taken the morning of Wednesday, March 8.To view uncut morning workout videos, visit XBTV.com, under the video on demand link; http://www.xbtv.com/video-on-demand/workouts/ .
Exclusive Another origin-of-life expert made a presentation to a filled auditorium at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Dec. 2 (cf. 11/05/2004 headline). His scenario differed radically from last month’s. Instead of trying to get ribose (for RNA) to form in a desert, he put his speculative natural laboratory 4 to 10 km underwater at the bottom of the sea. Why? Because the surface of the Earth would have been a deadly place: under attack by UV radiation (“disastrous” on the early earth, he said; for contrasting opinion, see 05/28/2003 headline), volcanoes, and meteorite impacts of world-wipeout class. For his model, he needed a safe haven “out of harm’s way,” and found one, he believes, near deep sea vents.1 Dr. Michael Russell (geologist, U. of Glasgow) believes life began in an alkaline hydrothermal reactor. Russell has a simple view of life: “Life emerges because of a chemical disequilibrium,” he said, as a kind of natural feedback mechanism “to solve the problem” of the need for a catalyst between carbon dioxide (oxidizing) and hydrogen (reducing). “Don’t be vivocentric,” he cautioned the audience; a mineral-based catalytic cycle does the same thing as life, acting as a natural regulator between extreme conditions. He also emphasized that living systems rely on convection, and generate byproducts. “What does life do? It makes waste,” he began. (The waste in his model that might provide astrobiologists with clues on other planets is acetate or acetic acid, i.e., vinegar.) At another point, he dismissed life as simply “failed mineralogy.” Building on his belief that life emerges in environments far from equilibrium, his scenario proposes an environment with strong gradients. His illustrations portrayed a battle between high temperature water, laden with alkaline substances and metals, rising up through cracks in the crust to face the cold, acidic ocean water, loaded with dissolved carbon dioxide. He explained that this sets up a temperature gradient, a redox (oxidation-reduction) gradient, and a kinetic barrier that produces a 500 millivolt energy source at just the right temperature, about 40° C (hot, but not too hot, “like California”), where life could start cooking. At the junction of all this turmoil, a “membranous froth” forms, providing a nest where organic chemicals like amino acids could form and evolve. He thought that 35,000 years or so (the presumed lifetime of the Lost City thermal vents—see 07/25/2003 Quick Takes), was plenty of time to get life started. Amino acids would link up, with help from mineral platforms, into chains up to six units long. These, in turn, through hydrogen bonding with nucleotides, could spontaneously induce a prototypical “coding” that would not have depended on one-handed (homochiral) peptide chains. Heterochiral polymers would have actually been preferable at first, he said, and might have been selected for homochirality later, the left-handed ones winning the luck of the draw over the right-handed. Another thing life requires is compartmentalization – a membrane. With apologies to the biochemists, who assume today’s lipid membranes would have been a requirement for life, he proposed that iron sulfide (FeS) might have been just the thing at that early stage. It might have formed sandwich layers where the polymers of life grew, spalled off, with more forming in their place, producing a steady supply of prebiotic ingredients on which natural selection could act. He did not discuss harmful cross-reactions or interfering products, but made the setup appear like a “self organizing proto-enzymatic system,” a forerunner of the complex acetyl-coenzyme A pathway employed by today’s living cells, which is assisted by proteins called ferrodoxins that act as electron-transfer agents. The “extremely steep gradients” at the seafloor, he felt, could allow FeS to handle the electron transfer work. In short, he proposed a “peptide world” first instead of an RNA world, the popular choice among those in the origin-of-life research community (see 08/26/2003 for other options). In fact, he felt it a big mistake for most researchers to promote the RNA World hypothesis (see 07/11/2002 headline), because to him it is highly unrealistic, given the assumed geological conditions on the early earth. “You’re not going to get RNA in the early earth; it is too unstable in water,” he emphasized (yet failed to mention how it appeared in the primitive “coding” with peptides he described earlier.) Moreover, he flatly admitted the Urey-Miller experiment was completely unrealistic (see 05/02/2003 and 10/31/2002 headlines), because everyone since Darwin knows that carbon dioxide (not hydrogen or methane) must have been the