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Insects Pester Darwinian Story

first_imgIt’s enough to bug any Darwinian: where did the insects come from?  Here are some problems right off the bat sonar:Insects are fantastically diverse.Insects are among the most successful animals.There are no insect fossils earlier than the Devonian (evolutionary date: 410 million years ago).The earliest segmented body plans appeared in the Cambrian (511 million years ago).There are no marine insects, but the first segmented Cambrian animals were marine organisms.Now, visualize the following: (1) an insect with six legs, (2) a spider with eight legs, (3) a centipede with 15 to 173 pairs of legs, and (4) a crab with 10 legs, two of which are claws.  Your job is to organize these into an evolutionary story of common descent.  It’s enough to challenge the most committed Darwinist, as the opening to a paper in Science demonstrates:1Although hexapods–those arthropods having six legs, including insects–are the most diverse group of contemporary animals in terms of biological niches and number of species, their origin is highly debated.  A key problem is the almost complete absence of fossils that connect hexapods to the other major arthropod subphyla, namely Crustacea, Myriapoda (such as centipedes and millipedes), and Chelicerata (such as scorpions and spiders).  Over the years, hexapods (insects, springtails, proturnas, and diplurans) have been phylogenetically linked to all of these major arthropod taxa.By this, the authors mean evolutionists have attempted to link the insects to all these groups (see also 05/16/2002).  Glenner et al described the latest theory: that insects descended from crustaceans (crabs, lobsters, shrimp, barnacles, etc.), particularly from a group of freshwater branchiopods including fairy shrimp and water fleas.  They based this on molecular studies, Hox gene behavior and the emergence of these ancestors a few million years before the rise of insects in freshwater habitats.  Another piece of circumstantial evidence comes from a real estate boom supposedly taking place throughout the animal kingdom 423 to 416 million years ago:The successful colonization of the terrestrial environment by hexapods seems to coincide with other major groups of land pioneering animals such as the chelicerates and the myriapods in the Late Silurian and the tetrapods (amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) in the Late Devonian.  All these events appear to have occurred through a freshwater dwelling phase in their evolutionary transition from marine to true terrestrial animals.  The Devonian is believed to have been a time of severe drought, which might have forced these animals (at least hexapods and tetrapods) onto land as their freshwater habitats vanished.Their manifest destiny assured, insects invaded all the land, air and fresh water niches the continents could provide.  Sounds neat, but being such successful colonizers, why didn’t they ever return to their marine roots?  Simple; all the rooms were taken:It has been a puzzle as to why hexapods–in particular insects, which possess a morphology that apparently enables them to adapt to virtually all types of terrestrial environments–have not been able to diversify successfully in the marine environment.  It is likewise remarkable that the crustaceans–fulfilling a biological role in the sea comparable to the insects on land–have not been able to invade land to a greater extent despite their considerable age.  The recent phylogenetic analyses of molecular sequence data suggest a paradigm shift concerning the phylogenetic position of hexapods–that crustaceans successfully invaded land as insects.  It is possible that when insects entered terrestrial habitats, their crustacean ancestors had already diversified in marine environments and occupied all potential niches, which could explain why insects were prevented from colonizing the sea subsequently.So with no room in Neptune’s Inn, they took whatever they could get in caves, swamps, deserts, forests, lakes, high mountain peaks, and suburban kitchens.  Now the Darwinian story holds together again, with an added benefit: “Most important, however, the new molecular results offer a solution to the enigma concerning the absence of marine hexapod remains in the fossil records prior to the Devonian.”1Glenner et al, “Evolution: The Origin of Insects,” Science, 22 December 2006: Vol. 314. no. 5807, pp. 1883-1884, DOI: 10.1126/science.1129844.Commercial: This portion of Just-So Stories for Grown-Ups has been brought to you by Darwin Party Facilitators, the research problem solvers extraordinaire.  In a tangle?  Got an enigma?  Call DPF for a quick, easy way out of any pernicious puzzle or distressing dilemma.  Why do research the old-fashioned way, with tedious observations and rigorous analysis, when you can finish your paper in no time.  Our technicians can help you escape your troubles as if by magic!  Don’t fret any longer over that missing fossil evidence.  Worry no more when the review board checks your data.  DPF experts have the inside connections needed to get you through peer review.  Drawing on their international resources, they will customize a solution to fit your needs, no matter the subject, with just the right blend of natural selection, sexual selection, kin selection, group selection, game theory, niche construction, Lamarckism, orthogenesis, gradualism, punq eq, microevolution, divergence, convergence, determinism, contingency, anthropomorphism, Gaia or whatever else the occasion calls for.  They can help you adjust the molecular or paleontological clocks to fit your uncooperative data points.  Their secret blend of jargon, speculation and personification, seasoned lightly with equivocation, is laboratory-proven to lubricate the editorial process, no matter how many contradictions you struggle with.  When all else fails, they know the magic word* to hypnotize the reviewers and get you on the fast track to publication.  After all, most reviewers are current or former members of the DPF, so it’s futile to try doing research these days alone.  Don’t let your career fall behind by focusing on accountability and scientific integrity when you can pad your resume with dozens of publications in reputable high-impact journals.  Darwin Party Facilitators, the world’s largest charlatan agency with thousands of licensed practitioners, can help you rise above your peers.  Gain tenure faster.  Publish without fear of perishing.  Earn the respect of the movers and shakers of the modern world.  All DPF work is backed by the full force and protection of the ACLU.  What are you waiting for?  Operators are standing by.  Call now: 1-800-SNOW-JOB.    Stay tuned for the next exciting episodes, The Ghost of Kiwi Past and How Rocky Earned His Sails (12/13/2006).(Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

