Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Michael Faraday's Lasting Legacy




The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion is an interdisciplinary research enterprise based at St Edmund's College, in Cambridge, England. In addition to academic research, the Institute engages in public education about science and religion by means of CoursesConferences, and Lectures.

The Faraday Institute is named after Michael Faraday (1791-1867), a brilliant 19th-century British scientist and natural philosopher. He discovered many of the fundamental laws of physics and chemistry. The unit of electrical capacitance is named the farad (with the symbol F) in Faraday's honor. Faraday was one of the inventors of the electric motor.

Marble statue of Faraday in the Royal Institution

Faraday was a man of deep Christian faith with an outstanding scientific career. He was an effective communicator and an example of how to do inter-disciplinary research.  He was a highly respected as a speaker at the Royal Institution.

Faraday was born in 1791 in Newington Butts, Surrey, the son of an English blacksmith who suffered from poor health. The family struggled financially. The young Faraday would have learned some basic physics and chemistry by observing the metal work done in his father's shop. While Michael was still a young boy his family moved to rooms over a coach house in Jacobs Mews, near Manchester square on the western edge of London. The Faradays lived there until 1809.

Michael began to run errands for a local bookseller, George Riebau, to earn money for the family. At age 14 he became an apprentice to Riebau and this provided him an opportunity to read every book on science in Blandford Street bookshop. Two books especially captivated him: The Encyclopedia Britannica, and Conversations on Chemistry, written by Jane Marcet. Faraday became so enthralled by science that he began to spend a portion of his earnings on chemicals and apparatus. He conducted experiments to confirm or disprove what he was reading.

Faraday attended lectures at the Royal Institution given by John Tatum and Sir Humphry Davy. Davy was a scientist who discovered several chemical elements. In 1812, Faraday applied for a position with Davy. He showed Davy the volumes of notes he had taken during the lectures and while reading about science. In 1813 Davy hired Faraday to assist with his research and demonstrations.

Faraday's associated with Davy opened the way for him to become acquainted with many of the leading men of science in his time. Faraday became director of the Royal Institution laboratory in 1825, and Fullerian Professor of Chemistry there from 1833 to 1867. He and his wife Sarah lived in an apartment (flat) owned by the Institution until the couple were given a house near Hampton Court in 1858.

In 1849 Faraday gave a private lecture before Prince Albert in which he explained that magnetism appears to influence every particle in the universe. Concerning magnetism, he said, "What its great purpose is, seems to be looming in the distance before us....and I cannot doubt that a glorious discovery in natural knowledge, and of the wisdom and power of God in the creation, is awaiting our age."

In August 1867, Faraday died in his Hampton Court Green home after a period of declining health. He was 73. He was buried in Highgate Cemetery, London N6. As an elder in the Sandemanian Church, he was buried in the Sandemanian plot of the Western Cemetery. Sarah was buried there in January 1879.


Faraday's religious upbringing in the Sandemanian Church shaped his attitudes towards science and the Bible. He believed in God as creator, but he did not look to the Bible as a source of scientific information because he had been taught to read the Bible in a literal way. This seemed to put the Bible and science in conflict. Nevertheless, Faraday maintained the conviction that the Creation and the Bible have the same author, so that "the natural works of God can never by any possibility come into contradiction with the higher things that belong to our future existence..."

Faraday's view that the Bible speaks about spiritual things whereas science explores material things was typical of many 19th century Christians in the sciences. The science that interested him, namely, magnetism, electricity, and chemistry, are not explicitly present in the Bible. The proper way to pursue science was a matter of great concern to him. He was very much a British empiricist. He once said, “I will simply express my strong belief, that that point of self-education which consists in teaching the mind to resist its desires and inclinations, until they are proved to be right, is the most important of all, not only in things of natural philosophy, but in every department of daily life.” 


Monday, January 30, 2017

GOES-16


The first photos of Earth from space by the NOAA/NASA GOES-16 satellite are spectacular. Take a look at the images here.

GOES launched into space on Nov. 19, 2016 at 6:42 p.m. EST from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and it was renamed GOES-16 when it achieved orbit. GOES-16 is now observing the planet from an equatorial view approximately 22,300 miles above the surface of the Earth. In May, NOAA will announce the planned location for GOES-16 and by November 2017, GOES-16 will be known as either GOES-East or GOES-West.

GOES-16 is the latest step in a new age of weather satellites. GOES images will help weather forecasters interpret and predict weather events with the greatest accuracy ever.

Test Your Knowledge of Science!




In school we learn about science, usually by reading books. At Wesleyan Christian Academy we actually do science because that is the emphasis of our STEM Education. You have the opportunity in this course to explore many sciences, including anthropology, astronomy, biology, chemistry, climate studies, linguistics, medicine and zoology.