predominant atmospheric gas. By contrast, he sold his model as meeting all the realistic early-earth geological requirements, and getting free fringe benefits as a bonus. For instance, he touted his model as providing a mechanism for proton motive force (pmf), in addition to electron transfer. Pmf is observed in all organisms to build ATP. Understanding how pmf arose in prebiotic conditions is, for most researchers, a difficult problem, but he claimed his model produced it as a “free lunch.” This represented the tone of his talk: getting life is quick and simple. In a somewhat overconfident manner, he described life as a natural consequence of disequilibrium conditions readily available deep under the sea, here on Earth or on any world undergoing convection and chemical disequilibrium. The audience gave him a hearty round of applause. Noting that the audience may have missed the fact that his scenario falsified the previous speaker’s (and vice versa), this reporter asked during the Q&A period about it. “Benner said that ribose was essential to life, yet is unstable in water, so he theorized it had to form in a desert with borate to stabilize it,” I said. “You are proposing that it formed in a deep sea environment. How do you reconcile your view with his?” “I don’t,” he responded without hesitation. “I’m a geologist – he’s a biochemist. To me, you must start with a realistic geological scenario for the early earth. There were no deserts! There was no borate, a rare mineral in cosmic terms. I consider that a highly unlikely scenario.”2 He had stated emphatically earlier in the lecture that organic molecules did not come from space, as some astrobiologists suppose. Regardless of what the cosmologists say, “There were no organic molecules on the early earth,” he said forcefully, “even from space.” He didn’t need special delivery anyway; all the ingredients cook up just fine in his frothy alkaline reactors. No primordial soup here; in fact, his first life has to invade the oceanic crust to survive, because the open ocean is the last place to put fragile early life forms. Like a desert, it would have provided nothing to eat. When a listener asked him his opinion about when life originated, he speculated confidently it was about 4.4 billion years ago – in geological terms, almost immediately after the earth cooled enough for the oceans to form. He made it seem an almost automatic result of the circumstances. To someone not vivocentric, it appeared to be no big deal.1Russell agreed with Stanley Miller and Jeffrey Bada (see 06/14/2002 headline) that black smokers are not suitable locales; too acidic and too hot (400° C). He suggested pH of 10-11 (strongly alkaline) was more appropriate. Contrast this with the highly acidic conditions found on Mars (see next headline).2Quotes are paraphrased but quite close to the actual statements.This reporter could not suffer bluffing to go uncontested, so he went up afterwards to talk to the speaker in person. A series of questions nailed the bluffing to the wall:Chirality: Like Benner, Russell admitted that 100% pure one-handedness is vital (see online book). He admitted during the talk that amino acids racemize immediately (i.e., they revert to mixed-handedness). His lecture had bluffed about heterochirality being acceptable at first, but he provided no means other than chance to achieve 100% homochirality later. He seemed to assume getting a six-unit peptide of one hand was plausible, and that was sufficient (see next point).Information: He confused chemical specificity with information when I charged him with pulling information out of a magic hat. “The small peptides you propose are no more informative than a child’s alphabet blocks bouncing around at random,” I said. When he tried to declare that a six-link peptide chain “has a lot of information, because it will only join with certain side chains and reject others,” I reminded him that such an arrangement provides no functional information (it doesn’t “do” anything useful—see 06/12/2003 headline). Information is not the same as natural law. I reminded him that sodium chloride (table salt) links up naturally, too, but provides no real information. How much information is necessary to provide function? As a real world example, he admitted that the simplest ferrodoxins are more than 53 amino acid units in length. But that is an exceedingly high degree of information for just one protein molecule, especially when each unit has to be one-handed. Getting something that size by chance is astronomically improbable.Genetic Takeovers: I reminded him that Benner had warned against proposing too many genetic takeovers, because each one requires a radical overhaul of the conditions. Compounding ad hoc conditions raises charges of telling a just-so story. Yet his model invoked three takeovers: minerals, then peptides, then RNA. He responded that