Paper View Sept 14, 2010 — Geologists were baffled. Something moved rocks up to 3,000 miles across whole continents. They found evidence in Asia and also in America. How on earth could that happen? Their list of explanations omitted one possibility: the transporting power of water. Maybe it’s because it would have implied a global flood like the world had never seen. An international team publishing in the GSA Bulletin wrote about “Extraordinary transport and mixing of sediment across Himalayan central Gondwana during the Cambrian�Ordovician.”1 They found similar detrital zircon samples across a wide swath of the Himalayan foothills, covering “great distances” of at least 3000 km and perhaps as much as 5000 km. They used assumptions to rule out time as a factor, suggesting that this “extraordinary” transport of material occurred at one time. What does it imply? “In any case, by examining samples within a small window of well-constrained depositional ages from across the length of the Himalayan range, our data not only indicate extraordinary transport distances, but a high degree of sediment mixing and homogenization.” They emphasized it again: “In this regard, both transport distances and sediment mixing within early Gondwana are extraordinary for the geologic record.” It likely applies to “much, if not the whole of Gondwana” (the hypothetical supercontinent that broke up into today’s continents). The Himalayas are not the only location. They referred to evidence published earlier that assigns the origin of many of the Grand Canyon sediments to the Appalachian mountains thousands of kilometers to the east (09/15/2003). Again, extraordinary long-distance transport mechanisms must have been in operation. What could possibly do it? Their short list of possible mechanisms omits one that creation geologists would probably be saying is intuitively obvious: a global flood.The causes of such a pattern might be unique to time and place, and may include a combination of (1) lack of continental vegetation, (2) clustering of continents near the equator, (3) increased continental weathering rates, (4) widespread uplift and erosion associated with regionally extensive and relatively synchronous orogenesis [mountain-building] recording supercontinental amalgamation, and (5) production of significant relief, providing stream power for large-scale river systems.A closer look reveals that none of those mechanisms contradicts a global flood; in fact, they would each appear to be consequences of one. What else would produce any one or a combination of those causes?1. Myrow, Hughes et al, “Extraordinary transport and mixing of sediment across Himalayan central Gondwana during the Cambrian�Ordovician,” Geological Society of America Bulletin Sept. 2010, v. 122 no. 9-10 p. 1660-1670, doi: 10.1130/B30123.1.Composite explanations are generally avoided in science because of Ockham’s Razor: “plurality should not be posited without necessity.” If a scientist explains the yard being wet by saying, “It might have rained, or the sprinklers might have come on, or a water-spraying truck drove by,” the power of the explanation is decreased. Here, the scientists admitted that something extraordinary – something possibly unique in the geologic record – occurred to move sediments so far at one time. (Notice, incidentally, this amounts to a rejection of uniformitarianism.) Nothing like that is seen happening today. Special pleading is also to be avoided when explaining things scientifically, but isn’t that what they just did? They did not explain with reference to natural law and observable, repeatable processes. They said, essentially, that an extraordinary one-time effect might have been caused by five things or any combination of them. On the surface of it, the explanation sounds weak. A scientific explanation is strengthened when a single cause explains multiple effects. Suppose your yard is wet, some objects are knocked over and a swath of wetness covers several homes in a line. Which explanation is better? (A) House #1 turned the sprinklers on, house #2 had a watering truck drive by, house #3 got rained on and house #4 had an above-ground pool that leaked, and the houses just happened to be in a line. (B) There was a brush fire nearby and a water-dropping plane doused the area. A global flood would produce all 5 effects that the geologists listed as causes: (1) a lack of continental vegetation, because it had been stripped away at the onset of the flood; (2) clustering of continents near the equator, because creationists generally agree the continents split apart as the fountains of the great deep opened; (3) weathering rates increased dramatically (well, duh); (4) widespread uplift and erosion associated with regionally extensive and synchronous mountain building occurred (because the mountain ranges formed as a consequence of the dividing continents, and erosion was intense); and (5) production of significant relief, providing stream power for large-scale river systems, because the new mountains caused dramatic runoff as the waters receded, transporting soft sediments over vast distances. One more for good measure: a global flood would explain the “high degree of sediment mixing and homogenization” of sediments they observed. Notice that the secular geology explanation cannot account for increased weathering rates, widespread erosion, homogenization, synchronous mountain building and large-scale river systems (cf. 04/30/2009, “Are Secular Geologists Ready to Consider a Global Flood?”). In the current example, the composite, special-pleading scenario in the paper leaves much to be desired as a scientific explanation. Biblical creationists can point to a single cause that explains all the effects. They have eyewitness testimony, too: Yes, uh… Noah.(Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
23 May 2013The African Union (AU), previously the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), marks its 50th anniversary this week with a series of events aimed at building a common identity and sense of belonging among all people on the continent.On Monday, the Scramble for Africa Conference, involving academics from the continent and the diaspora, started in Pretoria. On Wednesday, a gala dinner pitched as a networking session with African embassies took place in Pretoria, and on Friday Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile will open the exhibition “Cultural Brokerage: Africa Imagined (Act1)” at the Pretoria Arts Museum.The activities will culminate in the Africa Day celebrations planned for Saturday, when President Jacob Zuma will unveil an artwork at the AU’s headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia as South Africa’s cultural contribution to the organisation’s 50th anniversary.The Department of Arts and Culture, the City of Tshwane and the Africa Institute of South Africa are celebrating the anniversary under the theme “2013, Year of Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance”.According to Mashatile, the anniversary will encourage South Africans to see themselves as part of an African movement for change, while acknowledging the role of the OAU in bringing an end to apartheid.