Check your general knowledge of science by taking this quiz. If you have the right answer the box will turn green. It turns red if you select the wrong answer.

Take the quiz two times and report your highest score to the teacher. The teacher must verify your score before you close the page.



Friday, January 27, 2017

James Clerk Maxwell: A Christian World Changer


Watch this video about one of the greatest scientists, considered the "father" of electromagnetic science.


 He was a strong Christian and one of Einstein's heroes.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Silk Production



Silk is made by extracting fibers from the cocoons of silkworms. Once the silkworms start pupating in their cocoons, these are dissolved in boiling water in order for individual long fibers to be extracted and fed into the spinning reel.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Getting Started: Bible Technology Cards


Students are required to complete 12 cards before the end of May. The cards are arranged alpha-numerically in the blue box. All the answers are found in readings available at our class website. It is not helpful to Google the questions because they deal with highly specialized material.

Here is what you are to do:

  • Pick a card.
  • Read the card. Most cards have 3 questions for you to answer.
  • Write the first question in the Bible Technology section of your Technology-STEM notebook. 
  • Label the notebook entry. BTC = Bible Technology Card   Examples: BTC#2 - Materials, or BTC #5 - Archaeology.
  • Look for the answer to the question by clicking on a title that has key words that appear on the card. For example, if the card deals with silk production, click on the article Silk Production 8000 Years Ago
  • Sometimes you have to check for answers under "Related Reading" at the bottom of the blog posts.
  • Write the second question, and find the articles that deal with this.
  • Write your answer in the notebook.
  • Write the third question and find the articles that deal with this.
  • Write your answer in the notebook.
Turn your notebook in for a grade after you complete each Bible Technology Card.


These cards provide background information and context for students to research up to 3 questions per card related to science, technology, engineering and math in the Bible. The cards are color coded as follows:

Anthropology - gold
Archaeology - light blue
Architecture - pink
Astronomy - green
Biology - dark blue
Climate Studies - purple
Earth Science - black
Genetics - red
Linguistics - brown
Materials - bright yellow
Medicine - orange
Navigation - white
Zoology - salmon

Anthropology
Confirmation of Biblical Populations
Getting the Facts About Human Origins
The Rising Star Expedition
Rising Star Expedition Update
Science in Progress: The Rising Star Expedition
Noah's Sons and Their Descendants
More About Noah's Descendants
Nahor and His Descendants
The Marriage and Ascendancy Pattern of Abraham's People
The Mighty Men of Old
The Pyramid Builders
The Genesis King Lists
The Antiquity of the Edomite Rulers
Two Named Esau
Edom and the Horite Ha'biru
Priests, Shamans and Prophets
Three-Clan Confederations and Twelve-Clan Confederations
Some Marks of Prehistoric Religion

Archaeology
The Stone Age
Symbols of Archaic Rock Shelters
David's Zion Found
Jerusalem Virtual Pilgrimage
What Are Bullae?
3000 Year Temple Seal
Yahu Seals
Purity Seal From Herod's Temple
2400 BC Tomb of Purification Priest (Also read this.)
Sudan is Archaeologically Rich
Sixteen Pyramids Unearthed at Kushite Cemetery
70,000 Year Settlement Found in Sudan
Why Nekhen is Archaeologically Significant

Architecture
The Pillars of Solomon's Temple
Monuments of the Ancient Kushites
Kushite Shrines
Petra Reflects Horite Beliefs
Prehistoric Obelisk Found in Judah
Circumcision and Circles of Standing Stones in the Judean Hills
Horite Temples
The High Places
The Shrine City of Nekhen
77,000-Year Settlement in Sudan
Europe's Oldest Prehistoric Town Unearthed in Bulgaria
The Trapezoid in Ancient Architecture
Sheep Cotes

Astronomy
The Sunlight Cycle in the Northern Hemisphere
The King Planet's North Pole Has Changed to Gold
The Celestial Dance Observed by the Magi
Who Were the Wise Men?
Horite Expectation and the Star of Bethlehem
The Sun and Moon as a Binary Set
The Sun and the Sacred
Ancient African Astronomers
Threshing Floors and Solar Symbols
Solar Imagery
A Tent for the Sun
The Sun and the Sacred
The Sun and Celestial Horses
Marcus Byrne: The Dance of the Dung Beetle

Biology
Genesis Has No Evolutionary Framework
Questioning the Common Ancestry Hypothesis
What is Meant by the Term "Kind" in Genesis?
Cambrian Explosion: The Binary Feature Signals Greater Diversity
The Genetic Difference Between Humans and Apes