the first two were “co-evolving.” Reader, please ponder: does that really solve the problem? Is it not a personification fallacy?Gaps: He admitted that there is a huge gap between his proposal and the operation of the simplest living thing, especially considering the highly complex translation process between DNA and proteins involving transfer-RNA (see online book). Yet he did not mention this gap during the talk when the audience was present.If a layman can nail a PhD chemist, it doesn’t mean the layman is bright; it means the chemist’s story is weak and shatters easily. After I hammered away with these pointed questions, he asked me in mild exasperation, “Well, you’ve got to start somewhere. What is your model?” “You wouldn’t like it…. ” I replied, then thanked him for his time and bid him adieu. There wasn’t an opportunity to elaborate, and my model was not the issue. Before you can get a horse to drink, you have to salt the oats; you have to create thirst, and get him to admit a need. The horse will come to the water when licking the salt lick over and over doesn’t satisfy. Think about his last point. To an evolutionist, proposing a just-so story is better than admitting ignorance. It doesn’t matter whether it is highly implausible, or whether it contradicts (and essentially falsifies) other popular models, or whether it contains gaping canyons between the model and the real world (see 05/22/2002 commentary). “What is your model?” – the question illustrates the assumption that something is better than nothing. Is that always true? Some people feel uncomfortable with silence and fill the air with verbiage. But talk is cheap and sometimes less than worthless. Telling a hungry hobo in a boxcar, “If we had ham, we could have ham and eggs, if we had eggs,” is less helpful than shutting up. Saying it with feeling is worse. Jeffrey Kargel (see next headline) suggested that the decreasing evidence for life beyond earth should generate “an increased respect for life on our own planet.” Calling life “failed mineralogy” and quipping “What does life do? It makes waste” is profoundly disrespectful. Evolutionists need more respect for life. They need to silently ponder the complexity of DNA, RNA, proteins and molecular machines. Only then we can reason intelligently about alternatives like intelligent design. So the first two lectures in a JPL series called “Life Detection Seminar,” have already falsified each other.* In effect, they canceled each other out, leaving the audience behind square one, heading backwards. Both models required highly implausible conditions. Improbabilities do not add up to probabilities. They multiply into impossibilities.*Here is the abstract of Russell’s presentation from the advertisement, with comments inserted and emphasis added to highlight the speculative elements and logical fallacies. Compare this model with Benner’s scenario last month (see 11/05/2004 headline). Notice the personification fallacy as he assumes these chemicals were striving upward to bigger and better organization:It is suggested [by whom? – identify yourself] that life got started when hydrothermal hydrogen reacted with carbon dioxide dissolved in ocean waters in a hydrothermal mound (pH ~10, T =100° C) partly composed of metal sulfide [life is more than chemistry; it requires specified complexity arranged for function]. This mound was the hatchery of life [misleading analogy] and the vent fluids bore life’s waste products back to the ocean. Bacterial life is characterized by its wastes [reductionism], e.g., acetate, methane, oxygen and hydrogen sulfide. The first waste product of life was probably [let’s see the calculation] acetate. So we may think [who’s we?] of the hydrothermal mound as a natural hydrothermal flow reactor in which iron and nickel sulfides catalyzed the formation of minor concentrations of amino acids [you’re gonna need a lot of ’em, baby] and their polymerization to short peptides [Whoa! peptides do not form in water easily] – peptides that got caught in pore spaces while most of the acetate was eluted to the ocean [ad hoc; how convenient the good stuff lingers, while the bad stuff escapes]. These peptides wrapped themselves around inorganic metal sulfide and phosphate molecules [ad hoc], and also coated the inside of the pores [story’s over; now it’s a death trap]. The efficiency of the acetate generator was optimized by the emergence of the first organic living cells [Whoa! He just jumped the canyon in a single bound!] through the intervention of nucleic acids [Whoa! Another canyon! Where did they “emerge” from? – the same conditions are hostile to nucleotides] in the metabolizing system [systems are built by intelligent design]. The hydrothermal mound continued to support a community of cells through to the community’s evolution and differentiation to bacteria and archaea [evolution always assumed; does he have any idea how complex these critters are?]. The archaea added waste methane to the effluent. From the mound the only safe escape route was down [only intelligent agents care about safety], down into the ocean floor where nutrients and energy were still available. Any cells discharged to the ocean would have starved [only intelligent entities suffer hunger]. Thus the ocean floor sediments and crust were colonized and the deep biosphere was born. [Presto! Now clap for the magic show.](Visited 28 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
