Archives for the month of: May, 2014

Warning: If you came here to find confirmation of your preconceived ideas, you are probably in the wrong place. Regardless, Welcome! I hope you can learn something here in the things I find worth recording.

At the BioLogos web site, Graeme Finlay has written an interesting and compelling article about our genetics. He tells his own story, and his writing style is good and easy to read. He points out that cancers grow from a single defective cell. He explains some of the details related to critters with common ancestors.

We all know that our DNA is a mixture of our parents’ DNA, and the sequence runs for each generation. Accordingly, my children have genetic markers that my uncle had. With our ever-increasing abilities in genetic sequencing technologies, we can now look at the most minute details of the genome, and what we can see is not only quite observable (something the bully Ray Comfort always asks for), but it is also quite obvious.

Dr. Finlay presents the information so we can all understand.

I invite you to click the link, read, and see if you agree.

http://biologos.org/blog/human-evolution-genes-genealogies-and-phylogenies

Please find the comment button if you care to add anything. I’m always open to comments.

Over at First Things, Roger Scruton has provided an insightful review of why we have government, why we need it, and what we seem to be doing with it at present.

What he presents here should be something everyone can read regardless of where they fit on the political spectrum. Conservatives and liberals alike should be able to learn from these words.

http://www.firstthings.com/article/2014/06/the-good-of-government

You owe it to yourself to go read the article. Follow the link, read, apply it in yourself, and share.

Well stated and well reasoned. Dr. Botkin seems obviously an environmentalist, the real kind, not an alarmist. He also seems deeply concerned about human caused global warming, but he sees it as a very low current priority. I also agree with his assertions that we have to take the morals and politics out of it. We need honesty, of course, but calling someone bad, or simply calling them bad names, because the disagree must stop. We need truth, not consensus.

Watts Up With That?

botkinPolicycritic writes: You need to read this, Anthony. He dismantles the IPCC 2014 report for Congress. Botkin’s bio:

“Daniel B. Botkin, a world-renowned ecologist, is Professor (Emeritus), Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, UC Santa Barbara, and President of The Center for The Study of The Environment, which provides independent, science-based analyses of complex environmental issues. The New York Times said his book, *Discordant Harmonies: A New Ecology for the 21st Century* is considered by many ecologists to be the classic text of the [environmental] movement.” His Environmental Science, now in its Sixth Edition, was named 2004′s best textbook by the Textbook and Academic Authors Association.”

Indeed, and I’ve made the full written testimony available, plus a video showing Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) poses questions to the witness panel at the Full Committee hearing titled, “Examining the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Process.” where he grills Daniel B…

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For those who want to dig deep, here is a start-point. Remember, cold kills. Warmer is better.

Watts Up With That?

clip_image026_thumb.jpgGuest essay by William McClenney

Abstract: I used to think there was only one known substitute for intelligence – stupidity. I have since realized that I left out evil (see Hitler et al). I have also come to the conclusion that the difference between confidence and arrogance is competence. Keep those thoughts in mind as we take a tour de force through the peer-reviewed literature regarding the climatic “madhouse” also known as glacial inception. It would be one thing if we were to become concerned about Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW), say in the middle of an interglacial. It’s quite another altogether to get all worked-up over it at a probable end extreme interglacial.

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Congrats to the citizen scientists. This effort should pay a wealth of dividends.

Watts Up With That?

Success! We Are Now In Command of the ISEE-3 Spacecraft

Thanks to the many WUWT readers that contributed to make this a success! These guys didn’t disappoint. They pulled it off against the odds. Congratulations to them. There’s a great backstory coming related to the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” that I’ll share as soon as I get clearance. – Anthony

The ISEE-3 Reboot Project is pleased to announce that our team has established two-way communication with the ISEE-3 spacecraft and has begun commanding it to perform specific functions. Over the coming days and weeks our team will make an assessment of the spacecraft’s overall health and refine the techniques required to fire its engines and bring it back to an orbit near Earth.

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Another reason to abandon windmills sooner rather than later.

Watts Up With That?

IMG_20140524_195347[1] Wind Turbines at Rio Vista, CA in May 2014 – Photo: Anthony Watts From France24: A sophisticated network of metal thieves has targeted some 20 French wind turbines in a new looting trend, scaling the near 40-metre-high structures and stealing up to one tonne of metal from a single engine, Le Figaro reported Wednesday.

Citing an anonymous police source, the daily newspaper said the ring stole metal from wind farms in sparsely populated areas, where they had less chance of being caught.

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Good political article at First Things.