Climate
Mega-Lake Chad
Mega-Nile
Katherine Hayhoe on Climate Change
Climate Cycles Indicate a Dynamic Earth
Complex Climate Changes
In Search of Green Arabia
When the Sahara Was Wet
Saving the Animals in Times of Flooding
Antarctica Once Had Baobab Trees
Volcanic Eruptions and Climate
South American Glaciers Growing
Climate Data Fudge Factor
Kansas Bill Calling for Objectivity in Climate Science Fails
Reality Climate Ideologues Won't Face
Climate Change and Genesis
Lower Solar Irradiance, Higher Atmospheric Temps?
Climate Cycles and Noah's Flood
Climate Studies and the Book of Genesis
Genesis and Climate Change
Two Environmentalists Knock Heads
Climate and Wealth Redistribution
Climate Change and Human Innovation
Antarctic Ozone Hole Smaller
America's Wake Up Call on Climate

Earth Science
The Pillars of the Earth
Volcanic Eruptions
Earth's Magnetic Pole Reversals
Reversals of Polarity: The Magnetic Flip
Afar Rift
The Lake Suigetsu Varve
Walking Rocks
The Atacama RockTumbler

Genetics
Genetic Types: A few basics
Haplogroups of Interest to Biblical Anthropologists
R1b Profile of 64% of European Men
Ashkenazi Represent Judeo-Khazar Admixture
The Sub-Saharan DNA of Modern Jews
DNA Confirms Mixed Ancestry of Jews
A Kindling of Ancient Memory
The Bible and the Question of Race
80,000 Year Ancestor of Chinese Men

Linguistics
What is a Phoneme?
Phoneme Study Pinpoints Origin of Modern Languages
Early Written Signs
Ancient Canaanite Inscriptions
Symbols of Archaic Rock Shelters
The Urheimat of the Canaanite Y
Is Hebrew an African Language?
The Aleph as Ox/Bull Head
Technology to Preserve Languages on the Verge of Extinction
Conversation about the Beginning of Spoken Language
Navajo-Ket Linguistic Connection
Dr. Nola Stephens on Linguistics and Faith
The Generative Divine Word

Materials
Archaic Shell Technology
"Easter" Eggs in Antiquity
Stone Work of the Ancient World
Stone, Shell and Egg Technologies
Noah's Ark
The Gold of Ophir
Kushite Gold
A Silver Lining at Abel Beth Maacah
Paradise of Ancient Memory
Afro-Asiatic Metal Workers
Red and Black Smiths
Why Zipporah Used a Flint Knife
Afro-Asiatic Metal Workers
Ancient Miners Venerated Hathor

Medicine
Medical Care in Ancient Egypt
Prehistoric Humans used Plants Medicinally
The Ancient Nubians Used Antibiotics
Neolithic Medical Care
Herbs Used for Healing in the Bible
Dental Health of Ancient Sudanese

Navigation
Noah's Ark
Pythons Used for Sea Navigation
The Ancient Egyptians were Seafaring
4500-Year Harbor at Wadi al-Jarf
Boats and Cows of the Nilo-Saharans
When the Nile Was a Mega-River
Swimming and Diving: Activities of Archaic Peoples
Boat Petroglyphs in Egypt's Central Eastern Desert

Zoology
Dogs in the Bible
The Animals on Noah's Arc
The Ostrich in Biblical Symbolism
The Rooster in Biblical Symbolism
Religious Symbolism of Long Cow Horns
Why Cows Were Sacred in the Ancient World
Cows of the Proto-Saharans
The Fatted Calf
The Red Heifer
Ram Symbolism of the Ancient World
Jesus: From Lamb to Ram
Elephants in the Time of Abraham
Abraham's Camels
Sea Birds Use Sense of Smell to Navigate
Celestial Horses
Noah's Birds
The Lion and Judah
Animal Totems Used to Trace Ancestry

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Science You Can Do During the Great American Eclipse



This Is How YOU Can Do Science During the Great American Eclipse



The 2017 solar eclipse that sweeps across the United States this August — which is being called the Great American Eclipse — will be the science highlight of the year. Whether you are an amateur or professional astronomer or an occasional stargazer, NASA is on the hunt for people eager to contribute to science during the eclipse.

Tyler Nordgren is an astronomy professor at the University of Redlands in California, who will give a talk on citizen science during the solar eclipse at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference in Boston next month. To do some experimenting, you need little more than a pair of solar eclipse glasses and a smart phone. Here are some of the experiments in which you can take part:

Tracking the moon's shadow. This experiment is great for elementary school kids. If you're lucky enough to see the eclipse in a mountainous area, you may see the moon making some nearby high landmarks dark before the solar eclipse reaches you. If you know how far away those landmarks are and if you have a phone or a smartwatch tracking the time, you can estimate how fast the moon's shadow moves across the landscape.

