At a physical level, everything in the universe is made of atoms and molecules. Life, being a subset of everything in the universe, is composed of a subset of all molecules that exist. It could be said that any atom or molecule present in a living thing is a building block of life, but how informative is that? Carbon, for instance, is essential to life, but is also a building block of cyanide, tailpipe soot, graphite, diamond and a host of deadly poisons. It’s not just the presence of the simplest parts that conveys information about the whole – it’s the way that the building blocks are assembled into the complex structure. A child’s alphabet building blocks, for instance, form gibberish when assembled by an infant who cannot read. Life has been compared, by contrast, to an encyclopedia of highly specific information. This information then directs a symphony of coordinated, dynamic processes using molecular machines. Evolutionists are fond of pointing to carbon, water and other atoms and simple molecules as “building blocks of life.” Embedded in the phrase is a subtext of progress. If the building blocks are present, the statement suggests that they will “build” or assemble into life, given the right circumstances. No one would say, though, that since silicon is a building block of computers, finding silicon on extrasolar planets is a sure bet computers will eventually be found. In a similar vein, life uses a subset of “organic compounds” (carbon-based chemicals), but sometimes the word organic is used in an equivocal way to suggest the presence of life, even though many organic compounds (cyanide, gasoline, and carbon tetrachloride, for example) are poisonous or useless to biology. At what point does the use of “prebiotic compounds” or “organic soup” or “building blocks of life” invoke the power of suggestion to support an evolutionary, naturalistic view of life’s origin? Look at these recent examples to see if the inference to life is warranted by the observations.Oxygen: The oxygen atom, though necessary for most living things, can also be a deadly poison – that’s why we take antioxidants. In the cell, it is handled very delicately by complex enzymes that combine it with byproducts of respiration to form water and carbon dioxide, which can be safely removed. Oxygen’s mere presence, however, suggested to EurekAlert that life was ready to explode in a plethora of wondrous complexity. The title reads, “2 oxygenation events in ancient oceans sparked spread of complex life.” Would the same thing be said of silicon sparking the spread of computers?Carbon: Carbon is essential to most living molecules. It is basic to fats, sugars, proteins and nucleic acids. Raw carbon, or simple hydrocarbons, however, are useless to life unless incorporated by enzymes into structural molecules according to coded instructions. Why, then, are the news media all using the L-word Life in their reports about the discovery of methane around a nearby star? Methane is the simplest “organic” (carbon-based) molecule: one carbon joined to four hydrogens. Because of its fourfold valence, carbon easily joins with other atoms – especially the most abundant element in the universe, hydrogen. Methane is abundant on Titan, the gas giants, some comets and probably Mars, though not associated with life there. Humans use methane for their cooking but not for their biology; it is emitted as a waste product by the bacteria in cow stomachs and by the decay of biomass, but is not a nutrient for life. Nevertheless, most reports from a paper in Nature1 emphasized the L-word when methane was detected around a star, even though the authors said nothing about life. “Under certain circumstances, methane can play a key role in prebiotic chemistry – the chemical reactions considered necessary to form life,” said the BBC News. Ditto for Science Daily. A NASA scientist called this “a dress rehearsal for future searches for life on more hospitable planets,” according to Space.com. National Geographic was slightly more tentative, but ended with a focus on methane’s potential as a biomarker for life on other planets.Amino acids: Proteins are composed of long chains of one-handed amino acids. These carbon-based molecules have two simple parts, an amino group and a carboxyl group, and a side chain (R-group) that can be as simple as one hydrogen (glycine) or much more complex with cyclic domains and other things. Of the almost endless varieties of possible amino acids, life as we know it is restricted primarily to 20 kinds. It is not just the amino acids alone that make them “lively” but their specific combinations into long chains, held together by peptide bonds. Finding a few amino acids, however, got EurekAlert all excited with two pronouncements on the same day: Meteorites are rich in the building blocks of life and Meteorites a rich source for primordial soup. Both articles insinuated that a steady rain of amino acids on the primitive earth would have been sufficient to kickstart life in the ocean – even though amino acids avoid joining into polypeptides in the presence of water. Notice the confidence mixed with suggestion in a statement by a scientist from Imperial College, London: “We know that approximately 3.8 to 4.5 billion years ago the Earth underwent heavy bombardment from meteorites which