Quoting Mr. Roger Scruton

It is therefore pertinent to consider not only the bad side of government—which Americans can easily recognize—but also the good. For American conservatives are in danger of appearing as though they had no positive idea of government at all, and were in the business simply of opposing all new federal programs, however necessary they may be to the future and security of the nation. Most of all, they seem to be losing sight of the truth that government is not only natural to the human condition, but an expression of those extended loyalties over time, which bind generation to generation in a relation of mutual commitment.

http://www.firstthings.com/article/2014/06/the-good-of-government

Long article, worth reading now, and worth referring back to.

On the personal level, the fact is, we are free moral agents. We are free to choose, and our will to choose rightly must be developed. We are most free when we rule ourselves and internalize the fact that we will give account. We will be judged justly. All scores will be settled. I am accountable to God. I must act accountable to every other individual. I must do justice, love kindness, and to walk humbly with God. That realizes freedom for me and those around me and for our country and our world.

Good article that I’m reblogging for reference. Good information here about where were are going in Oklahoma with our public education.
Note the comments too. We need to heed the warning that we are moving control farther from the parents and teachers even with this course correction. http://fourthgenerationteacher.blogspot.com/2014/05/patheticyou-know-whats-really-pathetic.html

deutsch29

On May 23, 2014, both the Oklahoma House (71-18) and Senate (31-10) voted to dump the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

All that is left is for Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin to sign the legislation, HB 3399, into law. (Fallin was not governor when Oklahoma signed on for CCSS as part of Race to the Top {RTTT} in 2010.)

In December 2013, Fallin issued an executive order that included absorbing the term Common Core into the broader term, Oklahoma Academic Standards.

Fallin also noted that the Oklahoma legislature aligned its education legislation with CCSS and even included the language to align Oklahoma’s English Language Arts (ELA) and math standards “with the K-12 Common Core State Standards developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative.”

The Oklahoma legislature might have approved CCSS effective August 1, 2010, but it has apparently reversed its decision on May 23, 2014.

This…

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I find this article at American Thinker by Justin O. Smith worth reading. (I don’t see that I can recommend his other writings at AT.) It has plenty of good information.

However, I also found it a bit overly emotional, and perhaps a little presumptive.

Still, I recommend it:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/05/a_tool_for_americas_transformation.html

Here is a quote:

Common Core is designed by Progressives to control unfavorable views of Progressivism, and it will control all disciplines dealing directly with human affairs, such as history, law, and economics, which will most immediately affect political views. The disinterested search for the truth is not of value in CCSS, because the vindication of the Progressive Marxo-fascist view becomes the sole object, whether it advances the false science of man-made global warming or the false premise that socialism outperforms laissez-faire capitalism, even when the facts and experience show otherwise.

The political ideas of a people and their attitude toward authority are as much the effect of the political institutions under which they live as anything else. So even a strong tradition of liberty is no safeguard if the immediate danger is precisely that the institutions and new policies, such as Common Core, guided by amoral men like Arne Duncan, will gradually destroy that spirit through indoctrination.

It still disturbs me that relatively conservative politicians, specifically some of the Governors, like our own Mary Fallon and Florida’s Jeb Bush can espouse such obviously progressivist bunkum as Common Core State Standards. The statism and ultraleft orientation of it are just too obvious. One cannot pretend the “standards” aspect of it is worthwhile compared to the obvious problems the nationalization of our education system will institute.

Sadly, the nationalization of our public education system is already systemic and probably irreversible. The damage is becoming visible already. Our efforts to roll back the CCSS may be too little, and they may already be too late.

This is a good place to remind ourselves, the more things change, the more they stay the same. No one said it more clearly than Kipling:

http://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/poems_copybook.htm

The Gods of the Copybook Headings
AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.” 

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Feel free to look up the related history, but please note that no major manual of writing style or formatting indicates the need for extra space anywhere.

Specifically, use only one space at a time anywhere in documents created in word processing software (or simple text editors, for that matter). Don’t put two or more spaces together, adjacent. Use one between words, sentences, etc. The same goes for the tab. Never use more than one at a time. Move the tab stop to where it needs to be. Only one tab for any amount of space, and then when you edit, things don’t suddenly go wacky.

One tab, one space, never more in the same place.

If you look up the history, you will be hard pressed to see it ever used except in typing classes, where the teachers wanted the extra white space for markup. There was a time when lots of space was used, and it was highly variable. It seems it had to do with charge per page, more than anything else. Otherwise, publishing, especially news papers, always tried to minimize paper usage by minimizing white space usage. Again, you will be hard pressed to find any printed material that uses extra space between sentences, etc. Accordingly, arguments regarding readability don’t hold water. There isn’t any of it anywhere, so how can it be easier to read?

