Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Just the Facts?: Pterosaur Nesting -- Reader Inquiries & Submissions -- Are Humans Becoming Less Intelligent?
Jonathan Whitcomb: Pterosaur Nesting
Where do modern living pterosaurs make their nests? A few years ago, I encountered this question from a skeptic who suggested that they could not be living in the United States or somebody would have found a nest. Let’s examine that criticism first, before getting into eyewitness sightings relevant to pterosaur nests.
That skeptic seems to take for granted a simplistic assumption. Do American newspapers automatically publish every reported event, no matter how unusual, as long as it would be important if true? What newspapers would put on their front page “teenager reports finding a pterodactyl nest”? Certainly not the New York Times. So why does that skeptic assume that any news report of such a discovery would find its way into his reading or television-gazing experience?
Why would anybody go to any newspaper reporter (in any country) and report something that is strongly believed, in that society, to be impossible? Even if that kind of report got to a reporter, how could it be taken seriously and published in a standard newspaper? We must take into account the cultural beliefs of a society, and in the U.S.A. few persons indeed have believed in modern dragons or pterodactyls, at least until recent years. Continue reading at Live Pterosaur - Pterosaur Nesting
Live Pterosaurs in America: Sightings of Apparent Pterosaurs in the United States - Wonderful reference...highly recommend!
Live Pterosaurs in Australia and in Papua New Guinea
Are Humans Becoming Less Intelligent?
Our intelligence and behaviour requires optimal functioning of a large number of genes, which requires enormous evolutionary pressures to maintain.
Now, in a provocative theory, a team from Stanford University claim we are losing our intellectual and emotional capabilities because the intricate web of genes which endows us with our brain power is particularly vulnerable to mutations - and these mutations are not being selected against our modern society because we no longer need intelligence to survive.
But we shouldn't lose any sleep over our diminishing brain power - as by the time it becomes a real problem technology will have found a solution making natural selection obsolete.
'The development of our intellectual abilities and the optimisation of thousands of intelligence genes probably occurred in relatively non-verbal, dispersed groups of peoples before our ancestors emerged from Africa,' says Dr Gerald Crabtree, lead author of the paper published today in Cell Press journal Trends in Genetics.
In this environment, intelligence was critical for survival, and there was likely to be immense selective pressure acting on the genes required for intellectual development, leading to a peak in human intelligence.
But it was downhill from there on in as, from that point, it's likely that we began to slowly lose ground, the researchers claim.
With the development of agriculture, came urbanisation, which may have weakened the power of selection to weed out mutations leading to intellectual disabilities.
Based on calculations of the frequency with which deleterious mutations appear in the human genome and the assumption that 2,000 to 5,000 genes are required for intellectual ability, Dr Crabtree estimates that within 3,000 years, about 120 generations, we have all sustained two or more mutations harmful to our intellectual or emotional stability.
Also, recent findings from neuroscience suggest that genes involved in brain function are uniquely susceptible to mutations.
Dr Crabtree argues that the combination of less selective pressure and the large number of easily affected genes is eroding our intellectual and emotional capabilities.
But the loss is quite slow, and judging by society's rapid pace of discovery and advancement, future technologies are bound to reveal solutions to the problem, Dr Crabtree believes.
He said: 'I think we will know each of the millions of human mutations that can compromise our intellectual function and how each of these mutations interact with each other and other processes as well as environmental influences.
'At that time, we may be able to magically correct any mutation that has occurred in all cells of any organism at any developmental stage.
'Thus, the brutish process of natural selection will be unnecessary.' - Daily Mail
NOTE: In my opinion, this may be a fact. It's remarkable how many dimwits walk among us. Still, the mere fact that some of these people are still surviving is a testament to their enterprise...be it luck, opportunity or pity by others (or all of the above). Lon
Duh! The Stupid History Of The Human Race
Everyday Survival: Why Smart People Do Stupid Things
‘Extinct’ animal turns up in Wales as roadside carcass proves elusive pine martens still exist
One of Britain’s rarest and most elusive animals has been found in Wales, after a hunt lasting more than 40 years – the pine marten.
A tree-climbing relative of the otter and the stoat, the pine marten had become extinct throughout much of Britain by the early 20th century, although numbers of the animal survived in Scotland.
But in Wales its continued existence has been problematic and no sight has been made of the animal, living or dead, since a carcass was found in 1971.
Now, however, a carcass of a pine marten which had been killed by a vehicle has been found on the roadside near Newtown in Powys, and DNA analysis has confirmed that the young male was a native British animal.
The finding brings to a climax the organised hunt for pine martens in Wales which has been carried out in recent decades by the Vincent Wildlife Trust.
In the last 20 years, the Trust has received more than 300 credible reports of sightings of pine martens in Wales and has built up a map of ‘hot spot’ areas. It has organised numerous hunts for pine marten scats (droppings) using teams of volunteers, deployed remote cameras and set up baited hair tubes, yet until now the most recent unequivocal evidence was a pine marten scat found in Cwm Rheidol forest in 2007 and later positively DNA tested.
“The significance of this find cannot be overstated,” said Natalie Buttriss, the Trust’s Chief Executive. “It adds to the body of evidence supporting the long-held view of mammal experts, that this attractive tree-dwelling animal does exist in Wales, but in such low numbers that very few people ever see one.”