brought molecules to our planet, just before life emerged on Earth.”Water: It goes without saying that water is another simple molecule often associated with the L-word. A press release from Jet Propulsion Lab referred to life twice in the story about dust disks around stars (see the other 03/19/2008 entry today). The article said that the discovery of water vapor molecules in the disk “may help shed light on the origins of our own solar system and the potential for life to develop in others.” They also quoted Carr using the “building blocks” angle, “Now that we can identify these molecules and inventory them, we will have a better understanding of the origins and evolution of the basic building blocks of life–where they come from and how they evolve.” Countless press releases rush to include the L-word whenever a discovery is made of “building blocks of life” in space. Presumably, the claim could be made about hydrogen. Humans have plenty of hydrogen atoms bound to carbon and oxygen. By extension, then, the whole universe is a building block of life.1. Swain, Vashist and Tinneti, “The presence of methane in the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet,” Nature, 452, 329-331 (20 March 2008) | doi:10.1038/nature06823.Your imagination is being taken for a ride when you fall for the “building blocks” line. Assumptions, unwarranted inferences and misdirection: these are the building blocks of lie.(Visited 35 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
In the latest transaction, Emira has once again followed its rights in a Goz rights issue to fund the purchase of the Australian stock exchange-listed Rabinov Property Trust. The six properties being acquired are high quality properties independently valued at A$184-million. Two of the largest properties are located on the outskirts of Melbourne and are let to General Electric Australia on relatively long leases. The others are also tenanted by blue chip companies. Although the Rabinov portfolio comprises 12 properties, Goz will only be acquiring six of the properties with the remainder being sold back to the Trust’s founding family. It subsequently participated in a rights issue in September last year acquiring a further 9.175-million units valued at around R117-million when Goz announced that it was acquiring the properties of company Property Solutions and needed to raise A$101-million to cover the purchase price. 11 August 2011 “The transaction is expected to be earnings enhancing for both Goz and Emira unit holders,” Emira CEO James Templeton said in a statement this week. “At a forward yield of 9.2%, the pricing of the rights offer is attractive and offers better value that is currently obtainable on physical property investment in South Africa.” The largest securities holder in Goz is JSE-listed Growthpoint Properties, which is also South Africa’s largest listed property fund. Templeton said the transaction represented a further meaningful diversification of the assets in the Emira portfolio, adding that the properties being acquired were of high quality and would also help reduce risk within the fund. Diversifying portfolio, reducing risk Emira made its first investment in Goz in May last year when it acquired 10.25-million units, or 6.4% of the units in issue, at a cost of R116.6-million after being given regulatory permission to invest a portion of its funds abroad. Further, the additional investment will boost Goz’s market cap to around A$1.2-billion, thereby attracting further interest from institutional investors. JSE-listed Emira Property Fund is investing a further R61.1-million in Growthpoint Properties Australia (Goz), giving it an effective ownership of 8.2% of the units in the Australian-listed real estate investment trust. SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
17 June 2014 The South African government will continue to invest in education and skills development as key conditions for economic growth, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday. Delivering his State of the Nation address to Parliament in Cape Town, Zuma said the country needed “engineers, electricians, plumbers, doctors, teachers and many other professionals to build our country’s economy. “Education therefore remains an apex priority for this government. We will continue to promote universal access to education by ensuring that all children between ages 7 and 15 are in school. We will increase the number of Grade 12 learners who can gain entrance to university, moving from 172 000 in 2013 to 250 000 in 2019.” At the same time, he said, the government would continue to fight drugs and substance abuse in schools and communities. “We will also prioritise safety in schools, scholar transport and child health.”Eradicating ‘mud schools’ Zuma said the government would also push ahead with the Accelerated School Infrastructure Delivery Initiative, a national programme to tackle school infrastructure backlogs in the country. The R8.2-billion public-private programme, one of the government’s Strategic Infrastructure Projects (SIPs), aims to eradicate the 496 “mud schools” in the country, and provide water and sanitation to 1 257 schools and electricity to 878 schools, by March 2016. “We opened at least one new school a week in the Eastern Cape last year and will continue to eradicate mud schools and other inappropriate structures,” the President said.New universities He also announced that contractors would be moving on site in September to build South Africa’s two new universities, Sol Plaatie in the Northern Cape and the University of Mpumalanga in Nelspruit. “By January next year, the first intake of medical students will be enrolled at the new medical university in Limpopo,” he added. “In addition, 12 training and vocational education colleges will be built to expand the technical skills mix in the country.” Source: SAnews.gov.za
