Tag Archives: 杭州桑拿spa

Fitting Data to Darwinism Takes Creativity and Spin

first_imgFairly regularly, papers appear in journals under the heading of Evolution.  The ones dealing with genetics tend to be hard to follow.  They are filled with jargon, correlation scores, charts and network diagrams.  They employ algorithms and databases unfamiliar to the lay reader.  Overall, though, they claim to find support for Darwin’s tree of life in the genes or metabolic networks of this or that group of organisms.  Does Darwinism pop right out of the data, or does it take some massaging to make Darwin fit the observations?  Let’s take one example that appeared in PNAS today for a look inside the engine room of how evidential support for evolution is manufactured.1    Kreimer et al set out to find the “evolution of modularity in bacterial metabolic networks.”  What they were looking for, in other words, is whether the amount of modularity in the ways proteins interact follows their assumed evolutionary relationships.  What is modularity?  That had to be defined in the Materials & Methods section.  First, they had to assign network scores to proteins based on what other proteins they interact with.  In the process, they tossed out water, protons and electrons.  Why?  Because someone else in the references did so – who had also written a paper on “The effect of oxygen on biochemical networks and the evolution of complex life.”  Already there seems to be some circularity in the reasoning.    Next, they had to assign “modularity” values to the networks.  (This refers roughly to the degree a network of interacting proteins could be isolated from other networks.)  To do this, they used Newman’s algorithm, but they purposely avoided using an algorithm from another paper on the evolution of network modularity.  The authors could probably justify these choices, but they were clearly making human judgment calls on what algorithms would produce meaningful results.    Once they had modularity scores, they had to decide how to measure environmental influences on various bacteria species.  They used the number of transporter genes found in databases as a proxy for environmental diversity; however, the paper admits that “the large scale KEGG data [Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes] used is not free from noise and missing information, and the representation used lacks reactions’ directionality, stoichiometry and more.”  That word “more” sounds worrisome.  How can they know they have meaningful data?  Their reassurance was only general: “However, the large scope of the data used permits a very large-scale investigation across hundreds of networks and leads to the identification of general relations that run across the data.”  OK, we’ll take their word for it.  The worries do not stop there, though.    Next they had to figure out the phylogenetic tree of their bacteria.  Here they just borrowed one from another paper in the references.  One might think this is odd, since the goal of the paper was to show evolution, not to assume it:The tree of life generated in ref. 21 was used to identify the phylogenetic relations between the species studied in our analysis and for inferring ancestral metabolic networks along the tree.  This tree includes a relatively large number of species, covering most of the taxonomic groups for which metabolic data are available.  Specifically, this tree was used to measure the distance of each extant and ancestral species to the last universal common ancestors of bacteria and to calculate the species pairwise phylogenetic distances (measured as the sum of distances from the two species to their last common ancestor).It appears they assumed a universal common ancestor from the start.  And as shown by a paper reported here on 03/17/2006, scientific papers can perpetuate false “microparadigms” by referring to other papers uncritically.    These worries notwithstanding, what remained was for the team to show a correlation between modularity and phylogeny.  They generated a large circular diagram color-coded with modularity values for the assumed phylogenetic tree of bacteria.  Unfortunately for their thesis, the color values appear random.  To the rescue: the team had lots of explanations for why the anomalies were really not significant.    There actually is a correlation if you look at it right, they said.  Each exception had a ready explanation.  Horizontal gene transfer, obligate parasitism, unusual environmental factors, a trend downward in modularity as one goes up the tree – there was no shortage of reasons why they found that modularity was only “moderately concordant with organismal phylogeny along the tree of life.”  There is the tree-of-life assumption again.    Let the disinterested reader evaluate the following claims and caveats in the paper.  Are these valid explanations, or rescuing devices for a theory in crisis?  Keep in mind that the goal of the paper was to establish the claim that all bacteria have evolved from a common ancestor, and the evolutionary tree should be visible in the modularity of their metabolic networks.Overall, our analysis is applied to a large set of 325 reconstructed bacterial metabolic networks (of which 138 appear on the phylogenetic tree), offering insights concerning the forces that have shaped the modularity of metabolic networks since the dawn of bacterial life.Given the moderate level of this overall correlation, it is instructive to examine a few specific cases, where different phylogenetic-modularity similarity patterns emerge.Obviously, habitat variability may also increase as larger classes are examined, so phylogenetic proximity probably involves both genetic and environmental similarities.Other cases, however, may involve substantial variation among strains of the same species…. Such divergence of modularity scores across closely related strains is likely to occur because of the loss of just very few central reactions, fragmenting the metabolic network and consequently altering modularity scores in a considerable manner…. Clearly, such loss of central reactions that affects major metabolic functions is probably detrimental and hence very rare….. Reassuringly, one may note that such variation in modularity among strains is probably not just a result of varying annotation practices that bias the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) data….In summary, there is an overall rather marked correlation between network size and modularity, but it mainly arises because of the significantly lower modularity scores of small-sized networks.  