10 months agoReal Madrid president Florentino plans swap offer for Chelsea ace Hazard

first_imgReal Madrid president Florentino plans swap offer for Chelsea ace Hazardby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid president Florentino Perez is willing to make a swap offer for Chelsea ace Eden Hazard next month.Okdiario says Real Madrid are back in the market for Chelsea star Hazard – and could use Isco as bait to get him.The Spanish giants are considering sacrificing the attacking midfielder in a cash-plus-player deal to bring Hazard to the Bernabeu.Perez is prepared to see Isco sold after his blow up with fans this week.That deal would not be wholly different to the one which saw Thibaut Courtois join for £31m in the summer along with Mateo Kovacic heading to west London on a season-long loan. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

10 months agoArsenal boss Emery admits he rejected Salah at PSG

first_imgArsenal boss Emery admits he rejected Salah at PSGby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal boss Unai Emery has revealed he rejected the opportunity to sign Mohamed Salah while in charge at PSG. Salah instead left Roma for Liverpool in the summer of 2017 and scored an incredible 44 goals in his debut season at Anfield.But things could have worked out differently had Emery and PSG believed Salah was capable of delivering on the big stage.”We spoke about the possibility to sign Salah to Paris Saint-Germain when he was playing at Roma,” Emery said.”We had some doubts – and then he signed for Liverpool and these doubts he has broken at Liverpool. Now, if you are speaking about the five top players in the world, one is Salah.”Asked what the specific doubts were, Emery added: “Can he take the performance into one big team?”For example like PSG in Paris. And today I can say to you…if we signed him, we signed one player in the top five in the world.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Urban Meyer Predicts Big Things For Cardale Jones At The Combine: “He’s Gonna Kill It”

first_imgCardale Jones tests his vertical at the NFL combine.Vine/NFLWith 14 of his players participating at this week’s NFL Scouting Combine, this week is a pretty big one for Ohio State’s Urban Meyer. Cardale Jones works out with the quarterbacks today, and Meyer predicts big things for his former quarterback.Urban Meyer on Cardale Jones: “I think he’s gonna kill it … This is gonna be his day. I think he’s gonna move up in the draft today.”— Bill Landis (@BillLandis25) February 27, 2016“I think he’s going to move up in the draft today. That’s coming from people who have told me that.” – Urban Meyer on Cardale Jones— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) February 27, 2016Jones has already flashed some impressive athleticism with a 36-inch vertical jump.A very nice 36″ vert for the 6’5 quarterback Cardale Joneshttps://t.co/4qVWMIX5RO— Alexis Chassen (@Lovelybuckeye) February 27, 2016He also has one of the most impressive arms in the field. There are few more interesting prospects at the quarterback position than Jones. Finding out which team wants to take a shot on him will be one of the more fun story lines of the middle-to-late rounds of the draft.last_img read more

Abuse racism loss of land The shocking allegations of sexual abuse of

first_imgBrittany HobsonAPTN NewsThe Manitoba government is calling on RCMP to investigate shocking allegations made against hydro workers.This comes after Manitoba’s Clean Environment Commission held hearings into development projects in the north.In the report, members of Fox Lake Cree Nation spoke of the sexual abuse of Indigenous women – in connection to hydro development projects – and the thousands of workers brought in to remote northern areas.Here is Brittany Hobson with [email protected]last_img

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The federal judge in Texas who ruled the Affordabl

first_imgThe federal judge in Texas who ruled the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional earlier this month said that the law can remain in effect while under appeal.U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor wrote in his ruling filed on Sunday that “many everyday Americans would otherwise face great uncertainty during the pendency of appeal.”But O’Connor still stands by his initial decision, he wrote, that a recent change in federal tax law that eliminated the penalty on uninsured people, in turn, invalidates the entire health care law, which is also referred to as Obamacare.Before issuing the stay, O’Connor struck down the ACA on Dec. 14, siding with a group of 19 Republican attorneys general and a governor, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.As Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News wrote for NPR following the district court judges decision, “The plaintiffs argued that because the Supreme Court upheld the ACA in 2012 as a constitutional use of its taxing power, the elimination of the tax makes the rest of the law unconstitutional.”Judge O’Connor agreed with that reasoning.”In some ways, the question before the Court involves the intent of both the 2010 and 2017 Congresses,” O’Connor wrote in his 55-page decision. “The former enacted the ACA. The latter sawed off the last leg it stood on.”Democrats, meanwhile, say they plan to challenge O’Connor’s judgment. A spokesperson for California Attorney General Xavier Becerra — who’s joined by 16 other states defending the ACA — said his state is “prepared to appeal the December 14 decision imminently.””We’ve always said we’re going to protect the healthcare of Americans and make clear that the ACA is the law of the land,” Becerra said in a statement emailed to NPR. “Today the judge granted what we asked for when we filed our expedited motion but at the end of the day, we’re working to keep healthcare affordable and accessible to millions of Americans, so we march forward.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