Adding it to its Superfone lineup, Phone maker Micromax has launched Android-based A80 Infinity. Priced at Rs 8,490, the smartphone is a dual-SIM (GSM + CDMA) touch phone. According to reports, the A80 Infinity runs on an 800 MHz processor, sported by a 3.6 inch display and carries an Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)OS. It sports a 3.75 inch TFT touchscreen, 5MP camera with Flash and 0.3 MP front facing camera.Its voice recognition tool AISHA performs variety of functions including, social networking sites update, phone status, operate functions of the device, find locations, language translations, inquire date and time, weather conditions, and pose knowledge questions.The phone, which has 512MB of RAM, supports a microSD card, expandable up to that can be expanded up to 32GB.The A80 Infinity has a massive 2,500 mAh battery that would give a straight battery back up of approximately seven hours.For connectivity, the device supports GPRS, Edge, 3G, Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and USB 2.0.The Superfone A80 Infinity is likley to increase the stiff competition of Android phones under Rs 10,000 bracket.
MONTREAL — Thousands marched through the streets of Montreal this afternoon in support of farmers who say they are threatened by the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.Many in the crowd brandished signs and kitchen utensils and pushed shopping carts as they joined an hour-long march organized by Quebec’s farmers’ union.The union, known as UPA, says Canada made “unprecedented” concessions in the dairy sector during negotiations for the USMCA deal.They’re calling on the Quebec and federal governments to support local products and make sure any new imports have to meet the same standards Quebec producers are bound by.Monia Grenier, a dairy producer and union representative from the Estrie region, says the hardest part of the new deal is the uncertainty about what will happen to the market.She hopes Canadians will rally behind farmers and pledge to buy only homegrown products.The Canadian Press
Former Liverpool defender John Arne Riise is confident that the club have the potential to win this season’s Champions League after their convincing 3-0 win over Manchester City last weekThe Norwegian’s former side gave City a shock 3-0 thrashing in the first leg of their quarter-final clash with Riise, who won the Champions League with Liverpool back in 2005, now certain that Jurgen Klopp’s side can make it to the final.“This year, although it’s going to be very tight, they have a good chance of going all the way,” Riise told Sky Sports.“You have the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid and Bayern still there, and they have to go through against City.“There’s some great teams left but if they play like they did at Anfield on Wednesday there’s not many teams who could stop them.“All the other teams left will have seen that performance, it was amazing. The high pressure, the intensity in the game was unbelievable, they almost did it for 90 minutes. Liverpool proved if they are at the top of their game, they can beat anyone.“A club like Liverpool should always be in the quarter-finals, semi-finals of the Champions League and competing with the best clubs in the world.“I think the fans have been waiting for it, the players the same, it’s the best competition for a player to be involved in and you want to try to give something back to the fans when you get there.Report: Origi cause Klopp injury concerns George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Divock Origi injury in today’s game against Newcastle is a cause for concern for Jurgen Klopp.Perhaps with one eye on Tuesday’s trip to Italy…“I’m happy for Klopp. They expect a lot, and now he’s proven he can bring the club back to the Champions League.”Riise is confident that Liverpool can score at the Etihad stadium in the return leg and believes that an away goal will almost certainty put the tie beyond doubt.“City lost against Liverpool, they lost against United, Liverpool have a habit of always scoring,” Riise said.“It’s important for City not to concede, because they will have to score five then.“I think Liverpool will go through, because they’ve got that 3-0 lead, but the game is not over. We’ve seen what City can do. If they start playing as they have most of the season, keeping the ball and scoring goals, it could be a close game.“They’re good at counter attacks, which is going to be very important, and I think the main thing is not to concede a goal in the first 15-20 minutes.“The players and the club have to go into the game like any other. Probably more compact than usual, but if they get too comfortable, and City score a goal they will get nervous again.”
