How Old Is This Germ?

first_imgRip Van Microbe has awakened after 120,000 years, said Live Science without batting an eye.  That’s strange; human observation only goes back 1/12 of that time max.  The bacterium came out of its suspended animation and grew as if nothing had happened.  “Such vigor is partially due to the microbe’s small size, the scientists speculate,” the article said.  “Tiny microbes like this one can also hide more easily from predators and take up residence among ice crystals and in the thin liquid film on those surfaces.”No scientist would have “speculated” such a thing before.  This could just as easily have falsified the belief that the Greenland location was as old as claimed, but no— evolutionary dating must survive all empirical challenges.  Let’s see if we have a law of nature that has been discovered.  If longevity is inversely proportional to size, flies should outlive humans.  Wrong.  If longevity is a function of ability to hide more easily from predators, gophers should outlive humans.  Wrong.  It seems the only law of nature we have discovered is that Darwinians are incorrigible storytellers.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Comrades entry deadline reached

first_img29 November 2013Entries for the 2014 Comrades Marathon will close at the end of business on Friday, a day earlier than had been planned because the cap of 18 000 runners has been reached ahead of schedule.In recent years the cap has been implemented for logistical and organisational purposes; the race has been oversubscribed since 2009.Online and in-house entries at the Comrades Marathon offices in Pietermaritzburg will close at 16:30 on Friday. However, Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) General Manager Chris Bruwer said: “We will still accept postal entries, but they must be postmarked by the Post Office with [the] date of 29 November 2013. Entries made after this date will be rejected.”Heightened interestSince a massive entry in 2010, when the Guinness World Records recognised the Comrades Marathon as the biggest ultra-marathon in the world, and the event was named the winner of the Virgin Active Sport Industry Awards for South Africa’s “Best Sport Participation Event”, there has been a heightened interest in the race, which was first run in 1921.The 2010 race, which benefited from the excitement surrounding the 2010 Fifa World Cup, had 23 568 entries, with 14 343 runners finishing before the 12-hour cut-off time.The iconic road running race enjoys recognition as Africa’s oldest marathon and ultra-marathon at the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS).2014 raceNext year’s event will be the 89th running of the Comrades Marathon. It was only during the Second World War, in the years from 1941 to 1945, that it was not held.Pietermaritzburg will host the start of next year’s Comrades Marathon on Sunday, 1 June. Competitors are allowed up to 12 hours to reach the finish in Durban.The defending men’s champion will be South African Claude Moshiywa, while Elena Nurgalieva, the defending women’s champion, will have an opportunity to match Bruce Fordyce’s nine wins in the race.SAinfo reporter and Comrades Marathonlast_img read more

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Proteas begin life without Jacques Kallis

first_img30 January 2014 South Africa’s cricket selectors on Wednesday named all-rounders Wayne Parnell and Ryan Mclaren in a 15-man squad for the forthcoming three-test series against Australia, which begins at SuperSport Park in Centurion outside Pretoria on 12 February. With the great Jacques Kallis having retired from test cricket, the biggest question surrounding the Proteas’ line-up has been about how to replace him. While doing that properly is, frankly, impossible, the selectors did the expected by naming Mclaren and Parnell in the line-up.Limited test experience Parnell has previously played in three tests, while McLaren has appeared in just one match, ironically with Parnell in January 2010 at The Wanderers where Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel spearheaded South Africa to victory by an innings and 74 runs over England. McLaren boasts a superior first class record to Parnell, averaging 30.63 with the bat to Parnell’s 22.34 and 25.47 with the ball to Parnell’s 32.94. However, McLaren, at just shy of 31 years of age, is over seven years older than his fellow all-rounder. What those figures reveal very clearly is that neither man will be able to come any near to emulating Kallis with the bat. However, they may be able to match him with the ball. Three other players in the squad are in a similar class of all-rounder, with off-spinner and left-handed batsman JP Duminy offering more with the bat than the others. Robin Peterson brings the option of left-arm spin and a left-handed batsman, while Vernon Philander, the world’s number one ranked test bowler, has shown on a number of occasions that he is more than useful with a bat in his hands. ‘We’re not looking for another Jacques Kallis’ In an interview with ESPN Cricinfo’s Firdose Moonda, Proteas’ coach Russell Domingo explained: “The mental shift is going to be just as important as the statistical shift. We’re not looking for another Jacques Kallis. We’re looking for someone to step up to the plate.” Underlining the hole that Kallis has left, he added: “It’s not going to be a set strategy like we had in the past. Something’s got to give. Either we will have four seamers, no spinner or only six batters.” ‘We want to stay constant’ “We want to stay constant to the brand of cricket we have played over the last few years that has brought us such success,” Cricket South Africa selection convener Andrew Hudson said in a statement. “I believe that this squad covers all possible options we may wish to exercise, as well as the conditions we are likely to encounter.” With an eye to the future, Hudson added: “Two other players, Beuran Hendricks and Simon Harmer, will be joining the squad to assist with the preparation leading into the first test match. “They are both highly talented cricketers who will benefit from being introduced to the Proteas environment. They also possess individual skills that will assist the team with their preparation for the Australian attack we are likely to face.”SOUTH AFRICA TEST SQUAD Graeme Smith (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras, capt), Hashim Amla (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), AB de Villiers (Nashua Titans), JP Duminy (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Faf du Plessis (Nashua Titans), Dean Elgar (Chevrolet Knights), Rory Kleinveldt (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Ryan McLaren (Chevrolet Knights), Morne Morkel (Nashua Titans), Wayne Parnell (Chevrolet Warriors), Alviro Petersen (bizhub Highveld Lions), Robbie Peterson (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Vernon Philander (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Dale Steyn (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Thami Tsolekile (bizhub Highveld Lions)last_img read more

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