“As the government, we are particularly interested in pursuing a social cohesion programme that will help the people of the country and continent to redefine their social, political and cultural identity in a manner that will give them a sense of belonging and ownership to determine their own future and destiny,” Mashatile said.Promoting African unityIt has been 50 years since the emergence of the OAU and a decade since the formation of the AU.Comprising 54 member states, the organisation brought the continent together to collectively address its challenges, including conflict, social upheaval, climate change and poverty.It seeks to promote an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa that is people-centred and represents a dynamic force on the world stage.Significantly, during the 2008-09 global economic crisis, Africa’s economies continued to expand, and growth forecasts for the continent remain positive.However, the benefits are not reaching all Africans. Poverty, hunger and disparities in health, education and social participation are preventing the continent’s people from fully realising their full potential.Africa Day will enable the continent to take stock of its assets, capabilities, opportunities and challenges and to look forward and define the pan-African values that will underpin the African agenda over the next five decades.Source: SAnews.gov.za
Surveillance at the Heart of Smart Cities Related Posts While many governments are recent converts to the smart city ideology, Singapore has been a movement leader for decades. And the Asian city-state is about to ramp up its efforts with its soon-to-be-unveiled Smart Nations strategy.The GovTech site features a lengthy discussion with Singapore’s CIO Chan Cheow Hoe which serves as a master-class in smart city planning.Over the years Chan says one of Singapore’s biggest revelations is that effective smart city programs must be first and foremost customer-centric.“The whole idea is to first establish a relationship…and a point of trust between government and the people,” he says.“The second thing — that I think is very important — is the concept of what we call ‘frictionless’ government,” Chan says. “What we are trying to do is to take out all this unnecessary friction as much as possible, and this goes back to the customer experience.”Singapore’s lengthy smart city history includes such projects as traffic congestion analytics, waste monitoring and sustainable buildings.Driving the city-state’s early smart city adoption was its need to maximize the use of its compact 427 square miles of geography to best serve its bustling population of 5.6 million.One of the biggest smart city challenges faced by Singapore, and indeed all global governments, is modernizing outdated legacy IT systems. Legacy systems often hinder shifting infrastructure to the cloud and frequently dampen innovative thinking.See also: NuTonomy cabs ready for hailing in SingaporeHowever, Singapore tackled this familiar bugbear by focusing its efforts on improving customer service while minimizing service disruptions to its core systems.“We started splitting up what we call our system of records with the system of engagement,” says Chan. “We made the legacy system just a simple system of records. We shut off the front end and we essentially built a funnel on top of it.”He says this allowed Singapore to be agile in building front end customer services while leaving the legacy systems relatively intact.“It decreases the need for the legacy systems significantly, and over a period of time allows resources to be dedicated to the customer experience,” he says.These improvements allowed Singapore to build up a trust-based relationship with its citizens through its digitalID strategy. This strategy focused on breaking various pools of data out of their silos to remove much of the friction in government-citizen interactions, manifesting in such projects as MyInfo.Singapore has data issues sorted outMyInfo pulls data on citizens from various departments into a useable pool of verified information.“Instead of you bringing your ID card and everything to show these things, you don’t have to do these unnecessary transactions anymore because the data is pulled directly,” he says. “This data doesn’t belong to the government — the data still belongs to you as an individual — but you have the right to consent to give that data to somebody else.”Singapore is presently embarking on its ambitions Smart Nation initiative which will include the deployment one of the most sprawling sensor and camera networks a city has ever seen.And with such a vast array of sensors, the obvious issue of how to secure such expansive Internet of Things (IoT) technology.Chan says securing IoT is a running battle that no one can solve with a silver bullet.“The question for us now is really about categorizing systems. There are highly secure systems we will spend a lot of money protecting,” says Chan. “For the rest, it is what it is.”“If something happens to it we are just going to accept the risk and move on, as long as the risk is not so big that it actually cripples certain critical services in the country.” Donal Power Tags:#cybersecurity#infrastructure#Internet of Things#IoT#Singapore#Smart Cities How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In…
The Supreme Court on Thursday deferred to September 27 the hearing on Congress leader Kamal Nath’s plea seeking draft voter list of Madhya Pradesh in word format, and said the issue requires substantive hearing. The Congress leader said that Election Commission of India (ECI) had provided voter lists in word format during Karnataka and Rajasthan elections as also during Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls in 2013. ECI said it received complaints of voter profiling and to prevent the misuse of data it has taken a conscious decision to provide it in PDF format (non-editable). A Bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said that the matter requires substantive hearing and listed the matter for further hearing on September 27. During the hearing, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Mr. Nath, said that when the ECI can provide the draft voter list in word format in other States, then what is the problem in providing the list in Madhya Pradesh. “We want the list to be provided in word format. They have provided us during Karnataka election, they are giving us in Rajasthan and even in Madhya Pradesh they have given in 2013. Now they are saying it was a mistake,” Mr. Sibal said.PDF format Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for ECI along with advocate Amit Sharma, said that they have received complaints of voter profiling and therefore a conscious decision was taken to provide the draft list in PDF format. He said it was done to thwart any attempt of misuse of voters data. Mr. Sibal said that in PDF format they are providing the same data like they will do in word format, then where is the question of misuse.