The carcass was found by local resident Olly Amy on the roadside close to the village of Aberhafesp near Newtown. - Independent
Reader Inquiries & Submissions
Strange Ball of Light
I live in Canberra Australia, a few months ago during our winter here I was trout fishing with some friends at a small town south of Canberra called Adaminaby which has a massive lake near it. It was about 11.00 pm and I was standing with my mate around our fire and all of a sudden a blue-green ball of light just appeared from nowhere, being dark and in the middle of heavy snow it was hard to judge the distance it was from us but it was fairly close maybe 150 - 200 meters away ,it stayed still then all of a sudden it made a zig-zag movement straight up then slowly drifted back to its original position. Not long after it just faded away and that was that. I have no idea what it was but I have seen photos of orbs on the net and I think this thing was one.
Hi there Lon, I'm a long time reader to your excellent blog, and my interest in all things strange was first peaked due to the strange things I have been dealing with myself over the years. I have always felt 'different' to others, I don't really get on well with people in general and have wen't about life so far with a 'them and me' attitude. To compound this rather unnerving attitude (as I understand it's probably not a healthy one to have!) I have experienced a lot of strange occurrences, usually in 'bursts' of high strangeness throughout the years, split by spells of normality.
About twice a year I have night terrors. Real mean ones that involve me unable to move, as I witness a large shadowy figure by the door of whatever room I am in at the time. Always by the door, and always wearing what looks like, rather dramatically, a large cloak and a large, wide brimmed 'quaker' style hat. The figure is too dark to make out any details apart from this outline and just before he fades out of the doorway there are always 2 or 3 large 'flashes', like a camera flash going off. Then I burst up, suddenly able to move.
A few months ago I experienced a strange episode on the following morning from one of these n.t.'s. As I was walking along to the shops for my newspapers I suddenly got a flash of a different street. Well, not quite a different street, it was the same street but with different surroundings. The usually busy road and and walkways were empty, no people or cars. Police tape billowed from the traffic lights and street lights and the stores were either boarded up or smashed up. The only other thing I remember is a loud buzzing in my ears, like lots of flies nearby, and a total feeling of dread. I'm not sure how much time passed, probably only seconds, but suddenly it was gone and I was back in reality. Back on my usual busy street and road, people looking at me, wondering why I was just standing there in the street, staring. Any thoughts on this? J.
I have had two sightings of "UFOs" in my lifetime.
The first occurred during the summer of 1973. At the time, I was 26 years old and staying in what was then (and probably has become more populated) the "country", Sussex County New Jersey (Close to the Delaware River) on Lake Kittattinny (lake front house). It was about 11PM. I was lying face up on the dock, watching the sky. Very little ambient light from surroundings at that time since this was real countryside then so the night time sky was magnificent. I spotted what I thought was a satellite in orbit around the earth (a "moving star" so to speak). I laid there and watched it traverse the sky (so this could not have taken much more than 1/2 hour, I have no idea what speed that means but this thing was in ORBIT). It was moving south to north (I think, not sure, but CROSSING the sky). When it reached the northern most section I could see, it stopped and went back in the same direction from which it had come. This was no plane and it certainly was no satellite nor anything "normal" in orbit.
The second occurred approximately winter 1993/1994. I was traveling on Jericho Turnpike on Long Island (Suffolk County) and approaching the area of Dix Hills (Jericho Turnpike goes through Nassau County and into eastern Long Island, Dix Hills is a few miles east of the Nassau County border). It was approximately 10PM (perhaps a few minutes later). There was other traffic around me (it is a heavily traveled four lane road, most likely much more crowded now but there were several cars around me at this time). We were traveling west. Ahead of us a couple of miles was a curve in the road, making it impossible to see around that curve from the ground. Up in the air, at low altitude and in the southwestern sky, was an object. It was oval, it was lit from underneath (lights under the main body) and appeared to have "windows". I don't know if it made a sound since I was in the car. This was in colder weather, car windows were closed and of course it was night. My daughter, who was then 6 or 7, was with me and saw this also. As we and other cars continued at about 30 mph, everyone of us slowed down considerably. I could see other person in their cars looking UP toward this object, which just hung there in the sky with no movement. No rotor blades or wings were attached to it, it just hung there. We were ALL staring at it. Suddenly, it "shot" across the roadway from its position to linger briefly at the right-hand side of Jericho Turnpike (the southern side moving west) and lingered for a brief time, then "shot" back to its original position and proceeded southwest very, very quickly and was out of sight (accelerated and just disappeared from view). Everyone saw it. As we rounded the turn, we spotted three or four police cars with their lights flashing at the side of the road. A man was lying at the side of the road and the cops were investigating. It seemed obvious that this craft and its occupants were curious about these lights flashing and this activity (which we could not see on the ground until we navigated the curve in the road) and satisfied that curiosity by going to observe it closer. If this were man made or experimental (and many experimental planes etc. were seen on Long Island because of Grumman and the Air Force Base), why would they have made themselves obvious by going to investigate? Doesn't seem to make sense to me, so I conclude that this was not of human origin.
Thought I'd share these true accounts. Thank you. Jill
Strange Encounters: UFO's, Aliens, & Monsters Among Us (Fate Presents)
Unexplained: Strange Sightings, Incredible Occurrences & Puzzling Physical Phenomena (The Seeker Series)
Really Mysterious Pennsylvania: UFOs, Bigfoot & Other Weird Encounters Casebook One