Interestingly, no significant correlation was observed between bacterial growth rate and modularity… despite the fact that network size is positively correlated with a faster growth rate….It is instructive to examine some of the outliers marked by an asterisk in Fig. 3a; specifically, a few species of Rickettsia and Borrelia have very small networks but high modularity scores.  Although genetically very remote, these species have a shared lifestyle—they are obligate mammalian pathogens that are transmitted by parasitic insects such as fleas or ticks.  This intricate life cycle requires a rapid and efficient shift between two very different environments, which probably dictated the emergence of niche-specific metabolic subsystems, increasing modularity.  This may be an extreme example of the principle laid out by ref. 19, that environmental diversity promotes network modularity.Interestingly, among the host-associated organisms, endosymbionts have miniscule metabolic networks … but these networks are slightly more modular than those of commensals and pathogens … Furthermore, we find that thermophilic bacteria have significantly higher modularity scores than organisms in either mesophilic … or hyperthermophilic … environments, and facultative bacteria have lower modularity scores than aerobic bacteria … (after correcting for multiple hypotheses testing using the Bonferroni correction).  However, the evolutionary forces that have shaped these differences remain unclear.Finally, we note that the genomic fraction of transporters and permeases, which may have been putatively thought to constitute a simple rough correlate of environmental diversity, does not manifest a significant correlation with network modularity.This overall trend, where ancestral modularity scores tend to be higher than those of the descendants, may be attributed to speciation and niche specialization of the organism and to the gradual addition of more peripheral metabolic pathways during evolution.An additional important force that has been assumed to effect the emergence of modularity in metabolic networks is HGT [horizontal gene transfer].  HGT refers to several biological mechanisms by which one organism may transfer genetic material to another organism that is not its descendant and is a major evolutionary force in prokaryotes.In summary, they concluded that the correlation of modularity to phylogeny is modest at best:This complex mixture of driving forces reinforces the notion that modularity can be thought of as a product of both the organism’s past evolutionary heritage and its present adaptation to a certain lifestyle and to available niches.  The determination of whether modularity is a converging vs. a genetic trait remains an open challenge.After this, they unloaded a series of “methodological limitations” that might randomize the modest correlation even further.  They left it to others to see if the correlation would hold up outside the limited scope of their study: “It remains to be seen whether the forces identified here in bacterial metabolic networks do play a similar or a different role in the evolution of modularity in other kinds of biological networks.”  So what, exactly, was demonstrated?1.  Kreimer, Borenstein, Gophna and Ruppin, “The evolution of modularity in bacterial metabolic networks,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Published online on May 6, 2008, 10.1073/pnas.0712149105Every once in awhile we need to take our readers kicking and screaming into the stench of the baloney factory to show them how the Darwin sausage is made.  We know you can only stand it for a few minutes at a time.  This is the garbage that is force-fed to students.  They have no choice; it’s the only thing on the menu.    We bring you the very best smelly sausage.  This was not cooked up in a corner; it was presented by the National Academy of Sciences, one of the most prestigious scientific societies in the world.  It passed peer review.  No one in the Academy criticized it.  This can be considered representative of the very best the Darwinists have to offer in support of their world view that humans had bacteria ancestors by a chance process with no design.    There were more rescuing devices in this paper than reasons to believe in evolution.  Even when they assumed evolution and referred to other evolutionary papers, they could only find a modest correlation at best, with whopping outliers and anomalies that had to be explained away.  Worse, they failed to even consider other explanations for the data.  It was DIDO all the way – Darwin in, Darwin out, and DIGO, too: Darwin in, garbage out.  The data were only incidental to the storytelling spree – mere props in the never-ending Darwin drama.    Did you catch them conjuring up evolutionary “forces”?  We think of forces in science like gravity and electromagnetism, but they redefined the word.  To them, a force is any happenstance that steers the miracle-working potential of evolutionary tinkering.  Did they ever explain how a new environment would generate the necessary random mutations that were supposed to create new, functional metabolic networks?  Never; they merely assumed it would.  Referring to horizontal gene transfer as a source of innovation only pushes the miracle onto another germ.  Playing theoretical hot potato is not a scientific way to explain how complex interactions of highly-specific protein parts came about.  Remember?  They even admitted that tinkering with networks is probably detrimental and extremely rare – but in their view, tinkering is the only available source of innovation.    At one point they said, “the evolutionary forces that have shaped these differences remain unclear,” but a few paragraphs later they were crowing about “the forces identified here”.  Forces?  What forces?  Let’s see an equation.  There were no forces; just obstacles.  The telephone pole on the sidewalk does not force a bicycle rider to become an airplane pilot.  More likely, it forces him into an opportunity for a concussion.    Undoubtedly, the Darwin Party Propaganda Mill will add this paper to their mountain of evidence that supports Darwin.  They will argue also that nothing in biology makes sense without evolution.  They will use it to show how much useful science Darwinism is generating.  In truth, the guys in the baloney factory spill their guts and sacrifice their brains into the mix to show their devotion to Charlie.  Maybe that’s why the Good Book warned against eating meat offered to idols.(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Everything Changes: Mister Postman Gets Saturdays Off