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/qanda/data/faq/topics/OneSpaceorTwo.html

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GPO-STYLEMANUAL-2008/html/GPO-STYLEMANUAL-2008-4.htm

2.49. A single justified word space will be used between sentences.
This applies to all types of composition.

So, with the respected Chicago Manual of Style and the US Government Printing Office Style Manual telling you specifically to not use two spaces, please don’t. It really causes problems in computer documents. Formatting nightmares ensue. (Of course, MS Word can cause plenty of formatting nightmares, so try not to add to them.)

 

This is an important article:

http://www.cfact.org/2014/05/21/fda-no-low-dose-chemical-dangers/

Mr. Dennis T. Avery authored it, and it has been published in several publications.

We humans have been testing the theory that dose makes the poison for thousands of years. One can trust that hundreds of generations of people checking, and people trying to prove otherwise, would have succeeded. Accordingly, look for the data. Look for the results that show that there is more to harmful chemicals than just the dose.

You will find that it is not there.

Accordingly, one must conclude that either dose does make the poison, and at some level toxins become innocuous, or there is a huge conspiracy that hides all the information so that everyone will die.

Seeing that we ain’t dead yet, I’ll accept as fact that there is a safe level of lead in my diet.

I’m all for making easy choices in favor of eliminating possible problems. The easiest one is turning the power off of unused devices, like the lights.

That is, if I conserve the power, rather than leaving the light on for the convenience of not having to flip the switch nine hours later when I get home from work, then I will reduce an inefficiency, and I will be doing a small part in reserving the future resources needed to generate that power to provide the much-needed convenience of having light in my house to see by.

The fact is, it is much too easy to turn the light off, save the cost of the power, and turn the light on to justify leaving it on in the interim.

Bisphenol-A is a very useful and efficient plasticizer. While it may seem safe to avoid its use, one must think of the alternatives. Avoiding plasticizers, particularly BPA, has costs. Not using BPA will make plastics more expensive, and it will make the production processes more inefficient, and possibly more unhealthy in some other way. All in all, the costs and harm to society comes out high for banning of BPA, and such a decision is bad compared to the relatively proven case that BPA is not dangerous in any way at the levels encountered in our daily lives, even including our infants and their plastic baby bottles.

Unfortunately, Mr. Avery provided no references. I’m not finding anything recent.

I found this:

Quantitative Assessments of Genotoxicity Data

NCTR scientists are members of the Quantitative Analysis Workgroup of the HESI/ILSI Genetic Toxicology Technical Committee. The committee has developed best practices to analyze genetic toxicology data in a quantitative manner. Several dose-response modeling approaches using genotoxicity databases compiled by the workgroup were the basis for analysis. The workgroup found that a Benchmark Dose (BMD), which produces a 10% increase over the background response (BMD10), has the greatest utility as a Point of Departure (PoD) for establishing risk calculations. These recommendations were published in Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis.

For additional information, please contact Robert H. Heflich, Ph.D., Division of Genetic and Molecular Toxicology, FDA/NCTR.

I assume that is not what he was referring to. It doesn’t seem to fit, but perhaps he meant this:

February 21
Toxicity Evaluation of Orally Administered BPA

NCTR scientists have published companion papers in Toxicological Sciences presenting data from:

The 90-day, Churchwell et al study provides new data for use to further refine physiologically based pharmacokinetic models used to extrapolate exposures in rodent tests to real world human exposures. The study is a component of the concurrently published subchronic range-finding study Delclos et al.

The second, Delclos et al study was used to determine doses and toxicological direction of the ongoing long-term (two-year) toxicological study currently under way at the FDA. The Delclos et al study results have been publicly available for some time. The results from the FDA’s long-term (two-year) study, which will include data generated by NIEHS-funded academic investigators, are expected to be release in early 2016.

For additional information, please contact Barry Delclos, Ph.D., or Daniel Doerge, Ph.D., Division of Biochemical Toxicology, FDA/NCTR.