“Evolution by Mistake” is the headline of an article about evolution on Science Daily. Can the protagonists get mistakes to create eyes, wings, and brains? The rest of the headline reads: “Major Driving Force Comes from How Organisms Cope With Errors at Cellular Level.” Right off the bat, a tension seems set up between errors, which are directionless and purposeless, and how organisms cope with them, which at first glance seems a matter of design and purpose (as in a corporate security policy or anti-virus software). But this is not an appeal to intelligent design. “Charles Darwin based his groundbreaking theory of natural selection on the realization that genetic variation among organisms is the key to evolution,” the opening sentence declared. The tip of the hat to Darwin means they intend to explain all of the wonders of the living world by descent with modification from bacteria to man. Can they pull it off with “evolution by mistake”? Like Darwin, Joanna Masel and Etienne Rajon at University of Arizona (smiling at the whiteboard in a photo), recognize the exquisite adaptation of organisms to their environment. “But exactly how nature creates variation in the first place still poses somewhat of a puzzle to evolutionary biologists,” the article admitted. That may appear strange to readers who thought Darwin or the neo-Darwinists had that issue wrapped up long ago. Masel and Rajon “discovered the ways organisms deal with mistakes that occur while the genetic code in their cells is being interpreted greatly influences their ability to adapt to new environmental conditions – in other words, their ability to evolve.” They are implying that ability to evolve will lead to innovation (wings, eyes, brains), because later, the phrase “how nature creates innovation” appears. Can they get from errors to innovation? If so, they need to do it without personifying evolution, so readers had best forgive this line that mixes up personified evolution with intelligent design: “Evolution needs a playground in order to try things out,” Masel said “It’s like in competitive business: New products and ideas have to be tested to see whether they can live up to the challenge.”Overlooking that slip, they delved into the details of their idea:In nature, it turns out, many new traits that, for example, enable their bearers to conquer new habitats, start out as blunders: mistakes made by cells that result in altered proteins with changed properties or functions that are new altogether, even when there is nothing wrong with the gene itself. Sometime later, one of these mistakes can get into the gene and become more permanent.Keep your eyes on the ball. The reader wants to see innovation, like an eye, or a wing, or a brain, where it didn’t exist before. So far we have blunders that alter proteins. The gene was fine, but something happened downstream. “Sometime later, one of these mistakes can get back into the gene,” they claimed. Any evidence? None in the article. They next distinguished between global and local solutions. The global solution, they said, is “to avoid making errors in the first place, for example by having a proofreading mechanism to spot and fix errors as they arise.” Something “watches over the entire process,” they said, begging the question again of how an entire process that watches for errors and fixes them could itself be a product of mistakes. Regardless, global solutions are about preserving integrity of the genome, not innovating wings, eyes, and brains. Innovation will have to be local:The alternative is to allow errors to happen, but evolve robustness to the effects of each of them. Masel and Rajon call this strategy a local solution, because in the absence of a global proofreading mechanism, it requires an organism to be resilient to each and every mistake that pops up. “We discovered that extremely small populations will evolve global solutions, while very large populations will evolve local solutions,” Masel said. “Most realistically sized populations can go either direction but will gravitate toward one or the other. But once they do, they rarely switch, even over the course of evolutionary time.”This paragraph is full of strategy – another ostensibly purposeful concept. If an organism has a strategy to allow some errors to creep in, but then “evolve robustness” to