“Evolutionary” – A Useless Adjective

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“Evolutionary” – A Useless Adjective

first_imgTake the word “evolutionary” out of most science articles. It serves no purpose but to twist data and mislead readers.What has Darwin done for you lately? Probably very little, and possibly a lot of harm. Science writers and researchers have a bad habit of inserting “evolutionary” into their writing. It’s not history; it’s evolutionary history. She’s not a biologist; she’s an evolutionary biologist. It’s not paleontology, it’s evolutionary paleontology. Enough already! Show some actual value that evolution has contributed to the writing, or else delete the word.New evolutionary insights into the early development of songbirds (Science Daily). People want insights, but why “evolutionary insights”? The sophoxymoronic phrase is a contradiction in terms. If it’s evolutionary, it’s not insight. If it’s insight, it’s not evolutionary, otherwise it would be blind and unguided insight, which is not insight at all. The work was done by “evolutionary biologists.” Why not just biologists? They talked about germline restricted chromosomes (GRCs) in birds, which are important for preventing “somatic cells from possible negative effects.” So why must they desire to speculate about the “evolutionary history” of GRCs? The moment they insert the useless word, the perhapsimaybecouldness index rises as the scientific value falls.Divers of the past: Plesiosaur research reveals rapid increase of blood cell size (Phys.org). Plesiosaurs appear in the fossil record as capable swimmers and hunters in a variety of forms, without ancestors. Looking for an evolutionary tale to spin, German researchers from Duisburg-Essen University analyzed thin sections of bone from plesiosaurs and think they found slight increases in blood cell size over time. They say,From an evolutionary perspective, this change is obviously still useful. Today`s whales, seals and penguins also have unusually large red blood cells, but their close relatives on land and in freshwater do not. “This supports our assumption that this is a significant adaption of warm-blooded marine life,” says Kai Caspar.From a “biological perspective” is adequate. Better, “from a design perspective.” Evolution had nothing to do with it. The data are too ambiguous, for one thing, and Caspar did not rule out other, more plausible reasons for the inferred cell diameters than the Stuff Happens Law. He certainly did not trace chance mutations that might have gotten selected blindly. That would clearly be difficult or impossible. The word “evolutionary,” therefore, serves no purpose. It’s distracting and misleading.How the earliest mammals thrived alongside dinosaurs (Nature, News Feature). This article basically undermines an old Darwinian tale, which alleged that mammals were unimportant, small things seeking safety under the feet of dinosaurs. Wrong! At first appearance, they already possessed a variety of specialized abilities in a wide variety of habitats, successfully living alongside dinosaurs. And yet the e-word evolution saturates this article.The fossils have revealed that early mammals were ecologically diverse and experimenting in gliding, swimming, burrowing and climbing. The discoveries are also starting to reveal the evolutionary origins of many of the key traits of mammals — such as lactation, large brains and superbly keen senses.Why must the article speculate the “evolutionary origins” of the traits instead of, simply, their origins? Those traits are irreducibly complex mechanisms, engineered for success. Notice how opposite this quote is from the expectations of Darwinian evolution, and yet the scientist attributes it to the Stuff Happens Law:Much of the constellation of features we think of as defining mammals — complex teeth, excellent senses, lactation, small litter size — might actually have evolved before true mammals, and quite quickly. “More and more it looks like it all came out in a very short burst of evolutionary experimentation,” Luo says. By the time mammal-like creatures were roaming around in the Mesozoic, he says, “the lineage has already acquired its modern look and modern biological adaptations”.“Evolutionary experimentation” is another one of those sophoxymoronic phrases that make no sense. Get rid of it. The article drones on, speaking of evolutionary trees, and evolutionary histories that, from the standpoint of the actual data, contradict evolution.Your turn. Find the word “evolutionary” in these articles and clean out the useless, speculative fluff. Practice makes perfect.Humans co-evolved with immune-related diseases—and it’s still happening (Medical Xpress).Researchers show how feathers propel birds through air and history (Phys.org).Striking variation in mechanisms that drive sex selection in frogs (Science Daily).What survives, thrives and dominates over a thousand generations? The answer might be even more complex than thought (Harvard University via Phys.org)The rise of the greedy-brained ape (Nature, book review).Now that you’re getting good at this, do your part to help clean up science media of this useless word.(Visited 260 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享1last_img