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … If you ever thought that something will last forever, get ready for a smack on the head.The latest evidence of this grand falsehood is today’s announcement from the United States Postal Service of a new plan to halt mail delivery on Saturdays, with the exception of package delivery.The move, which is scheduled to begin this August, would save the post office $2 billion annually. Under the proposed plan, mail would still be delivered to post office boxes on Saturdays, and post offices currently open on Saturdays would remain so.This is all just in the planning stages, since Congressional approval is needed to make such a drastic change. But the USPS is expected to cite figures demonstrating the American public would be behind such a move when it makes its formal announcement later today.Shifting Technology, AlwaysTechnology has a way of disrupting the hell out of the things and processes we have come to accept as “always there” in our lives. If you went back 15 years, it would hard to imagine five-day mail delivery, yet here we are, with an proposal that makes sense. Personal mail delivery has fallen drastically since the advent of e-mail and social media networks.Five years ago, I might have objected to such a plan. Saturdays were a big day for checks from publishers. Now that all my funds are direct deposited, I no longer care.It’s not just the mail, of course. A decade ago, it would have been hard to conceive homes not having landlines for phones, and yet these days it’s commonplace, thanks to ubiquitous cell phones and e911 services that geolocate phones. (If I didn’t live in a plaster-walled Faraday cage, I would ditch the landline in a minute.)Five years ago, it would be really hard to imagine a world without a desktop Windows monopoly, but then Apple and Google took the computing world sideways into the land of smartphones and tablets and now things have gotten so bad for Microsoft, they’ve had to put financial stakes into companies (i.e., Nokia and now Dell) just to ensure Microsoft has a vendor that will actually sell Windows on said smartphones and traditional PCs.For those of you who find that line of reasoning hard to accept, it may be time to let go of the staid notions you might have about technology. Nothing in this business lasts forever and something will always try to replace the technology you are using.It’s All Been DoneMany of us of a certain age have watched some new technologies rise to prominence, only to nearly completely fade away. Fax machines had a particularly short tech cycle, and VCRs shorter than that. Landline telephones had a good long run, as did personal desktop computers. But now, it seems, their time is waning.This is not a proclamation that “the desktop is dead.” But personal computing is changing, and drastically. We have inklings of what this might look like, but like any change, it’s going to have its share of bumps and scrapes along the way.Today’s announcement from the USPS reflects the fundamental change in the ways we communicate. There will be other world-shaking announcements in the months and years to come, and we need to be ready.Five-day mail delivery?No idea is unthinkable any more.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… brian proffittcenter_img How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Related Posts Tags:#Future Tech last_img read more