their effects, did that strategy itself evolve by mistake? They didn’t say. Next, they introduced a contrast between “regular variation, which is generally bad most of the time, since the odds of a genetic mutation leading to something useful or even better are pretty slim,” (see online book for calculation), “and what they call cryptic variation, which is less likely to be deadly, and more likely to be mostly harmless.” Even so, a poison pill and a placebo are not likely to produce wings, eyes, and brains. If you have an antidote to the poison pill, or a process to avoid swallowing it in the first place, it won’t kill you, but the placebo (cryptic variation), even if it is “mostly harmless,” contains no power to innovate. You are not likely to get a third eye from it. So how does cryptic variation work and why is it so important for understanding evolution? By allowing for a certain amount of mistakes to occur instead of quenching them with global proofreading machinery, organisms gain the advantage of allowing for what Masel calls pre-selection: It provides an opportunity for natural selection to act on sequences even before mutations occur.The critical reader of this paragraph is going to want to know not just whether their theory can produce innovation from mistakes, but how their theory itself arose from mistakes. In other words, they talked about cryptic variation working, about importance, about understanding, about strategies of allowing some mistakes but not others – who or what decides? They swept right past the question of how “global proofreading machinery” could ever arise from mistakes, to the grand fallacy (see Weinberg’s Corollary) of pre-selection as “an opportunity for natural selection to act”. Is natural selection a person? Does it have a plan? How would natural selection have any precognition of the need for an eye, a wing, or a brain? A mistake that leads to a misfolded protein, they admitted, could be “very toxic to the organism.” Creationists would agree that “In this case of a misfolded protein, selection would favor mutations causing that genetic sequence to not be translated into protein or it would favor sequences in which there is a change so that even if that protein is made by accident, the altered sequence would be harmless.” Purifying selection (eliminating mistakes) and compensating selection (tolerating mistakes) are not controversial: unless you avoid taking the poison pill, or have no antidote, you die without passing on your genes. Having those protections still won’t give you a wing, an eye, or a brain. But if you just had the opportunity to get them, wouldn’t you want them?“Pre-selection puts that cryptic variation in a state of readiness,” Masel said. “One could think of local solutions as natural selection going on behind the scenes, weeding out variations that are going to be catastrophic, and enriching others that are only slightly bad or even harmless.” “Whatever is left after this process of pre-selection has to be better,” she pointed out. “Therefore, populations relying on this strategy have a greater capability to evolve in response to new challenges. With too much proofreading, that pre-selection can’t happen.”Masel’s wording recalls Darwin’s personified depiction of his theory: “Natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinizing, throughout the world, the slightest variations; rejecting those that are bad, preserving and adding up all that are good; silently and insensibly working, whenever and wherever opportunity offers, at the improvement of each organic being in relation to its organic and inorganic conditions of life.” But even Darwin might have balked at the idea of pre-selection, that natural selection would keep harmless variations in a junkyard for scrutinizing later. Masel argued that “the organism doesn’t pay a large cost for it, but it’s still there if it needs it.” How big a junkyard can an organism afford to keep around? Masel and Rajon recognized the cost of error correction:Avoiding or fixing errors comes at a cost, they pointed out. If it didn’t, organisms would have evolved nearly error-free accuracy in translating genetic information into proteins. Instead, there is a trade-off between the cost of keeping proteins free of errors and the risk of allowing potentially deleterious mistakes.The accuracy of error correction is indeed surprisingly high, but there is also a cost of hanging onto useless junk. All the junk has to be copied every time a cell divides, and transported in a dynamic environment where the need to eat, eliminate, defend and adapt are ever present. It may be that some organisms carrying around huge genomes are at a disadvantage and are headed for extinction. Maybe they still need time to sift through their junk for parts of eyes, wings, and brains. The authors ended on a biomimetic theme. Engineers, too, may want