Read more here.



Friday, January 20, 2017

The Inventor of the MRI Machine


Raymond Vahan Damadian is the Armenian-American medical doctor who invented the first MR (Magnetic Resonance) Scanning Machine. He proposed the MR body scanner in 1969. The journal Science published the results of his first experiments in March 1971. Damadian applied to the US Patent Office in 1972 and his patent for the world's first MRI was granted in 1974. He performed the first full body scan of a human in 1977 to diagnose cancer. Damadian's method is now known as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

The prototype of Damadian's MR scanner was given to the Smithsonian and is now on temporary display at the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Ohio.

Damadian's research began when he was a postgraduate student at Harvard University. There he explored using magnetism and radio waves to look into the body as an option to surgery.

His experiments with sodium and potassium in living cells led him to his first nuclear magnetic resonance experiments.

Damadian discovered that tumors and normal tissue can be distinguished in vivo by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) because of their prolonged relaxation times, both T1 (spin-lattice relaxation) or T2 (spin-spin relaxation).

Damadian also collaborated with Wilson Greatbach to develop an MRI-compatible pacemaker.

Dr Damadian received a National Medal of Technology in 1988 and was inducted in the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1989. In 2001, he received the Lemelson-MIT Lifetime Achievement Award as "the man who invented the MRI scanner."

In 1998, the University of Wisconsin-Madison described Damadian as ‘one of the inventors of magnetic resonance imaging’ and awarded him an honorary doctorate.

In 2003, the Nobel Prize for Medicine went to the breakthrough field of diagnostic MRI scanning. It was shared by two scientists, Dr Paul Lauterbur and Sir Peter Mansfield, both of whom contributed to the field, but the prize did not go to Dr. Damadian, even though the prize could have been shared by up to three persons. Damadian was the first to point out, in a landmark 1971 paper in Science (based on experiments involving lab rats), that MRI could be used to distinguish between healthy and cancerous tissue. Lauterbur’s notes indicate that he was inspired by Damadian’s work.

Dr Damadian was disappointed that the Nobel Prize Committee overlooked him. He deserved recognition because as he said, "I came up with the idea for the MRI... I built the first machine and if there was to be a Nobel prize for medicine for the MRI, I thought it should go to me."

Damadian attempted to persuade the Nobel Prize Committee to change the decision, but later changed his attitude. "I've had time to reflect, and I must say, now that I have learnt how easily the Nobel can be manipulated, I have lost almost all respect for the prize. I can even tell you that I am not sure I want it any more."

Damadian heard that Dr Lauterbur did not want to share the Nobel prize with him. Lauterbur was theorizing chemical origins of life on earth and was aware of Damadian's creationist views. Damadian's faith in the just judgement of the Creator is expressed in his statement: "And there is a judge that he is going to have to answer to one day, the same judge we all answer to, and so I grieve for him [Lauterbur]."

Raymond Damadian believes that the Earth is only 6000 years old. His position as a Young Earth Creationist caused a great deal of controversy and some believe that the Nobel Prize Committee denied him the prize because of his "religious" views. Damadian heard the rumors, but said: "Before this happened, nobody ever said to me 'They will not give you the Nobel Prize for Medicine because you are a creation scientist.' He added, "If people were actively campaigning against me because of that, I never knew it."

Explore your options...


You are to select a Christian from the list below. These are men and women who have made significant contributions in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Medicine. You will research the life and work of this person for 2 months so be sure it is a person who interests you!  This research will be used to prepare a publication that will be posted at our class blog.

Using the worksheet, gather basic information about 4 of these people. You are to discover their main contribution in STEM, their nationality or ethnicity, and their religious affiliation (Anglican, Baptist, Congregationalist, Disciples of Christ, Methodist, Presbyterian, Quaker, etc.)

MEN
Robert Grosseteste 1168-1253
Michael Farraday 1791-1867
Gregor Mendell 1822-1884
James Clerk Maxwell 1831-1879
Roger John Williams 1893–1988
Oliver R. Barclay 1919-2013
V. Elving Anderson 1921-2014
Raymond Vahan Damadian 1936-present
Austin L. Hughes 1949-2015
Ian H. Hutchinson 1951-Present
John Lennox 1943-Present


WOMEN
Mary Anning 1799-1847
Agnes Giberne 1845-1939
Jocelyn Bell Burnell 1943-Present
Rhoda Hawkins
Katharine Hayhoe
Leslie Wickman
Jennifer Wiseman
Robin Pals-Rylaarsdam
Katherine Blundell
Ruth Hogg

Monday, January 16, 2017

Hidden Figures is a Must See!



