All New Scientist bonanza The 30 October 1993 issue of New Scientist has numerous articles

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All _New Scientist_ bonanza From: jgacker@news.gsfc.nasa.gov (James G. Acker) Newsgroups: talk.origins The 30 October 1993 issue of _New Scientist_ has numerous articles with relevance to origins. The cover is a deep blue representation of submersibles exploring volcanoes on the ocean floor, with the large tag line "Eruptions at a thousand fathoms". The first article of interest is the cover story, internally entitled "Breaking new ground on the ocean floor". It summarizes current understanding and research on deep-sea volcanic and hydrothermal systems, and a sidebar explains the magnetic reversal data collected by Vine and Matthews that essentially launched the era of plate tectonic theory. #2 is entitled "3-way split for our ape ancestors", summarizing an article in _J. Human Evolution_ on the possibility that the split between humans, apes, and chimpanzees occurred about 9 million years ago in about .5 million years and possibly as quickly as 115,000 years. Jeffrey Rogers of SW Foundation for Biomedical Research examined different DNA sequences. #3, same page, is the fact that recent measures of the Hubble constant have apparently tipped the balance toward a much older Universe than previously believed. Entitled "thumbs up for an older Universe", the article does not actually give an estimated age for the big U, but provides various estimates of the Hubble constant and how they were obtained. It does note that the oldest stars in globular clusters are about 16 billion years old, which requires H to be less than 50. If the age of the Universe was 16 billion years, H would be equal to 32 +/- 5. (The opposition view is that H is in the 70-80 range -- units are kilometers per second per megaparsec. #4, same page, is "Human jaw hints at African trek", describing a new _Homo habilis_ (or a cousin) jawbone in Malawi, implying migration (which way is still a question) through the East African Rift system. Article is in _Nature_, fossil may be 2.4 million years old. Chris Nedin may be interested that a large armoured worm is the creature that wore shell-like fossils called volborthella has been described, "solving" a century of speculation. #5 is the news that the Pope called the work of Copernicus "one of the greatest scientific achievements of all time". Nikky had been rejected by theologians, and the Church banned his book in 1854! (a bit late, in my opinion!) Quoting the Pope: "The claimed incompatibility between science and faith belongs in the past." Last but not least, #6 is an extensive book review of "The Correspondence of Charles Darwin: Volume 8, 1860", edited by F. Burkhardt, D.M. Porter and J.B. Marsha, from Cambridge University Press. 1860 was the year following the publication of _On the Origin Of Species_. Interesting excerpts: "...the defenders of Creation, Design, and Natural Theology (God-revealed-in-nature) rage at Darwin from the review pages of learned periodicals." Darwin remarks to his publisher on corrections to the 3rd edition that he does so "in hopes of making my many rather stupid reviewers at least understand what is meant." -- "Both Huxley and Spencer are keen to see evolution as inevitable progress, to make some moral point out of it, whereas Darwin is after truth for truth's sake. That keen but blinkered attitude kept Darwin hot on the scent of that concept, evolution through natural selection, and prevented him from being distracted by the emotional appeal of Lamarckian ideas, in which personal effort supposedly leads to evolutionary progress." He writes to Asa Gray: "With respect to the theological view of the question; this is always painful to me. -- I am bewildered. -- I had no intention to write atheistically. Finally, the book notes that Joseph Hooker (a close friend) wrote to him and mentions how natural selection might relate to a "theistic element" or "unseen power". Unfortunately, the remainder is lost, because Darwin burned all portions of letters that didn't contain useful facts! =============================================== | James G. Acker | | REPLY TO: jgacker@neptune.gsfc.nasa.gov | ===============================================

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