to imitate the practice of evolution by mistake:“We find that biology has a clever solution. It lets lots of ideas flourish, but only in a cryptic form and even while it’s cryptic, it weeds out the worst ideas. This is an extremely powerful and successful strategy. I think companies, governments, economics in general can learn a lot on how to foster innovation from understanding how biological innovation works.Most entrepreneurs, while admitting the value of brainstorming, trial and error, and even “evolutionary algorithms” (10/04/2005, 04/18/2009) will recognize that what they do has purpose and intent. The same cannot be said of mistakes in yeast cells that Masel and Rajon studied.It might be said in the authors’ defense that the popular press had to oversimplify and personify their ideas for the lay public; the original paper in PNAS is where the goods are.1 A look at the abstract, though, shows a strong requirement: “The local solution requires powerful selection acting on every cryptic site and so evolves only in large populations.” Yet the local solution is the only one pregnant with innovating potential, because “Strongly deleterious effects can be avoided globally by avoiding making errors (e.g., via proofreading machinery) or locally by ensuring that each error has a relatively benign effect.” If large populations with mistakes of “relatively benign effect” is the best one can hope for, will wings, eyes, and brains follow? In the body of the paper, the words innovate or innovation are nowhere to be found. The stem improve is only found in reference to “improved proofreading machinery,” which they assume already existed. There are equations about fitness, but with apparently no linkage to innovation: “components of fitness associated, respectively, with the expression of cryptic sequences, with deleterious sequences becoming permanently expressed through new mutations and with the cost of proofreading during protein synthesis.” But cryptic sequences, remember, are only variations that do not kill the organism. They are mistakes that are tolerated and kept in store. Other mentions of fitness concern deleterious mutations, loss of function, and null fitness, except where additive fitness is offered hopefully: “Fitness in the additive scenario depends on the total concentration of all deleterious products within the cell and on their toxicity.” It sounds more like a bomb shelter than a lab for innovation. The authors use fitness primarily as a measure of mutations that assimilate in a population without getting edited out. The last paragraph sums it up:Our core result is that a solution acting at many sites at once evolves in small populations, and local solutions at each independent site evolve in large populations, whereas either outcome is possible in populations of intermediate size. Local solutions, associated with large populations, have both higher mean fitness and greater evolvability.Again, though, the authors never linked “higher mean fitness” with anything better than assimilation of harmless mutations. In fact, what they present as a “positive feedback loop” is merely a loophole for mutations to escape the scrutiny of the editing machines: “This positive feedback loop between accuracy and the proportion of cryptic sequences that are strongly deleterious would ultimately lead to the evolution of an infinitely small error rate if avoiding errors did not come at a cost, resulting in a trade-off between the cost of expressing deleterious sequences and the cost of accuracy.” Tolerance for harmless mutations was never linked to the innovation of wings, eyes, or brains, or anything even simply adding a new function to a cell – no matter how small – except for one vague reference in a table to “subfunctionalization” (split of functions between copies)2 or “neofunctionalization” (no examples provided; cf. 10/24/2003). Apparently, then, all the authors hope for is the opportunity for evolution to work its magic (see 01/23/2011): “The local solution facilitates the genetic assimilation of cryptic genetic variation and therefore substantially increases evolvability” – i.e., the opportunity to innovate. But they cannot assume that evolvability entails the ability to innovate new organs of extreme perfection without begging the very question Darwin’s original idea proposed 150 years ago.3 They lead the reader to hope that evolution may “tinker” with the assimilated junk: “cryptic sequences that are not strongly deleterious may tinker with rather than destroy function and so contribute to adaptation.”1. Etienne Rajon and Joanna Masel, “Evolution of molecular error rates and the consequences for evolvability,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online before print January 3, 2011, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1012918108 PNAS January 3, 2011.2. On subfunctionalization, see 06/20/2005, 07/26/2006, 10/17/2007, and 01/03/2011. Note that the word neofunctionalization begs the question whether natural selection is capable of producing new function. 