By Lynn Billman
Chairman of the Board of the American Scientific Affiliation


If you haven’t yet, be sure to go see “Hidden Figures,” a wonderful true-story movie about the black women mathematicians who worked for NASA in the early 1960s. These women were key to the manual calculations for launches and orbits that had to be made in the early stages of the U.S. space program. They were also critical to the early programming of the first IBM computers used by NASA, and one featured in the movie was the first female black engineer in NASA. The movie is based on the book, “Hidden Figures – The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race,” by Margot Lee Shetterly, currently #1 on the New York Times best seller list (according to Amazon).

The movie highlights very clearly the biases these women had to work against, both because they were women and because they were black. As a couple scenes made clear, they were / are also Christians. The patience, perseverance, and resourcefulness of these phenomenally smart women was incredibly inspiring, as they forced changes to cultural norms and were true pioneers. As the epilogue showed at the end of the movie, their contributions were eventually recognized, praise God!

I went with the three young women millennials in my family, and we had good laughs and sharing over coffee afterward as I recounted my own experiences in that era (yes, the white hair is well earned!) -- fumbling with decks of computer cards while learning Fortran, the realities of Jim Crow in Virginia in the early 1960s, the excitement of the entire nation at every event in the early space program, the sense of fear from Soviet progress with rockets in their space program that could threaten America. Ah, the bad old days!

So grab a friend and head for the theater. I hope this movie will inspire you, and perhaps rekindle some sense of hope about America.

Related reading: Six NASA Women Who Made History

Eclipses: Do you Know the Difference?


Students are familiar with the words solar and lunar. Solar refers to the Sun and lunar refers to the Moon. We understand what is meant by "solar energy" and "lunar landings" but we may not have a clear understanding of the difference between a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse. You need to understand the difference before you take a quiz next week.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes between the Moon and the Sun. The Earth's shadow blocks the moon completely or blocks a portion of it. Keep in mind that we are able to see the Moon because it reflects the Sun's light (refulgence). The Moon's albedo is 0.136, meaning that only 13.6% of sunlight incident on the Moon is reflected.

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, blocking all or a portion of the Sun. A solar eclipse can be total or partial. Wesleyan students can view a total eclipse of the Sun on August 21, 2017 if you go to the part of North Carolina shown on this map:

.
You must be in the path shown between 2:00 and 2:30 pm in order to see the total eclipse of the Sun! This is a narrow path of only 43.6 miles in North Carolina. Hopefully, the weather will be clear. Please wear protective eye gear while viewing the eclipse.

Sometimes a solar eclipse is annular, that means that only the edge of the sun is visible as a ring of fire around the moon. Annular solar eclipses take place when these conditions exist:
  • The Moon is a new Moon.
  • The Moon is at or near a lunar node.
  • The Earth, Moon and Sun are perfectly aligned in a straight line.
  • The Moon is at its apogee.
The next annular solar eclipse will take place on February 26, 2017 and, weather permitting, it will be visible from a narrow path stretching from the southern tip of South America to southern and western Africa.

Related reading: Opposition Surge; The Great Solar Eclipse of 2017

Friday, January 13, 2017

Silk Production 8000 Years Ago


Silk proteins were found in these 8500-year-old tombs at Jiahu in the Henan Province in central China. 

Credit: Lao Ma

The oldest evidence of silk made by silkworms has been found buried in 8,500-year-old tombs in China, revealing that people may have used the luxurious material thousands of years earlier than previously thought, a new study finds.

Silk was a rare luxury good in the ancient world. Its fame helped give a name to the Silk Road, the legendary network of trade routes that once connected the East and West from China to Rome.

Read it all here.

flax plants

In the Biblical world, silk fiber was a rare commodity and worn only by the most wealthy persons. It was used to weave cloth for the ancient rulers of China, Japan and other parts of Asia.

Very little silk has been found in the areas ruled by Abraham's ruler-priest ancestors because their clothing was patterned after the ruler-priests of the Nile and was made of linen. (See image on the right.)

Linen fabric is made from the cellulose fibers that grow inside of the stalks of the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum). This plant is an annual and one of the oldest cultivated plants in human history.


The Silk Trade

Silk was brought to the Middle East from China by caravan traders who carried their cargo on camels. The caravan routes from the Nile to China and from Syria to Turkey and Rome.


The caravan routes are referred to as the Silk Road, a network of interlinking routes that stretched 4,000 miles. In addition to silk, goods such as ivory, amber, gold, coral and the hides of exotic animals moved along the Silk Road.