Some of the countrys most controversial and discr

first_imgSome of the country’s most controversial and discredited outsourcing companies are set to win contracts under the government’s new programme to find jobs for disabled people and other marginalised groups.The 11 organisations that have been successful in the bidding process will be allowed to tender for the back-to-work contracts that will be offered under the Work and Health Programme.They were all bidding for the right to tender for contracts across six regional areas in England and Wales, and a single national contract across the two countries.The Work and Health Programme will support disabled people, those who are long-term unemployed, and other groups such as ex-carers, ex-offenders, homeless people and those with drug or alcohol dependencies.Among those successful in the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) Umbrella Agreement for Employment and Health Related Services were Maximus, People Plus (formerly known as A4E) and G4S.G4S has been successful in every area apart from Wales, while People Plus has been successful in all seven lots.Maximus, through its UK company Remploy, has been selected only for the Wales lot.Maximus has a disturbing track record of discrimination, incompetence and fraud in the US, while Remploy, formerly owned by the government, revealed plans last year to halve the pay of service-users who take part in inspections of health and care facilities.Last year, Maximus was accused in the House of Commons of falsifying the results of “fitness for work” assessments, and of “a disconcerting pattern of behaviour that indicates that the trade-off between cost-cutting and profit maximisation is being felt by very vulnerable people”.People Plus, which has secured places in all seven lots, was formerly known as A4E, but in 2015 was taken over by another company and rebranded, after 10 former A4e employees were sentenced for a back-to-work fraud. The previous year, DNS reported allegations that emerged during an employment tribunal – and were strongly refuted by the company – that A4E had introduced a new policy that forced advisers with no specialist training or experience to start working with “vulnerable” claimants with mental health conditions, learning difficulties and drug and alcohol problems on the Work Programme.Last year, the disabled crossbench peer Baroness [Jane] Campbell, criticising the decision to hand the government contract to run the national discrimination helpline to G4S, told fellow peers that the company had “an appalling history of abuse and mismanagement”.G4S’s track record includes claims of assault and racism at immigration detention centres, the failure to provide enough security staff for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, a coroner’s verdict of “unlawful killing” at the hands of G4S staff after the death of Angolan deportee Jimmy Mubenga in 2010, and serious allegations concerning G4S staff at secure training centres for children.The other successful organisations are Ingeus, Reed, Shaw Trust, APM, Working Links, The Work Company, Pluss and Prospects.Many of the country’s largest disability charities are likely to seek funding under the Work and Health Programme as sub-contractors for the organisations that win the main contracts, in a move which many activists believe could make it harder for them to speak out on welfare reform.The Work and Health Programme will replace the mainstream Work Programme and the specialist Work Choice scheme for disabled people, but there have been concerns that it will see a significant cut in funding.The government has promised £100 million a year by 2020-21 for disabled people found to have limited capability for work – paid for from cuts of more than £1 billion over the four years from April this year to new claimants of employment and support allowance (ESA) placed in the work-related activity group (WRAG) – as well as another £130 million a year for the overall programme.But industry research has suggested that this will mean a sizeable overall drop from the £750 million spent on employment support in 2013-14.DWP said yesterday (Wednesday) that it did not recognise this figure but was not able to say how much the overall budget on employment support had been and how much it would be under the new programme.She said the budget for the new programme was not yet “in the public domain”.Asked about the track records of Maximus, G4S and People Plus, the DWP spokeswoman said the umbrella agreement had been subject to public sector procurement regulations, and was conducted in an “open, transparent non-discriminatory manner”.She said: “Each competition is designed to identify the winning bids over a range of pre-determined criteria.”She said contracts would be awarded this autumn.Meanwhile, the consultation on the government’s work, health and disability green paper – which outlines its plans for the Work and Health Programme – is due to end tomorrow (17 February).The green paper revealed that the government was considering forcing all sick and disabled people on out-of-work disability benefits to take part in “mandatory” activity, including those who are terminally-ill or have the very highest support needs and have been placed in the ESA support group.It also repeatedly emphasised that the government wanted to “reinforce work as a health outcome”, increasing the number of job advisers in healthcare settings and making “the benefits of work an ingrained part of the training and professional approach of the health and social care workforce”.last_img read more

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