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New Zealand beefs up air traffic control

first_imgNew Zealand’s air traffic controller will spend $NZ58m replacing current systems to help it cope with a projected 50 per cent growth in air traffic over the next decade.Airways New Zealand will replace two existing systems with the Leidos Skyline X system over the next four years. The existing air traffic management platforms, installed between 2000 and 2003 are ending their useful lives and will be replaced by the new technology in domestic airspace in 2020 and the following year in oceanic airspace.  The new system will have an expected lifespan of about 15 years.New Zealand has seen a surge in air traffic in the last two years and increased competition to the popular tourism destination has put pressure on airline profitability.Airways NZ has promised to deliver $NZ84m in efficiencies by 2028 and the new system will help achieve that objective.Chief operating officer Pauline Lamb said the new system would allow to implement a new operating model as well as take advantage of advanced tools such as such as medium and long term conflict alerting, time-based separation and arrival and departure management.It would also help optimise staff deployment, she said.“We will be working collaboratively with Leidos to develop this system in a partnership model that will deliver long term savings to our customers,’’ Lamb said in a statement.  “By 2020 the new platform will allow airspace sectors to be operated from two new air traffic control centres in Auckland and Christchurch, in addition to 19 control towers nationwide.’’Software development teams from Airways and Leidos will collaborate on the project with the air traffic manager purchasing the hardware and installing and testing the system. Leidos Civil Group president Angie Heise said technology enhancements in the new system included the introduction of world-class flow management capabilities “ as well as an integrated approach that enables a vision for a single system to support tower, terminal, en-route and oceanic control operations.”last_img read more

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SA economy creating jobs again

first_imgReporting on its December 2009 Quarterly Employment Statistics, Stats SA said the survey had shown that the number of people employed in the formal non-agricultural sector of the country’s economy increased by about 18 000 (or +0.2%) from an estimated 8 143 000 employees to an estimated 8 161 000 employees. This is an improvement from the figures for the second quarter of 2009, when South Africa’s formal job losses totalled 98 000. 24 March 2010 However, employment in the formal non-agricultural business sector decreased between the quarters ended December 2008 and December 2009. Increase in gross earnings “The December 2009 Quarterly Employment Statistics survey shows that an estimated 8 161 000 people were employed in the formal non-agricultural business sector of the South African economy. This reflected an annual decrease of about 351 000 employees (or -4.1%) compared with December 2008 (an estimated 8 512 000 employees).” Eighteen thousand jobs were created in South Africa’s formal non-agricultural business sector between September and December 2009, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) announced in Pretoria on Tuesday. Additionally, the gross earnings paid to employees in the formal non-agricultural business sector increased between the same quarters. Gross earnings paid to employees in the formal non-agricultural business sector increased between the quarters ended December 2008 and December 2009. According to Stats SA, in the December 2009 quarter, gross earnings paid to employees amounted to R294 509-million. “Softness in employment growth is thus likely to endure for some time.” Annual growth “This reflects an annual increase of R20 552-million (or +7.5%) compared with the quarter ended December 2008 (October 2008 to December 2008).” “The gross earnings paid to employees during the quarter ended December 2009 amounted to R294 509-million. This reflects a quarterly increase of R31 485-million (or +12%) compared with the quarter ended September 2009,” Stats SA said. Commenting on the figures, Standard Bank said: “Today’s data reflect labour market conditions that are slowly being nursed back to health. However, the labour market’s lagging indicator characteristics suggest that a substantial revival is only likely to ensue once economic conditions are more labour absorbing. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

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Beta Testing At Spiceworks: A Surprising Place To Find Qualified Guinea Pigs