Silk was called serikon (Greek) and sericum (Latin), and it is mentioned in the book of Revelation as one of the commodities found in Babylon (Revelation 18:12). Small amounts of silk were traded to the eastern Mediterranean as early as the second half of the second millennium B.C.

Evidence of silk has been found at ancient sites such as Palmyra in the Syrian Desert and in Egyptian tombs. Silk fibers were found in the hair of an Egyptian female mummy found in Thebes. The mummy has been dated to the twenty-first dynasty (1069-945 B.C.).

Terracotta representations of Bactrian caravan camels show cloth bolts and yarn or floss loaded on the camels. Bactria was formerly called Zariaspa, according to Strabo and Pliny.




The Tarum Mummies found in China date from 1900 B.C. The so-called "Ur-David" mummy (shown below) was tall and had red hair. This mummy, also called Cherchen Man or Chärchän Man, dates to about 1000 B.C.




Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Great Solar Eclipse of 2017


On Aug. 21, the moon will completely block the sun for sky watchers from Oregon to South Carolina, in the first total solar eclipse visible from the United States mainland since 1979.


Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio


Above is a visualization of the United States during the total solar eclipse of Aug. 21, 2017, showing the umbra (black oval), penumbra (concentric shaded ovals) and path of totality (red). This version includes images of the sun, showing the star's appearance in a number of locations, each oriented to the local horizon.

The eclipse will begin about 10:15 a.m. in Oregon and will end about 2:45 p.m. in South Carolina.

A total solar eclipse provides scientists the opportunity to look at the sun's corona, or outer atmosphere, which will appear as rays of white light surrounding the moon. They will gather data about the sun's corona, solar flares, coronal mass ejections, and the solar wind.

Read more here and here.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Scientific Predictions and Observations



Theory and reality often are far apart in science. Predictions often do not match observations. That is why it is important to formulate a hypothesis and test it by empirical observation, keeping an open mind.

Last month, in an effort to address problems and redesign a united pathway to a new theory of evolution, the Royal Society convened a conference of leading evolutionary scientists entitled “New trends in evolutionary biology: biological, philosophical and social science perspectives.” According to the Royal Society,

“Developments in evolutionary biology and adjacent fields have produced calls for revision of the standard theory of evolution, although the issues involved remain hotly contested.”

Increasingly, scholars are questioning the evolutionary model through which data is being interpreted. This article on Bacteria Evolution is an example of the critical thinking that is raising doubts about Darwinian evolution.

Darwinian evolution is predicated on 4 concepts: mutation. adaptation, common ancestry, and natural selection.

Mutation and adaptation are observed realities. Therefore, we may speak of them as factual.

The idea of common ancestry of apes and humans lacks observable, physical evidence and should be recognized as a theory, not a fact.

The idea of natural selection appears to be true to a point, but there are many examples in nature that suggest that this is not a biological law.

Related reading: Genesis on Humans and Apes; Genesis Has no Evolutionary Framework; Questioning the Common Ancestry Hypothesis; Biblical Anthropologists Discuss Darwin; When is the Evidence Sufficient?


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Thy Will Be Done on Earth as in Heaven


Jesus Christ taught his followers to pray that God's will be done on Earth as in Heaven. This reflects the ancient belief that earthly cycles and events should be patterned on heavenly or divine things. The saying "as in heaven so on earth" is very old. The axiom is "As above, so below; as in heaven, so on earth" was known to Abraham's Nilotic ancestors.

Mircea Eliade (1907-1986) was a Romanian historian of religion who observed that for archaic man real objects and events are those that imitate, repeat or are patterned upon a celestial archetype. He believed that “the man who has made his choice in favor of a profane life never succeeds in completely doing away with religious behavior.” (The Sacred and the Profane) Eliade is right. Even the most devout atheist enjoys liberties wrought by religious men.


Related reading: Pondering Divine Epiphanies; Wisdom Seeks to Understand

Function Keys



The function keys are found across the top of the keyboard. They are used to complete many simple tasks quickly and efficiently, but how they work depends of the computer's operating system and the program that is open.

Depending on the program, combining the function keys with the Alt or Ctrl key can provide more options. For example, Microsoft Windows users can press Alt + F4 to close the currently active program.

Go here for information on shortcut keys.

F1 - HELP!
  • Used as the help key, almost every program opens a help screen with this key.
  • Enter CMOS Setup.
  • Windows Key + F1 would open the Microsoft Windows help/support center.
  • Open the Task Pane.

F2 - OPEN and MANAGE FILES!
  • In Windows F2 renames a highlighted icon, file, or folder. For example, if you want to rename your ‘Photos’ folder, click on it once using your mouse (not twice as that will open the folder), then press F2. The name of the folder will be highlighted so you can rename it.
  • Alt + Ctrl + F2 opens document window in Microsoft Word.
  • Ctrl + F2 displays the print preview window in Microsoft Word.
  • Quickly rename a selected file or folder.
  • Enter CMOS Setup.