Ciro Immobile acknowledges that he stayed in Lazio despite having been given big wage offers and also adding that he considers it an honour to play for Lazio.The last season’s Serie A Capocannoniere signed a new contract earlier this month that has been scheduled to expire in June 2023.“When I am on the field and hear the fans chant my name, it moves me every time,” Immobile told Lazio Style Channel while replying to student questions on a school visit and quoted by Football Italia.“It’s a great honour for me to play for Lazio and I remained here despite being offered bigger wages elsewhere.”Ciro Immobile relieved to end Italy goal-drought Andrew Smyth – September 9, 2019 Striker Ciro Immobile was a relieved man after finally ending his two-year Italy goal-drought during Sunday’s 2-1 win over Finland.The children asked him about his early days and the job of being a football player.“My father passed on his passion for the sport, whereas my brother was never really interested. I used to cry when my parents wouldn’t let me go out and play football due to my poor grades. Football had become my life.“Nowadays, we don’t really get time to visit cities when we travel for matches, as we eat and then stay in our rooms the day before the game.“During training, we work on technique, tactics, pace, mentality and how to face various match situations. We joke around in the locker room and consider the opponents to be colleagues, but still try to beat them on the pitch.”
West Ham forward Marko Arnautovic could be back in training next week, ahead of schedule.The Austrian forward suffered a hamstring injury against Cardiff on December 4 and was expected to be sidelined until well into the new year.But boss Manuel Pellegrini revealed a piece of cheerful news to Hammers fans that Arnautovic is ahead of schedule, meaning he could even be involved in the squad against Southampton on December 27 and Burnley three days later.West Ham fans’ Christmas wishes may come true with Marko Arnautovic nearing a first team return.’Arnie’ will have to unwrap his car first though 🎁 pic.twitter.com/jeNOqz00I1 #WHUFCReport: England’s Rice gets death threats George Patchias – September 9, 2019 England International Declan Rice has received death threats.Rice a one time Ireland International, switched allegiances only this year. The West Ham United man played for…— Sporting Index (@sportingindex) December 20, 2018“We will need to see his last examination, but I think that next week he will start working with the team,” said Pellegrini according to Belfast Telegraph.“Those names may be one of 25 names that have been said recently, and it is always the same answer, I do not talk about rumours, I am happy with the squad,” he said.“I know that we need to replace players that probably will not play much more this season like (Andriy) Yarmolenko, (Carlos) Sanchez, (Manuel) Lanzini, so we are calm, we will decide not now what we are going to do but we will decide.”
Valencia boss Marcelino Garcia Toral was left to rue his side’s lack of clinical edge in front of goal after narrowly beating bottom side SD Huesca 2-1On the back of drawing for the 10th time in only 16 games at SD Eibar last weekend, Valencia got off to a bright start at the Mestalla against Huesca.Captain Dani Parejo put Los Che in front, after some great play with Denis Cheryshev and Rodrigo Moreno, before Santi Mina was denied adding a second by Huesca keeper Roberto Santamaría.After Carlos Soler was denied by Santamaría in the second-half, Huesca were awarded a penalty after Cucho Hernandez was pulled in the area.The Colombian forward then stepped up to slot the penalty-kick home to even the scoreline at 1-1.However, a stoppage-time winner from Italian defender Cristiano Piccini secured Valencia a fourth win in La Liga this season.Match Preview: Barcelona vs Valencia Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Is derby time in La Liga, as Barcelona welcomes Valencia to the Camp Nou Stadium tonight at 21:00 (CET).“It’s a result that doesn’t give us much; we’ve drawn ten games in which we deserved much better results,” Marcelino told the club website.“In Eibar, we deserved to win. This result compensates for one of the many draws that we’ve had.“We hope that this win helps boost our belief in ourselves. We’re a competitive team who have played as equals against big sides.“However, we have had -and still have- a serious problem, which is our lack of goals.“We have to work on this. I’m optimistic and I think that this situation is going to be turned around.”Valencia have now broken into the top-10 of La Liga and will next take on Deportivo Alaves on January 5.
Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享A minor earthquake shook Southcentral Alaska Wednesday morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The 4.3 quake — initially reported as a 4.2, but upgraded by the Alaska Earthquake Center — struck at 8:44 a.m., 57 kilometers east-southeast of Whittier at a depth of 31 kilometers. Initial reports from the USGS’s indicated the quake was felt in Seward, Girdwood and Anchorage.