3. For previous attempts to explain “evolvability,” see 08/04/2004, 10/04/2005, 10/16/2006 bullet 3, 02/05/2007, 10/17/2007 bullet 4, 03/20/2008 commentary, 02/18/2009, and 01/05/2010.It may seem like this long entry was like a cruel cat playing with its captive mouse, or the hangman letting the victim draw his own rope, but it was necessary to give them all the space they wanted before showing there is no escape. They chose to bounce on the cat’s paws; they built their own gallows. We wanted them to have the space to make their case and try to escape, but they should have known it was doomed from the start. Can you get wings, eyes, and brains by mistake? Intuitively, none of us could ever believe that. Yet academia presents that weird idea as unquestionable scientific truth. OK, give it your best shot. Here you had it – one of the most optimistic explications of evolutionary innovation you could ever find, by trained Darwin Party sophists, letting us all know why our intuitions are misguided. And all they could do was tell us the old “If you build it, they will come” theory of evolution (03/29/2007, 10/31/2010, 11/29/2010 commentaries). Merely give Tinker Bell the tools (08/30/2006, 11/29/2010), and wings, eyes, and brains are sure to follow. Impressed by the song and dance? This series of remakes about evolvability is like American Idol with never a star. It didn’t help change the judges’ decision when they tiptoed offstage with a little biomimetics flower toss. Entrepreneurs, before taking their business advice, realize that this weird science show would probably never have been produced without your tax money from the National Institutes of Health. The government always has your business interest in mind.(Visited 18 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Village Bakery & Café of Athens was one of three small businesses nationwide recently recognized with the Green America’s quarterly People & Planet Award. The award highlights innovative U.S. small businesses that integrate organics and environmental considerations into their strategies and operations.The winners receive $5,000 prizes and were selected by the public during a month-long online voting period.“We are so thrilled to accept this award, as it will shine a light on the organic producers we depend on, in our local community and beyond. They are the foundation of our green economy,” said Christine Hughes, co-owner of the Village Café & Bakery. “We will use our winnings immediately to bring in our next pallet of organic olive oil, which we use for all our cooking and baking needs, and sell in our market for our customers to use at home. This windfall will put us in a good financial position to take the next step in our long-term renewable energy plans. We may use solar to take our Della Zona wood-fired bake house off the grid!”Village Bakery & Cafe supports farms in the foothills of Appalachian Ohio. For more visit http://www.greenamerica.org/green-business-people-and-planet-award/Spring2016/Village.cfm.
This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Two books that do a good job of explaining residential energy use issues to homeowners are Consumer Guide To Home Energy Savings and No-Regrets Remodeling. Both books have been around for years. Recently the publishers of these two books issued new editions, so I decided to give them a careful read.Since 1990, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has published the Consumer Guide To Home Energy Savings. The current version is the tenth edition; its authors — Jennifer Thorne Amann, Alex Wilson, and Katie Ackerly — are the same as those of the ninth edition.This book is an excellent homeowner’s guide to reducing home energy use. The authors make a stab at addressing basic building science concepts — for example, by explaining what a thermal envelope is, and by discussing the importance of air barriers. Most of the book’s information is accurate and helpful.Yet the book is occasionally troubling and ultimately unsatisfying — both for its many errors and its fundamental failure to help homeowners focus on what matters most. The authors seem to lurch from topic to topic, in an apparent attempt to be comprehensive, without providing enough context to help homeowners distinguish between trivial and crucial issues.Examples of misplaced emphasis abound: Is adding insulation to your attic a simple job? The authors advise, “Adding insulation to an unheated attic is usually a lot easier [than adding insulation to walls]. If there is no floor in the attic, simply add more insulation.” The adverb “simply” is irksome.Unfortunately, this section of the book forgot an important sentence: “Before adding more attic insulation, make sure that you have sealed all of the air leaks in the ceiling below.” While the book mentions air sealing elsewhere, readers need… Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.
Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now It’s okay to change your mind. You can be committed to some position for years or decades and later to decide that you believe or support something else.New InformationOver time, you should be getting smarter. Being entirely consistent in everything you believe can mean that you aren’t growing. There has never been a time where so much new knowledge is being created, and with it, the occasional new wisdom.Not changing your mind about anything means that you are not taking in new information, new knowledge, or new wisdom.Ignoring new evidence means stagnation. Consistency in the face of new information and new evidence is stagnation.New BeliefsWhat beliefs have you changed in the last few years? It’s unlikely that you’ve changed your religion or your political affiliation. It’s equally likely that you share both of these beliefs with your parents, not to suggest that you shouldn’t.This economy is a different economy than your parent’s and grandparent’s. The challenges are different and more difficult. The opportunities are greater, and some of the obstacles have all but disappeared. The ideas that may have served you well three decades ago will now do more harm than good. Have your beliefs about the economy changed?Work is different now. Work was different 30, 40, and 70 years ago. Careers were different. Does the word “work” or “career” mean something different to you now? Have your ideas changed?How to Change Your MindYou shouldn’t be embarrassed to have changed your mind. It is a sign that you are learning, discovering, and growing. It’s more dangerous to stay locked to a belief that no longer serves you, especially when there is a good reason to adopt a new idea.When pressed about having abandoned a long-held position, you simply say, “I have changed my mind about that. I no longer believe what I used to believe.” No apologies. No shame. Instead, growth.If your beliefs haven’t changed, it’s worth taking them time to examine them and see if they still serve you, and to measure them against new evidence and new information. If you haven’t changed your mind about anything, it may indicate a need to explore ideas that make you uncomfortable.
Transfers Sources: Stoke City boosts offer for Harrison but NYCFC still holding out for more Ives Galarcep @soccerbyives Last updated 1 year ago 01:49 1/26/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Greg Bartram Transfers Stoke City New York City MLS Premier League The Premier League club has significantly increased its offer for the New York City FC star and recent England U-21 call-up, sources tell Goal Jack Harrison is still a New York City FC player, but Stoke City is doing everything it can to change that before the January transfer window closes.The Potters have increased their bid for the 21-year-old English winger significantly from the $4.5 million offer first reported by Goal on Saturday. Multiple sources tell Goal that Stoke City has made a $7 million offer, with one source saying Stoke’s bid could push up to $10 million with incentives.The considerable increase comes amid reports of interest from other teams in the Premier League, including West Ham and Leicester City. If Harrison’s eventual transfer does reach the $10 million mark, it would equal Jozy Altidore’s 2008 transfer to Villarreal as the largest fee ever paid for a MLS player. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Though the sides have continued negotiations through this week, sources tell Goal a deal has not come close to being finalized yet, with NYCFC eager to secure as large a fee as possible, in part because the club is only due to receive 50 percent of any transfer, with the other 50 percent going to MLS. That percentage would go up to 75 percent for NYCFC after the 2018 season, which has Patrick Vieira’s club pushing for a bigger payout.Even at $7 million, the fee would break the MLS record for a fee paid for a player born outside of the United States, surpassing past sales of Stern John and Jermain Defoe.Harrison, who was born in Stoke before moving to the Bolton area and spending seven seasons in Manchester United’s youth setup, would be the first player sold to a top European league by NYCFC in its brief history.The 21-year-old attacker is coming off an impressive second season as a professional, having recorded 10 goals and six assists, and playing well enough to earn a call-up to the England Under-21 national team last fall.Stoke City is currently locked in a relegation fight, having recently appointed Paul Lambert as its new manager. The Potters climbed out of the relegation zone after Saturday’s 2-0 win against Huddersfield Town.