Perhaps one of the references here:

March 28
Society for Toxicology Annual Meeting

On March 23-27, 2014, NCTR scientists gave platform presentations in continuing education courses and workshops, as well as poster presentations at the 53rd Annual Meeting and ToxExpo™ of the Society for Toxicology (SOT) in Phoenix, AZ. The presentations covered a wide range of topics including:

  • miRNA biomarkers of toxicity
  • imaging biomarkers
  • pediatric anesthetics
  • drug-induced liver injury
  • nanomaterials
  • results of studies with compounds of high FDA interest such as BPA, triclosan, furan, and melamine/cyanuric acid

Additionally, Dr. Annie Lumen received the “Best Postdoctoral Publication Award” for her paper on modeling effects of iodide and perchlorate exposure during human pregnancy (Toxicological Sciencesdisclaimer icon, 2013, 133: 320-341). The SOT is the premier professional society for toxicologists from academia, industry, and government.

Society for Toxicology Awards

An NCTR research article titled “Ketamine-Induced Neuronal Damage and Altered N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Function in Rat Primary Forebrain Culture” was one of 2013’s top ten most cited articles inToxicological Sciences. The in vitro study showed that ketamine, a common pediatric anesthetic, induces neuronal cell death through upregulation of the NMDA receptor; and L-carnitine is neuroprotective against ketamine’s adverse effects (Toxicological Sciencesdisclaimer icon, 2013, 131: 548-557). 

For additional information, contact Merle Paule, Ph.D., Director, Division of Neurotoxicology, FDA/NCTR.

Another NCTR research paper titled “Prediction and Ealuation of Route Dependent Dosimetry of BPA in Rats at Different Life Stages Using a Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic Model” (Toxicol Appl Pharmacol, 270:45) was selected by a committee of the Risk Assessment Specialty Section as one of the Best Papers Published in 2013 Demonstrating Application of Risk Assessment.

A Postdoctoral Fellow in the Division of Biochemical Toxicology, received the SOT Carcinogenesis Specialty Section Postdoctoral Fellowship Award for the abstract entitled “Epigenetic alterations in the livers of Fisher 344 rats exposed to furan. The main focus of this study was to investigate the role of epigenetic alterations in the mechanisms of furan hepatotoxicity and carcinogenicity. The results of the study showed that exposure to furan causes dose-and time-dependent epigenetic aberrations that include alterations of DNA methylation status (global and gene-specific methylation), changes in the expression of chromatin modifying genes, and alterations in histone lysine methylation and acetylation patterns in the livers of male Fisher 344 rats. These findings significantly contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms of furan carcinogenesis and could be helpful for the future development of prevention strategies for early hepatic adverse effects associated with the furan exposure. This award recognizes the best abstract related to the field of carcinogenesis submitted by postdoctoral fellows.

The study of interest wasn’t linked. I found it here, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0041008X13001294, and they want $36 before I can read this study that our tax dollars paid for in the first place. Oh well. You can read the abstract there. It basically says they’ve finally proven out a mathematical model of how it works in rats. They note it is different in baby rats versus adult rats and monkeys. The abstract seems to admit there are still some assumptions being made. Hopefully they are remembering not to fool themselves.

FDA site on BPA here: http://www.fda.gov/newsevents/publichealthfocus/ucm064437.htm

In closing, the fact is that after we get clean enough, safe enough, and low enough concentration, there is more harm done making it more so than just resting in the accomplishment of having done enough. Most of the time, good enough really is as good as it can get.

As always, Pointman is worth reading.

Pointman's

That slick expression you’re entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts, now has a deeper meaning in this latest stage of the post-enlightenment. If your facts plainly contradict someone else’s orthodox beliefs, then you are simply being “unhelpful” or even “harmful” and should therefore be suppressed. That’s to be done not by logical refutation or counter argument, but intimidation, bullying, shunning, character assassination and threats to a person’s career or livelihood.

Basically, the gloves come off and you get mobbed by a gang of like-minded thugs. Destroy the person, not the argument.

It’s the sort of behaviour one could expect of a medieval theocracy whose dominance is under threat by the advance of reasoned argument. Indeed, the humanists of Europe fought that battle from the late seventeenth century onwards, resulting in what’s commonly known as the Age of Enlightenment. There’s a lot more to it but from then on…

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Too good not to reblog.

Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Steven Burnett

This is an essay regarding the fundamental differences between the hard and soft sciences. While I don’t emphasize climatology much in the essay, I believe this may provide some insight into the chasm of evidence and approach between the two.

Recently, more climate consenters have been starting to grapple with the uncomfortable fact that the discrepancies between models and reality are, in fact, significant. While there are still some holdouts there have been more than a few mainstream discussions about some of the “softness” in climate science.

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I was thinking I posted this, but I don’t see it. So, here ’tis.

This lovely young mother and child clinical psychologist takes about 23 minutes discussing why the Common Core State Standards are not age appropriate.

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