F3 - SEARCH and NAME
  • Opens a search feature for Microsoft at the Windows Desktop, also Google Chrome and Internet Explorer.
  • In MS-DOS or Windows command line F3 will repeat the last command.
  • Shift + F3 will change the text in Microsoft Word from upper to lower case or a capital letter at the beginning of every word.
  • Windows Key + F3 opens the Advanced find window in Microsoft Outlook.
  • Open Mission Control on an Apple computer running Mac OS X.

F4 - OPEN and CLOSE; REPEAT LAST ACTION
  • Open find window in Windows 95 to XP.
  • Takes the cursor to the address bar in Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer.
  • Repeat the last action performed (Word 2000+).
  • Alt + F4 closes the program window currently active in Microsoft Windows.
  • Ctrl + F4 closes the open window within the current active window in Microsoft Windows.

F5 - REFRESH and LAUNCH PPP
  • F5 will refresh or reload the page or document window.
  • Refresh the list of contents in a folder.
  • Open the find, replace, and go to window in Microsoft Word.
  • With Microsoft Word, F5 opens the ‘Find and Replace’ function. This allows you to replace one word with another throughout the document automatically.
  • Starts a PowerPoint slide presentation.

F6 - OPENS and REDUCES VOLUME
  • Move the cursor to the address bar in most Internet browsers. You can type a new web address and move to another web page quickly.
  • Ctrl + Shift + F6 opens to another open Microsoft Word document while keeping the document you are currently working on in a separate window.
  • Reduce laptop speaker volume.

F7 - CHECK WORK and INCREASE VOLUME
  • Used to spell check and grammar check a document in Microsoft Word, Outlook, etc.
  • Shift + F7 runs a Thesaurus check on the word you have highlighted in your document.
  • Turns on Caret browsing in Mozilla Firefox.
  • Increase laptop speaker volume.

F8 - STARTUP and RECOVERY
  • Key to enter the Windows startup menu, used to access Windows Safe Mode.
  • Used to access the Windows recovery system. May require a Windows installation CD.
  • Displays a thumbnail image for all workspaces in Mac OS.

F9 - EMAIL and REDUCE SCREEN BRIGHTNESS
  • Refresh document in Microsoft Word.
  • Send and receive e-mail in Microsoft Outlook.
  • Opens the Measurements toolbar in Quark 5.0.
  • Reduce laptop screen brightness.
  • With Mac OS 10.3 or later, displays a thumbnail for each window in a single workspace.
  • F9 used at the same time as the Fn key opens Mission Control on an Apple computer running Mac OS X.

F10 - MENU BAR and INCREASE SCREEN BRIGHTNESS
  • In Microsoft Windows this key activates the menu bar of an open application.
  • Shift + F10 is the same as right-clicking on a highlighted icon, file, or Internet link.
  • Access the hidden recovery partition on Compaq, HP, and Sony computers.
  • Enter CMOS Setup on some computers.
  • Increase laptop screen brightness.
  • With Mac OS 10.3 or later, shows all open Windows for the active program.

F11 - FULL SCREEN and HIDDEN RECOVERY

F12 - OPEN and SAVE; PREVIEW and PRINT
  • Open the Save as window in Microsoft Word.
  • Ctrl + F12 opens a document In Word.
  • Shift + F12 saves the Microsoft Word document (like Ctrl + S).
  • Ctrl + Shift + F12 prints a document in Microsoft Word.
  • Preview a page in Microsoft Expression Web.
  • Open Firebug or browser debug tool.
  • With an Apple running Mac OS 10.4 or later, F12 shows or hides the Dashboard.
  • Access the list of bootable devices on a computer at startup, allowing you to select a different device to boot from (hard drive, CD or DVD drive, floppy drive, USB drive, and network).
F13 - F15
On Apple keyboards the F13, F14, and F15 may be shown in place of the Print Screen key, Scroll lock key, and Pause key.