Why the Hard Close Isn’t Working

first_img Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now The salesperson was struggling to “close” his prospect’s business. The presentation went well, and the prospect understood the value the solution would create for her. But at the end of the call, when the sales person asked his prospect to buy, she hedged. She said “I’d like to think it over. Can you get back to me next week?”The salesperson’s manager insisted that his team push hard to close. The salesperson, doing what he was directed to do, pushed the prospect. He said, “You need this. Your business needs this. If you don’t do this now, you know you never will. What credit card are you going to put this on.” That failed, and he tried again with even more aggressive language.The last thing the salesperson heard was the sound of his proactive client hanging up.How to Lose a DealThe sales manager is wrong. He’s not wrong for directing that his salespeople ask for the business at the end of their presentation. He is wrong in believing that the hard close is the right strategy for winning business.Attempting to push the prospect into buying screams self-orientation. This approach ensures that the prospect knows that this deal is all about the salesperson and their company and that it has very little to do with serving her or her needs. The sales manager is trying to use a sledgehammer to turn a doorknob; you may get the door open, but you’ll break it in the process.Equally important, ignoring a prospect’s real needs is no way to win customers. The prospect isn’t ready to buy because she has concerns. She’s concerned about spending the money. She’s not sure she is going to use the product enough to capture the value. She doesn’t know what her partner is going to say. Whatever her concern, for her it is real.No one needs time to make a better decision. They need more information. Pretending that the prospect’s concerns aren’t real or that it isn’t your job to resolve those concerns is one way to alienate would-be clients while ensuring that they tell everyone they know that your name belongs right behind Hitler’s, Stalin’s, and Mao’s.Not Liked or TrustedNo one has to buy from you. They’re going to buy from someone they know, like, and trust. It’s a poor strategy to make people know they don’t like or trust you.Force is the choice of those who are truly weak. Influence is the choice of the powerful.last_img read more

UEFA will ‘fight’ for Europe’s right to host 2030 World Cup

first_imgPagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR From the 2018-19 season, though, the major European leagues will gain more guaranteed Champions League group stage places. England, Spain, Italy and Germany will receive four spots each.But Ceferin said UEFA is working to ensure cash from the competition is distributed more equitably across Europe.“We will discuss about distribution,” said the Slovenian, who succeeded Michel Platini as head of European soccer last year. “It’s a goal to do it, because if we don’t do it then we cannot develop football in every single country in Europe, and that’s our task. So we are working on it every single day. It’s one of the priorities.”AwardsUEFA is going to start honoring the top retired players who have played in Europe in a hall of fame.“We will spend the next few months creating all the criteria and we’re sure that many players who played in Europe and finished their fantastic careers deserve a place in the hall of fame,” Ceferin said.Ceferin also announced that the UEFA president’s award this year is going to Francesco Totti to recognize his 25-season career with Roma.“He leaves a unique legacy and it is one that should be cherished,” Ceferin said.Video TechnologyUEFA has no plans to introduce video replays in the Champions League next season. The governing body is awaiting the outcome of FIFA’s trials with the technology, including at the Confederations Cup in Russia later this month. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP LATEST STORIES Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ The 2030 tournament is unlikely to be awarded for at least five years, with FIFA’s decision on the 2026 edition expected to come next year, with confirmation of the United States-Canada-Mexico proposal.Ceferin was speaking after a meeting of UEFA’s executive committee in Cardiff where the Champions League is being played on Saturday between Juventus and Real Madrid. Here are some other talking points:Champions League GulfCeferin is concerned that the financial disparities in Europe see the same teams reaching the closing stages of the Champions League every season. Real Madrid was in the 2014 and 2016 finals, and emerged victorious on both occasions, while Juventus contested the 2015 final.“It’s not easy to qualify for small clubs, but it is still possible,” Ceferin said. “We all know the gap is wider and wider and we are working on it with Financial Fair Play. But it’s far from a closed league, far from only an elite competition.”ADVERTISEMENT BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin speaks during the press conference at a hotel in Cardiff, Wales Thursday June 1, 2017. The Welsh capital will host the women’s and men’s Champions League finals in the next 3 days. APCARDIFF, Wales — Europe is challenging China’s pursuit of the 2030 World Cup, with UEFA announcing Thursday (Friday Manila time) that it deserves to host the tournament.The 2018 tournament is being staged in Russia, but the next two editions are away from Europe as Qatar is the 2022 host and North America is likely to be awarded the 2026 event.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession clouds Breaking rackets along the way, Kyrgios exits French Open View comments Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games “It is Europe’s turn in 2030, clearly,” UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said Thursday. “So we will fight for a European host.”UEFA’s aspirations will face a serious challenge from China, where President Xi Jinping has made it a priority to increase the country’s influence in global soccer. Three of the World Cup sponsors to sign up in the last two years are from China, with smartphone and software maker Vivo the latest on Wednesday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutChina is eager to mount a bid to host the World Cup for the first time despite current rules effectively blocking another Asian bid before the 2034 edition.A more sentimental bid is likely to come from South America. Uruguay, which staged the first World Cup in 1930, is keen on celebrating the centenary of the soccer showpiece by co-hosting with Argentina.last_img read more