first_imgrieva lesonsky Related Posts How to Get Started in China and Have Success Tags:#Beta Testing#networking#small business#startups Beta testing can be a bitch – especially when you’re working with complex business technology that doesn’t make sense for consumers. It can be incredibly difficult to find good test subjects with enough of a knowledge base to give you intelligent feedback on these kinds of sophisticated products.That’s exactly the issue facing Pertino as it prepared to launch its cloud-based network launch last fall.Where To Find Qualified Beta Testers?Pertino’s concept was to build a cloud-based global network, requiring no specialized hardware or virtual private networks. The company envisioned a network affordable enough for small and midsize (SMB) companies with the security and performance of an enterprise network.How the heck do you beta test a product like that?Pertino CEO Craig Elliott turned to the Spiceworks.com community of more than 2.4 million IT professionals, centered around the company’s free, ad-supported IT management tools for SMBs.Elliott and many Pertino employees were already Spiceworks members, and they started with a 20-company private beta program that grew into “a community-exclusive public beta” involving 250 “Spiceheads.”Spiceworks’ co-founder Jay Hallberg says three to four years ago the Spiceworks team was “dreaming big that someday we’d have a company launch within Spiceworks.” Pertino turned out to be that company. Beta Testing Feedback Is EssentialWhile the usual point of beta testing is to find out if your product is good enough to launch, most initial offerings end up requiring signficant tweaks. “If you’re not thoroughly embarrassed by the first product you release,” Elliott says, “you’ve overthought it, and you’ve come to market too late.”Beta testing in Spiceworks enabled knowledgeable IT professionals to actually use the product and offer Pertino “incredible, first-hand feedback and insights,” says Elliott.Todd Krautkremer, Pertino’s VP of marketing, explains that, “Since so many members of the Spiceworks community work IT at small and mid-sized businesses, it was a way to treat SMBs as consumers… The Spiceheads provided feedback in real time [that] shaved months off what the normal development timeline would be.” Beta testing in Spiceworld gave Pertino “validation and the ability to go back to the drawing board based on the feedback,” Krautkremer adds. If you can’t make it in the Spiceworks community, how can you succeed in the broader market?Speed WinsPertino didn’t worry about launching its “private” beta to such a large community. “”In the world of open-source tech,” says Krautkremer, “to rest your laurels on defensible IP is not a recipe for success.” Patents can’t protect you.Instead, seizing the market as early as possible is the best way to become a dominant leader, says Krautkremer. It’s not necessarily being first to market,” Krautkremer continues, “MySpace was there before Facebook.” To win, your idea has to be novel and simple, and you have to pursue it aggressively.So far, that approach is working for Pertino. The company publicly launched its product in February: “6,000 people downloaded it on day one,” Krautkremer says, and more than 300 Pertino networks were built.Beta Test TipsSharing what he learned from the Spiceworks beta, Krautkremer offers tech companies 4 quick tips:Use the freemium model: make it easy for potential customers to try your product.Keep it simple: “Click, click, done wins. Click, click, click, done loses.”Eat your own dogfood: use and test your own product.Get to market first and then grow fast.Oh, and find qualified beta testers to provide useful feedback before you make your product publicly available.center_img China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture What Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star…last_img read more

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Karni Sena leader agrees to watch Padmaavat

first_imgFilm distributors in Rajasthan on Monday announced that they would not acquire the distribution rights of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film, Padmaavat, with Rajput groups demandinga complete ban on the movie and threatening violence at cinema halls screening the period drama.The film exhibitors also gave in writing to Rajput Karni Sena, spearheading an agitation that they would not screen the film. Meanwhile,Karni Sena founder Lokendra Singh Kalvi agreed to watch Padmaavat on Mr. Bhansali’s invitation before its release on January 25.Rajasthan’s leading film distributors, Yash Raj Jai Pictures and Marudhar Cine Entertainment, said that they had decided not to distribute the movie in the State. The decision came four days after the Supreme Court stayed the notifications and orders of Rajasthan and two other States banning the film’s release. .Hearing todaythree-judge bench of the apex court would hear on Tuesday the State government’s interim application seeking modification of its January 18 order allowing the film’s release. Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria on Monday asked Karni Sena and the erstwhile royal family of Mewar to become co-petitioners in the case by filing review petitions.“We have conveyed people’s sentiments to the Supreme Court through our petition seeking recall of its order. We have to find a way out to respect the popular beliefs and faith in history, which should not be distorted,” said Mr. Kataria. He said the State government had invited the Rajput groups to join the legal recourse to get the matter settled.Mr. Kalvi told reporters that a “public curfew” would be enforced and protests organised outside the cinema theatres if Padmaavat was screened. He also said that he had accepted the film-makers’ invitation to watch the movie at a pre-screening event, but added that he knew it was a “ploy to deceive Rajputs”.Youth climbs towerProtesters blocked highways in Rajsamand and Barmer and raised slogans outside two cinema halls in Jaipur, warning them against screening the film. A 20-year-old youth climbed a mobile phone network tower in Bhilwara demanding a ban on the movie. He was later brought down.The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) extended support to the demand for ban on Padmaavat, saying no one should be allowed to distort history.last_img read more

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