F16 - F19
On Apple keyboards the F16, F17, F18, and F19 keys are above the number pad.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Element 117 Named


Element 117 has been given the official name "tennessine" and is named after the US State of Tennessee, the location of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) where it was originally brought into being. 
The new element will take the chemical symbol Ts. Ts is a halogen, an element like chlorine and fluorine. 
Ts does not occur in nature and can only be produced in the laboratory. Such elements are discovered by smashing together light nuclei and tracking the decay of the resulting superheavy elements.
Ts is a superheavy and very unstable element that only exists for fractions of a second. It was discovered by exposing one particular isotope – a variant of another element that has the same number of protons but different numbers of neutrons. The researchers found that on very rare occasions, two heavy nuclei combined to form Ts. In this case, calcium-48 and berkeleium-249 were used to produce tennessine. 
In a statement, Tennessee Govenor Bill Haslam said, “The historic discovery of tennessine is emblematic of the contributions Tennessee institutions like Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee and Vanderbilt University make toward a better world.” 
In addition to Vanderbilt University and the University of Tennessee, research contributions came from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, and Russia’s Joint Institute for Nuclear Research.
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) is responsible for validating the existence of new elements and confirming their names. Tennessine was originally discovered in 2010, but it was only officially confirmed as being physically real in 2015.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Digital Citizenship


Students today are expected to have a fairly high level of computer skills and to understand their responsibility to use technology appropriately. Good "digital citizenship" means taking your responsibility seriously, as well as learning how to use technology appropriately.

Students who misuse technology are poor digital citizens and their irresponsible actions make the digital society less pleasant and more complicated. Don't be a poor digital citizen! Be informed about the norms of appropriate use and always think about others before you post something on social media, on a blog, or comment at a news site.

Become familiar with these terms:

Digital access - full participation in the digital society. Many students do not have computer access or devices.

Digital commerce - buying and selling via the internet. This involves entering personal information which can be tracked.

Digital communication - electronic communication and exchange of information. Communications should be friendly yet formal. Do not use multiple !!!!! Avoid strange fonts and multiple colors. Use expressive language to communicate rather than emojis or emoticons.

Digital etiquette - electronic standards or norms of conduct. Cite your sources. Never post material others have written as your own. Avoid sarcasm and ad hominem.

Digital law - electronic regulations with which the citizen voluntarily complies; access is granted based on agreement to comply.

Digital literacy - teaching and learning about technology and the digital society. Students should learn the basics of computer use and digital responsibility in schools and in their homes.

Digital native - a person who is familiar with computers and digital technology because they have been brought up during the age of digital technology.

Digital rights and responsibilities - rights of digital citizenship and consequences of misuse or abuse of those rights.

Digital security - updated electronic precautions to protect computers, phones, and other electronic devices.

Digital wellness - emotional and physical health related to the use of technology. Students must learn to self-regulate use of technology to avoid developing problems with their hands, joints, eyes and hearing. IT workers are especially vulnerable and should use workplaces, products and systems that are designed to fit them (ergonomics).

Typical examples of poor digital citizenship
Some students use digital cameras to take pictures of a test.
Some students copy material from the Internet without giving credit.
Some students log onto school programs with another's username and password.
Some students leave cellphone ringer on during public events.
Some students use text-messaging during class.
Some students do not make intelligent purchases online.
Some students fail to keep up with virus protection.
Some students fail to back-up files. 

The World's Highest Mountains



K2 (shown above) is located on the China-Pakistan border. It stands at an elevation of 28,238 feet (8,607 meters) above sea level. It is the second highest mountain in the world, after Mount Everest with a peak at 28,251 ft (8,611 meters). The air is so thin at the summits that climbers need to use oxygen masks.

Using GPS technology in 1999 Everest was measured at 29,035 feet. The towering peaks of K2 and Everest are the result of geologic thrusting and are many millions of years old.

The name “K2” was given to the mountain in 1852 by the British surveyor T.G. Montgomerie. The “K” denotes the mountain range — Karakoram — and the “2” denotes that it is the second peak recorded.

Routes of ascent

Climbers refer to K2 as “The Savage Mountain” because of the extreme level of danger it poses to mountaineers. K2 has a higher fatality rate than Mount Everest. One out of every four climbers who attempt K2's summit have perished.

K2 is also called Mount Godwin-Austen, and is named for Henry Godwin-Austen, an early explorer of this region.

The mountain is described by different peoples familiar with it, including peoples of India, China, Tibet and Pakistan. In various languages it is described as the Great Mountain, the Doorway, and the Big Peak.

Mount Everest

The summit of Mount Everest is the border of Nepal to the south and Tibet on the north. The Chinese claim the region.Mount Everest was named for the British surveyor Sir George Everest in 1865. He lead a survey team to Everest in 1841.

Everest was formed by the movement of the Indian tectonic plate pushing up and against the Asian plate. Because of this movement, Everest grows each year. However, it can also shrink in elevation. The region is seismically active and a huge Nepal quake in 2015 may have affected the height of Everest. On 29 April 2015, scientists in Europe announced that preliminary satellite data suggests Everest may have decreased by about one inch.


The jet stream flows across the top of Everest, making the peak a very windy spot. Winds have been known to blow at 200 miles per hour.